- Loudness monitoring
Loudness monitoring of
programme levelsis needed in radioand television broadcasting, as well as in audio post production. Traditional methods of measuring signal levels such as the Peak programme meter, and VU meterdo not give the subjectively valid measure of loudnesswhich many would argue is needed to optimise the listening experience when changing channels or swapping disks, and to permit compilations of MP3 recordings on jukeboxdevices like Apple's iPodthat play at compatible levels.
The need for proper loudness monitoring is apparent in the
loudness warthat is now found everywhere in the audio field, and the extreme compression that is now applied to programme levels, which ruins audio quality.
Meters have been introduced that aim to measure the human perceived loudness by taking account of the
equal-loudness contoursand other factors, such as audio spectrum, duration, compression and intensity. One such device was developed by CBS Laboratoriesin the 1980's. Complaints to broadcasters about the intrusive level of interstitials programs (advertisements, commercials) has resulted in projects to develop such meters, that are rapidly going to become fundamental tools for loudness monitoring in the broadcast industry.Based on loudness metering, many manufacturers have developed real-time audio processors that adjust the audio signal to match a specified target loudness level that preserves volume consistency at home listeners.
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