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New Loudness Standards

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piccadillyCircus
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 4:16AM
Hey folks
last night I found an interesting article that should interest and affect everyone of us, it's about a new standard in loudness measurement, and there's this free plugin on the Steinberg site:
Free Loudness Measurement Plugin by Steinberg

as far as I understand, it seems that they're trying to indroduce a new standard to stop the loudness war...quoting:
In the last decades, the loudness level of TV and radio commercials has seen a dramatic increase — a phenomenon that is often referred to as loudness war. In order to harmonize audio levels, the European Broadcast Union (EBU) has introduced the R 128 recommendation, a loudness measurement approach based on the new Loudness Unit Full Scale (LUFS). As of August 31, 2012, many broadcasters will only accept EBU R 128-compliant audio signals.

here's a link to EBU full of downloadable tech specifics pdf's for the geekest ones: EBU | Loudness

I hope this can be useful for you good people out there!
Btw, I was wondering how strongly this could affect the audio production world, and if iStockaudio will somehow be involved in it, eg measuring perceived loudness in the inspection process...and old files?? Oh, too many questions...
softpiano
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 6:03AM
Hmz.. Nice catch piccy! I can give my +1 for making mixes more dynamic... And i actually like the idea.. Just.... Is that some kind of new metering system or what?? Can't get yet..
piccadillyCircus
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 12,500 - 99,999 Audio downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Mon May 28, 2012 6:26AM
As far as I understood it seems like a new metering system based on calculating the average loudness by doing an average between peaks on longer time units...to avoid people overcompressing mixes and get too much of 0dB peaks in a row...
and Steinberg was soo kind to share this metering plugin which should help keep our mixes under control...pity it's supported only by their latest Cubase 6.5 & Nuendo 5...i got still previous releases...

(Edited on 2012-05-28 06:38:04 by piccadillyCircus)
bononiasound
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 7:29AM
Hi guys, think this is an interisting matter. As far as I know there has always been a way to check the average RMS loudness for a track in Cubase, and I think it's pretty common in all the other DAWs. For cubase just select your master track and go to Audio > Statistics, and you'll find a lot of interisting infos. +1 for more dynamic mixes here too!
softpiano
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 7:51AM
As far as i understand this is some kind of different calculations than just RMS volume.. I always watch at Avarage (RMS) volume and max RMS power level.. But in this case i asume it's some kind of different view of loudness....
piccadillyCircus
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 7:54AM

Posted By bononiasound:
... For cubase just select your master track and go to Audio > Statistics, and you'll find a lot of interisting infos

cool, I didnt know...thanks for sharing this tip
thefurnaceroom
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 1,250 - 4,999 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Mon May 28, 2012 8:20AM
thanks, this is helpful for sure.  the physcology of loudness is interesting, when you listen to a very loud track and then go to one that is a quieter mix, it makes you think the second one is mixed too thin, rather than maybe the other mixed too hot.  very interesting!  Life will be better though, when those commercials aren't twice as loud as the show you are watching, eh?  :  
softpiano
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 8:21AM
piccadilly.. when i make something for radio, they ask me to make -12dB RMS volume.. so in this way i know that this is prety loud and i never make such mixes But anyway... Sometimes -12dB can sound different.. Louder or silencer.. So i always check maximum RMS power.. In my case i make about -7db max RMS power and about -14 to -15db Avarage (RMS) volume.. Such volume fits my needs... In Your way, rock music might be louder...
mitja2
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 12:06PM

It will take quite some time for this to become standard. There are some plugins that have LUFS integrated in their mettering now (nugen, izotope), but we'll have to wait for the BIG ONES (radioplay hits) to go with this standard. Then we can follow.....


Also... there is very little information about recomendation for each genre, which we have right now for dynamic RMS.


Let's wait and see.....

(Edited on 2012-05-28 12:29:13 by mitja2)
AudioGate
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 8:21PM
The 'loudness wars' won't take long to change in music that is artistically driven; already popular music is moving away from this fatiguing technique and you can hear it in many upcoming artists' productions even in some electronic music. Personally I have started listening to more acoustic based music simply because there is a heck of a lot more to enjoy in the mixing and mastering as there doesn't seem to be this same competition. And it is soothing to the ears and head and useful not to have to keep fiddling with the volume controls because my ears are fatiguing. As for making music ... there is a point to creating a 'wall of noise' if you want to say something artistically or because it is part of a genre, but if the technique is just to strip the dynamic range for the purpose of keeping up with the Jones's then that's a bloody awful way to go musically. I always recommend to never follow the crowd

Thanks for this link Picc it makes for very interesting reading!
FxProSound
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012 11:40PM
Thank you Z! I hope that soon clients won't make me angry with forcing me to gain Metallica loudness level
softpiano
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Posted Tue May 29, 2012 12:23AM
Unfortunatelly, Metallica is not as loud as Justin Beaber
AudioGate
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Posted Tue May 29, 2012 2:08AM

Posted By softpiano:
Unfortunatelly, Metallica is not as loud as Justin Beaber :D:D


very true!
rohtarin
Member is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloads
Posted Wed May 30, 2012 9:55PM
I would think that this would have a minimal effect on any music used as back ground music because it is generally mixed in well below the "sales pitch" in any commercial, with the possible exception of an intro or tag (see the donut model for 30 second commercial music).  Anyway, that's my two cents.  
ManOfColours
Member is a Silver contributor and has 1,250 - 4,999 Audio downloads
Posted Thu May 31, 2012 12:55AM
Speaking about loudness war - take look at Dynamic Range Database. You can also find there free tool to check dynamic range of mp3/wav files - very usefull thing.
thepugnatious
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Posted Thu May 31, 2012 6:50PM

While the loudness debate is indeed very interesting, or boring (depends on your view) it should have little to no effect on our sales & policies. This new standard is a measure of average loudness over the entire length of the audio source. If the signal is not within the specified guidelines then the broadcast material would be rejected. 


We have always rejected material that is overly compressed or overly low in average volume. These new policies are more for the final mix-down and broadcast use. All of our tracks would fit within the desired range, unless the broadcaster adds in additional dynamic processing.
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