The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
PBS Mix level ?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 
oldsoulsound's Avatar
PBS Mix level ?

I have read the amazing sticky on levels for various formats and downloaded the 2010 PBS white paper. My question is regarding RMS and Peak levels. According to the white paper its states Loudness Target at -26 - -22dbfs. Average dialog and program level -24 LKFS +/-2db. Peaks limit of -4dbfs for dramatic impact. I am using the Blue Cat Digital Peak Meter Pro 3 and getting an RMS AVG of -32db and a Max of -22db. Peak levels are max -4.4 and avg -30.7. I was told my mix seems hot compared to past mixes received. Now I know this is being judged in the edit room with FCP meters. Am I off here?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoulsound View Post
I have read the amazing sticky on levels for various formats and downloaded the 2010 PBS white paper. My question is regarding RMS and Peak levels. According to the white paper its states Loudness Target at -26 - -22dbfs. Average dialog and program level -24 LKFS +/-2db. Peaks limit of -4dbfs for dramatic impact. I am using the Blue Cat Digital Peak Meter Pro 3 and getting an RMS AVG of -32db and a Max of -22db. Peak levels are max -4.4 and avg -30.7. I was told my mix seems hot compared to past mixes received. Now I know this is being judged in the edit room with FCP meters. Am I off here?
I apologize if you know this already, but if you are mixing for PBS you might might want to consider getting a hold of a metering system (software or hardware) meant for broadcast levels rather than music. You need something that will show you both long and short term LUFS readings, as well as peak. I say this because that is what PBS Tech Eval will be looking at when they check your mix, and they have the final say as to whether your mix goes to air or back to you for a fix. How your mix "reads" in FCP is germane if the editor is experienced and knows how PBS-legal mixes read on his or her system--if this is the case then you might want to make some adjustments--but that is not a real Tech Eval (that comes later). PBS likes to see the long-term LUFS reading right at -24, plus or minus 2 at most. Dolby and NuGen make good products for this use.

phil p
Old 3rd September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
minister's Avatar
If you are charging a fee to work on something that has a spec, I suggest you get a meter that will tell if you are meeting that spec. You need a LKFS (LUFS) ATSC A/85 compliant meter.

The one by Nugen is quite affordable.
Old 18th November 2011
  #4
Here for the gear
 

the specs stipulate that music and effects peaks can go up to -3 for dramatic impact. is this fine for dialogue as well? i am mixing to -24 lkfs and want to leave it uncompressed because there is a fair amount of background noise i'd rather not bring up in the mix. so i'm getting some transient peaks around -5, i assume this is ok? thanks!
Old 18th November 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sounddog86 View Post
the specs stipulate that music and effects peaks can go up to -3 for dramatic impact. is this fine for dialogue as well? i am mixing to -24 lkfs and want to leave it uncompressed because there is a fair amount of background noise i'd rather not bring up in the mix. so i'm getting some transient peaks around -5, i assume this is ok? thanks!

If your dialog is going up to -3 then you may have trouble getting to a long-term LUFS of -24. A fair amount of compression in dialog is kind of expected in broadcast so that viewers will not have to adjust their TV volume to keep the dialog level at an even intelligible level when listening at normal "home" volume. The whole reason for the dialog measurement/dialnorm etc business was (they say) complaints from viewers about this very thing.

phil p
Old 18th November 2011
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Hi Phil, thanks for your reply, the dial is definitely hitting -24 as measured by the Dolby media meter... Mostly it is peaking around -10 to -12 db but it goes over -10 a few times. I saw a post from a couple years ago that said dial shouldn't peak over -10.... Specs seemed to have changed since then but I am just nervous and don't want my mix kicked back.
Old 19th November 2011
  #7
I'm confused Is somebody else posting on the OP's behalf?
Old 19th November 2011
  #8
Aside from needing proper meters to make sure, it sounds like you are fine as far as levels are concerned. I wouldn't take into account someone telling me that the mix "seems hot" in their FCP room. If the MIX is approved and passes QC, it is in spec.

We do a lot of work for PBS and their QC is no joke. Follow the spec to the letter. If you are unsure, ask them to provide you a copy of the latest tech guidelines.
Old 19th November 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank S. View Post
Aside from needing proper meters to make sure, it sounds like you are fine as far as levels are concerned. I wouldn't take into account someone telling me that the mix "seems hot" in their FCP room. If the MIX is approved and passes QC, it is in spec.
.
Absolutely agree.
I don't care how ht or low someone else's mix is compared to mine.
If it passes QC, it's fine.
As if anything audio in a FCP room is even close to relating to any kind of calibration.
Old 20th November 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank S. View Post
Aside from needing proper meters to make sure, it sounds like you are fine as far as levels are concerned. I wouldn't take into account someone telling me that the mix "seems hot" in their FCP room. If the MIX is approved and passes QC, it is in spec.

