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Loudness Radar accuracy

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Jim McNally
Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 11, 2014 at 3:46:19 pm

I haven't had much success with the accuracy of the loudness radar in Premier. If I set my audio to read -24 on the master channel output it is failing the monitoring with the broadcaster. Sometimes off by -10 or more.

I also find that a known -24 file will read -21 in Premier while at the same time reading -28 in Audition. There doesn't appear to be a constant with this plug in.

Has anyone had a problem with the accuracy of the plug in?

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Chris Borjis
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 11, 2014 at 4:39:06 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Jun 11, 2014 at 4:41:54 pm

I haven't done any testing, but this is what I do and have
not had any complaints from a variety of broadcasters.

I get the audio mix from one of our audio engineers who
also is making sure the output is calm act compliant.

Put that audio into the sequence, add the loudness radar,
play it out all the way.

If it doesn't register below -22 on the reading when it's done,
I know I'm good. If It does, I adjust the audio down slightly
until it is not going below -22.

This is using the default preset of Loudness Radar.



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Jim McNally
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 11, 2014 at 7:34:20 pm

Are you finding the same file will output the same in Audition's loudness radar too?

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Andy Edwards
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:04:06 pm

Jim, our editors are seeing similar issues with Loudness Radar. Some files export fine, some off by 10-20db when QC'd with master control hardware Dolby 11M-100 boxes. I have spoken to some audio engineers and some are recommending the iZotope Insight plugin. (https://www.izotope.com/en/products/mixing-mastering/insight/) to measure calm compliant exports.

Only issue here is that it only works in 5.1 tracks in premiere vs. full use in Audition.

Andy Edwards


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Chris Borjis
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 11, 2014 at 9:02:46 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Jun 11, 2014 at 9:06:26 pm

[Jim McNally] "Are you finding the same file will output the same in Audition's loudness radar too?"

I haven't tried it, since the mix files I get from the protools guys are
pretty close if not already spot on.


It baffles me though that if it checks out in premiere, how in creation
is the audio level being boosted out of spec? I don't get it.


I mean, are you noticing it in the audio meters in premiere too?
I always look there (i've become accustomed as to how they should look with calm act levels) and used to also check my betaSP VU meters
too. It seemed consistent.

This mac of mine is using a kona 3g card for audio output.


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Jim McNally
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 11, 2014 at 10:04:44 pm

Where I noticed it is after importing a file that the broadcaster told me was -24LKFS in their on-air system.

I loaded it into Premiere and on the Master track added the Loudness Radar. The track after playing through showed me -21LKFS.

I took the same file into Audition and added the Radar once more to the Master track. The readout was now -28. Audition also has the match volume feature to any loudness level you wish but now I'm nervous about trusting what I'm seeing.

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Chris Borjis
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 12, 2014 at 4:15:34 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Jun 12, 2014 at 4:36:14 pm

was it just that one file from them?
or had you tried other files from other post facilities?

I think maybe they made a mistake and thought it was correct.

I have had to "educate" some of our vendors/clients about getting
these correct as they had no idea about the calm act.

For mixes we did here we had a short bout of growing pains getting them
correct out of protools at -24 settings and ended up
getting some plugin to help get them right every time.

Not only the loudness but the loudness over time
is factored in.

If I get a file that registers too hot, I just use the effect controls
volume control to subtract as little as possible db to
get it to stay above -22 for the duration then send it out
to stations. Haven't had any rejections since.



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Jim McNally
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 13, 2014 at 2:21:57 pm

It was actually a couple of files that were both approved to hit -24 and yet played higher in Premiere and lower in Audition.

When I sent a file that was -18 in Premiere it hit their -24 target. That is why it makes me wonder about the accuracy of these software meters. I did try the Insight plug in and it read -17 on the same spot. I wish I could use the same Grass Valley system the broadcaster uses but it's too cost prohibitive.

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Chris Borjis
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:14:33 pm

I trust the VU meter on the BetaSP deck.

When i send a -20 tone to it, through my kona3g it
registers -20.

when I play a spot for calm act levels, it shows
on the VU meter what it should.



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Jim McNally
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 13, 2014 at 5:14:17 pm

I wish the world was still using the good 'ol VU meter! Life was simpler then.

What does -24LKFS equate to on the VU meter scale?

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Chris Borjis
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:43:02 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:48:08 pm

on the deck I have, there is blue/green bar lines for lower 2/3 of
the display, then the first red bar (-20 calibration bar)
with the upper 3rd above it in red.

-24 will be roughly 2/3 of that blue/green bar lines area.
Never hitting the red and bouncing around below that,
never lighting up 2 or 3 of the blue/green bars beneath the red -20 bar.

It's by no means an approximation, but in discussing it
with our lead audio guy (he's been doing this since 1967)
it's a nice double check to see we are at or near the safe range
when used in conjunction with Loudness Radar.

He also has a plugin for pro-tools which precisely tells him
where things are at should we need additional confirmation.



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Richard Knight
Re: Loudness Radar accuracy
on Jun 14, 2014 at 8:49:41 am

Loudness metering is a lot more complicated than VU or PPM, all the loudness meters have psychoacoustic algorithms to try and duplicate what the ear/brain combination perceives as 'loudness'
Here in the UK broadcast loudness has been standardised at -23db as read on a loudness meter. Even with this setting depending on how it is broadcast the levels of even the same programme can be different at home. A programme broadcast on SD will have a PCM soundtrack with no dianorm meta data, but the same soundtrack on HD will have a Dolby Digital soundtrack and will have the -23 dianorm setting and will be 10db quieter at home if the home receiver can read this metadata. It seems until the home receivers are standardised there will always be variations of levels.
If you import a Dolby Digital file into Premiere it will change its level depending on the dianorm setting, it will appear quieter than you exported it.


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