P2 Level Pilot
5-Band Loudness Controller and Limiter
P2 is a Realtime Loudness Controller, Multiband Processor and True-peak Limiter designed for use in video and post production.
P2 gives you dedicated processing and presets for working within EBU R128, ATSC A/85 and TR-B32 environments at an impressive latency of only 0.8 ms. The most audio-friendly and the least work-intensive way to simulcast to multiple platforms is known as trickle-down processing. P2 also includes trickle-down presets for Mobile and iPod platforms within ITU-R BS.1770-2, EBU R128, ATSC A/85 and TR-B32 environments; still at 48 bit resolution and still at a latency of only 0.8 ms.
The unit features one-key set-and-forget operation, while keeping hundreds of presets and parameters available for a system installer or the station's audio engineer. Units are easily cloned, facilitating maintenance of a large studio complex.
Ease of use is combined with ultimate internal precision, so maximum audio quality is always obtained, even under non-ideal input conditions. Up to 8 presets can be recalled using GPI. For expert presetting and remote control, a PC can be used to adjust all parameters utilizing the included Icon program included.
Balanced and unbalanced AES/EBU I/O is standard, and outputs are always active. Sample rate conversion can be invoked when using digital inputs. Analog I/O is standard and outputs are always active. The 24 bit converters are scaled in the analog domain, with scaling under preset control, to minimize noise and maximize headroom under all operating conditions.
P2 - The Concept
The P2 is a "set and forget" Loudness pilot and Limiter for Post production and Broadcast. It is designed especially for fixed installations where a consistent Loudness and spectral balance is required but excels also in peak limiting functions.
Daily User & Administrator
We distinguish between two types of P2 users. The Daily User may be the "non-technical" person working with video editing, audio production, audio mixing or tape-copying that needs to Level optimize the program material to various destinations with specific level demands. The Daily User only needs to pick a dedicated preset for the specified destination via the P2 front panel. One key pressed and that's it.
The Daily User
The Daily User has no direct parameter access from the front panel. However, a Wizard function is available which can be used if allowed by the Administrator. The Wizard functions allows the P2 to examine a section e.g. 10 seconds of the program material and sets compression parameters according to that brief analysis The Administrator is responsible for setting up all P2's at the facility. Factory loaded with a broad selection of World Standard Presets the P2 can be used right out of the box. The Administrator can also create suitable presets via the TC Icon PC Editor if it should be required.
Presets are total recall type and hold I/O, Clock and all Algorithm parameters settings. Furthermore the Administrator can also setup various lock functions of the Front panel keys to ensure no unintended change of settings by the everyday user. In the administrators setup the P2 connects to a PC via a standard RS 232 COM port and is controlled via the TC ICON PC Editor known from System 6000 and DB-8.
The Administrator sets up and creates presets on a single P2 unit to the specifications of the facility. Once the setup is done, other P2's can easily be cloned via a PCMCIA card. The Administrator simply dumps the Front panel bank presets to the PCMCIA card, and distributes this bank via the PCMCIA card to all P2's in the house.
Factory loaded with a broad selection of World Standard Presets the P2 can be used right out of the box. However, via the TC ICON PC Editor, the Administrator can build suitable presets in detail plus define various lock functions ensuring no unintended change of settings by the everyday user. Once setup and loaded with presets, any person doing video editing, audio production, audio mixing or tape-copying, simply picks the predefined optimal preset and don't have to think about audio levels again.
Setups - Administrator
Administrator Setup for Preset programming plus Wizard and Lock definition using the TC ICON PC Editor is intuitive and straightforward. Connect a free RS232 serial COM port on the computer to the RS232 connection on the rear of the P2. Start the TC ICON PC Editor and select the appropriate COM port. (Read the TC ICON installation procedure section) Make audio connections if these are necessary for programming.
Cloning P2's using a standard PCMCIA card
Once the Administrator have designed and setup presets for various applications using the TC ICON PC Editor, other P2's in the house may be easily cloned using a standard PCMCIA card. In other words, it is NOT necessary to hook up every single P2 to a computer to set them up.
Setups - Daily User
In daily use no TC ICON Editor/PC connection is necessary. Just connect your audio source material to P2 Inputs. Options are balanced Analog, digital AES or S/PDIF. Connect Outputs to relevant media. Next you simply select preset via the eight front panel PRESET keys. Note that; Input type, Sync settings, and Sample Rate Conversion settings are set on preset level via the TC ICON PC Editor on the Engine I/O page.
