MAAT To The Rescue
The DR meter is back! In conjunction with the PMF, the geeks at MAAT
have sweated the details, testing and tweaking to make sure that you
get the same familiar and much loved ballistics of the original TT DR
Meter tool, which has already helped to preserve dynamics for
thousands of modern pop releases and multimillions of records sold.
The only difference between the original and new DR meters is the
removal of Correlation metering and the Mono Button. That was done, in
response to user requests, to reduce UI height so the new DRMeter
takes up less screen real estate. We have implemented those functions
in a free plug-in, our handy 2BusControl, which also includes solo
buttons for L, R, MONO & DIFF, plus a left-right flip button and a
useful Balance meter.
Accurate, easy to understand metering is an essential for any
engineer, and the DRMeter´s measurement and display algorithms adhere
to our guiding philosophy of enhancing your workflow and improving
ergonomics through careful attention to the way you actually work.
Ballistics are meticulously tuned to achieve the best match between
the aural impressions you hear, and the optical rendering by the
meters. Likewise, the plug-in is "light weight," demanding a minimum of
CPU resources so it won´t slow down your host.
The MAAT DRMeter is a worthy companion for daily mixing and mastering tasks, enabling fast, accurate and easy mix and mastering
decisions. For fine tuning peak excursions, and properly setting your limiter with the fast and responsive
peak meter bar, DRMeter is unmatched. An “Overs” alert warns you to tweak your limiter in order to prevent
unwanted distortion on playback. The adjacent RMS loudness bar graphs have more relaxed or damped ballistics,
so you get a good sense of the perceptual loudness. This conveys a sense of proper level staging without overly
hectic meter movement. The green -18 dBRMS tick mark indicates 0 LU, a widely agreed upon amplitude for hitting
your outboard gear’s sweet spot. It also helps to manage gain staging for ITB or In–The–Box workflows. The
legendary DR bar graph can be operated as independent channels, or coupled for a summed left/right response.
Our DR bar graph visually informs the user through a familiar “traffic light” green/yellow/red color coding
scheme. The blue -∞ indicator informs you when your DAW is delivering “digital black” or null AES data. If
you’ve inserted some noise generating plug-in or outboard within a project, you’ll instantly see that. Complementing
the new BS.1770 metering standards, including Loudness Range (LRA) which was designed to reflect the macro
dynamics of broadband audio with a focus on broadcasting, the importance and spirit of the DR measurement system
for music is unbroken. LRA was designed for controlling the perceived loudness range of motion picture soundtracks
and television programs. Whereas the DRMeter’s algorithm looks at the loudest 20% of the instantaneous signal,
LRA purposefully ignores the top 5% of a track’s dynamic deviation, making it unsuitable for the evaluation
of the dynamics of music.
The DRMeter is a plug-in that generates approximate DR values when applied to the loudest passages in a track. Due to realtime
operation, it cannot measure official DR values, which are cumulative over the entire length of a song. Only
the companion DROffline batch measuring utility can scrub through an entire song or track, resulting in an
official DR number. To download your copy of the DROffline utility, head over to...
The DR algorithm, akin to PLR (Peak–to–Loudness Ratio) or “crest factor,” specifically measures the dynamic density or lack
of dynamics caused by overly aggressive dynamic compression and limiting. When the loudest spots of a song
are measured, it gives the user an estimate for the "official" DR Value, measured with the companion DROffline.
Seeing a meaningful and easy to understand indication of dynamic range inspires users to back away from hyper
compression. The complete DR metering system, composed of the realtime DRMeter plus the DROffline batch processor,
was created by Friedemann Tischmeyer to address the need to generate a repeatable, easy to understand numeric
value. In response to the broadly publicized “Loudness Wars,” the PMF worked to raise awareness that oppressively
compressed dynamics in pop music are not only counterproductive, but sound often like crap! Now legendary,
the PMF’s TT DR Meter and its offline companion was created to provide a deterministic benchmark, and was used
by thousands of engineers and consumers to measure and log the dynamic range of popular music releases around
the world. Alas, as with all things digital, the TT DR Meter grew old. An update was needed…