What is a loudness based leveler?
A loudness based leveler is basically an automated console master fader driven by a so called “sliding analysis window” to gather loudness data of the current incoming program. This analysis window “slides” over the program and permanently compares the input loudness with the desired target loudness and generates the control signal for the master control stage. Finally this control information is used to control the master level stage to keep the output “on target” while permanently adopting time based parameters like attack or release to the content (adaptive processing) . This is the automated version of an audio engineer using a loudness meter and permanently keeping the program loudness in the desired target range manually. With this automated process, the engineer may concentrate on the creative part rather than spending man power on a process that can easily be automated.
How to optimize a leveler?
Levelers take automatic care of your output levels by comparing the input to a preset target level. Ideally a leveler should operate without audible artifacts. Within a consistent program this is easily achievable by selecting a quality leveler that optimizes settings according to the audio genre. This is not really ‘rocket science’ a set of e.g. 3 leveler presets will do the job: