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  • 1.
    Allan, Jon
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and theater.
    Evaluation of Live Loudness Meters2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    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.

  • 2.
    Allan, Jon
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and theater.
    Berg, Jan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and theater.
    Evaluation of the Momentary Time Scale for Live Loudness Metering2019In: Journal of The Audio Engineering Society, ISSN 0004-7554Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Allan, Jon
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and theater.
    Berg, Jan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and theater.
    Evaluating Live Loudness Meters from Engineers' Actions and Resulting Output Levels2018In: Journal of The Audio Engineering Society, ISSN 0004-7554, Vol. 66, no 7-8, p. 556-577Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 4.
    Leijonhufvud, Susanna
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.
    Allan, Jon
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    The Sound of Streamed Music2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    …the majority of consumers seem to be unaware of this, or of the audio quality

    they’re missing out on! They spend endless hours experiencing audio at sub-

    128kbps bit rates, at the mercy of whoever uploaded the material, without

    knowing what it should sound like, without realising how bad it sounds, and

    unaware of the artefacts they’re hearing that shouldn’t be there.

    The quote stems from a journalist writing in the music recording magazine of Sound on Sounds

    and highlights issues concerning on-line music and the affordance such music brings for the

    listeners. Currently, music may be accessed via real-time streaming, accessed in complex

    conglomerates side by side with other types of content via computers, mobile phones, tablets,

    televisions, car stereos and soon to be accessed via new technology housed by the Internet of

    Things (IoT). Up until now, the technology of streaming has focused on access, robustness,

    interoperability between devices and extensive additional service augmenting the realm of

    musicking. Issues of the musical sound qualities and how aspects of sound quality interplay with

    the affordance of listening have more or less been neglected in favour of accessibility. From what

    we have learned from scholars accounting for digital formats and bit reduction as well as

    compression of dynamics in sound, there are some aspects concerning this field that is missing

    and as it seems neglected for the masses of music consumption.

    The development of smart technology orbiting music has just recently returned to issues of high

    fidelity and home stereo equipment. This development could be interpreted as a renaissance for

    the affordance of music listening. However, the quality of sound, which embeds the music, is

    not solely depending on the recording, the mix or the mastering engineers. It also depends on

    the adaptation of sound streams for the final playback device. In addition to these traditional

    delimiting nodes of sound quality, streamed music is constituted by numerous things and aspects

    such as broadband access, broadband capability, the robustness of the broadband system, the

    digital format and the velocity of transmission.

    This presentation, which is a part of a larger research project focusing the streaming company of

    Spotify as an actor of musical Bildung, will outline a suggestion for a designed method where

    different categories of participators will be selected to research the affordance of sound qualities

    of streamed music. Affordance of listening should be understood as the nexus between sound

    engineering and music cognition bridged by music education. The research should focus

    traditional aspects of perception and cognition but also socialisation that constitutes taste and

    preferences, and finally educational aspects as conceptualisation, learning and awareness. Four

    main themes are emphasised in this presentation; (i) developing methods to describe and measure

    sensation quantities when it comes to describing sound quality and the affordance of perceptual

    coding, (ii) selecting various types of listeners regarding age, gender, music educational

    background when studying stimulus quantities of streamed music, (iii) using the listeners preferred

    music to complement music from a control sample of tunes, and (iv) attributes used to

    communicate quality of sound and music within various communities.

  • 5.
    Allan, Jon (Recording engineer)
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and theater.
    We're On Our Way: The Zion Care Gospel Singers with Isabella Lundgren2018Artistic output (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It only takes but one step on African soil to know you are on sacred ground. The vastness of the land reminds me of the endlessness of our universe. The arching trees reaching for the sky, of our will to explore it. The roaring wildlife, that it is from nature we are truly sprung. 

    Africa - the cradle of civilization - is a remarkable continent with remarkable people. The story of this album takes place here. Specifically, in the small village of Shangarai in Tanzania. 

    Like all good ideas this began as an inconceivable one, impossible to realize. Yet it took form and became a reality. A reality you are holding in your hands. 

    The premise is this: 26 children from Tanzania that have never had a voice or music lesson in their life, will meet five professional musicians and teachers from Sweden to record an album together. 

    The children all reside at an orphanage called the Zion Care center and they have all lived lives shaped by loss. Despite this they carry themselves with a gratitude and grace that is rare to find. It only took us five minutes to fall in love. 

    Electricity is sparse and to find a location to record an actual album was a difficult task, but due to the generosity of the locals we managed to make it happen. Time is relative in Africa - but at the same time nothing is impossible. 

    We made this album because we believe in the power of creativity, and especially in music. These children taught us that it is a truly transcendent and transformative endeavor to not only pursue and practice music, but to live it. That's what they do, they live music. Every spare moment they sing, they dance, and they rejoice in music. It is not about creating a perfect performance. It is a way to communicate. 

    I hope you will enjoy this album and the journey it will take you on. It conveys the message that it is not what you have that puts value to your life, it is how you live it. 

    With Love, Isabella Lundgren

  • 6.
    Ferm-Almqvist, Cecilia
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.
    Ekberg, Niclas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.
    Leijonhufvud, Susanna
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.
    Allan, Jon
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Burkhart, Patrick
    Evolving Bildung in the Nexus of Streaming Services, Art andUsers : Spotify as a Case 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The changed landscape of media, with digital distribution as a keyfactor, creates new conditions for people’s access to cultural expressions. This has mainly been studied through technical and financial perspectives, focusing on the record industry, file sharing, human–technology interaction, and click frequency. New questionsare necessary for an understanding of what functions streamed musicand art expressions can have in people’s lives, and how companies such as Spotify relate to these functions.The aim of the study is to explore Bildung in the nexus of streaming services, art and users, with Spotify as a case study. Research questions: How and to what extent do technical, legal, economic, and ethical factors control possibilities for meaningmaking in the interaction between streaming media such as Spotify, arts, and human beings? How does the quality of art/music distributed through streaming influence opportunites for Bildung? How do users make meaning in the specific contexts? To what extent is the user involved in her own Bildung via the algorithms making up the participation?

