There are a good number of Loudness meters out there now. As we have loudness normalisation coming into more and more workflows, we thought it would be helpful to provide a round-up of the different players that are now available. They are all AAX 64 bit and so willl work with Pro Tools 11.
The Nugen Audio Vis LM has a scrolling history, presets for all the common standards (and some of the less well-known ones too). It writes automation data, so you can see where there are problems in your project from the Pro Tools timeline.
The TC Electronic LM2 for stereo and LM6 for 5.1 surround use a clever radar display for the loudness history. It covers all the common standards. These are currently the only plug-ins that TC Electronic has ported to AAX 64-bit for use in Pro Tools 11.
iZotope’s Insight is a comprehensive metering suite for post production and broadcast applications. Insight provides an extensive set of audio analysis and metering tools, including a loudness section with full history , logging and automation features. Insight of course is much more than just a loudness meter with 2D and 3D Spectrograms, True Peak Meters, Stereo Vectorscope, Surround Scope, and Spectrum Analyser as well. It is available on its own and is also is bundled with Ozone 5 Advanced and RX3 Advanced. Mike produced Insight Explained for Groove 3 so if you are an Insight user do check it out.
This is an interesting development from Avid as this fairly-new plug-in combines a loudness meter with a history display with an intersample peak limiter. However, currently it only displays loudness in the EBU R128 standard, so for anyone outside the EBU area, it is a useful guide but will not display loudness according to your local standard.
Zplane PPMulator Plus
This is a low cost solution from Zplane that also has the advantage of of taking up very little screen real estate, but no history feature with it. It can be set to EBU R128 or either of the 2009 or 2013 versions of ATSC A/85 standards and so betweeen these covers most of the world.
Dolby Media Meter
Dolby have taken this plug-in way beyond just a Dialnorm meter and have embraced the key standards. This is a loudness meter with a lot of features under the hood as well as many display options. It has a history option which you can configure to display a range of different parameters. There is also a Peak Limiter built in too which you can set to the correct limit point for your chosen standard.
HOFA 4U Suite
The HOFA plug-in is part of their free 4U Suite, so nothing is going to beat this one on price. Althouh there is only one loudness meter in an instance of the plug-in, there is nothing stopping having 3 instances; one with the Intergrated, a second with Short Term and a third displaying Momentary. Like the Avid Pro Limiter it only displays the EBU R128 scale so it is great for UK and Europe and any other territory that adopts the R128 standard. But it is still a useful guide for any other territory as the various versions of the standard are very close to each other.