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Old April 14th, 2013, 08:48 PM   #1
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Audio loudness/normalisation

Hi guys,

Quick question (I hope).

I've just finished producing my first TV commercial. I'm trying to get my head around the broadcaster requirements for audio loudness. The standards I need to adhere to are: loudness must be normalised to -24LKFS, and measurements should be to ITU BS.1770-3 standard.

So, does this mean (using Avid) if I normalise to -24dB I should be safe? Or is it not quite that simple?

Thanks for any info.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 03:29 AM   #2
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
Hi guys,

Quick question (I hope).

I've just finished producing my first TV commercial. I'm trying to get my head around the broadcaster requirements for audio loudness. The standards I need to adhere to are: loudness must be normalised to -24LKFS, and measurements should be to ITU BS.1770-3 standard.

So, does this mean (using Avid) if I normalise to -24dB I should be safe? Or is it not quite that simple?

Thanks for any info.
The International Standard is -23LUFS - the -24dBLKFS is an old standard.

You *have* to have a loudness meter to the new standard to do all this as the standard is averaged over the programme and not instantaneously.

You will need the loudness meter plug-in for the Avid if you have an old version without the Loudness Meter.

A current Loudness Meter will also normally display to LKFS as well as the standard LUFS if you desire the old standard.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 03:39 AM   #3
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

The standard is still -24LKFS here in NZ..

Maybe we're behind the times a bit? This is straight from the technical requirements document from the Commercials Approvals Bureau:

"The audio loudness of a commercial must be normalised to -24LKFS. Measurement should be to ITU BS.1770-3 standard and related documents.".

So, is there any way to tell which standard my version of Avid is using? The basic audio monitoring tool doesn't seem to have a function to record the average loudness, only peak. Honestly, I don't have a lot of experience with audio normalisation, especially for broadcast. So any tips are appreciated.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

Jody, I am in NZ. Where will I see your commercial?
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Old April 15th, 2013, 06:42 PM   #5
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

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Jody, I am in NZ. Where will I see your commercial?
TV One. It's pretty low budget - nothing fancy, but as it's my first one I'm just trying to make sure the audio is within spec.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
The standard is still -24LKFS here in NZ..

Maybe we're behind the times a bit? This is straight from the technical requirements document from the Commercials Approvals Bureau:

"The audio loudness of a commercial must be normalised to -24LKFS. Measurement should be to ITU BS.1770-3 standard and related documents.".

So, is there any way to tell which standard my version of Avid is using? The basic audio monitoring tool doesn't seem to have a function to record the average loudness, only peak. Honestly, I don't have a lot of experience with audio normalisation, especially for broadcast. So any tips are appreciated.
That's interesting. New Zealand has until now been pretty lax on these things. There hasn't really been an average loudness standard like that before. With TVNZ the main thing was to keep the peaks below -9 dBFS, and work to a tone of -18. I suppose it was inevitable that they would find some average loudness standard in keeping with the way it's gone internationally.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
Hi guys,

Quick question (I hope).

I've just finished producing my first TV commercial. I'm trying to get my head around the broadcaster requirements for audio loudness. The standards I need to adhere to are: loudness must be normalised to -24LKFS, and measurements should be to ITU BS.1770-3 standard.

So, does this mean (using Avid) if I normalise to -24dB I should be safe? Or is it not quite that simple?

Thanks for any info.
Don't normalize as in having your peaks at -24...that will be way too quiet. Peaks at -9dBFS. The -24LKFS is an average, not peak level.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

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Don't normalize as in having your peaks at -24...that will be way too quiet. Peaks at -9dBFS. The -24LKFS is an average, not peak level.
Brilliant, thanks for that. -9 for the peaks is what I needed to know - I was just guessing up to this point which was taking a lot of time. Thanks.

One further question - I got a metering plugin for Avid which measures LUFS. Is this going to be suitable or do I need a specific LKFS plugin?
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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

Pretty sure -24 LUFS should be ok, as these days it's pretty much the same standard as LFKS.
Not sure how you are doing your audio compression/limiting...but essentially you need to compress till your audio averages out at -24, and use a limiter to keep peaks below -9.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #10
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

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Originally Posted by Tony Koretz View Post
Pretty sure -24 LUFS should be ok, as these days it's pretty much the same standard as LFKS.
Not sure how you are doing your audio compression/limiting...but essentially you need to compress till your audio averages out at -24, and use a limiter to keep peaks below -9.

Hmm well to this point I've just been doing it by ear and trying to keep the peaks below -9. But I'll have a look into using a limiter, thanks.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #11
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

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Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
Hmm well to this point I've just been doing it by ear and trying to keep the peaks below -9. But I'll have a look into using a limiter, thanks.
You won't be able to get the necessary average loudness while also taming peaks if you don't use a limiter. You could do this hit and miss and have it rejected by QC at TVNZ. Get your audio right...it's just as important as the picture. Doing it yourself is one way to go, or sending the audio to someone in Hamilton who knows how to do audio for TV. Otherwise an audio professional (like me) in other parts of the country with the gear to do it will take the guesswork out of the equation.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #12
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

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Originally Posted by Tony Koretz View Post
You won't be able to get the necessary average loudness while also taming peaks if you don't use a limiter. You could do this hit and miss and have it rejected by QC at TVNZ. Get your audio right...it's just as important as the picture. Doing it yourself is one way to go, or sending the audio to someone in Hamilton who knows how to do audio for TV. Otherwise an audio professional (like me) in other parts of the country with the gear to do it will take the guesswork out of the equation.
Thanks for the tips.

I worked in broadcast a while back doing QC, so hopefully I can remember enough of that to get it right. Would rather do it myself and learn from any mistakes I make, so I'm sorted for next time.

Thanks again :)
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Old April 16th, 2013, 03:08 AM   #13
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

Since nobody has explictly said:

dBFS and LUFS are completely different units, metered measured in completely different ways: apples and oranges. Not to be confused.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 03:16 AM   #14
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

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Originally Posted by Tom Morrow View Post
Since nobody has explictly said:

dBFS and LUFS are completely different units, metered measured in completely different ways: apples and oranges. Not to be confused.
From my understanding, dBFS is a measure of the max volume or loudness, and LUFS is a measure of the average.. I could be completely wrong though
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Old April 16th, 2013, 05:57 AM   #15
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Re: Audio loudness/normalisation

What would be the acceptable peak level for web video and DVD/BluRay discs. at the moment I am working to -6db
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