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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Oct 27

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10/27/2010 3:05 PM  RssIcon

tc-electronic_lm2_persp.jpg tc-electronic_lm2-radar.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO, CA >— TC Electronic, a global leader in digital signal processing and loudness control technologies for the professional audio, broadcast and post production markets, is pleased to bring its LM2 stereo loudness and true-peak level meter to the U.S. market by debuting the advanced technology at this year’s AES 2010 (Booth 1227). The LM2 meter enables unprecedented levels of loudness precision and quality in audio applications, eliminating level jumps and other aural inconsistencies for truly polished sound. With this new product, TC Electronic is taking an important leadership role in the worldwide concern for loudness standardization.

The new LM2 is one of the first products on the market today that complies with the European R128 loudness standard, as well as U.S. standards. The meter analyzes any audio, be it speech, music or other sources, assigning it an ATSC A/85- or EBU R128-compliant loudness number. Numbers may be used to normalize programs, commercials and music tracks, and to set metadata in AC3 transmission. This eliminates level jumps and other inconsistencies sometimes caused by human error. For example, after mixing for many hours, a user’s ears will get tired, making it harder to determine loudness levels. With the LM2 meter, the user can rely on an exact number as a reference for the mix instead of his ears. Similarly, using the LM2 as part of a monitoring signal path ensures a consistent loudness level in the mixing environment.

“Accurate loudness level is not only an extremely hot topic right now for both the worldwide professional audio and broadcast markets, but it’s also absolutely critical to any production,” says Thomas Lund, HD Development Manager, TC Electronic. “Until now, few measurement products were capable of taking all the guesswork out of loudness metering. TC Electronic, however, has designed the LM2 meter to offer loudness reference points based on algorithms, not just the human ear. This ensures a completely consistent level of loudness standardization across a production, offering audio professionals tremendous reliability and peace of mind.”

Users can view the loudness numbers generated by the LM2 on the meter’s front panel or Stats display. Connecting the LM2 to a PC or Mac via USB allows access to TC Electronic’s patented “radar meter” technology, which displays loudness over a given period of time. The radar can show loudness data from up to 24 hours back in time, even if there was no connection to a computer during that period.

The LM2 meter is ideal for a variety of broadcast audio applications as well. During ingest, it can be employed to measure loudness and the “true-peak” level of incoming audio signals, revealing any signal overloads. Built-in gain normalization enables it to correct gain to a pre-set loudness level, while a 48-bit precision limiter ensures that if the gain has been positively invoked, there will be no overloads.

Pre-transmission, the LM2 can log the outgoing loudness level of the broadcast station for a full week. Detailed log files may be imported into Excel, and LM2 needs no connection to a computer besides from when log files are dumped. Post-transmission, LM2 can be used to monitor and log what is sent out.

The LM2 meter is compliant with ITU-R BS.1770, ATSC A/85, EBU R128, NABJ, OP-59, BCAP and many other guidelines. It offers a wide variety of 24-bit resolution audio inputs and outputs, including AES/EBU, TOS, SPDIF/AES3 id, ADAT and analog. Digital I/Os are fully synchronous while analog I/Os are scaled in the analog domain for maximum utilization of converter dynamic range. Analog inputs can be trimmed at 0.01dB precision.

“TC Electronic is not new to delivering outstanding loudness technology options,” adds Lund. “With the LM2, however, TC Electronic has brought itself into a leading position in regards of loudness technology, able to offer unprecedented precision and quality to the professional audio and broadcast markets.”

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