BERLIN — As Germany’s premier international broadcaster and a member of the ARD network of German public broadcasters, Deutsche Welle wanted to make its programming compliant with the EBU-R128 loudness mandate. To help us do so, we turned to RTW, the market leader in visual audio meters and monitoring devices and its TouchMonitor line of audio meters, to make the transition. With their ability to offer intuitive, precise monitoring, along with their ease of installation, RTW’s TM3, TM7 and TM9 TouchMonitor meters were the perfect fit for the job.
We took delivery of the RTW TouchMonitor units last September, employing a combination of 65 TM3, TM7 and TM9 meters with various configurations and feature sets in several recording studios, editing suites and workplaces in our Bonn and Berlin facilities. AVS Medientechnik GmbH, based in Berlin, oversaw the procurement and implementation of the units.
We chose RTW on the recommendation of an ARD working group that had tested loudness meters from several manufacturers. He also noted his company had experience with the RTW metering systems. Our production workplaces were using digital and/or analog peak meters by RTW, as well as metering instruments from their PortaMonitor series, and the experience we had with those products, along with RTW customer support, also contributed to the decision to go with RTW.
Our engineers working at Deutsche Welle’s Berlin and Bonn sites employ the RTW TM3 units in a combined setup with the existing RTW PortaMonitor, which is used for monitoring level, loudness, frequency response and phase of analog and digital signals systems, as well as the RTW TM7 units at our dubbing suites (mainly the TM7-VID version, which is installed in the company’s Tektronix mainframes). The TM9 units are being used with an installed “radar” option, for a more detailed look into the composition of the metering data.
The RTW TM3, TM7 and TM9 units are modular, which has made installation into our Deutsche Welle workflow straightforward. The majority of the meters comprise typical desktop units, along with TM7-VID modules supplied with 19-inch rackmount adapters for waveform monitors as well as TM9 OEM units for installation into mixing consoles. As with other members of RTW’s TouchMonitor family, the TM3, TM7 and TM9 TouchMonitor units can be enhanced with additional software licenses as future needs arise.
We use a reference setting of either –17 LUFS or the traditional 0 dB QPPM. This allows our users to familiarize themselves with level adjustment based on loudness. However, we still support QPPM-based level adjustment. For that purpose, we configured two different layouts on the installed units. As soon as all workplaces are equipped with TM units and all users have undergone appropriate training, we will switch our in-house reference to –23 LUFS by changing the layout presets.
Another major benefit is the configurability of instrument layouts on the user interface. This way, we can adjust our meter scales to the requirements at hand. In addition, the ongoing software refinement and additional software options ensure maximum protection of our investments.
For information, contact RTW/1SourceVideo in New Jersey at (844) 270-2442 or visit www.rtw.com.