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Where's the 'mute' button? (Read 80634 times)
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Where's the 'mute' button?
Sep 16th, 2009, 10:34am
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/sep/16/uktv-yesterday-asa-loud-ads


"Adverts during Catherine Cookson drama on digital channel once called UKTV History four decibels louder than show".


Well, we always thought they were, didn't we?

They used  a "subjective loudness meter"....
Does anyone listen to the output nowadays?
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Dickie Mint
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #1 - Sep 28th, 2009, 4:34pm
 
Ah, but the "loudness meter" I imagine is the new one the EBU have been working on for years, and is designed to more critically measure the level.
It is a far better device to use when is there is no one listening.  And I'm afraid in today's TV age, whilst there are plenty of marketers and managers there are precious few who bother about getting it right for the viewer!
Maybe Sir John Tusa's letter will prompt the BBC, at least, to start thinking of the viewer (and listener.

Just think, proper sound levels, no shakycam, no dogs, no film effect.......

If only!

Richard Taylor
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Richard
 
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Amigo
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #2 - Sep 28th, 2009, 5:08pm
 
... and no background music.....

The most irritating thing? Every scene change there is a new piece of music, which is often 'dipped' within a few seconds. Why bother with it?

It's out of context, adds nothing and makes the important sound hard to hear. Angry


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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #3 - Sep 29th, 2009, 9:19am
 
Whilst I understand the push for Dolby Digital 5.1 perhaps some consideration should be given to the many people who have some difficulty hearing speech over music or audience reaction.  There is nothing wrong with most mixes I hear, even at my great age, 65, but for those not so lucky, programmes are becoming tiresome as a mixture of deafness and brain processing slow-down take effect.
On many shows it would not be that difficult to create a mono feed of the dialogue; I'm not suggesting a carefully crafted second mix, just a feed of the dialogue that makes between 4 and 6 on the PPM.
I would welcome any suggestion that would offer a method of transmission, without marring the enjoyment of the surround-sound HD-ready, gold plated phono-plug people.
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #4 - Sep 29th, 2009, 12:27pm
 
There was an experiment with (I think) a NHU production, when they had a "Red Button" facility which changed the selected sound track to "narration only" I believe.

I do think that in this age of digital technology and Dolby 5.1 sound, it must be possible to broadcast an option of "Centre narriation" only on an audio channel so those that detest "over (sound) production" can actually HEAR the programme!


I say again... "Is there anyone out there ACTUALLY listening" (on decent monitoring speakers and not cheap headphones in front of a computer)?

Oh, and by the way.. remember we don't all live in a perfect acoustic environment.
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Turn the music off and let me hear the 'sound'!
Reply #5 - Oct 8th, 2009, 8:21pm
 
In the latest issue of "Prospero" there is the following letter:-

Control freaks.

There is no such thing as silence. The whole world is a soundscape, which is why we have ears in the first place.

Unfortunately the majority of those in control of what goes onto soundtracks live with their ears plugged directly to their MP3 players, so they have never grasped this truth. They believe that life needs a musical accompaniment. Hence the incompetent imposition of music that destroys the finished programme.

Well, that's the charitable view. The other one is that they are unbridled control freaks, determined to make us listen to what we would never wish to hear.
You choose.

Andy Bryant


Thank you, Mr. Bryant.

I don't need to be told that a scene has changed, so please, producers, don't play (yet) more music. I don't need the pollution. I just want to hear what's going on!!!
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #6 - Jan 27th, 2010, 2:16pm
 
Hello I'm new here.
I worked in London for a while but mostly in Scotland.
At one stage in my career I used to tech review programmes and package presentation trails. In the early 90's TV continuity asked if we could boost the audio on their trailers by about 6dB over what was considered to be the norm.
We put up some resistence at grass roots level but ultimately failed they remain loud to this day..
When I watch TV and the sound is too loud on either the beeb or other channels it only serves to prompt me to switch over or switch off!
Conclusion: It doesn't work!! Roll Eyes
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #7 - Jan 27th, 2010, 6:28pm
 
It certainly doesn't!

John
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Amigo
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #8 - Feb 17th, 2010, 6:44am
 
Sherlock Holmes TV ads 'too loud'

"Eight advertisements shown during an episode of Sherlock Holmes were so loud that they breached regulations, the industry watchdog has ruled.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the slots on digital channel ITV3 were "excessively strident".

But it said complaints about noisy advertisements have gone down since rules were tightened two years ago.

ITV3 said the series was made in the 1980s and had many silent pauses so the commercials seemed louder."




"Seemed Louder" and "Many Silent pauses".

