Speech intelligibility issues are among the most common complaints broadcasters face today, and merely considering dialog level has proven an inadequate strategy. TC Electronic designed the Clarity X system of dedicated metering and calibration tools to help audio engineers making the right mixing decisions for an optimal balance, spectrum and increased intelligibility of their final productions.
It is not just a one-dimensional solution, but a combination of multiple advanced tools. The first step is simply to calibrate the monitors properly, using the included measurement microphone, so the reference SPL is always the same when mixing. This is key as we hear the frequency spectrum differently at various levels, which in turn triggers different mixing decisions for the same type of audio source.
Clarity X offers a suite of metering tools, including a loudness-based Stereo Deviation Meter that reflects how well a surround mix will translate into stereo. Other meters include a new Center Ratio meter displaying the balance between the center channel (typical dialog) and the other channels in a surround mix, the new LM8 Loudness Radar Meter with 7.1 surround support, true-peak meter, SPL meter and a dose % meter.
“Think of Clarity X as the missing link between Pro Tools and your monitors,” says Thomas Valter, VP of Business Management for Broadcast & Production at TC Electronic. “Audio professionals have had to come up with their own custom-made solutions, often involving small pieces of tape to indicate calibrated listening levels, for much too long. We’re extremely proud to present Clarity X as the one-stop multi-format monitoring solution that gives audio engineers total control, as well as a suite of tools that help them always deliver the better mix.”
Any monitor with digital or analog inputs can be connected to Clarity X. As default Clarity X comes with AES inputs and outputs, but it can be expanded with MADI I/O as well. For instance, it is possible to connect a 5.1 or 7.1 surround set of monitors as well as two or more different stereo sets – or two complete 5.1 or 7.1 sets even without expanding with MADI. For surround setups, Clarity X offers full bass management control as well as solo/mute functionality for each speaker in the system.
Clarity X comes with a sleek small-footprint remote control that offers hands-on control of the most important monitor control functions as well as a row of user-definable function keys that can be programmed to suit any workflow.
TC Electronic’s highly acclaimed Radar Loudness Meter has been upgraded for Clarity X and now offers full 7.1 surround support. Like its predecessors, LM8 features the innovative loudness radar that shows short-term (S) loudness over time, two user-definable parameters such as e.g. Program Loudness (I) and Loudness Range (LRA) and a full-fledged true-peak meter. LM8 also offers a detailed statistics page with valuable information for further evaluation and documentation if that is required.
Clarity X also gathers essential information about the SPL the engineer is being exposed to over time, which may be displayed conveniently in % of max safe sound dose. Health recommendations provide limits on the daily and weekly sound exposure, one should not exceed. Clarity X also includes a dedicated dose meter that informs the user of potentially harmful sound exposure on a daily or a weekly basis.
The solution will be available Q2 2015 for $7,000 or €6,000.