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October 18, 2013 / Randy Coppinger

Loudness in Interactive Sound at Sony

My notes from the Oct 18, 2013 presentation at AES 135 Convention in New York:
G4: Loudness in Interactive Sound Roundup
by Garry Taylor at Sony

1 LU = 1 dB (sort of…)

EBU Tech 3342 is the TC authored paper about loudness range. The top and bottom 10% are discarded in the TC loudness range measurement. EBU recommendation for home use is a loudness range of 20 LU.

Why standards?
Users deserve a consistent loudness experience.
We want to promote good engineering practices.
Protect the format (and equipment) used to deliver content.

Codecs don’t deal with clipping very well.
Headroom is very important when downmixing from multi-channel to stereo.

Sony’s standards for loudness:
PS3 / PS4: -24 LUFS +/-2
PSVita (mobile): -18 LUFS +/-2
True Peak should not exceed -1 dBTP
Loudness Range (LRA) should not exceed 20 LU

There is loudness code that runs on PS4 development tools. Developers must measure their games and submit the reports, but are not automatically held back if missed.

DSP limiters onboard are not currently True Peak, so they set standard limiters at -1.5dB, which MAY exceed -1 dBTP.

Report from AES on Loudness on Interactive Sound Game Audio

Audio should be measured as a whole, not dialog or other isolated content specifically.
Splash screens are measured separately from gameplay.
Titles should be measured for a minimum of 30 minutes with no maximum, targeting a representative cross-section of all game play.

Loudness testing happens at the very end of development. Make a great sounding game first!

Loudness in interactive entertainment is an inexact science – because content is presented based on player activity.

These best practices are informing a set of parameters for content creators, especially for dialog localization.

IESD is working on recommendations for mobile games.

For more convention presentations, photos, audio gear, etc. see: 135th AES NY Roundup

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