Explore the audio standards of the film industry

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The film industry ensures the quality of its products, from production to post-production, through audio standards. Due to the increasing demand for audio quality and the diverse needs of different types of production, it is essential to understand the different available standards. This blog post will cover additional film standards, in addition to the widely adopted UER R128 standard, including the UER R99 and CALM standards. These standards provide alternative guidance on how to ensure the audio quality of a film meets a certain standard, as well as guidance on how to ensure it complies with relevant legislation. Each of these standards has its own strengths and weaknesses, and this post will guide you through the main differences between them. We will also explore how to use these alternative standards to create high-quality sound for our film production.

1. UER R128: A standard for controlling sound volume in Europe

When it comes to film standards, there is a European standard that stands out: the UER’s R128. It is a standard for controlling sound volume in Europe, widely used for dubbing in film and television. Created by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in 2010, this standard provides guidelines for sound intensity, ensuring consistency in sound level across all platforms. This means that no matter if you are watching a movie in the cinema, streaming online, or on a TV, you will always get clear and consistent sound. Thanks to the UER R128, sound technicians can easily calibrate audio levels to ensure that viewers always get the same experience, no matter where they watch the film.

2. EBU R99: A standard for measuring sound level

The second European standard, the R99 from the UER, is specifically designed for measuring the sound level of films in cinemas. This standard ensures that the sound levels of a film are consistent in all cinema halls, even when it is dubbed or mixed in different countries. It also sets limits for audio levels, such as the maximum peak level, maximum sound intensity, and actual maximum peak level, so that the maximum sound intensity level does not exceed 105 dB in a cinema hall. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) created this standard to ensure that sound levels in films remain consistent worldwide, which allows viewers to enjoy the same sound quality.

3. CALM: A broadcasting regulation based in the United States

The other common film standards include the European standard, UER R128, and UER R99. UER R128 is the most widely adopted film standard, partly because it sets an international standard for audio levels in cinema, television, and radio. It is also the most used standard for dubbing films in Europe. UER R99 is less used, but it is used for audio levels in cinema and television and includes a number of requirements for audio compression and dynamic range. Finally, the CALM standard is an American broadcasting regulation that sets limits on the loudness of television commercials, as well as the sound levels of other forms of programming.

4. The importance of these standards for audio and video production

The European standard, EBU R128, is an essential component of audio and video production. EBU R128 provides the necessary technical conditions for cinema, films and dubbing. It ensures that audio levels are consistent and of high quality, through the use of sound intensity, dynamic range, and audio range normalization. This standard also ensures that sound is audible and that sound levels are balanced and comfortable. The importance of these standards lies in the fact that they help to ensure that audio and video production is of the highest possible quality. UER’s R99 and CALM standards are also critical pieces of this puzzle, as they contribute to making sure that audio and video production is safe and comfortable for viewers.

5. Why sound engineers should know them

As a sound engineer, it is important to be familiar with audio standards other than those used in the studio. In the film industry, there are several other standards that you must be familiar with, such as UER R128, UER R99 and CALM. These European standards are widely used in the film industry and are essential to ensure that films are properly dubbed and that audio levels are correct in the final production. The knowledge of these other standards helps sound engineers understand the audio requirements in films and can help them make more accurate mixing decisions.

6. Understand the main differences between the standards

If you work in the film industry, you know that there are a variety of standards to be respected when it comes to audio. While the European R128 standard is the most commonly used audio standard, there are other film standards that deserve closer examination, such as the R99 and the UER’s CALM. It is essential to understand the main differences between these standards to ensure that your audio is up to par when it comes to dubbing films. The R128 focuses on the normalization of sound intensity, while both R99 and CALM aim to maintain uniform audio levels across a variety of media. That being said, these three standards are essential to ensuring that film audio is of the highest quality.

7. How to implement these standards

Cinematographic standards have established the European standard R128 for properly calibrating loud sound. It covers both dubbing and cinema sound, and is largely centered around the Loudness Range (LRA) and Integrated Loudness (I) parameters. To implement these standards, it is important to have the proper equipment, such as a loudness meter and specialized audio software. Additionally, it is essential to understand the different ranges of sound intensity (e.g. short-term, momentary, integrated, etc.) and use them correctly. Finally, it is important to monitor the audio during mixing and ensure it adheres to R128 guidelines.

8. Advantages of using standards in audio and video production

The European standard R128 is on its way to becoming the reference standard for audio and video production in cinema, television, and dubbing. This standard describes a set of specifications for audio and video production, and its use presents several distinct advantages. For example, the R128 standard allows for higher audio levels with much less distortion. It also allows for consistent sound and image quality, which means that viewers can enjoy excellent sound and image quality no matter where they are watching. Furthermore, R128 prevents excessive compression of the dynamic range of audio and video, resulting in a better overall visual experience. Finally, the use of R128 helps to comply with international standards and regulations for audio and video production.

In conclusion, while the UER R128, UER R99, and CALM standards are all important for producing a quality film, each has its own objective and implications. The UER R128 standard is the current standard for sound and sound intensity levels, the UER R99 standard is designed to provide guidance to content producers regarding sound intensity levels, and the CALM standard is the standard for commercial advertisements. Ultimately, it is essential to understand the nuances of each standard and how to implement them correctly to produce the best film possible.

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