TC Electronic Releases Loudness Control Software

"Why are the commercials so loud?"

TC Electronic hopes to answer this question with the release of version 1.60 software of its DB-4, DB-8 and P2 DTV audio processors. Version 1.60 includes a new technology called "Grid Loudness Limiter," which looks at the "perceived" loudness of the incoming signal and takes appropriate action to adjust the audio level.

The company said Grid was developed in cooperation with broadcast organizations and academic communities and was the result of a year-long investigation into measuring and controlling loudness rather than merely level.

"TC's loudness investigations included thousands of listening tests with varied program material played to both trained and untrained subjects," said Thomas Lund, program manager for TC Electronic. "After several months we began to develop a model of how viewers actually perceived and compensated for the differences in program loudness. This controlled study became the basis for the Grid software."

Grid can be used for both real-time transmission as well as server ingest and complements and automates loudness control in environments based on recent ITU recommendations. The company said broadcast engineers can use Grid as a tool to achieve an overall perceived loudness target, as measured by meters like the Dolby LM100.

Version 1.60 is available as a free download from the TC Electronic Web site.