Post Magazine

April 2015

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Page 47 of 51 46 POST APRIL 2015 K developer Nugen Audio creates professional audio tools for high- end music producers, post production engineers and broadcasters. Among these tools is the company's post pro- duction mixing and mastering solution, Post Pack, which holds eight modules, some of which can be used as stand- alone applications. With partner companies Avid and Quantel on-board, the Nugen Audio Post Pack includes: ISL, an inter-sample true peak limiter that works with mono to 7.1 files; LM-Correct, a loudness measure- ment and correction tool that is available as a plug-in for Avid systems as well as a standalone application; VisLM-H, a standardized loudness metering solu- tion; Visualiser, a user-definable realtime audio analysis tool; Monofilter, a plug-in that allows you to control stereo width and phase correlation in low frequencies; Stereoizer, a plug-in that allows you to control a variable stereo spread in mono and stereo signals; Stereoplacer, a plug-in that realigns, corrects and redistributes stereo balance by frequency; and SEQ-S, the Linear Phase Spline/Match equalizer. The Nugen Audio Post Pack isn't aimed at making everything sound louder. It's aimed at improving dynamic range with the SEQ-S equalizer, creating a transparent stereo soundscape and complying with loudness standards. To that effect, you'll probably routinely use two-thirds of the provided modules in differing constellations. There's only one module that won't work with any DAW, sound editor or NLE except an Avid system: the LM-Cor- rect module. This module is available to non-Avid users as a standalone app that will then work as a file-based program. This means non-Avid users will first need to measure loudness levels with another module, e.g. VisLM, and then export or bounce the track or mix to a file, run it through LM-Correct with the measure- ments in mind and reimport if needed. LOUDNESS CONTROL LM-Correct includes presets that can be automatically dialled in. Included presets are EBU R128, ATSC A-85, ITU-R BS 1770-02, etc. LM-Correct corrects for short-term loudness and for integrated or infinite program loudness. Especially for non-Avid users, LM-Correct is quite efficient as a back-stop processor, which can ensure you end up with a finished file that is within specification. The interface is extremely simple, with a minimum of preferences to be set. A lot more action goes on with ISL, which enables you to control peak levels in signals ranging from mono to 7.1 surround sound, and offers a true brick- wall solution. It uses the standardized True-Peak algorithms of ITU-R BS 1170 and related standards, and is suitable for the control of post production and broadcast. It can also be used to ensure downstream codecs won't introduce distortions into the signal. Although you obviously need to be familiar with audio controls in general, it's very simple to operate. All you need to do is select a standard and set one of the two listen modes to hear the results. In Auto mode, you can accurately com- pare before and after, while in Difference mode, you hear the actual gain reduction applied. Neither mode should be turned on during mixdown. ISL's Reduction Meters will show you if channels are linked or not. While you obviously cannot control loudness on each channel inde- pendently, you can control how inde- pendently each channel's limiter behaves. If you know one channel will sound louder than the other, a lower value will give the limiters more leeway in 'decid- ing' how much gain must be reduced to get a balanced result. Regardless of whether you're using LM-Correct or ISL, you'll need to check loudness before you can start reducing it. Nugen Audio's VisLM-H is included with the Post Pack for that purpose. VisLM-H is a loudness metering system that complies with any of the existing region specific loudness metering standards. The "H" stands for History and refers to a graphi- cal representation of loudness values over time (up to 24h). This history can also be exported into a CSV file for analysis. VisLM-H is available in 2.0 and 5.1 formats to ensure compliance with any plug-in host. The 5.1 version will work correctly with track counts from 1.0 up to 5.1 in hosts that support it. Just as ISL is a True-Peak limiter, VisLM-H is a True- Peak as well as a loudness meter. In EBU mode, the meter offers the ability to have one of a range of gates active. VisLM-H also offers the ability to measure Loud- ness Range or the variation of loudness measurement of a section of audio. LRA can help determine whether dynamic treatment of the audio is required. I tested the VisLM-H standalone ver- sion with an Apogee Duet iPad/Mac and an sE Electronics se2200A microphone. The standalone application is designed to monitor ASIO audio inputs, turning it into a free-standing, sophisticated and standards-compliant input loudness/vol- ume meter. I also tested the accuracy of the VisLM-H system versus Sony's loudness implementation in Sound Forge Pro Mac 2.5.0. This test doesn't tell the true accuracy of the VisLM-H meter as I don't know how accurate the Sony's meters are, but it did tell me this: the two meter- ing solutions gave identical results, with the Sony system very slightly lagging NUGEN AUDIO POST PACK PRO AUDIO TOOLS FOR HIGH-END MUSIC PRODUCERS, POST ENGINEERS AND BROADCASTERS VITAL STATS MANUFACTURER: Nugen Audio PRODUCT: Post Pack PRICE: $1,139 WEBSITE: • Eight plug-in audio bundle • SEQ-S equalizer improves dynamic range • Complete loudness solutions, including LM-Correct and ISL U REVIEW BY ERIK VLIETINCK ERIK@IT-ENQUIRER.COM SKYPE: ERIKVLIE HTTP://UK.LINKEDIN.COM/IN/ ITENQUIRER (L-R) Nugen's ISL and SEQ-S tools can be used for loudness monitoring and EQ.

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