Audionamix – 7.1.20

When video editors need to deliver a CALM-compliant mix

Outpost Worldwide is a Kansas City-based production and post company that creates content for a variety of TV series, network game shows, reality shows, commercials and corporate videos.

Their television work includes shows like Strange: Exorcist, Garden Earth and Project Runway Latin America. Documentaries they have worked on include The Barber’s Diaries, No Shortcuts and Let Freedom Ring: The Lessons Are Priceless. Films include Fight Night, Dogs of Eden and Last Ounce of Courage.

With the passage of the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act by Congress, the responsibility to ensure audio mixes conform to the loudness standard falls not only on audio mixers, but also on video editors for shows that did not budget for a separate audio post session.

For Mark Renz, senior video editor at Outpost Worldwide, the task of delivering compliant mixes directly from his Avid Media Composer system was an extra burden in time and effort that should have been used for creative editing. If a show gets rejected by their Extreme Reach content management and delivery system, then further delays and costs are incurred either to send the show to audio post or have the Extreme Reach system fix the loudness itself.

“While many of our shows have budget for audio post, I frequently will also work on shows that have no separate audio budget, so it’s down to me to make sure audio coming out of my Media Composer system is compliant with the CALM Act,” explains Renz. “Since the majority of my time is spent putting a compelling story together, you can imagine that worrying about loudness is not something I really have a lot of time for.”

This is where iZotope’s RX Loudness Control comes in. “There’s not a whole lot to say, because it just works,” he says. “It’s two mouse clicks, and it’s much faster than realtime. The first click quickly analyzes the audio and displays a graph showing any problem areas. If I have time, I can quickly go in and manually adjust an area if I want; otherwise, clicking ‘Render’ is all that’s required to generate a compliant final mix.”

Mark is first to admit he’s not an “audio guy” so being able to rely on a tool that guarantees a compliant audio mix has been liberating. “I don’t have to worry what someone else might be doing to the audio to force it into compliance,” says Renz.

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