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Integrated Approach to Metering, Monitoring, and Leveling Practices, Part 1: Two-Channel Metering
For the last 30 years or so, film mix engineers have enjoyed the liberty and privilege of a controlled monitoring environment with a fixed (calibrated) monitor gain. The result has been a legacy of feature films, many with exciting dynamic range, and with consistent and natural-sounding dialogue, music, and effects levels. In contrast, the broadcast and music recording disciplines have entered a runaway loudness race, leading to chaos at the end of the twentieth century. An integrated system of metering and monitoring is proposed that will encourage more consistent leveling practices among the three disciplines. This system handles the issue of differing dynamic-range requirements far more elegantly and ergonomically than in the past. On the threshold of the introduction of a new high-resolution consumer audio format, there exists a unique opportunity to implement a twenty-first-century approach to leveling. It is also discussed how metadata (volume normalization) can be integrated with this metering and monitoring system.
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