Quality-first Audio Automation

AudioTools Server is a collection of enterprise-ready audio solutions designed to add file-based expertise to automated environments. The AudioTools Server family represents decades of expertise encapsulated in flexible, focused packages of audio specialization. 

AudioTools Server automates the most sophisticated audio tasks and offers a wide variety of processing, specifically created for use in cable, satellite, terrestrial and IPTV, radio, and post production facilities. As a pure software platform running on commodity hardware, including VM or cloud deployment, AudioTools Server is flexible and customizable, allowing for new workflows as requirements inevitably change.

  • State-of-the-art audio processing
  • Customized, efficient file-based workflows
  • Unrivalled loudness tools
  • Compliance to broadcast standards
  • Interoperability with major environments
  • Modular scalable platform

AudioTools Server - Leader in Loudness

Loudness Control is a significant use case that employs Linear Acoustic APTO™ loudness processing. Our loudness normalization processes are designed to fully preserve the existing audio and only apply a gain change combined with optional peak limiting.

There are other use cases that require changing the dynamic range and other more complex parameters of the audio content and can control dialogue intelligibility. AudioTools Advanced Loudness Adaptation, for example, is a collection of intelligent loudness profiles, adapting a theatrical audio mix for broadcast, and creating the best possible audio experience for all modern platforms such as OTT/web, mobile/handheld and VOD/SVOD.

Loudness Measurement & Adjustment

State-of-the-art loudness control based on international standards & practices. AudioTools Advanced Loudness Adaptation profiles for improved and compliant dialog intelligibility in high-dynamic range content. 

Audio Adaptation

Automated adaptation of audio content to required output specifications, including: upmix, downmix, channel management, and frame rate conversion.

Dolby Automation

Automated Dolby E and Dolby Digital encoding and decoding including metadata handling. Dolby E quality control, with optional correction.

Quality Control

Audio specific quality control of audio files or container formats, including channel assignment detection and correlation check.

Content & Formats

AudioTools Server is a complete solution for managing and processing audio formats. With audio at the center of a complex audio ecosystem, a payload may contain “containerized” video assets, transport streams, Dolby–encoded content, and metadata, requiring that each layer of the asset must be carefully handled.

Formats:

Linear PCM Audio: AIFF, WAV, RF64
Codecs: Dolby E, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic II, mp2, mp3, MPEG-4, HE-AAC, AAC
Container: MXF, QuickTime™, LXF, GXF, selected Transport Streams

 

The Server Architecture

AudioTools Server communicates directly with modules to configure the overall system for the required functionality. AudioTools Server, as a system, can then interface directly with your existing DAM, CMS or DBM workflow manager.

Modular Design

While a modular architecture allows AudioTools Server to always be “state-of-the-art”, the real power of this approach is using workflows to combine module functions in a sequential or highly conditional profile.  AudioTools Server is also a VST plug-in host, allowing for 3rd party plug-ins to be used as part of an overall AudioTools Server workflow. 

Enhanced Workflows and License Management

AudioTools Workflow Control is the command and control option for AudioTools Server that enables standalone operation along with support for threaded multiple concurrent processes, load balancing and dynamic reconfiguration of workflows on the fly. AudioTools Server can deploy floating licenses through a license server, offering a scalable system for small businesses or enterprise class facilities.

AudioTools Server is internally driven from tailored XML profiles. For an operator, preset workflows can easily be called up and edited through the AudioTools Operator App, while Queue Control provides an overview with detailed access to all running processes.

AudioTools WorkflowEditor

AudioTools WorkflowEditor is a flexible tool for setting up and configuring AudioTools Server workflows. The software comes pre-installed with a comprehensive selection of over 1000 workflow templates, covering most common workflow types and featuring all aspects of AudioTools Server processing. Each template is displayed and can be configured through the software’s graphical interface, making it easy and fast for operators to conform workflows to meet their requirements. Preset management tools allow you to save and recall your conformed workflows in a user defined library for quick and simple access. Jobs and watchfolders can be submitted to the server for processing directly from the WorkflowEditor, or workflows can be exported for submission via third party tools or web services integration.

