TC ELECTRONIC METERING - Desktop audio meters
TC Electronic Clarity M series of products provide comprehensive visual metering feedback for audio technicians and music producers.
Clarity M is a desktop audio meter with a 7-inch, high resolution, 800x480 TFT display. Designed for use in music production and mixing, it provides several measurement options for mono, stereo or 5.1 formats, to help the engineer monitor the loudness of an audio mix, especially essential in the delivery of audio for broadcast and other audible output applications.
Clarity M addresses the standards set by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and EBU (European Broadcasters Union). The BS-1770-4 and R128 standards are now in place in order to ensure that the loudness of audio delivered from different facilities complies with set standards. In addition to these, the Clarity M has extra tools, including a gating function to ensure further consistent measurement to comply with other worldwide standards like ATSC A/85, EBU R128, TR-B32 and OP-59.
The Clarity M can be used in standalone mode, which allows it to be used without a computer and in such cases will operate at 44.1kHz or 48kHz. However a USB connection is also provided, which allows the Clarity M to be used for plug in monitoring in software sequencers using AAX, VST or Audio Units and in this case can work at up to 96 kHz. The USB connection also allows the Clarity M to act as a disk drive to store and recall presets and also screen shots of the measurements. In addition a custom logo can be uploaded which will appear on the bottom right corner of the LCD screen. For ease of viewing, the LCD screen also includes a fold-out, table-top stand. Other compatible third party mounting options can be utilised. Software can be downloaded from the TC Electronic web site to allow the unit to act as a plug-in using either AAX, VST or Audio Units.
Highlights of the visual monitoring include the LM6 'Radar' loudness display, which shows the short term loudness over the duration of the audio with outer bar-graph which shows the momentary loudness simultaneously. A separate bar graph displays the true peak levels.
Further loudness descriptors are displayed which show 'Program loudness', the overall loudness of the entire track; 'True Peak Max', which displays the maximum true peak measurement throughout; 'Loudness Max' to show the maximum short term measurement throughout; 'Loudness Range', which gives an overview or the overall program material range from softest to loudest; 'Peak to loudness', which indicates squash factor/ratio of overall material; and 'Sliding 10 Sec', to show the maximum loudness measure within a 10 second window.
The display can be toggled to show a real time analyser with 1/3 octave band accuracy. This view also allows the user to zoom in on particular problem frequencies.
Additional measures include a Deviation meter which indicates how well a 5.1 down-mix will perform when played over stereo speakers. Internally a down-mix is prepared which compares the down-mix to the original source. An identical process is carried out for a stereo source, where the stereo down-mix is compared to a mono signal. A correlation meter which provides an indication of the phase coherence of a stereo or 5.1 mix. When used in stereo the left channel is compared to the right channel and a single bar graph provides an indication of the phase coherence between channels. When used in 5.1 mode two bar graphs are displayed and analysis process compares the front left and right channels and the rear left and right channels.
On the rear a coaxial connector is used for the 12V DC power inlet, a USB 2.0 (Micro type B) socket provides a connection to a computer, a Toslink (EIAJ optical) connector provides a stereo input. The remaining connections are made using a 15-pin, female D-sub connector and a wiring loom. This provides three 75 ohm BNC connections for AES digital inputs, one female 6.35mm jack input for the connection of a 2-button footswitch to control play, pause and the reset of measurement and a female 3.5mm jack socket wired to provide 'GPO' for the indication of peaks or overload to external equipment. In addition, an adapter is included to allow one of the BNC connections to connect to a stereo SPDIF output.
Power source: 12V DC, 0.5A. Dimensions: 182 x 140 x 25 (w x h x d)mm. Weight: 0.85kg excluding cable.
Included accessories: AC adapter, wiring loom as described above, BNC female to RCA S/P Dif adapter,1m USB cable type A male to type B male.
This device has been designed to give many of the same features as the Clarity M, however it is limited to stereo audio metering and monitoring and can therefore be a better solution for those not requiring the monitoring of 5.1 formats.
Clarity M Stereo is fully compliant with broadcasting standards including ITU BS.1770-4, ATSC A/85, EBU R128, TR-B32 and OP-59, and includes features such as ‘Vector Scope’, which traces left and right audio waveforms to allow the identification of unwanted phase issues and create better stereo balance; ‘RTA’, to monitor the special balance of the audio; ‘Balance-O-Meter’, to help gain optimal stereo width at a glance; ‘True-Peak’, to guard against unpredictable clipping; and ‘Loudness Radar’, the popular tool from the Clarity M that allows the user to monitor loudness history on a scope.
The rear facing panel of the Clarity M Stereo has a 12V DC power inlet, a USB 2.0 (Micro type B) socket that provides connection to a computer, and a Toslink (EIAJ optical) connector that provides a stereo input.
The remaining connections are made using an optional 15-pin, female D-sub connector and a wiring loom. This provides three 75 ohm BNC connections for AES digital inputs, one female 6.35mm jack input for the connection of a 2-button footswitch to control play, pause and the reset of measurement and a female 3.5mm jack socket wired to provide 'GPO' for the indication of peaks or overload to external equipment.
Power source: 12V DC, 0.5A. Dimensions: 182 x 140 x 25mm (WxHxD). Weight: 0.85kg excluding cable.