Portland, ME (February 11, 2015)—Gateway Mastering Studios founder Bob Ludwig, recently honored with three Grammy Awards for his work with Beck and Beyoncé, employs RTW’s TM9 audio meter on every project.
Ludwig was introduced to the TM9 when he took delivery of his new Sound Performance Lab console. “We have the most recent OEM version of the TM9, packed with many of the latest updates, including the loudness configuration, which has certainly been an upgrade for us,” says Ludwig. “Having this configuration is very useful for mastering purposes. Before, every time I had to align a tape machine or check any phasing, I had to find an auxiliary scope, which was a drag. Having the TM9 loaded with all of the software necessary to tackle 5.1 and stereo has certainly streamlined our workflow.”
Ludwig has also been happy with the TM9’s correlation meter for surround sound, which shows whether the channels are correctly correlated with each other and if there are any problems with phasing. “While other meters have that feature too, RTW’s TM9 makes it so visually obvious whether you are in proper alignment, correlation-wise, from any speaker, to any other speaker,” he says. “It will show you clearly if there is anything wrong. It’s very ingenious the way it’s designed, the entire TM9 is easy to read, it’s great.”
The popularity of music streaming services has made it more necessary to have loudness normalization, which the RTW TM9 provides, rather than peak normalization, which was more typical for CD mastering. “This paradigm shift means that every song included in a playlist is first analyzed with the computer, and a single value is given to its loudness. In the streaming playback of those streams, records that are very loud are brought down and records that are very soft are brought up, so we can achieve a more uniform listening experience. Compressors are no longer used in loudness normalization, it’s just a matter of rebalancing it all to a certain target level.”