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Armand Klenk | SAE Institute
Choosing NUGEN Audio for Broadcast education
- Original article first appeared in 4rfv Magazine
NUGEN Audio Supplies SAE institute with Loudness Tools
by Armand Klenk, Head Instructor Audio, SAE Institute Munich
Founded in 1976 by sound engineer and record producer Tom Misner to provide practical audio education, SAE Institute now spans more than 50 locations around the world and offers a wide range of courses in audio engineering, 3D animation, multimedia, game design, digital filmmaking, and music production. At the Munich campus, we offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in audio engineering validated by London’s Middlesex University. Our courses emphasize practical experience for working in the industry, and our instructors use the latest knowledge and equipment to demonstrate real-world examples in the classroom.
Because of the need to comply with the EBU R128 standard for loudness in broadcast, we went in search of a loudness meter to teach our students about the new levels. The old standard referred only to a peak measurement, so sound engineers simply used an analog peak meter to ensure their audio was compliant. The new loudness measurements are completely different, it is impossible to measure loudness with a standard peak meter. EBU R128 also requires a true peak reading, which is not always visible using existing tools, so we needed to find a way to measure differently. .
We are a long-time NUGEN Audio customer, having first used the Visualizer tool in the mid-2000s, and NUGEN again proved to be the right partner for us. Now we use NUGEN Audio’s VisLM-H full-featured visual loudness monitoring tool and LM-Correct loudness analysis and correction tool in our classroom demonstrations, and students can get hands-on practice with the tools in our studios and workstations.
We have integrated VisLM and LM-Correct software plug-ins into our entire curriculum related to advertising for broadcast. When an instructor is teaching about loudness or dynamics analysis, the lesson is much easier to do with VisLM because students can see a visual representation of what’s happening with the sound. VisLM’s intuitive GUI has a bar meter and clear numerical read-out with “alert” warning options and loudness boundary indicators. It also has a history view (VisLM-H) that tracks loudness history throughout an entire piece.
In fact, the history feature is the most valuable part of VisLM for us because having a full view of the entire project with time position markers is helpful in teaching situations. And LM-Correct is especially handy for normalizing everything to LUFS.
We work primarily with Pro Tools® on an HD system at our digital audio workstations. When students are creating advertising spots, VisLM and LM-Correct are the main meters they use. The NUGEN Audio measurement tools are easy even for new students to learn. After some basic instruction about terminology, they quickly get comfortable with the software.
We haven’t yet integrated NUGEN Audio tools into our mix-mastering curriculum because there is no real industry standard for students to learn at this point. Even so, we sometimes use VisLM in music-mixing sessions to teach about dynamics. For example, looking at an old Beatles song through the VisLM meter is an easy way to show students how a song builds up and where the loudness points are.
We have been using VisLM and LM-Correct software plug-ins for about a year now, and they have become a critical part of our offering. We could not teach students about broadcast-related loudness without them.
Mix & Mastering