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Florian Camerer | ORF
EBU Loudness Group chairman on VisLM
- Original article first appeared in Resolution Magazine
NUGEN Audio VisLM-H in the Mix at ORF
by Florian Camerer, Production Sound Engineer, ORF, Chairman European loudness group within the EBU, Directly responsible for loudness standard in Europe
ORF is Austria’s national public service broadcaster and the dominant player in Austrian broadcast media. The audio post-production department at ORF handles everything from small live mixes to grand music mixes — such as the Austrian New Year’s Eve concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra— so every aspect of sound is taken care of!.
Now that governments all over the world are instituting requirements for loudness in broadcast, loudness metering has become the new standard. Loudness metering is now mandatory in many countries, so television broadcasters have switched to full loudness metering and loudness normalization in order to be in compliance, and ORF is no exception. Since a variety of projects are post-produced, a variety of tools is needed, and NUGEN Audio’s VisLM-H visual loudness monitoring tool with history functionality works well in so many situations.
At ORF we are fortunate to have three of the best post studios in broadcasting. Our editing suites are equipped mainly with Avid® Pro Tools® digital audio workstations (DAWs), which we use to finalize all of our work. (On-location cultural programs are recorded in Nuendo and then finished in Pro Tools.) The VisLM plug-in drops seamlessly into our workflow no matter what the project. For smaller mixes, which tend to be mixed ‘as-live’, we route it right through the DAW. Most of the time, though, we use VisLM in offline mode, which means we can use it to analyze and correct a completed mix — also one that contains 5.1 signals. We do a significant amount of our work in surround sound, so the offline functionality is especially handy because it allows us to analyze those signals very quickly.
In my work at ORF and as part of the European standards body for loudness, I’ve had the opportunity to use and evaluate several loudness meters. The prerequisite in any case is that the meter fulfills all of the technical requirements we’ve defined in our loudness group, and VisLM does that well. Beyond that, it is one of the few meters that allows you to measure offline rather than in real time, which is especially helpful when analyzing long feature films. In fact, the offline functionality is one of VisLM’s most valuable features.
VisLM’s well-organized GUI can be customized to suit any user, and it gives me a clear, uncluttered indication of parameters. At ORF we also use VisLM’s optional history feature (VisLM-H) to get an overview of the entire program, how dynamic the mix is, and where the ups and downs are.
In addition to VisLM-H, ORF also uses NUGEN Audio’s LM-Correct loudness analysis and correction tool.
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