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Last Updated: 20050922, mei

Saturday, October 8, 4:00 pm — 6:00 pm

T11 - Loudness

Emil Torick, CBS, Retired - USA
Marvin Caesar, Aphex Systems - USA
Rachel Cruz, House Ear Institute - USA
Mike Dorrough, Dorrough Electronics - USA
Frank Foti, Omnia/Telos Systems - USA
James Johnston, Microsoft Corp. - USA
Bob Katz, Digital Domain - USA
Thomas Lund, tc electronics - Denmark

Loudness, appropriate or otherwise, has always been a key attribute of any audio program, yet it remains difficult to quantify, attain, and control. Being a perceptual quality, a loudness measure must be based on comprehensive human reference tests. The same as our ears, a useful loudness measure should work in real time on music as well as on speech plus a wide variety of signals. It should also be possible to read and act upon by a person without an audio background. Such a measure will serve music and audio quality in general well, because it will not be fooled the same way today's level detectors are fooled to accept heavy distortion on CDs and commercials. Today's indicators were designed for another era where the loudness "optimizing" tools we have at our disposal were not available. There is a chance now of balancing weapon and countermeasure, before digital broadcast gets synonymous with listening fatigue, just like many pop CDs are today. A panel of specialists drawn from the fields of broadcast, analog electronics design, psychoacoustics, digital signal processing, hearing health, and audio mastering will each examine the topic from their own perspectives. The panel will endeavor to answer: What is loudness, how is it measured? How is it different from Sound Pressure Level? What are its effects on perception, the broadcast chain, and perceptual coding? How does loudness achieved through drastic dynamic range restriction affect the health of the recording and broadcast industries?  The session will consist of discussion, demonstrations, and Q&A.

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