Audio broadcasting standards

Code of practice:

1.11 Commercials must not be excessively noisy or strident;

1.12 Licensees must do everything reasonably possible to ensure that commercials do not sound louder than adjacent programming;

1.13 Studio transmission must not be increased from normal levels during program breaks

1.14 A licensee shall be deemed to have complied with Clauses 1.11 and 1.12 provided it ensures that the relevant requirements of Free TV Australia’s Operation Practice Note on Loudness of Advertisements, as amended from time to time, have been met. This requirement is satisfied if a person submitting a commercial certifies to the licensee that all requirements of the Operational Practice Note on Loudness of Advertisements concerning compression, limiting and equalization have been met.
Introduction into Free TV Australia’s standards and problems:

The Free TV Australia broadcasting standards have been predominantly focused on the loudness (db) in advertising in Australia. The highest peak on television is when a show goes to an ad break, and it can be heard on some of our major television stations, channel nine, channel ten, channel seven and also new channels that have been introduced into the mainstream TV scene. There are a variety of reasons why this is an ongoing debate and how it is happening?

Many problems have been associated with the loudness on TV commercials and other programs, and due to the difficulty with the measurements of the volume, the loudness is subjected by numerous interfering factors like volume, pitch, compression and EQ. Processing can also be a factor to the loudness such as, Distortion and reverb. These are some of the possibilities that could be the culprit of making advertisement louder than programs even though the entire broadcast is at the same level of volume. There have been concerns regarding the loudness in the past but there have been no actions made. TV programs with intense music and SFX to it would appear louder than other programs including specific genre TV shows over talk shows.

Operational practice 48:

Operational Practice 48 has been the standard when mixing for broadcast on Australian TV. It’s enforced differently, depending on which TV station your soundtrack is being broadcast on. OP 48 is also based on VU and Peak level which is more a measure of the signal of the audio rather than the loudness of the actual sound track itself. Now, using multiband compression and EQ makes the sound louder while meeting the op48 requirements. (Milne, S. (2012))

Solutions and recommendations by free TV Australia’s OP48:

The solution and recommendations for the loudness problems have been seen through by the free TV Australia operational practice 48. It reveals the main topics, so number one being the loudness which talks about the factors that interfere with each program of a broadcast. The dynamic and spectral range need to be taken into consideration when in production. The second topic, states that commercials must be assigned to a 1 kilohertz tone that can be represented as any audio material when played at normal levels. The digital audio system levels will be below 20db and this will add up to zero VU on the stations audio level meters and signal transmission from the station must be minus 20db in case there is a risk of digital clipping. The third topic talks about some of the main factors that create the loudness that appears and they are compression, limiting, and equalization. While compression should be carried out in the production process to balance and force the dynamic range of each element and also the whole product of work especially when making some sort of score or sound track. Limiting is the main tool used on body of works to prevent unnecessary distortion, it is also used to make the sound as loud as possible without it distorting or losing its colour. When recording any sort of program or commercial, a limiter cannot be used. Especially when there’s too much of a noisy sound in the production. This leaves Spectral manipulation (equalization), spectral manipulation or equalization is a common tool and very easy tool to use. Its purpose remains in audio production but with careful management taken, the main broadcast audio won’t overload, if heaps of equalization is compromised frequently.

i believe i have ticked off LO 10 and 16.


Bibliography:, (2015). Loudness Explained | TC Electronic. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2015].

Milne, S. (2012). OP 59 and Loudness Standards for Australian TV | Sound and Code. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2015].

N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.,. ‘Free TV – Loudness In Advertisements’. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.





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