A hotfolder is a directory designated by you that will be monitored by LevelOne. When a file is added to this folder it will be instantly added to LevelOne and processed by the defined preset. This feature is extremely useful when large amounts of files are being handled. When anyone drops a file in the specified folder, it will be analysed/processed and then stored in an output folder. This makes integration with various kinds of workflow extremely easy.
By default LevelOne supports all major audio file formats (such as WAV, AIFF, MP3 and some more). But there are hundreds of file types and codecs around. To analyse and process these files we’ve created a bridge to FFmpeg. FFmpeg is a library that includes virtually every available codec (including video codecs). Once FFmpeg is installed, LevelOne will take care of all interaction with the library. Files will be analysed and processed in the same manner as native supported file types are handled.
We’ve added an automatic download and install option so FFmpeg can be installed with a few mouse clicks. To do so, open the settings window, click “get FFmpeg” and follow the onscreen instructions.
Please keep the following in mind when using FFmpeg:
- FFmpeg is not being developed by us and we’re not affiliated with FFmpeg.
- FFmpeg includes virtually every codec available, some codecs are proprietary and require licensing to use. Please see this page for more info.
To Install FFmpeg follow the instructions below.
- Click the cogwheel () in the top right corner to open the settings page.
- Option 1:
- If you already have a copy of FFmpeg on you computer, click the “…” next to the FFmpeg location and specify the location.
- Option 2:
- If you’d like LevelOne to automatically download and install a new version click the “getFFmpeg” button.
- You will see a dialog asking to confirm. Click “Yes”
- Next you will be asked to specify a folder where to download FFmpeg. You can use any folder on your system, such as “/applications/ffmpeg/”.
- You will see a progress dialog during the installation progress.
- Close the settings page by clicking on the cogwheel again and you’re ready
Probably one of the most time saving features of LevelOne is the option to save presets as droplets. Droplets are standalone versions of LevelOne that have a single preset built in. You can place these anywhere on your computer (such as your desktop) for easy access. Now imagine you have a file on your computer that needs to be send to for example a broadcaster, you drag the file on to the droplet and it will be instantly corrected. You can have as many droplets as you like, so if the file needs to be send to another broadcaster who has implemented different guidelines then dropping the file on the specific droplet will instantly create the desired version of the file. Another great use for this function is if you have one master file that will be used for different media. You can just make your preferred the mix, without worrying too much about the differences between the specs. Then create a specific version for web, tv, radio etc with just one drop of the file.
MPEG2 and MPEG2 Layer 3 (better known as MP3’s) are lossy file formats. This means the content is compressed to reduce file size. But this also means loss of data. To play, analyse or process the file it needs to be extracted (“de-compressed”) first. But compressing it again will result in more lost data.
To preserve the quality of the audio we’re not changing the actual data and losslessly adjust the levels of these files.
Installation and activation (as well as updating, de-activation and uninstalling) is done using the BeatRig Licence Manager. This requires an active internet connection. If your computer is not connected to the internet follow the offline instructions on your account page (requires login).
The target level for EBU R128 is -23 LUFS, which is quite low in comparison to old style ‘cranked up’ broadcast mixes. There is no problem with that, during broadcast your mix will sound equally loud as other mixes. If you like to take advantage of the new standard, apply less limiting and compression and use a real time meter like LevelView to help you getting the right balance. As a rule of thumb: peek at the large integrated loudness number once in a while to keep it around ‘-23 LUFS’ and make sure that normal dialog drives the rainbow meter around 0 LU. Don’t be afraid if the meter is temporarily high or low on your full mix. When you’re done, correct the master volume of the mix to make the meter match -23 LUFS exactly or use LevelNorm to do that automatically.
The best way to mix audio files for broadcasting in the new paradigm may at first seem quite dangerous. Basically you just lower your modulation levels, ignore your meters and focus on the sound. Once in a while you take a glimpse at the digital peak meter to make sure you are not clipping. Don’t be afraid that you will loose resolution by modulating low, with current 24 bit high resolution equipment this is no threat anymore.
If you feel insecure working without visual feedback, please consider using a realtime EBU mode loudness meter like Grimm Audio’s LevelView. Alternatively use your VU’s or PPM’s but align them correctly. A proper alignment for your VU meter would be 0 VU to equal -18 dBFS. For analog PPM’s, keep the 0 PPM = -9 dBFS level. During production, avoid modulating hot all the time. But at the same time do not hesitate to use all that headroom. If you are using a digital peak meter next to the other ones, ATSC and EBU allow peaks to reach almost 0 dBFS, so don’t worry about short peaks above -9 dBFS.
The key to almost automatically achieve consistent results without using meters, is to adopt the film postproduction practice of aligning the monitor gain to a fixed acoustic level. In the broadcast case, the EBU tech 3276 document prescribes to align a -18 dBFS (rms measured) pink noise track to a sound pressure level of 82 dBA per speaker for stereo or 78 dBA per speaker for 5 channel surround. If you prefer to have your monitor SPL a little lower, just note the deviation from the calibrated level for later reference. The alternative is to simply normalize a well known file to -23 LUFS, play it back and set the volume control to your preferred listening level. The main concept is to now mark the monitor control position and work at this reference level position 90% of the time or more. Your ears will tell you how loud you should mix, you don’t need a meter for that anymore. When you are satisfied with your mix, edits, dynamics and overall sound, just bounce the result to a temporary file, let LevelOne analyze and process the file according to your preset target level and your file is finished for release. After some practice you will note the necessary adjustment by LevelOne will be minimal.
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