With the passage of the C.A.L.M. Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act) by Congress, the responsibility to ensure audio mixes conform to the loudness standard falls not only on audio mixers, but also on video editors for shows that did not budget for a separate audio post session.
Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Outpost Worldwide is a production/post-production company that creates content for a variety of TV series, network game shows, reality shows, commercials, and corporate videos. For Mark Renz, senior video editor at Outpost Worldwide, the task of delivering compliant mixes directly from his Avid Media Composer system was an extra burden in time and effort that should have been used for creative editing. If a show gets rejected by their Extreme Reach content management and delivery system, then further delays and costs are incurred either to send the show to audio post or have the Extreme Reach system fix the loudness itself.
“While many of our shows have budget for audio post, I frequently will also work on shows that have no separate audio budget, so it’s down to me to make sure audio coming out of my Media Composer system is compliant with the C.A.L.M. Act,” said Renz. “Since the majority of my time is spent putting a compelling story together, you can imagine that worrying about loudness is not something I really have a lot of time for.”
When Renz heard about iZotope’s RX Loudness Control, he knew he wanted to give it a try. “There’s not a whole lot to say, because it ‘just works.’ It’s two mouse clicks, and it’s much faster than real time. The first click quickly analyzes the audio and displays a graph showing any problem areas. If I have time, I can quickly go in and manually adjust an area if I want; otherwise, clicking ‘Render’ is all that’s required to generate a compliant final mix,” said Renz.
Mark is first to admit he’s not an “audio guy” and finds the ability to put his trust in a tool that guarantees a compliant audio mix very liberating. The fact that it does so in such a transparent way is even better, because he doesn’t want the audio to become lifeless and lose impact through this process. It also gives him confidence to know what the final mix sounds like before it goes out the door. “I don’t have to worry what someone else might be doing to the audio to force it into compliance,” says Renz.
Ultimately, the cost burden placed on Outpost Worldwide — either in time spent up front, or in time spent after rejection — is now alleviated. Mark can once again focus on what he’s paid to do, telling a compelling story, with full confidence that the content won’t be rejected for failing loudness compliance.
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