Grammy Audio Network Schematic

Return to Sound for the 2012 Grammys feature...
Algorithms to Measure Audio Programme Loudness and True-Peak Audio Level

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Nugen Audio Visualizer Nugen Audio has released a ‘significant’ update to its Visualizer audio analysis suite, adding support for Avid’s AAX 64-bit format for both PC and Mac, as well as the VST3 standard for digital audio plug-ins.

Visualizer provides audio analysis for recording, mixing and mastering through a reference tools. With the latest upgrade, Visualizer is among the first to gain compatibility with Avid Pro Tools 11.

For recording, Visualizer offers tools for calibration, setting levels, signal path checking, noise minimisation, and many other audio tasks. At the mixing desk, engineers can use Visualizer for tasks such as low-end control, masking, hidden frequencies, and stereo placement, among many others. For mastering, Visualizer supports a wide range of views such as stereo spread, phase relationships, and EQ distribution.

‘When we launched Visualizer in 2005, it quickly gained the attention of producers and helped Nugen Audio build its brand in the audio production industry,’ says Creative Director, Jon Schorah. ‘The new update is the latest example of how we’re continually adapting our products to meet our customers’ evolving requirements; for instance, 64-bit AAX compatibility provides future-proofing for our many customers who rely on Avid’s editing software.’

More: www.nugenaudio.com


Madi BridgeSolid State Logic has extended the feature set of its Madi Bridge, Madi-to-Dante IP Audio Network interface. Part of the company’s Network I/O range, Madi-Bridge reckons to be the first fully broadcast-ready interface between Madi and Dante.

Madi-Bridge provides an interface between a Dante IP audio network and Madi, supporting 64 channels per Bridge at 48kHz or 32 channels at 96kHz, with redundant Madi, IP Network ports and PSU. In addition to the built-in clock redundancy in Dante controller, the Madi-Bridge includes a pair of sync inputs for use as a self-redundant Dante Grand Master clock. The unit can synchronise to video sync, tri-level or black and burst, word clock, Madi or PTP network sync.

The unit also features a front panel headphone socket with level control and built-in headphone monitor routing to replace traditional patchbay routing and fault-finding functionality with equivalents in the IP audio domain. GPIO connections allow for transfer of tally info and switching functions across the network with the audio.

Other features include bi-directional 44.1kHAz/48kHz/88.2kHz/96kHz sample rate conversion and a new Split Mode, which allows the pair of Madi connectors to be used independently (rather than in their usual redundant mode) for bi-directional split/combine operation. This can be used in a number of ways, for example, two 32 channel 96kHz Madi feeds can be combined to form one 64 channel 48kHz Dante stream or an asynchronous, but same sample rate stage can be connected to multiple OB vehicles.

Other new features include a Lock mode, enabling an admin user to lock all functionality except the front panel confidence monitoring, and the ability to toggle the screen between Monitor Matrix view and the Channel Name of the device currently being monitored in Monitor Mode.

More: www.solidstatelogic.com

SSL Live at Chess
Requiring the largest use of SSL Live mixing systems to date, the recent World Chess Olympiad was accompanied by a full concert version of the musical, Chess, in Tromsø, Norway The production called on the Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, a choir and an ensemble of leading Norwegian musical performers, with three SSL Live consoles for the sound mixes.

Supplied by Bary Sales in Oslo, the FOH and monitor consoles shared 64 inputs from the band and soloists, while the third was used to submix 86 orchestra channels down to six stereo stems.

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Building commercial and technical support for its growing base and realisation of our expansion plans, Netherlands-based loudspeaker manufacturing specialist Alcons Audio is invinting applications for the following positions:

Audio DSP developer
Firmware developer
Linux developer
Sales Support Engineer, Germany

More information and application details are available from Alcons Audio.

More: info@alconsaudio.de

Calrec Networking Primer

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The RTW Masterclass PlugIns range offers the company’s metering tools as plug-ins for Windows and Mac OS-X platforms. The RTW Loudness Tools will be the first plug-in in the new range.

Loudness Tools Masterclass PlugInThe Loudness Tools Masterclass PlugIn visually represents audio with relevant level and loudness values as specified by international standards. It conforms to the EBU R128 loudness standard, as well as SPL, ITU-R BS.1770-3/1771-1, ATSC A/85, ARIB and custom (to set OP-59, AGCOM) – aiming it at audio and video engineers, radio producers and musicians. It is also intended for quality control.

The plug-in supports all standard sampling rates up to 96kHz, and operates in mono, stereo and surround (eight channels maximum). It includes RTW’s Peak Program Meter, TruePeak and Spot Correlator instruments, and also offers all common loudness formats plus MagicLRA and an SPL view.

The user interface is based on the RTW TouchMonitor TM7 and TM9 units, and offers the same functionality and clarity as the hardware models. The instruments provide graphical/numerical, as well as bargraph views, and can be freely rearranged and scaled. Various function parameters, such as integration time, operational range and tolerance, along with a number of viewing options for metering data and scales, offer extra flexibility. The plug-in window dimensions can be set to the native resolution of RTW TouchMonitor display screens, including 480x272, 800x480, 1024x800 (landscape) or 272x480, 480x800, 800x1024 (portrait). Users can store set-ups and layouts as presets in a DAW.

