For some time, an ongoing deterioration in the ‘Loudness war’ has been taking place in television broadcasting. The result: TV viewers, time and time again, have to grab the TV remote between programs, in order to modify the audio level to their personal listening preference. After two years, a new standard in metering has finally been approved: Loudness Metering, a simple but effective principle that provides the objective measurement of loudness for a wide range of audio material, and benefits for nearly every listener.
Compliant to ITU-R BS.1770 and ATSC/A85 standards, Version 4.14’s Loudness metering functionality is designed to help eliminate jumps in audio loudness between different TV/radio programs or during a single program. The overall sound quality is improved using an average loudness measurement instead of ‘brick wall’ limited peaks as the reference for transmission levels. This new tool for metering and transmission is already mandatory in the USA, and will become obligatory in Europe next year. With a simple software update, Lawo’s mc² series now provide all the tools for metering according to the international Loudness Metering standards of today.
Based on these standards, and by means of Software Release V4.14, Lawo has now incorporated loudness metering according to the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) recommendations in the mc² series mixing consoles—the first consoles in the world with the capability to meter loudness on every channel. Lawo’s Loudness Metering, which can be combined at any time with a True Peak display, allows for loudness metering of any individual channel in Momentary or Short-term mode, with each main output facilitating the integration of loudness over time. For ease of use, Lawo’s Loudness Metering can be operated using presets for the two standards, EBU R 128 and ATSC A/85. Furthermore, Loudness Metering throughout a complete production can be displayed in the GUI (graphical user interface) header display. Equipped with all the tools necessary to operate according to the new Loudness metering standards, all Lawo mc² consoles can be well prepared for this revolution in mixing.
In addition to Loudness Metering, V4.14 includes a downmix facility for 5.1 surround sound on mc² series consoles. A new GUI page enables the operator to adjust downmix levels for individual channels as well as the overall level of the stereo downmix. Up to four different stereo downmixes with different parameters and center signals can be created from a single 5.1 source.
Lawo’s recently introduced Extra Faders surface layout is now fully supported in V4.14. Lawo has developed a surface option for its mc²66 console that incorporates both maximum fader density and 8 additional faders in the Sweet Spot. If preferred, users may still choose between the classic layout and the new Short Control fader panel. Two new user panels, Screen Control and Reveal Surround Fader, complement the Extra Fader option; these can be placed flexibly within the console layout. Key features of the Extra Faders option include (1) 64 fader width, now possible in OB vans, thanks to space saving construction, (2) maximum fader density, only 62 mm for trackball and control buttons, and (3) a special Reveal Surround Fader user panel.
Equally notable in V4.14 is the incorporation of Lawo’s mxGUI software. The mxGUI guarantees less stress in those high-pressure moments and excels in two different applications: (1) online, for the parallel operation of systems, and (2) offline, for the preparation of productions, snapshots and much more. Key features include the ability to set up the mixing console via computer (pre-production), remote access to the control surface (regardless of location), and operator support via remote control. The mxGUI software is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
For additional information about Lawo’s V4.14 software, visit
or call (888) 810-4468.
Lawo is a manufacturer of digital audio networking systems and consoles for a wide range of applications from small to large scale audio production in television and radio, post production, and live sound. Established in the 1970s, the company’s manufacturing center is located in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany. For additional information on all Lawo products, visit the company online at