How loud can I go? aka What does "+8 on the Type II B EBU scale" mean? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 13th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #1
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How loud can I go? aka What does "+8 on the Type II B EBU scale" mean?

I am delivering a commercial for broadcast, and got this instruction on audio:

Audio Levels Should not peak over +8 on the Type II B EBU scale.

But how loud is that!? I've googled and googled and called people I thought would know, but still haven't got a clue.

I'm working in Final Cut Pro, which has dBFS audio meters, and +8 on that is of course out of the question.

So on the Final Cut dBFS audio meter, how loud can I go?! (I have to go as loud as possible)
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Old May 13th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #2
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The EBU standard is -18dBFS = 0dBU (0.775v RMS, 1kHz sine). Thus your spec to never exceed +8 dB corresponds to a FCP peak-reading meter level of -10dBFS.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 02:58 AM   #3
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Plus 8 is the max level for most broadcast delivery in the UK too, here are some useful comparisons:

Line up tone 1khz sine wave .775v is -18dbfs or 0db or 4ppm or -4dbvu

Max level is -10dbfs or +8db or 6ppm or +4dbvu

As a guide you average programme levels need to be around -12dbfs or +6db or 5ppm or 0vu

I use PPMulator with my pro tools and final cut pro set-up it gives a good EBU and BBC metering guide:Raw Material Software - PPMulator

If its a commercial then I would expect that some compression will be needed you can do this in final cut but some audio post may be required to get the most from the soundtrack. A correctly set-up compressor will allow you to go very loud to the ears but still not exceed the max level for broadcast.

If you can send me an OMF of it I will mix it for you on my pro tools rig to the EBU PPM spec if you wish to help you out if you need to get the results quickly
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Last edited by Gary Nattrass; May 14th, 2009 at 04:01 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #4
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To help you further Christian I posted a clip of the EBU metering scale on you tube for you to see:YouTube - PPMulator metering desktop on pro tools version 8
As you see the music track does not go over +8, there is a compressor stopping this happen and there is around 3-6db of gain reduction.

Note also on the left of the PPM meter the master 1 output meters are dbfs but are not showing a peak of -10dbfs this is because they are before the compressor reducing the gain down, PPM meters show a more accurate output level for broadcast, you may find that the dbfs meters are too sensitive on your final cut set-up to give an accurate safe level for broadcast delivery.

Also not all meters have the same ballistics so be careful when using any meter up to the max levels, it may be ok on one but not on another.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #5
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It's already compressed and all that by the sound guy, I just have to deliver it, and he isn't available to fix things up.

But anyway, I sent them a test file, and they told me it was 1 dB to loud. Does this mean reducing the volume by 1dB in Final Cut Pro will do? The reason I ask is that all these different kinds of dB - dBfs, dBu and so on - kind of confuse me!
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Old May 14th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Loennechen View Post
It's already compressed and all that by the sound guy, I just have to deliver it, and he isn't available to fix things up.

But anyway, I sent them a test file, and they told me it was 1 dB to loud. Does this mean reducing the volume by 1dB in Final Cut Pro will do? The reason I ask is that all these different kinds of dB - dBfs, dBu and so on - kind of confuse me!
If its 1db too loud then reduce it by 2db just to be safe, that should fix it Ok.

Yes reducing the level by 2 db in final cut will be OK, a db is a db as they say and it is just the different meter scaling that is very confusing.

One way to check the levels on your final cut meters is to load a bars and tone clip from the effects library, the tone is set to -12db and you should be able to see this on your fcp meters.

Now +8db is -10dbfs as stated so the tone is therfore 2db too loud, if you click on the tone and set it to -14 that will be the same as +8db on your fcp meters.

Now see how the mixed track you have plays on the same meters and adjust the level in the same way to reduce it to the acceptable level, you said it was 1db too loud so try reducing in by 2db and see that it is peaking to about the same point as the -14db tone that you just played.

Remember also that the 0db line up tone that goes on the commerical you are sending needs to be referenced at -18dbfs on your fcp meters not the -12 default that fcp is set to.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 05:30 AM   #7
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Okay, I figured it out. Big thanks for all the help you guys! This is such a friendly forum. Especially thanks to you, Gary, for offering to mix it for me if I sent it over!
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Old May 16th, 2009, 12:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Christian Loennechen View Post
Okay, I figured it out. Big thanks for all the help you guys! This is such a friendly forum. Especially thanks to you, Gary, for offering to mix it for me if I sent it over!
Its something I am trying to sort out a bit more for video facilities, I did some work for AMS Neve in the 90's when Henninger Video in DC wanted to send audio files across ISDN, with higher speed broadband it should be able to send OMF projects via digidelivery or FTP to anywhere in the world so you can get your mix done if you dont have audio post in house.
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