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Loudness and TV-sound?
As a humanist doing research on sound in television, I wonder If someone on
the Auditory list might be able to help me. I recently read an article in
New Scientist written by Barry Fox, taking up an issue I am interested in:
Loudness in TV-commercials
After describing the common technique of compressing sound to make it sound
loud, Fox writes: "Another technique, pioneered in the 1960s by the Tamla
Motown studios in Detroit, uses both filters and compressors to separate
the audible spectrum into narrow bands and pack as much energy into each
one as possible. This equalises the level of loudness for all the backing
instruments. The voice of one singer is then mixed to peak at a carefully
chosen frequency so it stands out."
Are anyone on the list familiar with the technique Fox describes? And would
you be able to say something more about it, or guide me to literature or
references? I only partly understand what's being described (being a
humanist having my only psychoacoustic 'training' from following this list
:-) and from trying hard to understand the excellent books of Al Bregman,
Stephen Handel and others of your colleges). Does this technique imply
'pushing up' levels around 3-5 kHz, where our ears are the most sensitive?
Or do they compress the sound, say, within every 3rd octave band (or less)
regardless of the sensitivity of our ears? Might this be related to the use
of Exciters, that - from what I understand - are often used in TV-ads to
generate higher intensity at the frequencies where sound seems louder?
Also: If anyone has read ANYTHING dealing with loudness manipulation in
television, radio or film (or related to the use of psychoacoustic 'black
boxes' like the Exciter), I would be very thankful for references! As far
as I can find out, there is preciously little published on this aspect of
psychoacoustics, that most of us encounter every day, whether we live in
Norway or the US. At least from what I have been able to find by searching
the net, libraries, various journal-databases, usenet-lists etc.
Kind greetings from Arnt Maaso
Arnt Maas=F8, Stipendiat
Institutt for medier og kommunikasjon,
Universitetet i Oslo
P.b. 1093 Blindern, 0317 Oslo
Telefon: +47 22 85 04 19 Telefax: +47 22 85 04 01