On the run up to one of the biggest Broadcast tradeshows, both RTW and TC Electronic have branched out from their normal markets of broadcast and post production and announced new hardware loudness meters aimed at the music production and mastering sectors. From RTW we have the MM3 MusicMeter and from TC Electronic we have the Clarity M.
RTW MM3 MusicMeter - $579
Especially for the music industry, the latest addition to the RTW loudness metering family, is the MM3 MusicMeter. The MM3 is designed to provide flexible, user-friendly operation for sound engineers or mixers looking to implement loudness metering into music-based applications.
It features Loudness measurement to all common standards, as well PPM/TruePeak, VU, Audio Vectorscope, RTA, Loudness over Time (Chart) instruments.
The USB hybrid function with RTW USB Connect which enables you to use the MM3 as a plugin in Pro Tools and other DAWs.
TC Electronic Clarity M - $689.99
With the Clarity M, TC Electronic have based the deviation meter on their industry-standard loudness algorithms to help you avoid bad mix-down surprises. The correlation meter has been designed to help you easily identify phase issues and other anomalies, and with the RTA you can monitor frequencies outside your hearing range and easily pinpoint where your mix is mudding up.
With its 7" high-resolution display, seamless DAW-integration and precision meters, it can keep you in compliance when delivering to specs.
While the Clarity M is a stand-alone desktop meter, it also connects with your DAW workflow through using their Clarity plug-in.
RTW MM3 Features
- Table-top unit with display, USB connecting cable, and external USB mains adapter
- Loudness measurements acc. to EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-3/1771-1, ATSC A/85, ARIB, OP-59, AGCOM, or CALM Act
- 4.3“ capacitive touch screen (272 x 480 pixel)
- Analog 2-channel stereo input via unbal. RCA
- Digital 2-channel stereo in- and output via S/PDIF (RCA), Micro-USB connector for digital audio inputs (stereo, 5.1) and USB power supply (USB mains adapter or computer)
- Loudness Chart instrument for displaying and analyzing the course of a loudness measurement over time
- PPM/TruePeak meter with standard scales with moving Coil instruments
- Real Time Analyzer (RTA) displaying the spectral distribution of an audio signal
- 2-channel Audio Vectorscope (Lissajous display)
- USB hybrid function with RTW USB Connect software
TC Electronic Clarity M Features
- Professional stereo and 5.1 audio meter for mixing, mastering and post production
- Compliant with all major broadcast standards including ITU BS.1770-4, ATSC A/85, EBU R128, TR-B32 and OP-59
- 7" high resolution LCD display for precision metering in all studio environments
- State-of-the-art True-Peak Meter identifies clipping in DACs, CODECs and downstream filters
- 6 input channels of unbalanced AES3 digital audio on 75 Ohm BNC connectors for broadcast-grade 5.1 metering
- Downmix compliance meter based on TC ELECTRONICs industry-standard loudness measurement algorithms
- USB connection for hassle-free VST, Audio Units and AAX plug-in metering
- Legendary LM6 Loudness Radar Meter provides all essential loudness monitoring information on a single screen
- High accuracy real time analyzer with 1/3 octave resolution and individual band zoom
- Use via a Plugin using the Clarity plugin
Both of these products have a lot going for them on paper and although there are a significant number of similarities, including the ability to use them as plug-ins within Pro Tools and other DAWs, there are also some differences. The RTW has a smaller display but is more compact, whereas the display on the Clarity M is bigger and so can display more information. Both units are not cheap for the music sector but have been priced a little cheaper than their broadcast equivalents.
If you are in the mastering and music production sectors and you prefer a hardware meter rather than a software plugin meter then you can check these out especially as they can function as plugins too.