Section Meeting Report Nov 2016

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2016-12-10 06:38

The meeting was opened by recently elected chairperson, Lars-Olof Janflod. The section continues the tradition of everyone introducing themselves before the meeting begins. This seems to be a good way of stimulating networking later in the evening.

Per Sjösten, Regional VP, then talked briefly about the AES as an organisation for the benefit of those in attendance who are not currently members.
Per also talked about the recent passing of Leo Beranek and some of the notable projects he had worked with.

The evening moved forward with our host, Pedro Ferreira, who talked about his move to Sweden from London and the construction of the recording studio we sat in. Pedro hired renowned acoustician, Nick Whitaker, to design of the acoustics in both the live room and control room. It was the consensus that the project had succeeded and the acoustics were well controlled.

The group then had a break for refreshments, kindly sponsored by Genelec. A lively networking session ensued and, as a result, it was quite a job getting everyone to sit in readiness for the main event.

Thomas Lund from Genelec gave his informative talk entitled ‘Give Peaks A Chance!”.

Thomas’ presentation revolves around the issues concerning loudness in music production and delivery.

Thomas introduced the concept of the Peak to Loudness Ratio (PLR) and explained the problem of determining the true peak level in digitally sampled audio. An algorithm has been developed at TC Electronic which determines the inter sample peaks. The PLR is represented in a recently developed metering scheme called Loudness Units Full Scale – LUFS.

Since the 1980’s, when dynamic ranges were at a maximum (Ortner, 2012), there has been a steady decrease in PLR to the point where today, values smaller than 6dB are the norm.
Thomas is member of an initiative called Nordic Dynamic. The aim is to promote audio quality excellence through the understanding of dynamic range and peak normalisation. To this end, a software program has been developed to allow producers and recordists to check the various parameters such as PLR, LUFS etc. It is currently in beta and available on the Nordic Dynamic website.

Various music excerpts were played to demonstrate the difference between wide dynamic range and very low dynamic range. It was immediately apparent that the low PLR recordings sounded awful in comparison to those with higher PLR.

A consequence of the loudness wars is an increase of hearing loss in people who use personal media players. Normalising to peaks instead of loudness allows producers to compress and hard limit tracks so that they are loud enough in the cheaper variants of players and headphones.

A lively discussion was had after Thomas’ talk in which the idea of artists making tracks with different dynamic ranges and target levels depending on the intended platform for release.

There was a large attendance of more than 30 audio professionals.

The audience listens attentively to the presentation

Pedro describes his studios

Thomas gives his presentation titled Give Peaks A Chance!

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