Updates on broadcasting loudness standards, March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
  #1
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Updates on broadcasting loudness standards, March 2013

Hi everyone,

I want to do a good update to the 'mixing levels' sticky here, so I'd like to hear from the guys outside of the US - have your countries brought loudness to order? Did it happen through laws or was it imposed by the broadcasters which are members of EBU themselves?

As for the US - do you have wildly different specs from network to network, or are they more or less on the same page now? - ie, can you make a mix that will pass all or at least most of them?

Looks like this info from January 2013 answers my question as far as Europe goes:
Adoption of the Loudness Recommendation has been spreading throughout Europe, with R 128 now applied in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Spanish Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Belgium and, on DAB radio, Norway.
(The quote is from this article: Loudness lift-off for Flemish broadcasters)

How about the rest of the EBU countries and the rest of the world? Here in Serbia, even though our national broadcasting service is a member of the EBU, we still only measure peak, and not even all broadcasters are unified at that. Some ask for -6dBFS, most of them for -9dBFS, and some of them don't have a clue about what you're asking....

What's going on in South America, Russia, UK, Asia, Middle East, Australia, NZ? Africa anyone?

Thanks!
Old 17th March 2013
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danijel View Post
Here in Serbia, even though our national broadcasting service is a member of the EBU, we still only measure peak, and not even all broadcasters are unified at that. Some ask for -6dBFS, most of them for -9dBFS, and some of them don't have a clue about what you're asking....
Same here in Bulgaria(we are neighbours). Two televisions: -9dBFS, three: -10dBFS, one -6dBFS and our national: -12dBFS If your material is not in these "comprehensive" specs - not a problem - there's no QC, or someone who is quality control don't know what is -9dBFS for exampe The quality is from bad to worse!

Offtopic

Almost everything passes, which is awful for the final consumer and also for bigger studios, which gives good sounding products, but nobody cares - across the street also mix shows in the garage - the client will go there. The quality is poor, but is cheaper. Till there's no standarts here and nobody respects them we'll be in this situation. Sorry for the offtopic!
Old 18th March 2013
  #3
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Channel Levels are all over the place here in the UK, most are still asking for PPM6. Some have adopted R128, Sky for example, and others are just plain confused.

I delivered an ad to an Irish channel two weeks ago that had compromised and asked me to deliver at -21LUFS and PPM6 go figure!

I am hoping all will adopt as I enjoy mixing to R128 and life would be simpler!
Old 18th March 2013
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Have Sky changed their dialnorm, our do R128 and their old dialnorm go together?
Old 18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion73 View Post
Channel Levels are all over the place here in the UK, most are still asking for PPM6. Some have adopted R128, Sky for example, and others are just plain confused.

I delivered an ad to an Irish channel two weeks ago that had compromised and asked me to deliver at -21LUFS and PPM6 go figure!

I am hoping all will adopt as I enjoy mixing to R128 and life would be simpler!
Yeah the major channels have gotten a bit confused. They've kept their old spec but just added a line about r.128 . So still all the info about 6ppm max and dials at around 4ppm, and +8db of ref tone max. When you phone them up they say oh no, dialogue peaking about 6.5 now for the r.128???? I've just gotten the persons name and then written on the rec rep about our convo for safety.
Old 18th March 2013
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In NZ, commercials are controlled at -24LKFS and-9dbfs TP for SD, and -2dbfs for HD. It's policed by the digital delivery services, one of them having a wiggle room of a db on the loudness.
Funnily, for long form there's the old -10dbfs requirement and no loudness requirement just yet. But the unwritten law is that you mix to -24.
Old 18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrequency View Post
Yeah the major channels have gotten a bit confused. They've kept their old spec but just added a line about r.128 . So still all the info about 6ppm max and dials at around 4ppm, and +8db of ref tone max. When you phone them up they say oh no, dialogue peaking about 6.5 now for the r.128???? I've just gotten the persons name and then written on the rec rep about our convo for safety.
Yep my experience exactly!

Good call to get the name of whomever is pushing the specs will be doing that from now on!
Old 18th March 2013
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Let's hope this thread will be a funny read 5-10 years down the road
Old 18th March 2013
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Originally Posted by danijel View Post
Let's hope this thread will be a funny read 5-10 years down the road
I'm hoping 6 months. I'm going to get a grey hair if it continues like this
Old 19th March 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
Have Sky changed their dialnorm, our do R128 and their old dialnorm go together?
Ha seems not only the channels are confused but the post houses too!

