Just curious about and trying to wrap my head around RMS levels and dynamic range for broadcast mastering. I've been mixing with an RMS level of probably -12 (with tone at -20 on tape) and peaks up near the 0db level. Is this an acceptable range and level for final broadcast? Some folks I've talked to say to have the RMS around -20 and peaks @ -14. For broadcast TV spots, what is your RMS level of the program, the peak level?
Hello Evan and thanks for visiting the Cow Audio Forum.
Peak levels vary depending on the system. Discovery has some very specific specs and if you are too loud or too soft, they'll kick the show back to you. The actual numbers escape me at the moment, but they are like nothing higher than -12 and nothing lower than -18. That's pretty narrow and requires compression and limiting on the stereo bus along with crafty automation.
If I'm doing spots for AM, FM or TV broadcast, I try to peak below 0 dB.