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Loudness
In acoustics, loudness is the subjective perception of sound pressure. More formally, it is defined as, "That attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which sounds can be ordered on a scale extending from quiet to loud". The relation of physical attributes of sound to perceived loudness consists of physical, physiological and psychological components. The study of apparent loudness is included in the topic of psychoacoustics and employs methods of psychophysics. In different industries, loudness may have different meanings and different measurement standards. Some definitions, such as ITU-R BS.1770 refer to the relative loudness of different segments of electronically reproduced sounds, such as for broadcasting and cinema. Others, such as ISO 532A (Stevens loudness, measured in sones), ISO 532B ( Zwicker loudness), DIN 45631 and ASA/ANSI S3.4, have a more general scope and are often used to characterize loudness of environmental noise. More modern standards, such as Nord ...
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Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act
The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (/) (CALM Act) requires the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to bar the audio of TV commercials from being broadcast louder than the TV program material they accompany by requiring all "multichannel video programming" distributors to implement the "Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television" issued by the international industry group Advanced Television Systems Committee. The final bill was passed on September 29, 2010. No specific penalties are given; those are to be set by the FCC in its regulations. A TV broadcaster or distributor is "in compliance" if it installs and uses suitable equipment and software. Unlike some FCC regulations, cable system operators are subject to the rule in addition to broadcast stations. After issuing regulations, the FCC began enforcing those regulations on December 13, 2012, after a one-year grace period. History The bill was the United States Senate ...
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Equal-loudness Contour
An equal-loudness contour is a measure of sound pressure level, over the frequency spectrum, for which a listener perceives a constant loudness when presented with pure steady tones. The unit of measurement for loudness levels is the phon and is arrived at by reference to equal-loudness contours. By definition, two sine waves of differing frequencies are said to have equal-loudness level measured in phons if they are perceived as equally loud by the average young person without significant hearing impairment. The Fletcher–Munson curves are one of many sets of equal-loudness contours for the human ear, determined experimentally by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson, and reported in a 1933 paper entitled "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation" in the ''Journal of the Acoustical Society of America''. Fletcher–Munson curves have been superseded and incorporated into newer standards. The definitive curves are those defined in ISO 226 from the International Or ...
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Audio Normalization
Audio normalization is the application of a constant amount of gain to an audio recording to bring the amplitude to a target level (the norm). Because the same amount of gain is applied across the entire recording, the signal-to-noise ratio and relative dynamics are unchanged. Normalization is one of the functions commonly provided by a digital audio workstation. Two principal types of audio normalization exist. Peak normalization adjusts the recording based on the highest signal level present in the recording. Loudness normalization adjusts the recording based on perceived loudness. Normalization differs from dynamic range compression, which applies varying levels of gain over a recording to fit the level within a minimum and maximum range. Normalization adjusts the gain by a constant value across the entire recording. Peak normalization One type of normalization is peak normalization, wherein the gain is changed to bring the highest PCM sample value or analog signal peak t ...
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LKFS
Loudness, K-weighted, relative to full scale (LKFS) is a standard loudness measurement unit used for audio normalization in broadcast television systems and other video and music streaming services. LKFS is standardized in ITU-R BS.1770. In March 2011, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) introduced a loudness gate in the second revision of the recommendation, ITU-R BS.1770-2. In August 2012, the ITU released the third revision of this recommendation ITU-R BS.1770-3. In October 2015, the ITU released the fourth revision of this recommendation ITU-R BS.1770-4. Loudness units relative to full scale (LUFS) is a synonym for LKFS that was introduced in EBU R 128. The EBU has suggested that the ITU should change the unit to LUFS, as LKFS does not comply with scientific naming conventions and is not in line with the standard set out in ISO 80000-8. Furthermore, they suggest the symbol for ''loudness level, k-weighted'' should be Lk, which would make Lk and LUFS equivalent wh ...
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Loudness Compensation
Loudness compensation, or simply loudness, is a setting found on some hi-fi equipment that increases the level of the high and low frequencies. This is intended to be used while listening at low-volume levels, to compensate for the fact that as the loudness of audio decreases, the ear's lower sensitivity to extreme high and low frequencies may cause these signals to fall below the threshold of hearing The absolute threshold of hearing (ATH) is the minimum sound level of a pure tone that an average human ear with normal hearing can hear with no other sound present. The absolute threshold relates to the sound that can just be heard by the organis .... As a result audio material may become thin sounding at low volumes, losing bass and treble. The loudness compensation feature applies equalization and is intended to rectify this situation. Calibration Correct loudness compensation requires a calibrated system with known listening level. Audio level at a listener's ears depends on t ...
