Hamburg, Germany (December 16, 2005)–German public broadcaster NDR has bought eight Bar Graph Meters from DK-Technologies, which are being used for audio production and archive transfers. NDR’s audio production is handled from Building 17 at the broadcaster’s premises in Hamburg-Lokstedt. The new meters, which include models from the company’s 477 and 478 Series, have been installed by DK-Technologies partner adis GmbH.
DK-Technologies meters were chosen because they monitor both analogue and digital signals–a necessary function when considering the parallel analogue and digital production steps involved in both archiving and audio production at NDR.
Acquired by DK-Technologies in 2004 and now manufactured by the company under the DK name, the former DAG2000 477 and 478 Series of Bar Graph Meters provide several fully developed technical details for various applications. The inclusion of both digital and analogue inputs makes these meters very flexible tools within the modern studio environment, especially as users can select analogue or digital scales for their display readings according to their requirements or preferences. Some versions feature a phase correlation meter to ensure the correct stereo mix, which can also be heard as a mono signal.
The meters show the maximum audio level during the entire recording and transfer. The level is stored with the tape, which enables adjustment to other recordings or a later correction to be made at any time. It is important for the sound technician’s daily work that the audio quality can be seen at a glance, therefore the operation of the instruments is similar to those that have been used for many years.
Joachim Bode, project manager at NDR, said: “We decided to buy the 478-210 Series with digital scale because these instruments feature a headroom marker, meet the integration time of 10ms and are 19″ rackmountable. Our experience with the Bar Graph Meters is solely positive, they work perfectly.”
At NDR, the meters used in the audio production process are involved in monitoring the dubbing of different sound carrier formats such as audio tape or CD-ROM to the actual digital NDR-tape format, IMX, thus allowing the final cut to be prepared in the broadcaster’s four dubbing rooms. The IMX tapes are used in linear cutting rooms as well as on the Sony XPRI-platforms, which are also installed at NDR
“The audio pre-production process is designed to ensure that the time needed for sound processing in the cutting room is kept to a minimum,” Bode added. “The editor takes a sound carrier such as CD-ROM or tape to the audio production, writes his transfer order and then receives the IMX cassette for the final treatment of his video clip.”
The new DK Bar Graph Meter monitors the transfer play-out. Each of the four dubbing rooms are equipped with Pro Tools workstations, two of which operate with multichannel systems, while the other two work with Pro Tools-LE units that are solely able to handle stereo. After tape production is completed, the clips are digitized and finished before finally being recorded onto tape again.
The second function NDR has found for its new meters involves archive transfer, a vitally important process that is helping the broadcaster save old TV productions. The TV-tone-recordings are more than 30 years old and have been recorded on analogue tapes. Due to the disintegration of the old tapes the archive stock is now being transferred to new tapes.
Monitoring of the recordings is being carried out using DK Series 477 and 478 analogue/digital Bar Graph Meters. The archive transfer will take place over a long period of time and will concentrate on rescuing material in order to save existing programmes such as contemporary historical reports.