AudioTools OPERATOR

AudioTools OPERATOR is ideal for simple, manual operations and can be used in conjunction with, or instead of, any other methods used to drive AudioTools Server. AudioTools OPERATOR enables direct editing of workflow parameters into the OPERATOR GUI, allowing changes to be made prior to submitting the job. The exposed parameters are entirely customizable in combination with any of the Advanced Loudness Adaptation profiles, AudioTools OPERATOR provides a flexible and user-friendly approach to complete any adaptation task.

AudioTools WebClient

The WebClient allows you to monitor AudioTools Server processes via the network. It is possible to check logs, results, and progress from any machine or mobile device with access to the network of AudioTools Server.

AudioTools Connector for Telestream Vantage

The AudioTools Connector for Telestream Vantage allows you to configure, control and launch AudioTools processing directly from your Vantage workflows. AudioTools workflow parameters can be exposed for editing from directly inside the Vantage AudioTools plug-in. AudioTools input parameters can be bound to Vantage variables for dynamic control by the wider Vantage workflow, and AudioTools output parameters can in turn be configured to generate their own variables giving you full bi-directional control.

Integration

AudioTools Server supports manual job submission, hot folders, and a full web services API, guaranteeing that it fits into any environment, on any integration level.

Integration Partners

Arvato, Aspera, Aveco, AVID, Cinnafilm, Dalet, Dolby, Evertz, Geminisoft, Harmonic, IBM, Kantar Media/Civolution, Root 6, Sony, Tedial, Telestream, Vector 3, VIZRT, and others

AudioTools Server System Requirements

The overall performance of an AudioTools Server processing node* depends upon a number of factors. Some processes are dependent upon CPU resources, and some are dependent upon network/storage speed. As a general rule, the factors that influence the performance in the order of importance are: first, network storage speed; second, local storage speed; and third, CPU clock speed. See below for details.

Server Hardware

Current HP DL 380, Dell Poweredge, Supermicro, or equivalent server

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Server 2012 or Server 2016 (Standard or Enterprise) recommended, Windows 7 (64 or 32 bit) is also supported. Virtualization is supported, see “USB License Dongle”.

USB License Dongle

Each stand-alone AudioTools Server system, or node that is not connected to a license server, requires a physical CodeMeter USB dongle for the licenses. If running AudioTools Server in a virtual machine, the USB dongle must be available to the virtual machine at all times, either by using a suitable USB-to-Ethernet device server, or by features of the virtualization software.

CPU

Dual 6-core Xeon or more. As a rule of thumb, the maximum number of concurrent processes that a processing node can run is roughly equal to the number of available CPU cores. This number is typically around 10 per Audio- Tools Server node, limited by licenses and/or combined hardware restrictions. The performance of processes that are mainly CPU-based, like loudness measurement, depend on the CPU clock speed, so the faster, the better.

Memory

24GB or more, 32GB recommended when processing large QuickTime files

Network Storage

When processing media files (especially MXF) on shared storage, like Isilon or MediaGrid, AudioTools Server requires a broadband connection to that storage, ideally 10GbE. If the shared storage is a SAN, AudioTools Server requires its own fibre connection to that SAN. In cases where a high-speed connection to fast shared storage is not available, copying the source media files to the AudioTools Server node and processing them locally should be considered. See “Local Storage”.

Local Storage

During processing, AudioTools Server creates and processes temporary files, like audio files that it has extracted from an MXF or QuickTime container. In most cases, it is recommended to process those temporary files on a local volume, rather than on the network storage, to reduce network traffic. This local volume should be a hardware controlled RAID 0, consisting of 4 discs or more, or alternatively SSD storage. The total required capacity depends on the amount of files being processed at the same time, the total size of those files, and whether the MXF or QuickTime source files are local or not.

* AudioTools Server nodes that do not process files, like separate Workflow Control nodes, or License Server, require only a simple, desktop class computer with a Gigabit Ethernet network interface. A mirrored system drive is highly recommended for those nodes.