Product Review - MeterPlugs Perception

Article Preview :: Loudness-matching Plug‑in For Mac OS & Windows

Published in SOS July 2014
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Reviews : VST plug-ins


An innovative new plug‑in makes it easy to tell when louder isn't better!

Hugh Robjohns

Ian Shepherd is a mastering engineer based near Cambridge, UK, and a keen advocate of maintaining appropriate dynamic range in recorded music. To that end, he founded 'Dynamic Range Day' four years ago (http://dynamicrangeday.co.uk), with the aim of raising awareness of the detrimental effects of the 'loudness war' on so much commercially released music. He is a firm supporter of the global drive towards a 'loudness normalisation' paradigm (see my feature article on the subject in the February 2014 edition of Sound On Sound for more information), and has contributed often on the subject within the SOS forums.

Building logically upon the theme of managing music loudness effectively and creatively in the mastering environment, Shepherd has developed a new plug‑in in concert with a Canadian plug‑in developer, Ian Kerr of MeterPlugs. MeterPlugs already have an elegant K‑System meter and a broadcast loudness meter on the books, and the technology underpinning the latter plays an important role in the new Perception plug‑in.

The Numbers Game

The idea behind Perception is to enable accurately loudness‑matched comparisons between source audio and its mastering‑processed version, in real time, at the press of a button. This should allow objective evaluation of the effectiveness of any mastering processing such as EQ, compression and limiting, without the listener being distracted or fooled by the resulting overall increase in loudness. In essence, Perception allows the true quality and dynamic range of the processed track to be evaluated and compared instantly against the source, by ear, while the change in absolute volume delivered by the processing chain is displayed as a numerical value — thus removing any guesswork, confusion and some of the 'black art' of mastering!

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