Perhaps that's why we liked them! We weren't bombarded by over-produced noise!
Let the pictures tell the story- we don't need a 'sting' of music every time there is a change of mood, neither do we need 'noise' all the time.

Please producers, and 'new-wave' audio technicians, leave well alone- and where there is real sound ...

leave it there and don't cover it up!


The article went on to say....

" In the US, the House of Representatives recently passed a bill to curb loud advertisements.  "


Anyone know an MP?
Source:-
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8519231.stm
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« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2010, 4:33pm by Amigo »  
 
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #9 - Feb 19th, 2010, 8:25am
 
The Daily Mail has joined in the fray with Richard Littlejohn's point of view.

About half way through the article...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1252133/Man-pedaloes-chaps-save-Falkla...

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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #10 - Feb 26th, 2010, 3:28am
 
It's a measure of the problem that we have had to change our remote control twice in the past four years because the mute button has failed due to over-use! The irritating thing about the whole sound shambles is that Managements of all the broadcasting providers are in denial that there is a problem. Don't they listen/view at home too?.....or do  they have only preview discs of progrmmes to watch?
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #11 - Feb 28th, 2010, 8:46am
 
The BBC, for a start, does have a code of practice for TV programmes sound.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/advice/viewerswithhearinglos...

and, in detail :-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/advice/viewerswithhearinglos...

It, amongst others, says that someone who hasn't heard the final mix before should listen to it.

I particularly like :- "One in seven of the population are deaf or hard of hearing.  More than 50% of the over 50s suffer from some degree of hearing loss."  That means there's lots of us.

In other forums I frequently suggest that more viewers should complain.  And if the complaint gets the standard reply, do a Freedom of Information Act request asking what monitoring was done of the sound to check compliance with the code of practice.

Something else I saw suggested was to email the producer with a link to the code of practice!

EDIT:: The documents produced by the agency regulating ads are interesting:
http://www.cap.org.uk/CAP-and-BCAP-Consultations/Closed-consultations/BCAP-consu...
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Richard
 
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Amigo
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #12 - Feb 28th, 2010, 10:25am
 
I like this bit from the above pdf:-

6.9 Sound levels in advertisements

Advertisements must not be excessively noisy or strident. The maximum subjective loudness of advertisements must be consistent and in line with the maximum loudness of programmes and junction material.

Broadcasters must endeavour to minimise the annoyance that perceived imbalances could cause, with the aim that the audience need not adjust the volume of their television sets during programme breaks.  For editorial reasons, however, commercial breaks sometimes occur during especially quiet parts of a programme, with the result that advertisements at normally acceptable levels seem loud in comparison.

Measurement and balancing of subjective loudness levels should  
preferably be carried out using a loudness-level meter, ideally conforming to ITU recommendations (See note 1).  If a peak-reading meter (See note 2) is used instead, the maximum level of the advertisements must be at least 6dB less than the maximum  
level of the programmes (See note 3) to take account of the limited dynamic range exhibited by most advertisements.

Notes:
(1) The relevant ITU recommendations are ITU-R BS1770 Algorithms to measure audio programme loudness and true-peak audio level and ITU-R BS1771 Requirements for loudness and true-peak indicating meters.

(2) Peak-reading meters should be a PPM Type IIa as specified in BS6840: Part 10, Programme Level Meters.

(3) Normal convention for analogue audio is that the peak sound level of programmes is set to be no higher than +8dBm, which corresponds to ‘6’  on a peak-reading meter. The peak sound level of advertisements should therefore be limited to +2dBm or ‘4.5’ on a peak-reading meter. Note: +8dBm corresponds to a digital audio level of -10dB relative to digital clipping level. ITU-R BS.645 and EBU recommendation R68-2000 describe how analogue audio levels should be translated into digital levels.



So, that's OK then. All sorted. Everyone's paying attention.......
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #13 - Mar 1st, 2010, 7:23pm
 
Dickie Mints quotes from the BBC guidelines on audio control do not encompass the fact that many programmes are now made by outside contractors who do not .for example,have a 'mono' monitor or even any technical facilities above that of a computer in an office!.....and certainly have never been subject to any guidelines other than 'do it quickly and do it cheaply'.
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Re: Where's the 'mute' button?
Reply #14 - Mar 2nd, 2010, 5:03pm
 
Ah! But!
The intro page for the Editorial Policy :-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/

says:
"The BBC Editorial Guidelines outline the standards the BBC expects of all BBC content on TV, radio and online.
They are designed for everyone who makes content for the BBC, to help them deal with difficult editorial decisions."

(my emboldening)
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Richard
 
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