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DRMeter

Metering by MAAT

MAAT’s DRMeter is the universal real-time level metering plug-in companion to our official DROffline batch measurement utility.

The Only Way to Measure DR

The MAAT DRMeter offers essential options for musically responsive, real-time level metering. These include graphical and numeric measurement of DR dynamic range, SPPM Peak and RMS amplitude, plus digital overs and “digital black.” The MAAT DRMeter release is MAAT’s first step in bringing forward the legacy of the PMF’s legendary TT Dynamic Range Meter, which was certainly the most popular metering plugin of the last decade. Inspiring music producers and artists worldwide for more dynamic music releases, this “micro” version will soon be followed by its big brother. The upcoming, upgradable DRMeterMkII features all modern metering algorithms, including True Peak Level and Loudness Units compliant with EBU R128 and ATSC A/85. MAAT paid particular attention to the DRMeter’s ballistics, which contributed to the original’s broad acceptance. We have tested the new DRMeter again and again against the original TT DR Meter to ensure a consistent user experience. In addition, DRMeter is modern, supporting all major plug-in formats including VST/VST3 and AAX for macOS and Windows plus Audio Units for Mac.

MAAT to the Rescue

The DR meter is back! In conjunction with the PMF, the geeks at MAAT have sweated the details, testing and tweaking to make sure that you get the same familiar and much-loved ballistics of the original TT DR Meter tool, which has already helped to preserve dynamics for thousands of modern pop releases and multimillions of records sold. The only difference between the original and new DR meters is the removal of Correlation metering and the Mono Button. That was done, in response to user requests, to reduce UI height so the new DRMeter takes up less screen real estate. We have implemented those functions in a free plug-in, the MAAT 2BusControl, which also includes solo buttons for L, R, MONO & DIFF, plus a left-right flip button and a useful Balance meter. Usable metering is an essential for any engineer, and the DRMeter´s measurement and display algorithms adhere to our guiding philosophy of enhancing your workflow and improving ergonomics through careful attention to the way you actually work. Ballistics are meticulously tuned to achieve the best match between the aural impressions you hear and the optical rendering by the meters. Likewise, the plug-in is "lightweight" demanding a minimum of CPU resources so it won´t slow down your host.

Built to Perform

The MAAT DRMeter is a worthy companion for daily mixing and mastering tasks, enabling fast, accurate and easy mix and mastering decisions. For fine-tuning peak excursions, and properly setting your limiter with the fast and responsive peak meter bar, DRMeter is unmatched. An “Overs” alert warns you to tweak your limiter in order to prevent unwanted distortion on playback. The adjacent RMS loudness bar graphs have more relaxed or damped ballistics, so you get a good sense of the perceptual loudness. This conveys a sense of proper level staging without overly hectic meter movement. The green -18 dB RMS tick mark indicates 0 LU, a widely agreed upon amplitude for hitting your outboard gear’s sweet spot. It also helps to manage gain staging for ITB or In-The-Box workflows. The legendary DR bar graph can be operated as independent channels, or coupled for a summed left/right response. Our DR bar graph visually informs the user through a familiar “traffic light” green/yellow/red colour coding scheme. The blue -∞ indicator informs you when your DAW is delivering “digital black” or null AES data. If you’ve inserted some noise generating plug-in or outboard within a project, you’ll instantly see that. Complementing the new BS.1770 metering standards, including Loudness Range (LRA) which was designed to reflect the macro dynamics of broadband audio with a focus on broadcasting, the importance and spirit of the DR measurement system for music is unbroken. LRA was designed for controlling the perceived loudness range of motion picture soundtracks and television programs. Whereas the DRMeter’s algorithm looks at the loudest 20% of the instantaneous signal, LRA purposefully ignores the top 5% of a track’s dynamic deviation, making it unsuitable for the evaluation of the dynamics of music.

DRMeter is Only Half the Story

The DRMeter is a plug-in that generates approximate DR values when applied to the loudest passages in a track. Due to real-time operation, it cannot measure official DR values, which are cumulative over the entire length of a song. Only the companion DROffline batch measuring utility can scrub through an entire song or track, resulting in an official DR number.

Be sure to also check out DROffline.

The Backstory

The DR algorithm, akin to PLR (Peak–to–Loudness Ratio) or “crest factor,” specifically measures the dynamic density or lack of dynamics caused by overly aggressive dynamic compression and limiting. When the loudest spots of a song are measured, it gives the user an estimate for the "official" DR Value, measured with the companion DROffline. Seeing a meaningful and easy to understand indication of dynamic range inspires users to back away from hyper-compression. The complete DR metering system, composed of the real-time DRMeter plus the DROffline batch processor, was created by Friedemann Tischmeyer to address the need to generate a repeatable, easy to understand numeric value. In response to the broadly publicized “Loudness Wars,” the PMF worked to raise awareness that oppressively compressed dynamics in pop music are not only counterproductive but sound often like crap! Now legendary, the PMF’s TT DR Meter and its offline companion was created to provide a deterministic benchmark and was used by thousands of engineers and consumers to measure and log the dynamic range of popular music releases around the world. Alas, as with all things digital, the TT DR Meter grew old. An update was needed…

Features & Specifications:

  • Official DR
  • SPPM
  • RMS
  • Peak Hold

Supported Formats:

  • AAX (Pro Tools 10.3.10 and newer)
  • AU
  • VST2/3 M/W
  • Sample rates from 44.1 to 384 kHz

System Requirements

Mac:

  • macOS 10.8 and newer, 32 & 64 bit.

PC:

  • Windows 7 and newer, 32 & 64 bit.

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