    To achieve this aim and address the research questions an interdisciplinary study is needed, which makes it possible to understand the complex phenomena of a streaming media platform in relation to Bildung. Technicians and researchers from the humanities and social sciences will approach the research problem and form a holistic understanding of streaming media in relation to human beings, art, and technology. Hence, combinations of methodological approaches are required. Big-data analysis will provide access to how varied demographics use Spotify. The Spotify users’ activities, experiences of streaming media interactions, and meaning-making will be accessed through qualitative netnographical observations, shadowing, and interviews. Sound quality analysis will clarify what aesthetic values are involved in the most appreciated listening experiences, which will be related to Bildung.

  • 7.
    Allan, Jon
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Emil och Ida i Lönneberga2016Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    En tecknad film skapad av Pennfilm med Per Åhlin, Alicja Björk och Lasse Persson som regissörer. Filmen består av tre historier av Astrid Lindgren med karaktärerna Emil och Ida i Lönneberga. Astrids egen röst används. 

    Filmen är producerad av Filmlance International AB och fick 8 miljoner i produktionsstöd från Svenska Filminstitutet. Den distribueras av SF Film och finns tillgänglig på flera plattformar. Första gången var biopremiär 25 december 2013. Den senaste plattformen var visning i SVT med påföljande tid tillgänglig i SVT Play under hösten 2016. Både tecknandet och inspelningen av musiken gjordes på ett äldre traditionellt sätt. D.v.s. alla bildrutor har tecknats för hand. Musiken har spelats in i akustisk studio under Georg Riedels ledning med hjälp musiker och musiktekniker. Till den större delen har musikernas insatser skett tillsammans och utan pålägg. Därefter har musiktekniker och Georg Riedel mixat materialet för filmmediet. 

    Georg Riedel - musik

    Jon Allan - ljudproducent/ljudtekniker

    Filmlance International AB - producent

    Pennfilm - teckning av film

    SF film - distributör

  • 8.
    Allan, Jon
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Berg, Jan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Evaluation criteria for live loudness meters2015In: 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention 2014: Los Angeles, California, USA 9-12 October 2014., Red Hook: Curran Associates, Inc., 2015, p. 866-878Conference paper (Refereed)
    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.

  • 9.
    Allan, Jon
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Berg, Jan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Evaluation of loudness meters using parameterization of fader movements2014In: Audio Engineering Society Convention 135, Audio Engineering Society, Inc., 2014, p. 652-662Conference paper (Refereed)
    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

  • 10.
    Allan, Jon
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Berg, Jan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Audio level alignment: Evaluation method and performance of EBU R 128 by analyzing fader movements2013In: 134th Audio Engineering Society Convention 2013: Rome; Italy; 4 May 2013 - 7 May 2013, Red Hook, NY: Curran Associates, Inc., 2013, p. 724-735Conference paper (Refereed)
    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

  • 11.
    Hallberg, Lars (Producer)
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Allan, Jon (Producer)
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Trägen het2013Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Dansföreställningen ”Trägen het” i OlofsforsInför 2014 har EU utsett Umeå som kulturhuvudstad i Europa, vilket innebär att Västerbottens museum erhållit medel från bl.a. EUs regionala kulturfond i ett tvåårigt projekt med namnet ”Västerbotten berättar”.Som en del av projektet gjordes en dansföreställning som genomfördes i Olofsfors sommaren 2013, under ledning av den nationellt och internationellt kända dansaren och koreografen Åsa N Åström och konstnären Håkan Brink. Syftet med projektet var att med hjälp av dans, konst, musik och projektioner arbeta med Olofsfors bruks historia och berättelser på ett nyskapande och publikt sätt.För att genomföra föreställningen gav Åsa N Åström och Håkan Brink i uppdrag till Jon Allan, doktorand i ljudteknik och kompositör samt Lars Hallberg, lektor i ljudteknik och ljud design, att komponera och framföra musik till föreställningen ”Trägen het”.Jon Allan och Lars Hallberg arbetade med kompositionen genom att spela in ljudmiljöer och ljudeffekter från platsen Olofsfors som sedan komponerades till 4 musikstycken, totalt cirka 25 minuter musik samt cirka 40 minuter ljuddesignade atmosfärer.Hela föreställningen dokumenterades även av videokonstnären Jan Duvfa, och planer finns att göra en produktion av materialet som skall publiceras i olika TV-bolag, både nationellt och internationellt.Arrangeras av Västerbottens musem med stöd av Europeiska regionala utvecklingsfonden.

  • 12.
    Berg, Jan
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
    Allan, Jon
    Effect of minimizing spatial separation and melodic variations in simultaneously presented two-syllable words2008In: Audio Engineering Society Convention 124th: Audio Engineering Society Convention Papers, Curran Associates, Inc., 2008, article id 7409Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study will examine two important factors for the conception Auditory Streaming defined by Bregman, pitch and localization. By removing one or two of these factors as possible identifiers to separate sound sources, the importance of each of them and the effect of reducing both of them will be studied. Stimuli with combinations of two-syllable words will be presented simultaneously in speakers to subjects and the number of correct identifications will be measured. In one category of stimuli speech melody will be removed and replaced with a monotonous pitch, equal for all words. One category will have all words presented from one speaker only. A significant effect was found for pitch as a factor for successful segregation of words. Conclusions will be related to earlier studies and common theories, the Cocktail party effect among others.

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