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Evaluation of Live Meter Ballistics for Loudness Control

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The broadcast community is transitioning from practices that revolved around audio peak normalization to one where the focus is on loudness consistency. Central to this effort is the loudness measurement algorithm described in ITU-R BS.1770. To assist in the mixing of audio that targets specific long-term loudness levels, a need has been identified for some form of loudness-based live audio metering. The EBU has proposed meter specifications to indicate “momentary” and “short-term” loudness whose ballistics are defined, respectively, by a 400 ms and a 3000 ms integration window. In parallel with the EBU efforts, the CBC/Radio-Canada, in collaboration with the CRC, has been studying since 2008 various loudness meter ballistics that would be suitable in a production environment. This paper reports on a series of tests carried out by the CBC/Radio-Canada where various momentary meter ballistics were evaluated. It was found that an IIR-based meter ballistic with a 400 ms time constant was preferred.

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