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Evaluation of Live Loudness Meters
Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för konst, kommunikation och lärande, Medier, ljudteknik och teater.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-0490-0394
2019 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Discrepancies in loudness (i.e. sensation of audio intensity) has been of great concern within the broadcast community. For television broadcast, disparities in audio levels have been rated the number one cause to annoyance by the audience. Another problem area within the broadcast and music industry is the loudness war. The phenomenon is about the strive to produce audio content to be at least as loud or louder to any other audio content that it can easily be compared with. This mindset, when deciding for audio level treatment, inevitably leads to an increase in loudness over time, and also, as a technical consequence, a decrease of utilized dynamics. The effects of the loudness war is present in both terrestrial radio transmissions as well as in music production and in music distribution platforms.

The two problems, discrepancies in loudness and the loudness war, both emanate from the same source; regulations of audio levels and the design of measurement gear have not been amended to cope with modern production techniques. At the time when the work on this thesis started, the ruling technical recommendations for audio level alignment were based on peak measurement. This measured entity has poor correspondence to loudness. To counter the above described problems, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has developed new recommendations for audio alignment, EBU R 128 and ITU-R BS.1770. The new definitions for loudness measurement constitutes simplified models on the human perception of audio intensity. When using the new recommendations in production, the problems have been shown to diminish.

For an engineer in a live broadcast scenario, measurement equipment also need to be updated in real-time to illustrate a time-variant loudness of the signal. EBU and ITU also has regulated how this type of measurement gear should behave. EBU Tech 3341 and ITU-R BS.1771 define properties for live loudness meters. These recommendations has since the time of publication been implemented in measurement equipment from manufacturers and become available in production facilities.

This thesis investigates the conceptions that have led up to the present recommendations for live loudness meters. It maps out the (at the time) present ways to evaluate the same. Emanating from this knowledge, a new methodology to evaluate loudness meters is proposed that combines qualities from former methods to achieve an alternative balance between ecological validity and control in the experiment design. The methodology includes a procedure to capture data from engineers’ actions and the resulting audio levels from simulated broadcast scenarios. The methodology also incorporates a way to process this type of data into different parameters to be more accessible for interpretation. It presents an approach to model the data, by the use of linear mixed models, to describe different effects in the parameters as the result of the meters’ characteristics. In addition, a review on publications that examine the engineers’ own requests for beneficial qualities in a loudness meter has been condensed and revised into a set of meter criteria that specifically is designed to be applied on the outcome of the mixed models. The outcome of the complete evaluation yields statements on meter quality that are different and complementary to formerly proposed methods for meter evaluation.

The methodology has been applied in two different studies, which also are accounted for in the thesis. The conclusions from these studies has led to an increased understanding of how to design live loudness meters to be satisfactory tools to the engineer. Examples of findings are: the effect of the speed of the meter, as being controlled by one or several time constants, on the readability of the meter and the dispersion in output levels – some tested candidates, with higher speed than the present recommended ones, has been shown to be adequate as tools; the three-second integration time has been shown to generate a smaller dispersion in output levels than the 400 ms integration time; the effect of the gate in BS.1771 on the resulting output levels– the gate generally leading to an increase in output levels. The acquired knowledge may be used to improve the present recommendations for audio level alignment, from EBU and ITU.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2019.
Serie
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Emneord [en]
loudness, loudness metering, live loudness meter, loudness meter, audio level alignment, R 128
Emneord [sv]
hörstyrka, mätning av hörstyrka, loudnessmätare, hörstyrkemätare, nivåjustering, R 128, upplevd ljudnivå
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Ljudteknik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72465ISBN: 978-91-7790-296-6 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-91-7790-297-3 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-72465DiVA, id: diva2:1275362
Disputas
2019-03-01, L165, Snickargatan 20, Piteå, 13:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Forskningsfinansiär
Interreg NordTilgjengelig fra: 2019-01-07 Laget: 2019-01-05 Sist oppdatert: 2019-02-14bibliografisk kontrollert
Delarbeid
1. Audio level alignment: Evaluation method and performance of EBU R 128 by analyzing fader movements
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Audio level alignment: Evaluation method and performance of EBU R 128 by analyzing fader movements
2013 (engelsk)Inngår i: 134th Audio Engineering Society Convention 2013: Rome; Italy; 4 May 2013 - 7 May 2013, Red Hook, NY: Curran Associates, Inc., 2013, s. 724-735Konferansepaper, Publicerat paper (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

