Early in 2016 the Audio Engineering Society set up the Audio Guidelines for Over the Top Television and Video Streaming (AGOTTVS) technical group to study the many issues related to audio loudness variations in distributed video content. After four-and-a-half months of work by 50 members, the group has announced the publication of preliminary guidelines.
Jim Starzynski, Chair of AGOTTVS told us...
We are delighted that our work has been published at the time of the AES convention, the right forum for getting the word out. Our paper’s purpose is threefold; first, to create awareness in the industry of a developing loudness problem, also, to invite all professional stakeholders to join our ongoing effort to develop more detailed recommendations, and to supply credible, fundamental loudness guides for actions that can be taken now by content suppliers and distributors.
The group set out to develop a comprehensive recommendation, providing effective guidelines for managing audio loudness of soundtracks of television and video content available to consumers Over-The-Top (OTT) and by Online Video Distributors (OVD). However, the group soon realised that there was an urgent need to publish some Preliminary Loudness Guidelines to immediately address issues of audio loudness in the developing segment of online television and video content delivery, from creation through distribution and to the consumer experience. With the release of these preliminary guidelines, the group hopes to raise awareness of its comprehensive ongoing work and all interested parties are welcome to join in the group’s efforts.
Jim Starzynski added....
We’re appreciative to the AES for their support with fast tracking our Preliminary Loudness Guidelines. They are a perfect introduction to more comprehensive work to follow.
This group currently consists of volunteer members with expertise and/or interest in the creation, distribution and emission of professional audio. AGOTTVS membership is open to all stakeholders with a material interest in its work, regardless of AES membership status. Group participants included representatives of Amazon, Apple, BBC, CBS, Dolby, DTS, DTV Audio Group, Fox, Fraunhofer, Google, NBC Universal, Netflix, PBS, Starz and Qualcomm.
Roger Charlesworth, Executive Director, DTV Audio Group (DTVAG), whose pioneering work on television and cable TV loudness significantly drove the development of current guidelines. told us...
We applaud the AES and the contributing organizations and individuals for taking on this challenge. The television-viewing experience is rapidly migrating from linear broadcast to streaming, over a growing assortment of fixed and mobile devices. It’s critical that we leverage already established best practices for managing loudness and dynamic range and support technology that will ensure consistent experiences over a broad range of listening scenarios.
The AGOTTVS preliminary guideline document can be downloaded from the AES website.
Want To Know More About Loudness?
The broadcast audio sector has seen a seismic shift from working to peak audio levels towards normalizing to the new loudness specifications - ATSC A/85 for the US and Canada and EBU R128 for Europe. Understanding Loudness is vital viewing for anyone affected by the new loudness standards in live broadcast and post-production audio and is presented by Pro Tools Expert Editor Mike Thornton.
1. An introduction to Loudness
In this free video as an introduction to Mike's tutorial series on Loudness, we ask why we need loudness? Why can’t we carry on doing what we do? Everything is fine surely? Well perhaps not. Loudness related issues represent significant numbers of complaints for all broadcasters. Add to that, our production and transmission workflows are changing, becoming digital from end to end and the need for higher productivity means more multi-skilled staff producing content from conception to transmission.
2. Why Do We Need Loudness?
In this chapter we will clarify what we mean by loudness, investigate how our hearing works, why we are changing our metering systems, and the solution to jumps in loudness that consumers complain so much about.
3. The Development Of One Loudness Standard
In this chapter we explore how we arrived at a loudness measurement algorithm that works just like our ears, as well as the various criteria we use to define and guide us when working to the new loudness delivery specifications. We cover K Weighting, Momentary, Short Term and Integrated loudness as well as what is True Peak and Loudness Range.
4. How To Calibrate Your Monitors
How to calibrate your monitors is a key part of delivering loudness compliant content. In this chapter we are going to briefly look at how our monitoring should be configured, an explanation of bass management and what your sub should be doing, before moving onto a practical demonstration of how to calibrate your monitoring with a sound pressure meter.
5. How To Mix For Loudness
In this final chapter we share some tips and tricks for mixing to the new loudness standards, for a wide variety of genres. We include examples and demonstrations as well as explain the importance of what Mike describes as loudness planning, before ending with some specific tips and tricks for mixing short form content like adverts and promos.
How Much Does This Tutorial Series Cost?
It is available for rent for one year for $49.99 - Watch as often as you like.