What: Audio Loudness – An Educational Presentation
When: March 16, 2010 12:00 PM

Following a fine lunch and a little chapter business, Don and Howard discussed audio; loudness vs. level; multi channel audio, including 5.1 surround; accurate and consistent measurement of loudness across various audio sources, program types, and multi channels; various perceptions of loudness by differing groups of people and for differing programs; setting loudness standards; and the upcoming Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM).

The presentation started with the introduction of audio meters, measurement of audio levels for Radio, and the use of operators to prevent damaging audio levels from reaching the transmitter. Then, the importance of consistent and competitive levels in TV led to audio testing and various audio processing devices from CBS product to multiband, Orban processors. With HDTV came a mix of mono, stereo, and surround audio from producers with no clear method for measuring loudness or accepted loudness standard. As the last line of distribution, setting loudness, and up-mixing if necessary, must be done at the station or network level. Viewers watching on a wide variety of sets through a wide variety of sound systems (still mostly mono or stereo) expect a consistent sound field and CALM will mandate this.

Don brought a Power Point presentation illustrating these challenges and provided listening demonstrations utilizing their measurement products.