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Free loudness meter application available from Orban, 2012-03-16: version 2 released, now supports OS X, EBU R 128, and more
Robert Orban
post Apr 11 2008, 04:11
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As an offshoot from a product development project, we have developed a stand-alone loudness meter for Windows, which we are releasing as a free public beta. The meter can be downloaded directly by clicking this link:


Be sure to read the readme file, which is the meter's manual. The installer will offer to open the readme as part of the installation process.

Here is the press release:


San Leandro, CA, April 10, 2008 -- Orban today announced that the first public beta of Orban Loudness Meter software for Windows XP and Vista is now available for free download from www.orban.com/meter.

This software simultaneously displays instantaneous peaks, VU, PPM, CBS Technology Center loudness, and ITU BS.1770 loudness. All meters include peak-hold functionality that makes the peak indications of the meters easy to see.

The software accepts two-channel stereo inputs. The VU and PPM meters are split to indicate the left and right channels. The PPM meter also displays the instantaneous peak values of the L and R digital samples.

The CBS meter is a"short-term" loudness meter intended to display the details of moment-to-moment loudness with dynamics similar to a VU meter. It uses the Jones & Torick algorithm developed at the CBS Technology Center and published in 1981 in the SMPTE Journal. Created using Orban-developed modeling software, the DSP implementation typically matches the original analog meter within 0.5 dB on sinewaves, tone bursts and noise.

The Jones & Torick algorithm improves upon the original loudness measurement algorithm developed by CBS researchers in the late 1960s. Its foundation is psychoacoustic studies done at CBS Laboratories over a two year period by Torick and the late Benjamin Bauer. After surveying existing equal-loudness contour curves and finding them inapplicable to measuring the loudness of broadcasts, Torick and Bauer organized listening tests that resulted in a new set of equal-loudness curves based on octave-wide noise reproduced by calibrated loudspeakers in a semireverberant 16 x 14 x 8 room, which is representative of a room in which broadcasts are normally heard. In 1966, they published this work in the IEEE Transactions on Audio and Electroacoustics, along with results from other tests whose goal was to model the loudness integration time constants of human hearing.

In 2006, the ITU-R published Recommendation ITU-R BS.1770: "Algorithms to measure audio programme loudness and true-peak audio level." Developed by G.A. Soulodre, the BS.1770 loudness meter uses a frequency-weighted r.m.s. measurement intended to be integrated over several seconds -- perhaps as long as an entire program segment. As such, it is considered a "long-term" loudness measurement because it does not take into account the loudness integration time constants of human hearing, as does the CBS meter.

Orban's BS.1770 loudness meter uses the Leq(RLB2) algorithm as specified in the Recommendation. This applies frequency weighting before the r.m.s. integrator. The frequency weighting is a series connection of pre-filter and RLB weighting curves. The Orban meter precisely implements equations (1) and (2) in this document by using a rolling integrator whose integration time is user-adjustable from one to ten seconds.

Additionally, the Orban meter offers an experimental long-term loudness indication derived by post-processing the CBS algorithm's output. This uses a relatively simple algorithm that attempts to mimic a skilled operator's mental integration of the peak swings of a meter with "VU-like" dynamics. The operator will concentrate most on the highest indications but will tend to ignore a single high peak that is atypical of the others.

Researchers have long been curious about the Jones & Torick meter but been unable to evaluate it and compare it with other meters. Orban developed this software because the company believed it would be useful to practicing sound engineers and researchers and also because Orban is using it in its new Optimod 8585 Surround Audio Processor. Thanks to this free software, engineers and scientists will now have the opportunity to easily compare the CBS algorithm with others, including the BS.1770 Recommendation.

The Orban software runs on Windows XP and Vista computers having 1.5 GHz or faster Intel Pentium 4 or Intel-compatible processors that implement the SSE2 instruction set. While the software can be driven by any installed Windows sound device, monitoring playback from an application like Windows Media Player requires the sound hardware to support Windows Wave I/O.

Bob Orban
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post Apr 30 2008, 06:16
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So, what do all you guys think of measuring loudness in dB, anyhow? tongue.gif

J. D. (jj) Johnston
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Posts in this topic
- Robert Orban   Free loudness meter application available from Orban   Apr 11 2008, 04:11
- - Axon   Nice! I must ask a couple inane feature reque...   Apr 11 2008, 05:24
|- - Robert Orban   QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 10 2008, 20:24) Nice...   Apr 11 2008, 20:22
- - jesseg   Very cool to show off your latest CBS stuff with u...   Apr 11 2008, 09:01
|- - Robert Orban   QUOTE (jesseg @ Apr 11 2008, 00:01) Very ...   Apr 21 2008, 22:42
- - Axon   Datalogging and histograms would be nice, but I...   Apr 14 2008, 10:16
- - Robert Orban   The first update is now available. Version 1.0.1:...   Apr 28 2008, 23:41
- - Woodinville   So, what do all you guys think of measuring loudne...   Apr 30 2008, 06:16
|- - Robert Orban   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Apr 29 2008, 21:16) ...   May 2 2008, 21:56
- - Robert Orban   We have released version 1.02 of the Orban loudnes...   May 2 2008, 21:13
- - Woodinville   Oh, yes, I've read all that. But these wideba...   May 3 2008, 04:54
|- - Robert Orban   QUOTE (Woodinville @ May 2 2008, 19:54) O...   May 3 2008, 23:49
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Robert Orban @ May 3 2008, 15:49) ...   May 7 2008, 06:02
- - retro83   That's strange, the program installs and runs ...   May 7 2008, 07:38
|- - Robert Orban   QUOTE (retro83 @ May 6 2008, 22:38) That...   May 8 2008, 06:39
- - Robert Orban   ORBAN POSTS V2.0 OF ITS FREE LOUDNESS METER SOFTWA...   Mar 16 2012, 01:05
- - Robert Orban   QUOTE (Robert Orban @ Mar 15 2012, 16:05)...   Apr 13 2012, 19:40
- - mzil   QUOTE (Robert Orban @ Apr 13 2012, 13:40)...   Apr 13 2012, 21:54

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