The already intuitive Insight UI has received a complete overhaul with version two. The plug-in is now fully resizable, as are all the individual meter modules within. With detailed, comprehensive data about your audio available at a glance, Insight 2 will help ensure that your final deliverables are as loud and clear as your profession demands. IZotope Insight 2 Intelligent metering for music & post - #iZotope #iZotopeInsight2Get a complete set of meters that can be customized and form fit to any.

Working on an audio mix for Netflix, or just interested in broadcast loudness standards? This post is for you! We’ll cover Netflix’s recent update to their loudness delivery standards, and how we updated Insight 2 to meet them.

The update

Last year, Netflix updated their audio mix specifications, recommending that content delivered for streaming meet a dialog-gated loudness target of -27 LKFS. Read more about Netflix audio mix specifications and best practices here.

This change in Netflix’s preferred average loudness impacts a lot of broadcast and re-recording mixers, many of whom use iZotope’s Insight metering plug-in to make sure the shows and movies they mix meet delivery specs.

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In fact, Netflix spent around $8 billion on content in 2018. And for every show they offer their subscribers, children’s content must be made available in 24 languages, and adult-oriented content in 8 languages. Currently, all of this work is outsourced and all of it must hit the new specs listed above. This requires reliable metering for broadcast loudness standards.

What we added to Insight 2.1

Insight 2 comes with lots of presets (called Layouts) from which you can select a loudness Target. This makes it easy to see if you’re hitting the mark. Version 2.1 comes with a new Target named 'Netflix' that enables the Dialogue gate and sets the LRA targets to the expected values. Here’s a screenshot of the Netflix Target selected below:

Full disclosure: even before I wrote for iZotope, Insight was my go-to metering suite. I liked it so much that I didn’t think it could be improved. Now Insight 2 has dropped, and I’ve been lucky enough to use it for a few weeks. I’m happy to report it has easily surpassed my expectations, replacing the original Insight in my practice.

Insight

Primarily, I’d use the original Insight in post production and mastering. I might refer to it from time to time for mixing, but not as often as in other cases. This has changed with Insight 2, for the suite provides several improvements that make it a killer companion for mixing duties. Here are useful features, listed below:

Insight

1. Intelligibility Meter for vocal presence

The Intelligibility Meter was designed primarily with post-production in mind. However, it also works within the context of music. If I put an instance of Relay (think of it as Insight 2’s “helper plug-in”) in the last slot of my vocals/vocal bus, I’m able to monitor the apparent integrity of my vocals in relation to the rest of the material. By integrity, I mean how easy it is to hear the words—the very definition of intelligibility.

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I find this meter quite handy, as vocal intelligibility is tricky to get right. It can be hard to know whether to bury the vocal on a phrase for the mystery of it (the work of Tool come to mind) or to bolster the vocals above everything else. There’s also the risk of raising the vocals too high without realizing it, either due to ear-fatigue or suboptimal monitoring. This phenomenon can give the mix a sort of karaoke feel. The Intelligibility Meter, particularly when set to low-noise level environments, can aid you in making the judgment call more impartially.

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All you need to do is watch the meter and, well, follow the bouncing ball: if it stays in the sweet spot, there’s your visual indication that the words will be understood. If it soars above or falls below, you have the option to tweak or leave as is. The choice is yours—and now you’re in a better place to make that choice.

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