The processor can be operated in three distinctively different modes:
- Stereo: In this mode the Loudness, EQ and Multiband sections operate in tandem: (Read more about these in the next section). Whatever gain change is applied to one channel is applied to the other. Also, many parameters have mutual left and right controls.
- Dual Mono: In this mode the Loudness, EQ and Multiband sections treat the two Input signals completely independently.
- Stereo Wide: In this mode the apparent width and image of stereo signal can be altered simultaneously with controlling loudness and peak level. The left and right signal is internally de-composed into an M(Mono) and S(Stereo) component, and reverted to left and right signals before peak limiting on the Output.
Wizard Functions - Daily User
The Wizard can be activated only if the Wizard functions are unlocked. (see "Lock" section below).
Once the Wizard is activated, the P2 Level pilot examines the program material and automatically suggests optimal compression settings for highest output. The Wizard can be set by the Administrator to calculate three levels of compression; Low, Medium and High.
Using the Wizard function the P2 listens to a section of the program material; analyzes and thereafter automatically adjusts settings using the AGC to achieve optimal level and thus keeping dynamics intact.
Via the TC ICON Editor three Wizard compression modes can be set: Light, Normal or Heavy. The Wizard mode is set by the Administrator. It is NOT possible to change the Wizard mode via the P2 front panel. When the Wizard is activated the Edited LED will be lit. To prevent unintended use of the Wizard the WIZARD key can also be locked. All lock functions are set via the TC ICON PC Editor. When Wizard is locked it is inoperable from the front panel controls.
There are many aspects to loudness, and keeping track of all of them can be a challenge. Therefore, we have created a dedicated loudness website, where all of these aspects are outlined, explained and discussed.
The site is an answer to the highly relevant
"What Is Loudness, and Why Is It Important?"
In the Press
Our history in digital audio dates back to 1985 and as pioneers in loudness, we took part in research studies and the definition of international broadcast standards right from the start.
Over the years, we have even donated technology that is now part of these open, international standards.
That is why world-leading broadcast magazines often invite us to share our knowledge with their readers.
The Expert user can decide to activate different levels of Lock functions. These may include lock of front panel key operation and/or lock of the Wizard and Bypass functions. By the choice of the Expert User the selected Lock/Unlock function can be activated/deactivated either by:
- pressing LOCK followed by a four digit code specified by the expert user or,
- holding lock for approx 2.5 seconds.
Total Control with the TC ICON Remote
We know you'll love working with our innovative and attractive TC ICON Remote. We've even included the remote as software so you can run it on your Mac or PC, too.
- Incredibly Fast Response On Touch Screen and Faders
- Attractive and User Friendly User Interface
- Controls Even More Studio and Broadcast Units from TC With Dual Ethernet and Dual USB ports
- Integrate Multiple Mainframes and TC Icons/Editors Into Your Network
Range: +10dB to -10dB
This is the level the Loudness controller will aim at on its Output. Target Level is relative to Reference Level on the Main Page.
Range: -20dB to 0dB
This is the maximum attenuation the Loudness Control is allowed to perform. If set to 0.0dB, the Loudness Control cannot attenuate the signal at all. The level diagram on this page is shown with Max Reduction set at 0.0dB.
Range: 0 to +20dB
This is the maximum gain the Loudness Control is allowed to perform. If set to 0.0 dB, the Loudness Control cannot add gain to the signal at all. The level diagram on this page is shown with Max Gain set at +6.0 dB.
Range: -10dB to-40dB
Sets the minimum level required before the Loudness Control will start adding more gain. It would typically be set to avoid boosting signals considered noise. The Freeze Level parameter is relative to the Reference Level setting on the Main page.
Range: 0 to 5 seconds
When the Input signal drops below the Lo Level, the Gain Correction of the Loudness Section is frozen for the duration of the Hold time. When the Hold period expires, the Gain Correction falls back to 0dB gain.
Range: -18dB to + 18dB
Because P2 operates with 48 bit precision on all audio internally, it is possible to correct loudness manually without the risk of overloads. The Level Trim can be used for permanent off-sets or live loudness adjustments.
Range: 1:1.25 to 1:6
Sets the minimum level required before the Loudness Control will start adding gain. It would typically be set to avoid boosting signals considered noise. The Freeze Level parameter is relative to the Reference Level setting on the Main page.
The 8 preset banks in the P2 are a combination of Factory presets and Space for Your own User presets. Each bank can contain up to 8 individual presets.
