Calming the Radio and Internet

David Bialik
Loudness has always been a prickly subject for radio — every station wants to be heard and stand out but do you want to alienate listeners? As Internet streaming becomes more of a fact of life it too finds itself in a loudness debate.

Taking on this topic is an AES session, “Loudness Control for Radio and Internet Streaming,” Oct. 17, 3:45–5:15.

David Bialik, who also oversees the development of the AES convention’s broadcast audio sessions, will be moderating the session.

He says, “Prior to digital tuners radio stations would try to be the loudest so they would stand out when spinning the dial. Today, radio broadcasts and streams want to be loud but due to the rules of digital technology we cannot surpass 0 dB.”

Yet, he notes, “With audio being injected from multiple sources loudness levels must be controlled otherwise we will experience the same complaints that led to the CALM Act in the U.S. and PLOUD in Europe.” Furthermore, “With streaming entering the car we do not want to shock motorists with injected audio much louder than the previous audio?”

Looking at these thoughts, joining Bialik will be Robert Bleidt, Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies; Florian Camerer, ORF, Austrian TV; Frank Foti, CEO, Telos Alliance; John Kean, NPR; and Robert Orban, Orban. 
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