November 13, 2013 at 11:12 am #1056666Dr BunsenParticipant
Received this today…
From: Rohan Jobson
Sent: Wednesday, 13 November 2013 2:42 PM
Subject: POWER BOOST
All the other stations are broadcasting more powerful Audio Signals than you guys are, what is it? need more powerful Amps. If you should take a listen to the others, you’d have a first hand hearing of what I talking about. Check it! Boost the Power brothers, it’s needed. Thanks.
Sent from Windows MailNovember 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm #1276235
If possible listeners experiencing this issue should raise the gain at their end and/or use better equipment, but to be fair I can see (and hear) the difference. PVR uses “studio” reference level with 0db / PPM4 (on BBC scale) as -18dbFS, and a maximum programme level of -10dbFS. This sounds “quiet” when played on smaller devices and loudspeakers, and their gain settings may not permit raising the incoming gain to a stronger level.
Current EBU standard for maximum programme level at the listeners end on a digital audio circuit is -0.1dBTP (a true peak level derived from the reconstructed signal he listener would hear), with more emphasis placed on loudness monitoring.
This may or may not correspond to what the studio is sending to the music line, depending on what soundprocessing is between the studio programme output and any encoder.
PVR has a mixture of old skool content recorded on legacy analogue kit and newer digital tracks and mixes which are strongly compressed, as well as live shows which are (quite rightly) given more headroom to prevent gross overloads at the listener end.
Replaygain tends to force down the peak level of the compressed shows as its one soundprocessor fighting another. I’ve turned it off on my Airtime server in NL for that reason.
When I broadcast live I use Eddcast Reborn to shift the level up about 7dB and then limit it at -1dbFS which works without using an external soundprocessor on programme material (it causes other problems in the studio especially with beatmixing, as the equipment introduces lag).
Some VFR Europe stuff does get run through a relatively aggressive form of compression to make it “louder” as otherwise there is a big level shift between shows as Umek and Robbie tend to send their material pre-compressed, though I am gradually easing back on the compression levels whilst trying to keep the max peak audio levels constant.November 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm #1276240
Oh no, not the loudness wars. 🙁November 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm #1276236
@DaftFader 558187 wrote:
Oh no, not the loudness wars. 🙁
one of the shoegaze/drone kids who broadcasts on ICR-FM once played a 96k MP3 or something off youtube that sounded so rough it ended up with both myself and a Director of ICR-FM ringing up the Station Manager and basically asking WTF was going on, it was really bad weather too (strong wind from coast) so I even thought our Band I link antenna had been de-masted and we were just rebroadcasting any random noise present on the VHF frequency…November 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm #1276241
That makes me sad. Most of my tunes are in 96Khz 32bit floating point .wav (that’s 96k sample rate not bit rate like on mp3s the bit rate would be 61440Kbs lol!). They come out at about 250MB per tune. :laugh_at:
If I was going to release them I would dither and truncate them to at least 96k 24bit, but I’d probably let a master engineer do this after mastering my track.November 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm #1276242
This is an interesting read …
Mby you should email it to all the icr djs. 🙂November 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm #1276239leveretParticipant
@Dr Bunsen 558180 wrote:
Received this today…Quote:Sent from Windows Mail
yeah turn up those amps bunsen, more levels is better !November 14, 2013 at 12:40 am #1276243
yeah make sure everything possible is showing up as red, green=bad red=good. 🙂January 29, 2014 at 11:17 am #1276237
Incidentally I have recently reactivated replaygain on VFR Europe, and whilst it does force down the level of some shows and the manual gives a confusing message that the average level is -14 dBFS (peak audio) on checking with an Orban meter it appears to be -14 LUFS (loudness units), which is sort of in line with the R128 (still under development) for a pop music based / station aimed at younger listeners; the ideal of -23 LUFS is too quiet for those with portable devices or listening on smaller loudspeakers. Indeed, the Norway public broadcasters use -14 LUFS for youth stations and -23 LUFS for the classical music station and news/talk station
I also have conducted various experiments with a low cost SIM and a second hand Android mobile device to listen to the stream mobile using 3G network (I will put up a separate post about this) – and found that -14 LUFS does deliver enough level for comfortably listening upon headphones (cheap €5-€10 sets, both full size and earbuds), and is actually more pleasant to listen on these cheap cans than higher levels. There may also be some code in then Android audio kernel drivers that recognises the correct loudness level.
It also makes it more difficult to push the level up too hard when on the move (such as riding a bicycle), which is good for your own and others road safety. (I was able to listen for a large part of an 11km bicycle ride yesterday).January 30, 2014 at 8:57 am #1276244
-1dBFS FTWJanuary 30, 2014 at 11:44 am #1276238
@DaftFader 560986 wrote:
you can get away with that even with live programme material providing there are suitable limiters, and you are also monitoring true peak level at the listeners end – what is discouraged is the “loudness sausage” and doubling up on codecs to save bandwidth, which one of the Ofcom chaps found out the big broadcasters are doing as he wondered why the output of an experimental DAB tranmission system built up of scrounged components including a 10 year old PC used as a encoder sounded way better than the existing DAB radio stations!
apparently in ES and FR it is now law that all broadcasters (which means anyone who sends audio to be listened to by a group of people, including Internet stations) must be following R128 loudness recommendations as much as possible, and if they repeatedly transmit bad audio the Communications Ministry can disconnect or block their stream or and/have their transmitter turned off!January 31, 2014 at 5:57 pm #1276245
yeah i ment -1dBFS at listener end. most online stations run from -1dBFFS – -0.01dBfs peak. With perfect clarity. Persoanly I’d gve the -1dBFS so you have a head room on 1d/b to catch any spikes with a limiter and not eat in to the music
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