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Query on Loudness Specs
Old 7th May 2019
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Query on Loudness Specs

Hey guys,

So I'm currently mixing a drama series which is being released on a streaming platform for now. The production house I'm working with mostly does TV shows/web series for a major broadcasting company in my region.

I mostly work with music mixing and mastering, but I am familiar with broadcast standards. I was a bit confused with the level specs given to me,

Average Loudness -24LKFS +/- 1dB
Max Peak to be less than -10dBFS
True Peak -2dBFS
Short term loudness must not rise more than 4 above (<20LKFS) or 4 below (>28LKFS) the average loudness.


Now, I'm familiar with the -2dBTP and -24LKFS standard and seems like it's used by most streaming platforms these days.

a) So, what is the Max Peak vs True Peak here? Upon delivery, I had to resubmit stating that my peaks were hitting -3dBFS and they need to be at -10dBFS Max.

b) I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to limit short term loudness between -20LKFS and -28LKFS. Nugen and RX show my delivery to be around -18LKFS with average loudness at -24LKFS and true peak at -10dBTP.

c) On my last delivery, the video editor tells me that the dialogues are not hitting -10dBFS consistently and the recommended standard is dialogues must always be at -10dBFS and music at -16dbFS. Forget getting dialogues to consistently sit at -10dBFS without killing dynamics, music at -16dBFS sounds way too loud to me.

I was mostly mixing at -24LKFS and using short term loudness and listening by ear to get the dialogue levels and the balance against the music to maintain clarity. I'm dealing with location sound no dubbed audio, so sometimes it's difficult to get dialogues in place due to the noise floor.

Any tips on what I'm doing wrong here? Are these specs given to me correct?

Any help is appreciated. Thank you!
Old 7th May 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Those are restrictive specs. Usually, we have short term max -20 for commercials, not for drama. It’s basically another way of restricting LRA. For drama it seems like a severe creative restriction IMO. That being said, it should be easily achievable if you compress your mix a bit more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oop View Post
Hey guys,

So I'm currently mixing a drama series which is being released on a streaming platform for now. The production house I'm working with mostly does TV shows/web series for a major broadcasting company in my region.

I mostly work with music mixing and mastering, but I am familiar with broadcast standards. I was a bit confused with the level specs given to me,

Average Loudness -24LKFS +/- 1dB
Max Peak to be less than -10dBFS
True Peak -2dBFS
Short term loudness must not rise more than 4 above (<20LKFS) or 4 below (>28LKFS) the average loudness.


Now, I'm familiar with the -2dBTP and -24LKFS standard and seems like it's used by most streaming platforms these days.

a) So, what is the Max Peak vs True Peak here? Upon delivery, I had to resubmit stating that my peaks were hitting -3dBFS and they need to be at -10dBFS Max.

b) I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to limit short term loudness between -20LKFS and -28LKFS. Nugen and RX show my delivery to be around -18LKFS with average loudness at -24LKFS and true peak at -10dBTP.

c) On my last delivery, the video editor tells me that the dialogues are not hitting -10dBFS consistently and the recommended standard is dialogues must always be at -10dBFS and music at -16dbFS. Forget getting dialogues to consistently sit at -10dBFS without killing dynamics, music at -16dBFS sounds way too loud to me.

I was mostly mixing at -24LKFS and using short term loudness and listening by ear to get the dialogue levels and the balance against the music to maintain clarity. I'm dealing with location sound no dubbed audio, so sometimes it's difficult to get dialogues in place due to the noise floor.

Any tips on what I'm doing wrong here? Are these specs given to me correct?

Any help is appreciated. Thank you!
Old 7th May 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Oh, and this is complete BS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oop View Post
c) On my last delivery, the video editor tells me that the dialogues are not hitting -10dBFS consistently and the recommended standard is dialogues must always be at -10dBFS and music at -16dbFS.
Old 7th May 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
gsilbers's Avatar
 

to me sounds like they gave you specs for broadcast but for web they might need something else? and that something else is mostly word of mouth as to how it has worked for them in the past? it happens more than you'd think.
not many video editors are aware of loudness standards, its not a simple thing for them to understand. OR they care about.
i would say, save the mix and stems with the broadcast standard and then do a mix for the video editor with that odd -10db thing he is asking.
once its uploaded to the web, check out what happens. im guessing the streaming platform will automatically reduce it. but who knows.
video editors are very close to the prodcution and directors so dont sweat it or fight it. just do that wierd mix, keep emails handy for proof, and submit how he is asking.
say something to the director/producers in a nice way in person explaining and hopefully itll all be good.
Old 7th May 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, writing both "peak" and "true peak" yet using different values is just confusing. Not sure why they do that.
Old 7th May 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oop View Post

