Our friends at NUGEN Audio have announced a dither update for ISL 2st, its intelligent look-ahead brick-wall limiter that provides transparent true-peak limiting for all stereo and mono content, alongside a preview of a 3D Immersive Extension update allowing second and third order Ambisonic (AmbiX format) output for Halo Upmix, for fine-tuning surround mixes to perfection.
As a stereo-only version of NUGEN Audio’s ISL 2, a transparent look-ahead limiter designed to allow users to get on with creative audio production while it takes care of true-peak compliance, ISL 2st allows for content creation fully compatible with loudness normalisation standards used by the likes of iTunes Radio and Spotify. Risk of distortion from downstream codec conversion (mp3, AAC, etc) is effectively eliminated with ISL 2st on the master bus, so no need to second-guess sample-peak limiting time and again, or deliberately increase headroom to avoid a downstream problem. Just dial in the true-peak limit and let ISL 2st take care of the rest.
By including a unique power-compensated true-peak safe dither algorithm in its latest update, NUGEN Audio has improved ISL 2st further still. Several forms of dither are available, enabling the minimisation of quantisation errors and artefacts from bit depth reduction processes. Now ISL 2st automatically compensates for the dither applied, ensuring that TPMax (maximum true-peak level) is preserved and that true-peak compliance violations are not accidentally introduced in the final output stage, as might potentially be the case when engaging traditional post-TPMax dither functions — particularly pertinent to content repurposed for streaming services, where data compression algorithms are pervasive.
NUGEN Audio also continues to pioneer the immersive audio field with its Halo Upmix for fine-tuning surround mixes by announcing a further update to its 3D Immersive Extension, an enhanced upmix algorithm allowing for simultaneous use of all the original features including dialogue isolation and individual channel output control alongside additional vertical controls via an expanded user interface with control over Ltm and Rtm channel placement for Dolby Atmos-compatible placement. Having launched first order Ambisonic output in July — Ambisonics being a full-sphere surround sound technique covering sound sources above and below the listener in addition to the horizontal plane, the latest 3D Immersive Extension update now allows second and third order Ambisonic output, and both 7.1.4 and 5.1.4 channel configurations to facilitate production in Auro-3D formats — a three-dimensional standard used across several industries, including cinema and gaming audio.
“Immersive audio is becoming a rare conceptual game changer that has the potential to redefine how we create and enjoy sound, ” says NUGEN Audio Creative Director Jon Schorah.
“These updates make sure that Halo Upmix stays on the cutting edge as engineers seek new tools and workflows to fully exploit this exciting and rapidly developing technology.”