We do a lot of work for PBS and their QC is no joke. Follow the spec to the letter. If you are unsure, ask them to provide you a copy of the latest tech guidelines.
I guess I'm not so sure of myself all the time that if someone says something about the mix being too hot I wouldn't double check it in my own room! I'd rather appear cooperative than try to dismiss their concerns out of hand, especially if it turns out I DID make a mistake! Better than finding this out from PBS Tech Eval!

phil p
Old 21st November 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post
If you are charging a fee to work on something that has a spec, I suggest you get a meter that will tell if you are meeting that spec. You need a LKFS (LUFS) ATSC A/85 compliant meter.

The one by Nugen is quite affordable.
Doing primarily commercials, I've never had to be concerned with network specs. But lo and behold, as of this morning it looks like I'll be mixing a PBS doc. Would the Nugen meter be sufficient for meeting any and all network demands?
Old 21st November 2011
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanmccoy View Post
Doing primarily commercials, I've never had to be concerned with network specs. But lo and behold, as of this morning it looks like I'll be mixing a PBS doc. Would the Nugen meter be sufficient for meeting any and all network demands?
I haven't used the nugen meter personally, but from it's product description, it seems like it would do exactly what you need. On the other hand, the dolby media meter is only a few hundred more, and as of December 15th, the Calm Act takes effect and all of your commercial mixes will have to comply with the -24 lkfs specs as well.
Old 21st November 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sounddog86 View Post
I haven't used the nugen meter personally, but from it's product description, it seems like it would do exactly what you need. On the other hand, the dolby media meter is only a few hundred more, and as of December 15th, the Calm Act takes effect and all of your commercial mixes will have to comply with the -24 lkfs specs as well.
Oh, yeah, THAT. What advantage might the Dolby version offer?
Old 21st November 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Sonsey@mac.com's Avatar
 

I have both the Nugen and the DMM, and found that the two agreed within .5db when both set to the same LKFS metering, Dialog Intelligence off on the DMM. (The .5 may be due to the fact that the Nugen does decimals and the DMM does not). I've sent a whole set of shows out using the Nugen and haven't had a rejection yet (including PBS). Plus the Nugen isn't a resource hog like the DMM is.

Of course if you end up delivering to a client that still USES Dialog Intelligence in their metering or LEQ(A), then you'll want the DMM or an LM100.
Old 21st November 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I have both the Nugen and the DMM, and found that the two agreed within .5db when both set to the same LKFS metering, Dialog Intelligence off on the DMM. (The .5 may be due to the fact that the Nugen does decimals and the DMM does not). I've sent a whole set of shows out using the Nugen and haven't had a rejection yet (including PBS). Plus the Nugen isn't a resource hog like the DMM is.

Of course if you end up delivering to a client that still USES Dialog Intelligence in their metering or LEQ(A), then you'll want the DMM or an LM100.
Thanks, Howard, excellent info. One more question: when these meters are monitoring a 5.1 output, are the long-term level readouts averaging the sums of all six outputs? This seems like it would be a pretty complex process, given the range of possible folddown and compression types.
Old 22nd November 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Sonsey@mac.com's Avatar
 

The measurement in surround is based on the summing specified in either the ITU spec or EBU spec depending on the preset you use. You can see the actual ITU methodology at the link. Dolby uses proprietary methodology in it's "Dialog Intelligence" mode to determine what is and isn't dialog. Some broadcasters may require that the value be measured specifically across specific channels (often the center).

As far as downmix or compression goes, in the case of the Broadcaster downmix/compression, as long as the value matches what they've specified, they deal with it.

If you're being required to provide downmixes at a specific LKFS value, then you'll have to measure that output on it's own to insure that it meets spec - the plugins don't take care of that. Depending on the downmix algorithms used, the LKFS can change between your 5.1 and your LtRt or LoRo.
Old 22nd November 2011
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
when these meters are monitoring a 5.1 output, are the long-term level readouts averaging the sums of all six outputs?
Not all channels are treated equally, which can be important to know. Rear channels have more influence than front. Each front chanel is taken at unity gain before being measured. Each rear channel is gained up 1.41db before being measured. The gain is only for measurement, not something that comes out of your monitors. So, the same sound panned fully front will measure at a lower loudness than when panned fully rear.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump