Minnetonka Audio Advances Automation with File-based Loudness Control
Minnetonka Audio Software, Inc, announced two new products at NAB for the broadcast and post-production industries. On demo, an all new AudioTools Server configuration, the AudioTools Loudness Control Server, and a new release of AudioTools AWE.
Addressing the recent governmental initiatives and regulations regarding loudness control, the AudioTools Loudness Control Server (ALCS) is an enterprise—level software suite for faster-than-realtime automated processing, measurement and control of loudness in audio and video programs. ALCS seamlessly integrates with existing Service Oriented Architectures without any need for additional hardware. With industry standard interfaces like SOAP Web Services and watched folders via XML commands built in, ALCS is ready for unattended operation.
As a specialized example of the many configuration possibilities of the AudioTools Server platform, AudioTools Loudness Control Server provides automated loudness control of audio files in both linear PCM and encoded formats, such as Dolby E or Dolby Digital (Plus). In compliance with both ITU-R BS.1770 and EBU R 128, and in accordance with the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, AudioTools Loudness Control Server performs loudness measurement and metering, reporting and diagnostics, validation and compliance assurance, and correction and control of the audio essence. Processing is performed "in place," directly on remote file servers without need of lengthy local file copies. ALCS can also perform essence extraction, replacement and insertion, and optional reconfiguration of the audio payload from MXF or QuickTime files. In cases where the incoming file format is MXF, the AudioTools MXF module is used to rapidly extract the relevant audio streams using ReWrap, which extracts only the relevant audio and significantly speeds up data processing.
Also at NAB 2011, the premier of the latest release of AudioTools AWE, a compact, stand-alone entry-level solution for intelligent batch processing of digital audio assets. Existing files can be post-processed or re-purposed quickly and easily in a completely predefined way. With over two-dozen different signal and file processing functions, AudioTools AWE allows engineers to specify an end-to-end file handling and DSP chain of actions that can run automatically. With new features to enhance operation, along with performance and stability improvements, AudioTools AWE version 1.6 significantly reduces repetitive work loads. The new release adds complete support for the Dolby E format, allowing post houses and DTV workgroups to have all the capabilities of a hardware solution in a single stand-alone software application.
"At this year's NAB, we're showcasing our range of workflow automation products, from entry-level to enterprise," said John Schur, President of Minnetonka Audio. "AudioTools Server's broad capabilities, from loudness control to quality control, are unequaled by any other system, while AudioTools AWE lets any production group, regardless of size, get into the automation game."
AWE version 1.6 adds support for three new options: SurCode for Dolby E Stream Player, plus SurCode for Dolby® E Decoder and Encoder. SurCode for Dolby E Stream Player automatically decodes Dolby E content, performing a real-time downmix to stereo using embedded metadata parameters. As a complement to a complete Dolby E workflow or a low cost quality control solution for the production chain, SurCode for Dolby E Stream Player easily integrates the Dolby E format into existing workflows across platforms and applications, providing more choice for video post production professionals. Version 1.6 also supports the all-inclusive SurCode for Dolby E Decoder and Encoder plug-ins for facilities that require in-depth functionality across all of their production platforms.