AudioTools Advanced Loudness Adaptation

Advanced Loudness Adaptation is a Solutions Module for AudioTools Server that can adapt any content and any genre for various platforms and use cases. Relying on the state-of-the-art loudness processing provided by Linear Acoustic APTOTM, the audio signal is carefully controlled in a way that preserves the transients, sonic image and artistic intent of the source, while increasing dialog intelligibility and loudness consistency. Consequently, a dynamic and balanced mix can be tailored to any destination platform, from theatrical to mobile, without resulting in subjectively perceived compressed sound. 

Advanced Loudness Adaptation uses psychoacoustic analysis processes on the source file and in between any levelling steps that drive adaptive decision matrix to determine the intensity and type of processing required. This fully automated workflow ensures ideal results in terms of audio quality and standard compliance. Audio that is deemed already compliant for the intended use case will pass through the workflow untouched.

The preset profile templates include Movie Adaptation, Broadcast Adaptation, Radio Adaptation, Streaming/Mobile Adaptation, Inflight Adaptation, FICAM, News Adaptation and Custom Adaptation. 

workflowWith or without the use of AudioTools Operator, the workflow’s architecture allows easy custom control focused on a number of loudness parameters including Target Overall Loudness, Dialog to Program Difference, Minimum and Maximum Short-Term Dialog, LRA, Momentary and Short-Term Loudness.

In compliance with ITU-R.BS1770-4 based recommendations, or with the implementation of dialog detection algorithms, the overall level of the adapted program can be freely aligned to either Program Loudness or Dialog Level. Sample or True-Peak limiting can additionally be applied to the adapted program in order to provide full standard compliance.

The Advanced Loudness Adaptation module supports from mono to 7.1 formats. It requires and uses AudioTools Loudness Measurement (ALMA) and AudioTools Loudness Adjustment (ALAA).


AVAILABLE PROFILES

Movie Adaptation II:

Base on the success of Movie Adaptation, and now equipped with the state-of-the-art Linear Acoustic APTOTM algorithm, Movie Adaptation mkII provides enhanced loudness adaptation tailored to process native theatrical mixes to down scaled formats and listening environments suitable for broadcasting, streaming and mobile services.

Movie Adaptation mkII now presents the ability to control every single loudness parameter to optimally shape the source audio program in terms of loudness modulation, dialog range, minimum and maximum foreground sounds levels. Like all Advanced Loudness Adaptation profiles, Movie Adaptation handles up to 7.1 audio programs and outputs files with fully coherent channels and mix balance, where no phasing artifacts or alterations of the artistic intent are introduced. The adaptive architecture built with the module contributes to improve dialog intelligibility, without requiring any individual gain adjustment of the discrete channels. Dialogue consistency is increased, and low-level dialogs are brought more efficiently close to Programme Loudness even for very dynamic feature films. 

Due to its optimized design, Movie Adaptation mkII produces compliant output files at a processing speed up to 40% faster than its predecessor, and that is including initial measurement, loudness adaptation, PLA, True-Peak Limiting and final measurement and logging.

Reduces dynamics and/or Loudness Range
Preserves transients & artistic intent of original while preventing subjectively compressed sound quality
Maintains dialog intelligibility
Provides a compliant, automated process for all program genres & all target requirements 

Broadcast Adaptation:

Designed to meet all international loudness recommendations such as ATSC A/85, EBU R128, FreeTV OP59, ARIB TR-B32 and more, the Broadcast Adaptation profile optimally adapts all genres, including dialog based as well as music programs, to accomplish the most comfortable television listening experience, while fulfilling the highest audio quality expectations.  Based on the state-of-the-art Linear Acoustic APTOTM technology, which provides independent loudness control parameters for Target Level, Loudness Range, Dialog to Program Loudness Difference, Minimum and Maximum Short-Term Dialog, Maximum Momentary and Short-Term Level, and Maximum True-Peak, the Broadcast Adaptation profile provides the most powerful and effective toolkit to deliver a consistent, comfortable, yet exciting sound experience for the television viewer.

