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> Loudness Standards
Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 20 2013, 05:33 PM
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The AES announced last week that it is in talks to extend the recent ITU-R/BS1770/1 loudness standards for tv/film/video broadcast to radio. If you mix and/or master audio and it doesn't meet this standard then it may either be:

1/rejected for broadcast.
2/ releveled so that it does.

1/ is self explanatory - if your audio doesn't meet the standard then it may not be broadcast or used within broadcast material. In the case of 2 that means that the perceived volume would be adjusted to meet the requirements and would almost certainly result in much quieter and thinner sounding audio. So you need to ensure that your work complies with the new standards.

All of you who mix and/or master or who have their recorded music mixed or mastered you now should use a intersample true peak meter that conforms with the standard and all the regional variations (i.e. US Calm, EBU R128, ATSC A/85). You also need to set your output threshold on your limiters accordingly and allow for any downstream transcoding.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 20 2013, 09:46 PM
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Hi Tony, thanks for this info. Where are these standards specified? What's the loudness level required?


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Darius Wave
post Aug 20 2013, 11:04 PM
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Very usefull information. Thank You. To be honest I understand what are You writting about but didn't catch the punchline. Those standards are going down or up with the volume? Should we feel good because of no more too compressed music or should we be scared because someone could remove our audio because ou mix and master is not as loud as popular music productions ?


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 21 2013, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Aug 20 2013, 09:46 PM) *
Hi Tony, thanks for this info. Where are these standards specified? What's the loudness level required?


The actual detailed standards are published by the the AES and the various relevant national organisations Gab. Most of it though is technical detail, you can get a more user friendly version here. Also, some broadcast hadware manufacturers like Orban and TC Electronic havepublished some info.

QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Aug 20 2013, 11:04 PM) *
Very usefull information. Thank You. To be honest I understand what are You writting about but didn't catch the punchline. Those standards are going down or up with the volume? Should we feel good because of no more too compressed music or should we be scared because someone could remove our audio because ou mix and master is not as loud as popular music productions ?


It's good news Darius as the standard means levels will need to come down and there should also be less compression and far less peak shearing and intersample distortion.

The standard applies right across the board so commercial material will also have to meet it if they want it broadcast. If they don't then their material will also be volume limited aswell.


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Darius Wave
post Aug 21 2013, 03:00 PM
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Than that's a really good news smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 21 2013, 06:31 PM
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Hopefully Darius smile.gif . It looks like the end of the 'loudness wars' is in sight and dynamic music won cool.gif .

Here's the EBU R128 recommendation and an article on it here.

Here's the technical brief on the ITU-R BS1770/1771 with a summary that describes the algorthim and why a true peak meter is needed etc.


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Mertay
post Aug 21 2013, 09:09 PM
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Actually this has not much to do with audio mastering, all broadcast from radio or tv is already squashed before going on air by station. They have a separate machine (auto-leveler sort of unit, forgot the name but its mentioned at Bob Katz book) for this, it also extra squashed commercials as many of you notice when the increased level when watching TV.

Meeting such criteria is actually the broadcasters responsibility not yours. Preparing for CD and broadcast are different things.

So this is actually a good thing; If you squash the song too much, it will sound even worse on TV smile.gif the more you keep things natural sound (not low level though, I mean less compressed) the better it will be heard on TV or radio since it will be squashed anyway wink.gif

They do such standarts cause the competition is very wild out there and music quality suffers, they're trying to change the nature as it will be squashed anyway...might as well make it suffer less...

This post has been edited by Mertay: Aug 21 2013, 09:10 PM


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Darius Wave
post Aug 22 2013, 08:46 AM
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When I was doing my first radio productions I went to the radio to listen how this will sound "on air". Then I was smashed and dissappointed. Next time I thought that if there is an advanced multiband compression directly from the transmiter then it should be better to give them...the mix, NOT the mastered version...but it sucked too because of the volume differences ...so...I had to accept it sad.gif The only thing I could do was to "draw" the volume of silent parts to make it eqaul with the loudest...and then those loud ones stopped to give the "pomped out" feeling.



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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 28 2013, 06:24 PM
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http://www.digido.com/forum/announcement/id-6.html

Hi Darius,
A little late (been busy) but if it helps...

... many radio stations sit an Orban Optimod (which is what Bob talks about if I remember the book correctly although the Beeb now use Innovonics) or similar multiband multifunctional processor between source and transmission to achieve a consistent broadcast loudness and make maximum use of the transmission signal and achieve an inhouse type of 'sound'.The opti is a multiprocessor that includes an AGC mbc, phase rotators, limiters, stereo width, clippers etc. BBC R4 uses very different settings to BBC R1 as the former is more focused on speech and aims at a veryopen and natural sound. BBC R3 uses different settings across the day, nightime is more natural than drivetime. If material is too loud the Opti will pull it back and this can result in it sounding thin and weak and quiet compared to other audio which they broadcast that has more conservative levels. Take a look here. Some stations run material through more than one optimod, or a single optimod several times, and you then tend to get a kind of additive affect of the processing. In many stations the optimod is set up by the head engineer and the other broadcast engineers are not allowed to adjust it regardless of difference in audio material: I've known engineers to be disciplined by station management for adjusting them.

It's possible that in your case that the optimod's (or whatever they were using) A&R times and the normalisation were set in a particular way so that it just didn't work with your material. It's also possible that they digitised and transcoded your material for them to host on the playout computer and this often means that your material will be compressed, or multiply compressed, and may result in ISO issues. A lot of digital radio broadcast at 128 bit rate or lower and that also will have a big, negative impact on your audio.

FWIW I worked in radio broadcast, including the BBC, for quite a few years and have trained quite a few broadcast engineers and station managers. I also co-wrote a book on it.

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Oct 28 2013, 06:28 PM


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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