After saying Sky have changed errrrr....... it seems not, we have just started production meetings on a project for delivery later in the year and the client asked for it to be r128 compliant for delivery to SKY.

However having checked their specs the most recent documentation I can find is from 2011 and states the usual PPM6 peak and PPM 3½ & 5 dialogue.

So I will be digging around and keep you posted.
Old 19th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion73 View Post
Ha seems not only the channels are confused but the post houses too!

After saying Sky have changed errrrr....... it seems not, we have just started production meetings on a project for delivery later in the year and the client asked for it to be r128 compliant for delivery to SKY.

However having checked their specs the most recent documentation I can find is from 2011 and states the usual PPM6 peak and PPM 3½ & 5 dialogue.

So I will be digging around and keep you posted.
Hey, Sky have been R.128 for a while now, in fact the first UK adopters. The mixes have to be supplied in surround, dolby E encoded, but also Dolby E mix minus, sync/dial, music, effects, and then Stereo VO on 11/12 and Stereo foldown on 1/2.
The weird catch was in the past that the foldown couldn't go over 6ppm and no limiting, so everyone just did a -4db gain adjustment to make it work (which i monitored whilst mixing the surround. i guess this meant that the stereo mix wasn't considered R.128.
I haven't worked on one since everyone else went R.128, so not sure how they consider the stereo fold down at the minute.
Old 19th March 2013
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But Sky have specific Metadata, and hitting the right dialnorm is important so the awful dolby compressor doesn't kick in at home.
I'm curious how R128 fits into this.
Old 19th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
But Sky have specific Metadata, and hitting the right dialnorm is important so the awful dolby compressor doesn't kick in at home.
I'm curious how R128 fits into this.
The mix must sit at -23 (+/- 2). The dialnorm metadata you insert must be -23 without fail, even if your mix hits -25. They used to accept you typing in your dialnorm for the metadata, but they all of a sudden changed their minds over that without warning and not changing their spec. I've had conversations with them about it.... imagine a 4db swing within shows. Apparently their own mixers aired concerns over the issue too, although I haven't spoken to any of them personally. Perhaps one of them is on here to chime in!!!?
Maybe I'm missing something, but I've spoken to Sky probably the most out of any channel in order to ensure that mixes satisfy their spec.

I do personally find shows on Sky way more compressed sounding that other channels!
Old 19th March 2013
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But dialnorm and LUFS isn't the same, is it?
I get different readings.
Old 19th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
But dialnorm and LUFS isn't the same, is it?
I get different readings.
Well no, but that's how they want it, go figure.... I always measure my infinite dialogue at the same time and do a dial premix to hit the mark though! There is no mention of dialnorm level in the spec, just r.128
Old 19th March 2013
  #16
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A link to an old thread when Sky first went R.128. it seems everyone may still be as confused

Dial norm QC fail?
Old 19th March 2013
  #17
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In France, the specs are "normalized" by the CST and I think a legal text (decree ?) might even exist.
max Lufs -23 +/- 1 db on programs longer than 2min when using long term measuring method.
On a short term basis, tolerance is +/- 7 Lu around -23 Lufs
max true peak -3dBfs (althought I think Ebu is expecting -1)
max LRA <= 20 dB
Technically you're advised to use an ITU-R BS.1770-2 compatible metering system.
Most of the TV channels are expecting your mix to fit with those requirement. But of course, they don't limit their comments to those technical specs and sometime you get your work sent back to you for QC adjustments, more or less regarding artistic matters... Sometimes ego roam around even in this job.
Old 19th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
But dialnorm and LUFS isn't the same, is it?
I get different readings.
You're absolutely right, it's not the same. They are both weighted scales but with different references. From what I understand, dialnorm is based on LeqA scale (used in LM100 for dialog level dolby E) while Lufs is based on a modified B scale (became Lkfs then Lufs).
Old 19th March 2013
  #19
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I Poland we are R128 compatible for about a year. That's how I do all my mixes except Disney XD (they still use PAL specification). I enjoy r128 very much and are still surprised when I see a mix of a commercial squashed as they always were, but normalized to -15 dBFS to mach new loudness requirements. They must love that "let your ears bleed!" sound.
Old 20th March 2013
  #20
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Whats the standard for South America? Cant find any info anywhere? Or would it be Country and the broadcaster specific?
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