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Thread: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

  1. #1

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    Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Just wanted toss this question out there. I've reviewed a little bit of the Normalization options and I'm just a little unclear. For the sake of broadcast and streaming production, what is the best method through the converter to Normalize to a Loudness standard. The terminology is different than what I am accustom to working with. So, allow me to ask a few questions.

    1) What is the most effective way to Normalize to a LuFS/LKFS scale? I wish to normalize to custom levels (destructively/permanently). Some at -16 LuFS, some at -18 LuFS, and some at -23 LuFS. Depending on content.
    2) The option in the DSP for "Volume Normalize" is stated in dB no matter the type selected. Is this just due to a carry-over in the development? Is it really LuFS
    3) The "Adaptive" type of Normalization in the Help section as an adjustment of dynamics, like a limiter/compress may provide. My question here is that, there is a "window length" (time) setting, and a max amplification (analogous to threshold?). But there are no settings for:
    * Attack/Look Ahead (how fast it adjusts the audio)
    * Release (how fast the adjustment recovers)
    * dBTP (TruePeak... the absolute peak limit to avoid encoder gain clip)
    So are there any specifications as to what those may be?
    4) Would it be appropriate to say that "Track Normalization" is analogous to "Integrated"? And "Adaptive Normalization" is analogous to "Momentary"? (using EBU R128 as a reference).
    5) ReplayGain (admittedly, of which I'm not very familiar), and EBU R128 both have the same parameters available. So, what differs between the two?

    Thanks for the help,
    Charles

  2. #2

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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Just a second post. It seems even if I choose EBU R128 Volume Normalization and set the value to -18 dB... it is not normalized to any EBU R128 LuFS scale. It just normalizes to -23 peak dB as far as I can determine. So perhaps there is a bug?

    Thanks

  3. #3
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by PureChuckles View Post
    Just a second post. It seems even if I choose EBU R128 Volume Normalization and set the value to -18 dB... it is not normalized to any EBU R128 LuFS scale. It just normalizes to -23 peak dB as far as I can determine. So perhaps there is a bug?
    Perhaps this is designed to accord with the EBU Recommendation

    "the Programme Loudness Level shall be normalised to a Target Level of -23.0 LUFS."
    https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/r/r128-2014.pdf

    But regardless, it fails to accord with the dBpa docs:

    "EBU R128: ... Internally the audio is calculated to a -23LUFS level, it can be adjusted with the dB scale on the right."
    https://www.dbpoweramp.com/help/Codec/DSP/help.htm

    though this itself seem contradicted by:

    "dBpoweramp DSP Version Changes
    Release 12

    Volume Normalize EBU-R128 defaults to -18 dB target volume."

    https://www.dbpoweramp.com/help/Codec/DSP/version.html
    Last edited by chrisjj; 10-19-2016 at 09:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by PureChuckles View Post
    2) The option in the DSP for "Volume Normalize" is stated in dB no matter the type selected. Is this just due to a carry-over in the development? Is it really LuFS
    The labelling is confused and confusing. Starting with the legacy title "Volume Normalize", for which dB is correct. But this dialog now handles also Loudness Normalisation, for which the title, slider label and slider units are incorrect. Correct would be "Volume/Loudness Normalization", "Desired loudness" and "LUFS".

    Spoon, I suggest when Type is set to one of the two loudness options, the slider label change to "Desired loudness" and the slider units change to "LUFS".

    Also I think the Volume options' slider units would be better stated as "dbFS".

    And note the extra/missing spaces here: http://i.imgur.com/siWT2LR.png

    Quote Originally Posted by PureChuckles View Post
    4) Would it be appropriate to say that "Track Normalization" is analogous to "Integrated"?
    More than analogous, I hope! :-) It should be EBU R128 Integrated. https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3341.pdf .

    Quote Originally Posted by PureChuckles View Post
    5) ReplayGain (admittedly, of which I'm not very familiar), and EBU R128 both have the same parameters available. So, what differs between the two?
    EBU R128 is based on scientific research, and is thought to be more accurate.

  5. #5
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Instead of having to know (and this is not shown anywhere in the DSP) that the LUFS value for EBU R128 used to be -23 and now has been changed to -18, and having a slider and box which allow you to make changes to the LUFS level without ever actually showing you the level you are setting, Why not have it clearly marked what the LUFS value is in the DSP with a slider which allows you to change the actual LUFS level and showing the LUFS level the DSP is actually configured to? And this should be the same in both the MAC and Windows versions.

  6. #6

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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjj View Post
    Perhaps this is designed to accord with the EBU Recommendation

    "the Programme Loudness Level shall be normalised to a Target Level of -23.0 LUFS."
    https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/r/r128-2014.pdf
    Thanks for the quick reply. I believe you might be pointing out a mis-interpretation by the developer(s). Even though EBU states the target is "-23" (LuFS) to make compliant for R128 set standards, from what I can see dBpoweramp is making three errors.