c) On my last delivery, the video editor tells me that the dialogues are not hitting -10dBFS consistently and the recommended standard is dialogues must always be at -10dBFS and music at -16dbFS. Forget getting dialogues to consistently sit at -10dBFS without killing dynamics, music at -16dBFS sounds way too loud to me.
Ask him exactly what “standard” he’s referring to. Sounds like he doesn’t understand loudness. I’ve had it with editors before.
Old 8th May 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the responses guys! The editor works for the production house which works for the network. The previous sound guy was replaced because he apparently complained too much. I can now see why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManuG View Post
Oh, and this is complete BS.
Yep, don't even know what to say to this. He insists on using peak metering for checking level balance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
once its uploaded to the web, check out what happens. im guessing the streaming platform will automatically reduce it. but who knows.
video editors are very close to the prodcution and directors so dont sweat it or fight it. just do that wierd mix, keep emails handy for proof, and submit how he is asking.
say something to the director/producers in a nice way in person explaining and hopefully itll all be good.
Some of those specs are given by the network. Producer won't listen as he works for them. Only option is to mention it to the director who recommended me for the job.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Yeah, writing both "peak" and "true peak" yet using different values is just confusing. Not sure why they do that.
Yeah, I spent half a day arguing about the true peak level which was given. But, I get the episode back if peaks cross -10dBFS(not from the network). The editor checks and asks me to redo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_lowe View Post
Ask him exactly what “standard” he’s referring to. Sounds like he doesn’t understand loudness. I’ve had it with editors before.
He claims this was given by the network. So he checks files using a dBFS scale and using peak metering, dialogues should always be between -9dB to -12dB and music at -15dB to -16dB. I find this very odd and I used some of their other shows to prove that this wasn't true. He refuses to agree.
Old 8th May 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oop View Post
Thanks for the responses guys! The editor works for the production house which works for the network. The previous sound guy was replaced because he apparently complained too much. I can now see why.


Yep, don't even know what to say to this. He insists on using peak metering for checking level balance.



Some of those specs are given by the network. Producer won't listen as he works for them. Only option is to mention it to the director who recommended me for the job.



Yeah, I spent half a day arguing about the true peak level which was given. But, I get the episode back if peaks cross -10dBFS(not from the network). The editor checks and asks me to redo.


He claims this was given by the network. So he checks files using a dBFS scale and using peak metering, dialogues should always be between -9dB to -12dB and music at -15dB to -16dB. I find this very odd and I used some of their other shows to prove that this wasn't true. He refuses to agree.
Give him my email address, I’ll tell him he’s a ****ing idiot for you! The network gave you an LKFS spec as you mentioned it above I’m guessing. Sounds like he can’t figure out there’s a difference.

Dialogue can’t be at -9 dBFS because it’d be over their -10 maximum!
Old 8th May 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_lowe View Post
Give him my email address, I’ll tell him he’s a ****ing idiot for you! The network gave you an LKFS spec as you mentioned it above I’m guessing. Sounds like he can’t figure out there’s a difference.

Dialogue can’t be at -9 dBFS because it’d be over their -10 maximum!
Apparently, since the other specs have +\- 1dB, -9dBFS is allowed.

I’m thinking, after I’m done with the series I sit and try explaining some of this to the production house.
Old 11th May 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Mundox's Avatar
Send the editor here and we'll tear him to bits.
Old 13th May 2019
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Hi Oop!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oop View Post
Hey guys,

Average Loudness -24LKFS +/- 1dB
Max Peak to be less than -10dBFS
True Peak -2dBFS
Short term loudness must not rise more than 4 above (<20LKFS) or 4 below (>28LKFS) the average loudness.
From what I could figure out, it's a non-sense mashup of newer delivery specs, with old Analog TV standards (-10 dBFs).

From time to time I still receive this type of requests.
The mix has to comply with loudness specs (-23 LUFS in South America), but still be backwards compatible, so we slap an L1 at -10 dbFS.

They also ask for dialogue to peak between -30 dB and -20 dB RMS.
(Somewhat similar to what they are asking you)

IMHO, a complete mess.
But doable.

Just mix to hit -24 LKFS using your ears. Compress a bit more than you would normally do, and limit at -10 dB FS.

My 2 cents.
Cheers!
Marc
Old 14th May 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
gsilbers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spacefolder View Post
Hi Oop!




From what I could figure out, it's a non-sense mashup of newer delivery specs, with old Analog TV standards (-10 dBFs).

From time to time I still receive this type of requests.
The mix has to comply with loudness specs (-23 LUFS in South America), but still be backwards compatible, so we slap an L1 at -10 dbFS.

They also ask for dialogue to peak between -30 dB and -20 dB RMS.
(Somewhat similar to what they are asking you)

IMHO, a complete mess.
But doable.

Just mix to hit -24 LKFS using your ears. Compress a bit more than you would normally do, and limit at -10 dB FS.

My 2 cents.
Cheers!
Marc

lol. i was thinking the same thing. that -10 was suspiciously familiar.
Old 14th May 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 
gsilbers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oop View Post

I’m thinking, after I’m done with the series I sit and try explaining some of this to the production house.

you would think that would work...

but its like going to a daycare and telling the director , who also has a kid there that he doesnt know how to parent.
no, its not the same... but ego-wise its very similar.
so try and think of the long term goal, which im guessing is keep getting gigs.

its better to go there and talk to them/him and try to work together rather than "being right" and explaining "whats right". you migth learn also some random stuff like what marc said, or some sort of work around for some issue they had so thats how they work. or whatever... the point is that you dont know and they dont know.
Old 14th May 2019
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
its better to go there and talk to them/him and try to work together rather than "being right" and explaining "whats right".
+1
Topic:
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