IBC 2014 - ‘aNorm’ is a new approach to loudness adjustment that learns the incoming program on the fly and adapts seamlessly to hit user-defined Targets for Program Loudness and Loudness Range (LRA). According to Thomas Valter, VP for Broadcast & Production at TC Electronic, the new algorithm delivers uncompromised audio that has not been dynamically processed unless requested. “In most cases, setting the Targets is all that aNorm needs to achieve a great-sounding result that stays within the boundaries of international broadcast standards and legislation. In other words, it has never been easier to integrate, setup and use intelligent loudness processing that doesn’t destroy delicate balances set in production.”
TC Electronic also debuts a brand new Loudness Processing Meter as part of aNorm: The Butterfly Meter. This innovative interface displays content pre and post loudness normalization using a graph that instantly provides an overview of how and why incoming audio is adjusted. Both the Program Loudness and Loudness Range parameters are reflected visually – not just as numeric values. The meter is both intuitive and informative.
As Thomas Valter explains, this second-generation loudness normalization and new loudness processing metering “will be a valuable too to all audio-conscious broadcasters. aNorm adapts seamlessly to your content to achieve a transparent result where delicate production balances aren’t washed out. aNorm is also easy to use – It even leads to new transition processing never before possible.”
“In numerous published research papers, TC Electronic has shown how transparent normalization is the audio-friendly, low-cost concept that prevents blurring of foreground and background elements. It works across genres, works across platforms and works across codecs – now and in the future. The goal for any audio-conscious broadcaster is to loudness-normalize programs before transmission. Pre-normalization of all content, however, may not be achievable from the first day of a station’s transition to loudness normalization. aNorm therefore allows the user to indicate whether or not a program has already been normalized.”
“aNorm also represents a revolution in streaming processing that keeps dynamic changes at a minimum by normalizing intelligently first. Only if normalization by itself is not enough to hit the Targets for Program Loudness and Loudness Range, aNorm applies dynamic loudness processing. Without proper attention to normalization, the spirit and the revolutionary improvements from EBU R128, TR-B32, ATSC A/85 etc., cannot be expected to reliably make it through to the listener leading to the risk of extensive transmission or consumer processing is simply too big.
This is exactly what aNorm seeks to prevent, providing a way for broadcasters to ensure their audio is preserved as pure as humanly possible – from the earliest production stage to the speakers of the viewers and listeners.”
The new aNorm algorithm and loudness processing meter – the Butterfly Meter – are part of the new LoudnessWizard II license for TC Electronic’s DB6 Broadcast Audio Processor. DB6 comes with the original LoudnessWizard that covers loudness correction, upconversion from stereo to 5.1, downconversion from 5.1 to stereo and lip sync delay. The new, optional LoudnessWizard II license applies the adaptive aNorm algorithm to handle loudness correction and processing metering, while still offering state-of-the-art up/down-conversion and lip sync delay.
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TC Electronic Introduces Adaptive Loudness Normalization Technology or aNorm
September 13 2014, 13:01
During the IBC 2014 show, TC Electronic introduced a new aNorm algorithm and loudness processing meter – the Butterfly Meter – as part of the new LoudnessWizard II license for the DB6 Broadcast Audio Processor. aNorm is a hi-resolution loudness adjustment technology that TC says it represents an advance over first generation streaming correction which relied on heavy processing to achieve a desired loudness target value, or to soften transitions between programs.