Dolby 737Soundtrack Loudness Meter Leq(m)
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Leq(m) is a term used by Dolby Laboratories to describe the level of annoyance in movie soundtracks. The Leq(m) value is a weighted true average of the audio power level sent to the camera in optical or digital soundtracks, or the same weighted true average of the audio power level passing through a cinema processor before equalization. The Dolby Model 737 Soundtrack Loudness Meter - Leq(m) provides a convenient method of measuring soundtrack annoyance.
The phrase true average signifies that the meter measures the power at regular intervals, adds these quantities together and then divides the result by the length of the measurement time. Since the measurement time is a critical factor in arriving at an accurate result, the measurement should start and stop at known points. These points can range from the First Frame of Action (FFOA) and Last Frame of Action (LFOA) of a spot such as a ten second clip, to the beginning and end of an entire movie. The degree of repeatability of Model 737 measurements is dependent on the length of the measurement. For example, a ten second spot requires about two frame accuracy whereas a two minute thirty second trailer needs only two second accuracy for correct measurement.
For an entire feature, the measurement can be started and stopped at a convenient time, within two minutes of the opening and closing credits, to get repeatable results. Measurements made within 1% of the stated time frame will compare accurately. The Model 737 consists of six input channels with setup trims followed by five weighting filters, a true averaging power meter that can be remotely started and stopped, and a trip circuit that indicates a preset maximum level has been exceeded.
The unit is intended for use on soundstages, optical recording facilities, and film QA installations to audition the final two- and six-channel mixes that will be recorded on the film. It can also be used in theatres to check levels during exhibition.