Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

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alexdingley
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Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by alexdingley » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:46 am

Part Techie question about levels on sat-radio

With Terrestrial Radio, I know they have a ton of multi-band limiters / etc... but do they always use them? With SiriusXM, do they have all that / use it at all?

A comedy client asked me if the level on a project was "appropriate for broadcast", and I didn't know the answer. I'd re-mastered a quick / dirty recording of theirs for a sirius comedy channel... and I aimed for "CD Release" loudness.. (because I didn't know it was for Radio, until after the job was done).

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:11 am

I've been doing an XM radio / music show for a client for over 15 years.

My levels are always, for music, -4 dBFS. For dialog, about the same, probably less than that.
Not a lot of limiting on my end, just use a Waves L2 plug in st to -1dB threshold, -0.2 output limit, for safety.
Usually, the voice might pop out a little over that -4dBFS, but it is rare. Mostly, everything is under this level.
This way, it forces any processing they may do to make our show LOUDER, if anything. And it won't crush or reduce the levels in this process.

Never had a single complaint about the levels.

As to terrestrial radio, I used to be Chief Honcho Engineer at a company called Radio Express. They had weekly top 20 radio shows, and compilation CDs of American and sometimes International music for radio clients as well, sent every week. Something like 25 products each week. Sent to some 5,000 radio companies, and who knows how many actual transmitters each one owned, from 1 to 100...

The rule there was to make EVERYTHING top out at -1dBFS, maximum. Here, of course, we did limit the program material of the shows anywhere from 1-4 dB, on average, BUT NOT THE MUSIC, only the dialog and sound effects etc. The music, we would do a "normalization", set to Stereo, so their maximum level was never over -1dBFS.

Several times, the boss would be traveling in other countries to renew contracts, and every time one of our products came on the air, it sounded great, better in many cases than other shows. Africa was particularly challenging, as they have the BBC "standards", French "standards", American "standards", but do not really apply them at all. Mostly it is a free for all. Asia is better and more consistent with their broadcast standards.

Cheers
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MoreSpaceEcho
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Re: Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:11 pm

wait what? -4dbfs is super cranking mega smashed death magnetic loud! do you not mean -14dbfs?

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Re: Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:12 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:11 pm
wait what? -4dbfs is super cranking mega smashed death magnetic loud! do you not mean -14dbfs?
For PEAKS. In the end, the AVERAGE is around whatever the hell it is, depending on the program material. LOL.
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Re: Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:40 am

haha. okay. you mentioned putting the L2 output ceiling at -0.2, so i was confused.

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Re: Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:49 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:40 am
haha. okay. you mentioned putting the L2 output ceiling at -0.2, so i was confused.
That is just for the occasional runaway transient, which mostly doe snot occur.
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Re: Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by alexdingley » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:00 pm

Once again, many thanks for the thoughts on this! So far I'm getting great feedback from the comic and the couple people that they've shared it with... so that's encouraging. Looks like this has put me in a good light for their next project, which is super exciting!

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Re: Broadcast-Quality? for SiruisXM

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:14 pm

Comedy is the new rock and roll.

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