A method is proposed for evaluating audio meters in terms of how the engineer acts with the fader as dependent on the meter and corresponding recommendation at hand. The proposed method is used to evaluate different meter implementations, three conforming to the recommendation EBU R 128 and one conforming to EBU Tech 3205-E. In an experiment, engineers participated in a simulated live broadcast show and the resulting fader movements were recorded. The movements were analyzed in terms of different characteristics: Mean fader level, Fader variability and Fader movement. Significant effects were found showing that engineers do act differently depending on the meter and recommendation at hand. The method was found useful and may complement other methods to give more perspectives when evaluating audio meters

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Red Hook, NY: Curran Associates, Inc., 2013
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Ljudteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-32865 (URN)77fbc551-04b6-4e1a-8d8c-935f4a1c61e3 (Lokal ID)9781627485715 (ISBN)77fbc551-04b6-4e1a-8d8c-935f4a1c61e3 (Arkivnummer)77fbc551-04b6-4e1a-8d8c-935f4a1c61e3 (OAI)
Konferanse
Audio Engineering Society Convention : 04/05/2013 - 07/05/2013
Merknad
Godkänd; 2013; 20130913 (andbra)Tilgjengelig fra: 2016-09-30 Laget: 2016-09-30 Sist oppdatert: 2019-01-05bibliografisk kontrollert
2. Evaluation of loudness meters using parameterization of fader movements
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Evaluation of loudness meters using parameterization of fader movements
2014 (engelsk)Inngår i: Audio Engineering Society Convention 135, Audio Engineering Society, Inc., 2014, s. 652-662Konferansepaper, Publicerat paper (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

The EBU recommendation R 128 regarding loudness normalization, is now generally accepted and countries in Europe are adopting the new recommendation. There is now need to know more about how and when to use the different meter modes, Momentary and Short term, proposed in R 128, as well as to understand how different implementations of R 128 in audio level meters affect the engineers' actions. A method is tentatively proposed for evaluating the performance of audio level meters in live broadcasts. The method was used to evaluate different meter implementations, three of them conforming to the recommendation from EBU, R 128. In an experiment, engineers adjusted audio levels in a simulated live broadcast show and the resulting fader movements were recorded. The movements were parameterized into "Fader movement", "Adjustment time", "Overshoot", etc. Results show that the proposed parameters produced significant differences caused by the meters and that the experience of the engineer operating the fader is a significant factor

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Audio Engineering Society, Inc., 2014
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Ljudteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-27749 (URN)14947d71-d2fa-430c-b522-85af46ad4ae2 (Lokal ID)14947d71-d2fa-430c-b522-85af46ad4ae2 (Arkivnummer)14947d71-d2fa-430c-b522-85af46ad4ae2 (OAI)
Konferanse
Audio Engineering Society Convention : 17/10/2013 - 20/10/2013
Merknad
Godkänd; 2014; 20140403 (johsod)Tilgjengelig fra: 2016-09-30 Laget: 2016-09-30 Sist oppdatert: 2019-01-05bibliografisk kontrollert
3. Evaluation criteria for live loudness meters
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Evaluation criteria for live loudness meters
2015 (engelsk)Inngår i: 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention 2014: Los Angeles, California, USA 9-12 October 2014., Red Hook: Curran Associates, Inc., 2015, s. 866-878Konferansepaper, Publicerat paper (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