Radio Adaptation:

Based on the same workflow architecture used in Broadcast Adaptation, Radio Adaptation is customized to achieve loudness consistency across music and speech content. The audio adaptation relies on the Linear Acoustic APTOTM core algorithm that adjusts the audio without implementing any traditional mono band or multiband dynamics processing.   This results in a processed audio program that is unaffected by spectrum alterations or phase artifacts.

With a wide range of processing options, the Radio Adaptation profile is suitable for any kind of music genres, such as instrumental, acoustic, jazz, vocal, pop, rock, and more. Even the most critical audio programs, like classical recordings, are very gently processed. Orchestral dynamics and audio transients are carefully preserved in order to keep the native musical intent and audio quality to the highest of standards.

Mobile Adaptation:

Typically the audio transducers of a mobile device limit the sound experience significantly, resulting in the need for specific adaptation that allows the viewer to enjoy the whole sound experience.  On any mobile device, dialog needs to be intelligible, music and sound effects have to be reproduced at full band, foreground sounds should not be annoying or exceed the dynamic range of the earpiece, and the overall level must be consistent and loud enough in order to overcome environmental background noise. The workflow architecture of the Mobile Adaptation profile, in combination with the implementation of the Linear Acoustic APTOTM technology, provides a highly flexible and effective solution for translating theatrical or broadcast content into programs suitable for streaming and mobile presentation.

The Mobile Adaptation profile guarantees compliance with “AES TD1004.1.15-10 Recommendation for Loudness of Audio Streaming and Network File Playback”

Inflight Adaptation:

Because of the limited performance of aircraft audio equipment, and of the high level of environmental background noise, Inflight Entertainment presents one of the most demanding challenges to successfully adapt native theatrical or broadcast programs. 

The Inflight Adaptation profile reduces the loudness modulation of the whole soundtrack without introducing audible artifacts, ensuring that all sound elements fit comfortably into the limited dynamic and frequency range of inflight playback devices.  Inflight Adaptation processing yields higher dialog intelligibility, consistent overall level and comfortable loudness ranges.  The mix balance and creative intent of the original mix is maintained and unaltered during the adaptation process, even when downscaling formats are required.

The Inflight Adaptation profile is fully compliant with IFE standards and can be further customized to any use case request.

News Adaptation:

Unprocessed dialog levels can modulate wildly, while news services still need to be made available for transmission as quickly as possible. Speech needs to be consistent and very intelligible in every circumstance. The News Adaptation profile is built to improve dialog consistency of speech-based content with each voice recording balanced for equal loudness.  News Adaptation’s fast processing produces consistent and intelligible content to transmission in any demanding workflow.

FICAM Adaptation:

FICAM Adaptation specifically addresses compliance with the FICAM CST-RT–017–TV recommendation. This profile is the most powerful workflow for performing automated adaptation of any content intended to be broadcast according to the French standard.  Equipped with the Linear Acoustic APTOTM technology, the FICAM profile is capable of producing fully compliant programs with best possible audio quality and processing speed. Individual processing steps are designed to carefully shape the overall modulation and dialog. Used in combination with AudioTools OPERATOR, FICAM Adaptation provides a comprehensive toolkit to apply any further customization required.

Custom Adaptation:

The Advanced Loudness Adaptation architecture, powered by Linear Acoustic APTOTM processing algorithm and driven by AudioTools OPERATOR II, delivers the most flexible, comprehensive and efficient solution for adapting any content to any destination platform. 

Advanced workflows shape the adaptation process in order to fulfill any custom requirement. Controls include Target Level, Dialog to Program Difference, Maximum Loudness Range, Minimum and Maximum Short-Term Dialog, Max Momentary and Short-Term Level, Max Sample and/or True-Peak Levels.

The most important job of the Advanced Loudness Adaptation workflow is to preserve the original audio quality, native mix balance and creative intent, in order to deliver an enhanced sound experience with guaranteed compliance for every possible distribution platform.