    1) It is ignoring any target set by the user and instead uses an embedded/set target for R128 to be the value of "-23".
    2) Unfortunately the value of -23 is being used as dB instead of LuFS (ITU BS1770). For my particular content, -23 db ended up being around -34 LuFS.
    3) As a result of point 2, the normalization is being treated as a peak value and so only the peaks were reaching -23 (dB). By some this point and point 2 could be the same.

    I'll take a stab that "probably" some type of phrasing we are looking for in the options are:

    a) Peak to Peak (dB)
    b) EBU R128 (-23 LuFs Integrated) ** Which calculates the overall track volume and adjusts to average -23 LuFS
    c) EBU R128 (-23 LuFs Adaptive) ** Which calculates the based on the R128 standards deviation within the allotted window and corrects dynamics to level
    d) ITU bs 1770 (custom LuFS/LKFS Integrated) ** Similar to B, but allows the user to set a custom loudness level such as -18 LuFS/LKFS
    e) ITU bs 1770 (custom LuFS/LKFS Adaptive) ** Similar to C, but allows the user to set a custom loudness level but include
    f) ATSC A/85 (-24 LKFS) ** if so desired to include: window, deviation, attack, release. A decent UI reference is that of Adobe Audition.

    To be honest, for my greedy needs, "D" is all I need. To normalize (match loudness) of a track without changing dynamics to a custom LuFS level.

    Thanks for the helpful comments
    -Charles

  7. #7

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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjj View Post
    Perhaps this is designed to accord with the EBU Recommendation

    "the Programme Loudness Level shall be normalised to a Target Level of -23.0 LUFS."
    https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/r/r128-2014.pdf
    Thanks for the quick reply. I believe you might be pointing out a mis-interpretation by the developer(s). Even though EBU states the target is "-23" (LuFS) to make compliant for R128 set standards, from what I can see dBpoweramp is making three errors.

    1) It is ignoring any target set by the user and instead uses an embedded/set target for R128 to be the value of "-23".
    2) Unfortunately the value of -23 is being used as dB instead of LuFS (ITU BS1770). For my particular content, -23 db ended up being around -34 LuFS.
    3) As a result of point 2, the normalization is being treated as a peak value and so only the peaks were reaching -23 (dB). By some this point and point 2 could be the same.

    I'll take a stab that "probably" some type of phrasing we are looking for in the options are:

    a) Peak to Peak (dB)
    b) EBU R128 (-23 LuFs Integrated) ** Which calculates the overall track volume and adjusts to average -23 LuFS
    c) EBU R128 (-23 LuFs Adaptive) ** Which calculates the based on the R128 standards deviation within the allotted window and corrects dynamics to level
    d) ITU bs 1770 (custom LuFS/LKFS Integrated) ** Similar to B, but allows the user to set a custom loudness level such as -18 LuFS/LKFS
    e) ITU bs 1770 (custom LuFS/LKFS Adaptive) ** Similar to C, but allows the user to set a custom loudness level but include
    f) ATSC A/85 (-24 LKFS) ** if so desired to include: window, deviation, attack, release. A decent UI reference is that of Adobe Audition.

    To be honest, for my greedy needs, "D" is all I need. To normalize (match loudness) of a track without changing dynamics to a custom LuFS level.

    Thanks for the helpful comments
    -Charles

  8. #8
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    > Also I think the Volume options' slider units would be better stated as "dbFS".

    Oops. Of course that should be "dBFS".

  9. #9
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by jfkaess View Post
    Instead of having to know (and this is not shown anywhere in the DSP) that the LUFS value for EBU R128 used to be -23 and now has been changed to -18,
    If it has, then the labelling needs changing, because the whole point of EBU R128 as a standard is that the loudness value is -23. A setting of -18 is not EBU R128. It is just BS.1770 at -18.

    BS.1770 is the measure. EBU R128 is a specific value.

    Quote Originally Posted by jfkaess View Post
    Why not have it clearly marked what the LUFS value is in the DSP with a slider which allows you to change the actual LUFS level and showing the LUFS level the DSP is actually configured to?
    I suggest:

    Title: Volume/loudness normalisation

    Type: BS.1770 loudness (track)
    Desired loudness: {slider} {number} LUFS

    Type: EBU R128 loudness (track)
    Desired loudness: -23 LUFS

  10. #10
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    I confirmed with Spoon several months ago that with Volume Normalize DSP 12, the EBU R128 was changed without noting it in any way in the codec, that it was defaulting to -18 instead of -23. I had already ripped hundreds of CD's at -23 as it was in Volume Normalize DSP v11, and want to keep all my CD's ripped to the same level, so the stealth change to -18 was disconcerting, and now i have to manually change the setting to -5 in order to keep volume levels the same between CDs/

    I still feel very strongly that the Volume Normaize DSP should clearly indicate the actual level LUFS being used.

