What is EBU R128?
EBU R128 or European Broadcasting Union Recommendation R128 of August 2011 is a set of rules regarding loudness normalisation and permitted maximum level of audio signals during broadcast.
During their study EBU found that regular volume normalisation rules using peak signal measurements failed to assure audibly equal levels of volume between blocks of programming and viewers still complained about sudden changes in loudness while watching programmes, adverts, trailers or when switching from channel to channel even if all channels technically comply with current regulations (usually using maximum allowed peak limit of -10dB).
Additionally, because audio in movies or live programming usually has relatively wide dynamic range - some parts are quieter, some parts are louder, with considerable lengths of silence or just background music between them, many advertisers and jingle creators found a simple way to exploit the rules by compressing audio in promotional material into almost constantly peaking wall of sound which despite being within allowed maximum decibel peak levels, simply sound much louder when the regular programming switches into commercial break.
To countermeasure this across all European channels EBU has now issued new recommendation (R128), defined new international standard for measuring audio programme loudness (ITU-R BS.1770-2), introduced new measuring units - LU (Loudness Unit) and LUFS (Loudness Unit, referenced to Full Scale) plus new measures of Programme Loudness, Loudness Range and Maximum True Peak Level that must be used to characterise an audio signal in broadcast.
List of basic requirements are listed in a column to the right.
Are you looking for a way to normalise audio to EBU R128 levels of -23 LUFS?
Our company is located in South East England and we provide wide range of services to broadcast and postproduction industry. Among our audio services we also offer solutions for digital broadcast master files to meet EBU R128 standard of -23 LUFS within EBU allowed precision of ±1.0 LUFS.
The process is field tested, efficient and in most scenarios does NOT involve (unless specifically requested) any limiting, remixing, remastering, expanding of dynamic range, resampling, editing, cutting or retrimming of your files, in order for them to meet R128 Target Level of -23 LUFS. In case of 99.9% file formats we can ensure adjustments are only done to audio stream and video stream is not processed, recompressed or structurally changed in any way and there is no generation loss involved.
One off contracts are equally welcome to bulks and long term projects. We can offer manual or automatic deliveries, depending on volume, time scales and requirements we can work with physical disk deliveries in both windows and apple formats, collections, digital deliveries, downloads, uploads via cloud of dedicated, localised servers around the world. We offer magnitude of customised processing options including progress notifications, special instructions, time and content sensitivity, full backup and protection of original files during conversion and split target deliveries, where original content is returned back to sender and modified files are supplied to TV stations on behalf of customer.
We can accept most digital video and audio file formats as input. If required we can also offer custom transcoding options between file formats (eg. Avid Uncompressed to Apple ProRes, ProRes to DNxHD, DV to IMX etc etc), majority of which do not involve processing times over 24 hours.
We also offer special/extended manual processing if needed:
- broadcast safety and colorimetry adjustments
- professional standard and frame rate conversions without speeding up of content
- upscaling and downscaling of content
- transfers from tape formats to digital and vice versa, tape standard to tape standard etc
- custom transcoding (eg. to mov or MXF format with multiple audio channels, some of which are normalised at -23 LUFS and some at -10dB peak)
- quality control reports
- Flash and Pattern Analyser reports to ensure your content is safe to broadcast in countries with regulations regarding photosensitive epilepsy.
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To comply with EBU R128 you need to:
- Assure Programme Loudness Level of your content is normalised to a Target Level of -23.0 LUFS. The permitted deviation from the Target Level shall generally not exceed ±1.0 LU.
- The audio signal must be measured in its entirety, beginning to end, without emphasis on specific elements such as voice, music or sound effects.
- The Maximum Permitted True Peak Level of a programme during production must not exceed -1 dBTP (dB True Peak), measured with a meter compliant with both ITU-R BS.1770 and EBU Tech Doc 3341.
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Countries that already adopted R128 between January 2012 and now:
- Russian Federation
- Czech Republic
Non European countries using ITU-R BS.1770:
- Brasil R128
- South Africa R128
- Israel R128
Using similar measures:
- United States: CALM Act A/85 @ -23LKFS in force from Dec, 2012.
- Japan: A/85 @ -24LKFS
- Australia & New Zealand: OP-59 @ -24LKFS in force from Jan, 2013.