The software requires Windows 7/8 (32-bit or 64-bit) or Mac OS-X 10.6 or higher. RTW will first make them available in the VST 2.4 format for Windows systems and the RTAS format for Mac OS-X. VST, RTAS and native AAX64 support on the two platforms will follow. PACE anti-piracy and iLok USB copy-protection dongle are used for handling license management and plug-in activation. On an authorised computer, users can use unlimited RTW Loudness Tools instances.

More: www.rtw.de


A&H Qu v1.5Allen & Heath has announced new firmware for its Qu Series of compact digital mixers, adding support for the newly launched Qu-32 mixer and AB168 Audio Rack, and introducing DCA Groups, custom channel naming, flexible dSnake output patching, improved routing for studio recording applications, and additional Midi control soft keys.

Version 1.5 brings four DCA groups, which can be assigned to fader strips in the custom layer on Qu-16 and Qu-24, while the Qu-32 has four dedicated DCA master strips in the upper layer. All input channels, FX returns, mixes, DCA and mute groups now have custom naming functionality, which can be shared with the QuPad remote app and with any connected ME-1 personal mixers. Also, dSnake outputs to remote Audio Racks and monitor sends to ME-1 mixers have full user configurability, providing flexibility on output routing.

There is also improved functionality for studio recording applications. The input channel source point for Qu-Drive and USB can be set to either Insert Send or Direct Out to facilitate both live and studio workflows. Also, the Midi screen now has Midi Machine Control (MMC) transport buttons for control of DAW software or remote equipment. Additionally, the MMC controls and new DAW Bank controls can be assigned to Soft Keys for use in conjunction with the DAW Control driver.

Qu v1.5 is compatible with all Qu mixer models, and can be downloaded now from the A&H website.

See also:
Allen & Heath Qu-32 

More: www.allen-heath.com


Following Dolby’s discontinuatio of the DP570 Multichannel Audio Tool, dynamics specialist Jünger Audio has the only loudness processor capable of offering real-time metadata emulation as standard in the D*AP8 MAP Monitoring Audio Processor.

Jüner Audio D*AP8Jünger Audio’s D*AP8 MAP Monitoring Audio Processor combines an audio monitor controller and a loudness measurement device in one unit, thus providing comprehensive quality control and loudness monitoring for anyone working in a production or broadcast environment.

Designed for quality checking surround (5.1) and/or stereo programmes, D*AP8 MAP features a built-in Dolby® Metadata generator and an optional Dolby decoder that allows users to decode Dolby-E, Dolby-D (AC-3) and Dolby Digital plus (E-AC-3). It can also be used for live monitoring and to ensure compliance with today’s standards and regulations (ITU 1770-3, ATSC A/85 or EBU R128).

The unit generates alarm signals to alert an operator when preset loudness thresholds are exceeded, and these signals can be delivered by simple GPOs and/or SNMP traps, which carry actual loudness values. Loudness measurements can be performed over a long run or over a fraction of a programme, or both. These measurements can be triggered by automation systems via GPIs or via the network - or even manually by buttons on a remote panel.

Alongside loudness measurements, D*AP8 MAP also offers functionality for acoustical QA. It has eight speaker outputs that allow for A/B checking of stereo compatibility of a surround downmix through alternative speakers, as well as via L/R front speakers.

By incorporating 3G, HD and SD auto detection, D*AP8 MAP gives users the option of dealing with all 16 channels of SDI embedded audio at the same time. This means the engineer can listen to one programme while permanently logging the loudness of two (5.1 +2 mode) or four (4x2 mode) programmes. It is also possible to send further embedded programmes to D*AP8 MAP-s AES outputs to feed a third-party instrument for analysis and/or display.

Real-time metadata emulation allows broadcast engineers in postproduction, DVD and DTV facilities to check the quality of Dolby Digital AC3-encoded audio prior to transmission so that they can monitor exactly what the consumer will ultimately hear.

‘Metadata emulation is very important to the broadcast community, especially those working in the US where the ATSC has specified that all audio must be Dolby AC3 encoded prior to transmission,’ says Jünger Audio CEO, Peter Pörs. ‘Every set-top box in the US – and in many other countries – has a Dolby Digital decoder installed as standard. These decoders receive audio metadata, which is the unique “data about data’” delivered by Dolby Digital bitstreams.

‘Metadata is important because it ensures that television audiences at home hear their programmes the way producers and content creators intended them to be. All kinds of audio parameters, including loudness levels, are controlled this way. In countries where you can be fined if you get audio loudness wrong, it’s vital that broadcasters can check exactly what consumers will hear before material leaves their facilities.’

The D*AP8 MAP SDI board also acts as an embedder, and provides video delay to compensate for any kind of audio delay. This feature is well suited to maintaining lip sync in QA suites and control rooms.

More: www.jungeraudio.com

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