For the avant gardists among the mastering engineers, Sequoia provides much more than just a familiar working environment.
Sequoia's mastering area not only contains excellent plug-ins, such as linear EQ, but also streamlined workflows and data exchange in line with industry standards (e.g. DDP export).
Under "Encoder preview" in the Master Plug-ins section, there is an encoder preview plug-in, which you can use during editing to preview projects that you plan to export as AAC or MP3 using the encoder settings.
You can change the export settings directly in the dialog window. During the mastering process you have the option of taking the idiosyncrasies of the encoder into account and adjusting the quality relative to the requirements (e.g. "Mastered for iTunes").
Sequoia lets you burn CD masters directly from a multi-track project or an audio project. This means that the whole process, from recording to master CD, is covered by Sequoia. The CDs produced are 100% Red Book-compatible and can be sent directly for pressing. The CDs can be configured to include copy protection, UPC/EAN, ISRC, pre-emphasis, and CD text.
In order to reduce the bit depth to the 16-bit CD-format and preserve the highest level of quality possible, Samplitude includes POW-r dithering. Developed by the POW-r Consortium, this patented algorithm works on a psycho-acoustic basis to permit word length reduction with a very high degree of usable signal dynamics, with or without noise shaping. Audio material with higher sample rates may be burned in stereo or Surround to audio DVDs. Audio files are burned uncompressed (linear PCM) according to the DVD audio standard.
Sequoia supports professional file exchange between mastering studios and pressing plants. DDP masters are mastered CDs that aren't burned to audio CDs. They are digital data provided with a checksum that are sent to the pressing plant to guarantee that the production is absolutely free of errors. It's also possible to import DDP masters for editing or to compare them to the original project.
The Sonoris DDP player is a standalone application contained in Sequoia and can be used to check DDP masters that you have created yourself or received from others. You can playback tracks and track transitions, see all PQ codes, ISRC, MCN and CD text data, and automatically check projects for RedBook compatibility. The DDP player can read DDP 1.0x and 2.00 formats.
The metering display in Sequoia enables you to work with absolute precision. Access a range of visual layouts and set up your own private "cockpit" with different metering indicators. The following presets are also available for radio and TV broadcast norms:
Type I, DIN scale - Type I, Nordic scale
Type IIA, BBC -Type IIB, EBU
An important feature in Sequoia is loudness metering, which has become one of the most important topics in the radio world in recent years, and is rapidly taking over from known peak-based metering methods. Up until now, peak control using peak levels (-9 dBGS as a rule) has been the standard in radio production. Peak limiters were often used as they limit an audio signal's dynamics, thus negatively affecting sound quality. Loudness metering takes a different approach. In contrast to peak metering, the loudness measurement is integrated above the time.
In combination with the introduction of open standards for peak control there are reliable ways for engineers and producers to describe subjective loudness in countable terms.
In Sequoia, you can switch between EBU R128 and ITU-R BS.1771 loudness measuring on the fly.
"ITU Recommendation BS.1770-3" is the international standard in loudness measurement.
In addition to loudness normalization, ITU-R BS. 1770-3 also provides a measurement recommendation for digital audio peak levels. Normally, the peak values are determined in accordance with the sample rate by reading individual sample values.
However, on account of the system, it's not possible to verify that the samples correspond exactly to the audio peaks, which arise as soon as the signal is processed or the wave form is reconstructed. Due to the inaccuracies of a sample peak meter, it's not possible to avoid clipping or distortion in the analog output if the individual samples in the original aren't at full scale. So, a normal peak meter cannot represent "real" peak values. Inter-sample peaks identified by oversampling by a factor of 4 can now be displayed and allow you to see "real" peaks.
This powerful feature lets you normalize objects and audio files in accordance with EBU R128/ITU-R BS.1770/1771, which standardizes them for broadcasting on the radio or TV.
Dynamic limiting is now part of the loudness normalization dialog and enables the limiting of object dynamics in order to even out loudness variation within the audio material.
The Watch Folder feature lets you monitor selected folders. New files added to the selected folder are also edited automatically (e.g. with loudness normalization). Batch processing can also be accessed through the command line.
This feature can be found in the "Edit" menu and calculates the loudness of the entire project or the selected range. The calculated values are displayed in a text dialog. This dialog also contains the option "Correct program loudness with master volume", which adjusts the volume using the stereo master or Surround master.
In the compact display you can see the loudness value according to EBU R128 with colorized signalization when the value goes over or under the target. This display can be activated in the loudness settings.
Under "Effects" > "Loudness" you can set the options for the loudness calculation for the file manager, for track bouncing and for database export. This is also where you set the save options for the loudness value in the XML protocol. XML files are created during exporting, bouncing, batch processing or calculating loudness values. They are named like audio files and contain separate data for stereo and Surround streams. During saving loudness values can also be written as BWF files which are compliant with EBU Tech 3285.
An audio file's loudness parameters are displayed in the file manager and can be calculated there for a limited number of files. When switched on in the Broadcast Wave Editor, loudness parameters can be written to audio files when exporting and bouncing. The loudness parameters are stored in standardized metadata fields for broadcast wave files.