  11. #11
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjj View Post
    If it has, then the labelling needs changing, because the whole point of EBU R128 as a standard is that the loudness value is -23. A setting of -18 is not EBU R128. It is just BS.1770 at -18.

    BS.1770 is the measure. EBU R128 is a specific value.
    As an aside to this discussion, note that foobar2000's ReplayGain utility also uses the EBU R128 "approach" but uses a loudness value of "-18". There is no setting to change this in foobar2000. I recall this was reported as being done because the -18 setting got close to the old ReplayGain algorithm set to its default level of 89db.

  12. #12
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by jfkaess View Post
    I confirmed with Spoon several months ago that with Volume Normalize DSP 12, the EBU R128 was changed without noting it in any way in the codec, that it was defaulting to -18 instead of -23.
    That's really disappointing to hear. I hope this gets addressed before too many users invest in the -18 in ignorance.

    There needs to be a true EBU R128 type. Clearly the existing one now should be kept but it should be renamed accurately: BS.1770 at -18. It should not be allowed to remain, offering EBU R128 but secretly delivering the non-standard variant.

  13. #13
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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    As an aside to this discussion, note that foobar2000's ReplayGain utility also uses the EBU R128 "approach" but uses a loudness value of "-18". There is no setting to change this in foobar2000. I recall this was reported as being done because the -18 setting got close to the old ReplayGain algorithm set to its default level of 89db.
    Which bit of the word standard do they not understand?? :-)

  14. #14

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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    "REPLY TO POST" doesn't work for me, I'm trying this message as a "QUICK REPLY".. I have tried a couple of times with suggestions of clarity. I somewhat concur with ChrisJJ that EBU-R128 "is" -23.. anything different is not that and should be called "BS 1770". And technically it cannot be referred to as EBU-R128 just by Track (Integrated) normalization unless it passes all specifications, most notably the deviation. So unless the deviation was within spec on a track normalize, it wouldn't pass.

    My initial reply attempt follows below (although I have edited some as I feel it still wasn't accurate):
    -=-==-
    Thanks for the quick reply. I believe you might be pointing out a mis-interpretation by the developer(s). Even though EBU states the target is "-23" (LuFS), in order to make compliant for R128 standards, from what I can see dBpoweramp is making three errors.

    1) It is IGNORING any target set by the user and instead uses an embedded/set target for R128 to be the value of "-23". So, changing the value did nothing for me.
    2) Unfortunately the value of -23 that s being used, is as dB instead of LuFS (ITU R BS1770). For my particular content, -23 db ended up being around -34 LuFS which is very low.
    3) As a result of point 2, the Normalization process that dBp is undertaking is as a "Peak" normalization, and so only the peaks were reaching -23 (dB). By some this point and point 2 could be the same.

    I'll take a stab that "probably" some type of phrasing we are looking for in the options are:

    a) Peak to Peak (dB)
    b) EBU R128 (-23 LuFs) ** Which is rather an "adaptive" method that calculates the result based on the R128 standards deviation within the allotted window and corrects leveling dynamics.
    c) ITU bs 1770 (custom LuFS/LKFS Integrated) ** Similar to B, but allows the user to set a custom loudness level such as -18 LuFS/LKFS
    d) ITU bs 1770 (custom LuFS/LKFS Adaptive) ** Similar to C, but allows the user to set a custom loudness level but includes: Window, Deviation, Attack, Release, TruePeak Max. A somewhat decent UI reference is that of Adobe Audition even though their terms are technically inaccurate, as well.
    e) ATSC A/85 (-24 LKFS) ** if so desired to include as an option, which is also an adaptive method. But honestly, just having option D could solve it all... and then have profiles that spec R128 or anything else.
    f) Fixed amplification

    For my greedy needs, at this time, "C" is all I need. To normalize (match loudness) of a track without changing dynamics to a custom LuFS level. Again, maybe re-thinking it all and just offer option "D" as it could cover all bases, with profiles that can include R128, ATSC, Custom... whatever. Just a thought.

    Thanks for the helpful comments
    -Charles

    ** Tons of edits, sorry **
    Last edited by PureChuckles; 10-19-2016 at 05:50 PM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Loudness (ITU BS 1770 / EBU R128) Normalization

    Well this thread got pretty messed up with my delayed posts.

    If anyone cares, here is an ITU R BS 1770 normalization tool. It is command line. Looks as though the developer has been at this for a while, but I've never ran across it before. Started out as R128gain, but he has re-written it as BS1770gain (no GUI for it yet, it is only CLI), So, he has the right idea in the options. It is GNU General Public License. Good solution, albeit it doesn't handle my format of audio files.

    http://bs1770gain.sourceforge.net/*intro

    Cheers

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