As a response to discrepancies in loudness levels in broadcast, the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union and the European Broadcasting Union state that audio levels should be regulated based on loudness measurement. These recommendations differ regarding the definition of meter ballistics for live loudness meters, and this paper seeks to identify possible additional information, needed to attain a higher conformity between the recommendations. This work suggests that the qualities we seek in a live loudness meter could be more differentiated for different time scales (i.e. Momentary and Short-term that is defined by two different integration times), and therefore also should be evaluated by different evaluation criteria.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Red Hook: Curran Associates, Inc., 2015
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Ljudteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-28217 (URN)1f105230-8b08-418e-97ad-72213f136979 (Lokal ID)9781634397483 (ISBN)1f105230-8b08-418e-97ad-72213f136979 (Arkivnummer)1f105230-8b08-418e-97ad-72213f136979 (OAI)
Konferanse
Audio Engineering Society Convention : 09/10/2014 - 12/10/2014
Merknad
Godkänd; 2015; 20150824 (andbra)Tilgjengelig fra: 2016-09-30 Laget: 2016-09-30 Sist oppdatert: 2019-01-05bibliografisk kontrollert
4. Evaluating Live Loudness Meters from Engineers' Actions and Resulting Output Levels
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Evaluating Live Loudness Meters from Engineers' Actions and Resulting Output Levels
2018 (engelsk)Inngår i: Journal of The Audio Engineering Society, ISSN 0004-7554, Vol. 66, nr 7-8, s. 556-577Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Qualities of loudness meters were investigated by running a simulated live broadcast show, mixed by subjects with different degrees of audio engineering experience. The subject-induced fader movements and the resulting output levels were analyzed using a general linear mixed model and then interpreted according to a proposed set of quality criteria for live loudness meters. The results show that, for subparts of the program. meters with slower integration lime caused less dispersion of the resulting output levels and a smaller error to a given target level. The varying integration tunes of the meters did not cause any significant differences in reaction time. It is concluded that this type of data may be used in evaluation of loudness meters and the specific study provides insight into the effect of time scales and meter implementation for EBU R 128-compliant meters.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Audio Engineering Society, Inc., 2018
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Ljudteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71367 (URN)10.17743/jaes.2018.0029 (DOI)000447290400004 ()2-s2.0-85052757145 (Scopus ID)
Merknad

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-10-29 (johcin)

Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-10-29 Laget: 2018-10-29 Sist oppdatert: 2019-09-16bibliografisk kontrollert
5. Evaluation of the Momentary Time Scale for Live Loudness Metering
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Evaluation of the Momentary Time Scale for Live Loudness Metering
2020 (engelsk)Inngår i: Journal of The Audio Engineering Society, ISSN 0004-7554, Vol. 68, nr 3, s. 193-222Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Different ballistic definitions for the momentary time scale used in live loudness measurement were evaluated. Definitions from the ITU and EBU were compared as well as a faster version of the ITU version, two asymmetric time scales and the deprecated ballistics, defined in EBU Tech 3205-E, for peak program meters. The goal was to identify the ballistics definition that would function as the best complementary tool to a short-term time scale. Engineers within the broadcast industry and students in audio technology performed an audio alignment task in a simulated live broadcast environment using one ballistics definition per trial. Fader movements and output levels were recorded. After each trial, a set of assessment scales were rated by the subjects. Some results were: a decay time constant of 250 ms yielded better representation of the low-level parts of the dynamics in the signal compared to a 400-ms time constant; the present ITU version of the momentary time scale yielded an estimated less eye fatigue; effects on the resulting output levels, related the gate in ITU-R BS.1770 in conjunction with live compensation of unadjusted audio material were shown.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Audio Engineering Society, Inc., 2020
Emneord
loudness, loudness meter, loudness metering, live loudness metering, audio level alignment, perceived audio intensity, R 128, loudness, loudnessmätning, loudnessmätare, hörstyrka, mätning av hörstyrka, hörstyrkemätare, ljudnivåmätning, upplevd ljudnivå, upplevd hörstyrka, R 128
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Ljudteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72481 (URN)10.17743/jaes.2020.0003 (DOI)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2019-01-07 Laget: 2019-01-07 Sist oppdatert: 2020-05-04

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