The Factory presets represent a wide range of possibilities from EBU Limiters, NAB Optimization, NAB Game show Digital, Commercials Digital, Music to LtRt digital, Film to Video transformation etc. For the full preset lists including Specs, please refer to the P2 Manual.
Click here to go to the Manual Section
This parameter sets up the functionality of the front panel WIZARD key. The Wizard function examines part of the program material and automatically finds optimal compression settings based on the evaluation and the selected mode.
Via the TC ICON Editor the Administrator can both enable/disable the WIZARD function and also select between the three modes that determines the intensity of the compression.
One P2 Level Pilot, a Pentium computer with Windows 95 Windows 98, NT, 2000, ME or XP installed.
Try setting the Steer and/or Threshold parameters differently in the bands to hear the effect. High Steer values add more detail gain than low values, but remember that Threshold has to be negative to add detail gain at all. DXP Threshold relates to the Reference Level set on the Main page.
To disable DXP detail gain at very low levels, use the Defeat Threshold and Defeat Ratio controls. Defeat threshold relates to the DXP threshold, and allows for a certain level-window, inside which detail gain is applied. Defeat Ratio determines the slope at which DXP detail gain is defeated.
Ratio - DXP mode OFF
Parameter range: Off to Infinity: 1
Press this button to access the five individual band Ratios and the overall All Ratio. The parameters are Automatically assigned to fader 1-6.
Parameter range: 0.3 to 250ms
Press this button to access the five individual band Attacks and the overall All Attack. The parameters are Automatically assigned to fader 1-6. Release Parameter range: 20ms to 7s Press this button to access the five individual band Release and the overall All Release. The parameters are Automatically assigned to fader 1-6.
Range: -3, -2, -1, Normal +1, +2, +3
When Link is active, the same amount of peak limiting is always applied to both channels. Some broadcasters like the sound of operating left and right limiting without stereo coupling because they feel that it maximizes loudness and widens the stereo image. On dual mono sources, of course you should always choose un-linked Limiter operation. The Configuration control on the Main page does not affect the Link Limiter setting. This link is running individually from the selected configuration.
EQ and DXP Modes
This digital EQ features a four-band parametric EQ with high- and low-pass filters with the possibility of switching between Notch, Parametric, Shelving and Cut filters. The needle sharp notch filter has a range down to 0.01 octave and the shelving filters has a variable slope, ranging from gentle 3 dB/oct over 6 and 9 to 12dB/oct. Cut filters can be switched between 12dB/oct maximum flat amplitude (Butterworth) or flat group delay (Bessel) types. The parametric equalizer features a natural and well-defined bandwidth behavior at all gain and width settings:
DXP Mode - introduction
The 5-band section is either in normal compression mode, or DXP mode. Instead of attenuating signals above a certain threshold, DXP mode (Detail Expansion) lifts up signals below the Threshold, thereby bringing out details rather than squashing the loud parts. The DXP mode is therefore capable of adding intelligibility and air to speech, lifting harmonics, or emphasizing ambience without increasing overall peak level.
The DXP mode can be used with any number of bands up to 5. When used as multiband it is particularly effective in bringing out air and clarity. The processor can act as an automatic EQ that removes a boost when it's not needed: At very low levels, where noise is dominant, and at loud levels where sibilance would become a problem. Besides from being effective on speech, the DXP mode can be used in mastering to bring up low levels, e.g. when preparing film or concerts for domestic or noisy environment listening.
The TC Icon Editor
The TC ICON Software Editor is a generic Editor that currently controls the following products from TC Electronic: System 6000, DB-8 and P2. In this section only subjects relevant for usage with the P2 will be discussed. As described the P2 is connected via a serial COM port. System 6000 and DB-8 are connected via Ethernet. Navigating the Software Editor or the TC ICON display is easy as soon as a few basic elements for Operation are explained.
Download the manual for detailed info about the initial Setup as well as:
- Operating pages
- Library pages
- System presets
- User presets
- Network Identification
Plus more detailed features for Expert user administration.
Selecting Presets - Daily User
Press the relevant preset key (1-8) to load a preset. Presets can be loaded only if these keys are unlocked, (see above). Presets are "total recall" presets. All levels, I/O settings and algorithm parameters are automatically setup.
Presets are defined by the Administrator to perfectly match the downstream signal destination. Preset keys 1-8: Presets can be recalled from these keys. Press preset keys 1-8 to instantly recall Front presets. This type of presets includes settings of all gain and processing parameters. The Administrator can lock specific keys and below each key you can write preset names. Use the supplied lithographic crayon or similar.
Broadcast & Production Sales Representatives