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  #1  
Old 08-01-2006, 08:35 AM
Eric L Eric L is offline
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Default Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

Quote:
> On page 8 of the attached document we have added specific details
> on the delivery of dialog audio levels.
>
> Dialog level for Soundtracks:
> * Provide an averaged recorded dialog level of -23 dBFS (+/- 1 dB)
> for the content and identify this setting on the tape label and
> slate. Record and measure dialog using a Dolby LM-100 broadcast
> loudness meter or use an equivalent method for determining the
> dialog loudness (Leq-a measurement of spoken word). Variation of
> dialog is acceptable, however, tapes with the majority of averaged
> perceived loudness outside of -23 dBFS +/- 1 dB will not be accepted
>
> This specification must be adhered to in order to reduce the
> perceived loudness discrepancies between program and interstitial
> content.
Hey all.
Just got this emailed to me after the dx predub, but before the final mix. So, we may be scrambling here. We do not have an LM-100, nor will they buy one for these shows. I'm planning on trying Audioleak on my DX stem center channel. Does anyone else think that -23dBFS is a little loud, considering Discovery wants -27? What exactly merits "majority of average perceived loudness"? More than 50% of the program? Who will be determining that, and how?

I do not really expect any answers here, as only NBC/Universal can clarify. But I am interested in opinions or any other information others have recieved regarding this.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2006, 09:40 AM
rhumphries rhumphries is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

I guess they want their shows to be as loud as the commercials.

Of course in theory, if they actually set the dialnorm metadata on the Dolby E encode properly, everything gets played out at the same level:-31dB. A show with a Dialnorm of -23 gets reduced by 8dB to play out at -31, and a show with a Dialnorm of -27 gets reduced by 4dB to play out at -31.

Does the spec mention how high the peaks can go? If they ask for peaks to be limited at -10 dBfs, that's not a lot of headroom.

-Richard
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:43 AM
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TVPostSound TVPostSound is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

Eric,

Audiorents has them for $50.00 a day, but be advised they have the OLD firmware.
Refer to Richard Fairbanks' previous posts on this issue.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:13 AM
Eric L Eric L is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

Thanks for the tip. I didn't realize they had them yet. Yes, I am up to date on the firmware threads and other discussions. Thanks for the help.

Peaks are limited to -8dBFS. I do not think they are encoding Dolby E for Sci Fi channel. Not yet at least. They specifically request delivery in this preferred order: (this refers to the Digibeta ch 1-2 and 3-4)

Pro Logic II LT/RT or
Pro Logic LT/RT or
Stereo or
Dual Mono

The 5.1 is delivered but is not used for broadcast, only DVD or future HD ATSC broadcasts.

Thanks.

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Old 08-01-2006, 10:55 AM
philper philper is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

Quote:
Thanks for the tip. I didn't realize they had them yet. Yes, I am up to date on the firmware threads and other discussions. Thanks for the help.

Peaks are limited to -8dBFS. I do not think they are encoding Dolby E for Sci Fi channel. Not yet at least. They specifically request delivery in this preferred order: (this refers to the Digibeta ch 1-2 and 3-4)

Pro Logic II LT/RT or
Pro Logic LT/RT or
Stereo or
Dual Mono

The 5.1 is delivered but is not used for broadcast, only DVD or future HD ATSC broadcasts.

Thanks.


-23 is hot for dialog. Disco is -27 (-28 to -26, they'll live with -25), Nat Geo is -25 +/-1, PBS is -27 (-29 to -26). This network is asking for -23, and no peaks obove -8? Kind of compressed, don't you think? In any case, I would strongly recommend that you just get the LM100 somehow and have at. There was a long donnybrook here awhile back about using Audio Leak as a substitute for an LM100--I tried it and it didn't work out very well for me. No matter whether you get the new or old LM100 firmware, I would run signal into it digital in any case--the analog cal is ticklish and as you can see being even one db off can get your mix rejected. The DAC in the LM100 is pretty good, so you can monitor thru it if you don't have a spare digital output from your system. It's a bummer that you are already in predub--I'd have a little talk w/ the clients about what springing this requirement on you @ this phase means financially and schedule wise. I would say that it was very likely that you'll have to do some remixing once you get your dialog up to -23 (not to mention recalibrating your monitoring). I had this same thing happen on at least two shows that straddled the advent of the LM100 standards, and I had to substantially rework both shows to get them to pass. Gotta love Dolby. The truth seems to be that you need to have an LM100 in your system from the get-go in order to make sure you end up legal.

Philip Perkins
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2006, 11:22 AM
Eric L Eric L is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

Thanks for you thoughts, Philip. They are appreciated and confirm exactly what I've been thinking. When I think about how my mixes end up sounding on the Sci Fi channel, this limited dynamic range is not that surprising. They have been squashing the audio to ridiculous levels up until now. I only hope this helps keeps things sounding consistent. Unless of course they still smash it with an Orban anyway, even after these new specs.

Thanks again. I will try to get them to rent the LM-100 for the rest of the mix.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:32 PM
georgia georgia is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

ahh. yes... yet another broadcaster using DIALNORM backwards...
we just chatted about this at a Dolby conference last week in NYC.

cheers
geo
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2006, 03:59 PM
Tstein Tstein is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

[QUOTE]
Does anyone else think that -23dBFS is a little loud, considering Discovery wants -27? What exactly merits "majority of average perceived loudness"? [QUOTE]

[QUOTE]
Of course in theory, if they actually set the dialnorm metadata on the Dolby E encode properly, everything gets played out at the same level:-31dB. A show with a Dialnorm of -23 gets reduced by 8dB to play out at -31, and a show with a Dialnorm of -27 gets reduced by 4dB to play out at -31. [QUOTE]


I've been mixing promos amd interstitial materials for cable TV with a -23 dbfs LM100 measured dialnorm for a couple of years. There is little or no compression/limiting applied to the uplinked signals. What the individual Head Ends do to the downlink is another can of worms! This standard has helped - though there is sitll room for improvement - keep interstitial audio content (the stuff in between the movies) at a fairly consistent level.

As qouted above when the dialnorm level is measured and encoded correctly the metadata will play back the program at the correct level and a show with a dialnorm of -27 plays back at the same levelas a commercial at -23. If metedata is not applied your only hope is broadcast compression/limiting/squashing.

As far as dynamic range and peak levels go, the spec is usually -10 dbfs. Stereo downmixes of some 5.1 programs often exceed that by a few db but I haven’t blown anything up yet ;-) Yes dialog and especially VO need comp/limiting, EQ, and level riding, but what the hell they pay me too mix so I might as well mix. It sounds a lot less squashed then most of the network broadcast stuff that I’ve done.

LM100’s and similar devices can be very useful tools.

Cheers,
Ted
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2006, 09:14 PM
s0und80y s0und80y is offline
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Default Re: Updated NBC/Universal Audio Delivery Specs

I'm not mixing the high end TV programs you guys seem to be mixing, but I mix a lot of low budget cable TV programs.
I only mix stereo or Track 1. Full Mix, Track 2. M+E.
I also only mix with a VU meter.

My personal rule of thumb for mixing dialogue*has been to set my Voice Over to peak between -3 and -1, interviews or grabs are set to peak between -5 and -3 on the VU.
I also run a L1 brick wall limiter with a low -6 threshold and the output is also set at -6, so nothing Peaks over -6 dbfs.
The limiter only kicks in when there is an extreme peak as I don't like the sound of the L1 working to hard.

How does this way of mixing stack up , am I mixing a little hot ???
I've mixed around 1000 programs this way and have only ever had 2mixes rejected by a broadcaster.
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