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Mary Florentine
Mary Florentine is a Matthews Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University specialising in psychoacoustics with interests in models of hearing (normal and impaired), non-native speech comprehension in background noise, cross-cultural attitudes towards noise, and hearing loss prevention. Her primary collaborator is Søren Buus. Biography Career Florentine completed her undergraduate degree in experimental psychology at Northeastern University in 1973. She continued her graduate study at Northeastern University, earning a master's degree in experimental psychology and auditory perception in 1975. After some time spent studying pre-doctoral electronic engineering at the Technical University of Munich in Germany and at the Audiology and ENT Department at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, she completed her PhD at Northeastern University in 1978. She then went on to work as a post-doctoral research fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mas ...
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Sound Pressure
Sound pressure or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient (average or equilibrium) atmospheric pressure, caused by a sound wave. In air, sound pressure can be measured using a microphone, and in water with a hydrophone. The SI unit of sound pressure is the pascal (Pa). Mathematical definition A sound wave in a transmission medium causes a deviation (sound pressure, a ''dynamic'' pressure) in the local ambient pressure, a ''static'' pressure. Sound pressure, denoted ''p'', is defined by p_\text = p_\text + p, where * ''p''total is the total pressure, * ''p''stat is the static pressure. Sound measurements Sound intensity In a sound wave, the complementary variable to sound pressure is the particle velocity. Together, they determine the sound intensity of the wave. ''Sound intensity'', denoted I and measured in W· m−2 in SI units, is defined by \mathbf I = p \mathbf v, where * ''p'' is the sound pressure, * v is the particle velocity. Ac ...
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Sound Pressure Level
Sound pressure or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient (average or equilibrium) atmospheric pressure, caused by a sound wave. In air, sound pressure can be measured using a microphone, and in water with a hydrophone. The SI unit of sound pressure is the pascal (Pa). Mathematical definition A sound wave in a transmission medium causes a deviation (sound pressure, a ''dynamic'' pressure) in the local ambient pressure, a ''static'' pressure. Sound pressure, denoted ''p'', is defined by p_\text = p_\text + p, where * ''p''total is the total pressure, * ''p''stat is the static pressure. Sound measurements Sound intensity In a sound wave, the complementary variable to sound pressure is the particle velocity. Together, they determine the sound intensity of the wave. ''Sound intensity'', denoted I and measured in W· m−2 in SI units, is defined by \mathbf I = p \mathbf v, where * ''p'' is the sound pressure, * v is the particle velocity. Acous ...
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Stevens's Power Law
Stevens' power law is an empirical relationship in psychophysics between an increased intensity or strength in a physical stimulus and the perceived magnitude increase in the sensation created by the stimulus. It is often considered to supersede the Weber–Fechner law, which is based on a logarithmic relationship between stimulus and sensation, because the power law describes a wider range of sensory comparisons, down to zero intensity. The theory is named after psychophysicist Stanley Smith Stevens (1906–1973). Although the idea of a power law had been suggested by 19th-century researchers, Stevens is credited with reviving the law and publishing a body of psychophysical data to support it in 1957. The general form of the law is :\psi(I) = k I ^a, where ''I'' is the intensity or strength of the stimulus in physical units (energy, weight, pressure, mixture proportions, etc.), ψ(''I'') is the magnitude of the sensation evoked by the stimulus, ''a'' is an exponent that depen ...
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A-weighting
A-weighting is the most commonly used of a family of curves defined in the International standard IEC 61672:2003 and various national standards relating to the measurement of sound pressure level. A-weighting is applied to instrument-measured sound levels in an effort to account for the relative loudness perceived by the human ear, as the ear is less sensitive to low audio frequencies. It is employed by arithmetically adding a table of values, listed by octave or third-octave bands, to the measured sound pressure levels in dB. The resulting octave band measurements are usually added (logarithmic method) to provide a single A-weighted value describing the sound; the units are written as dB(A). Other weighting sets of values – B, C, D and now Z – are discussed below. The curves were originally defined for use at different average sound levels, but A-weighting, though originally intended only for the measurement of low-level sounds (around 40 phon), is now commonly used ...
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Weighting Filter
A weighting filter is used to emphasize or suppress some aspects of a phenomenon compared to others, for measurement or other purposes. Audio applications In each field of audio measurement, special units are used to indicate a weighted measurement as opposed to a basic physical measurement of energy level. For sound, the unit is the phon (1 kHz equivalent level). Sound Sound has three basic components, the wavelength, frequency, and speed. In sound measurement, we measure the loudness of the sound in decibels (dB). Decibels are logarithmic with 0  dB as the reference. There are also a range of frequencies that sounds can have. Frequency is the number of times a sine wave repeats itself in a second. Normal auditory systems can usually hear between 20 and 20,000 Hz. When we measure sound, the measurement instrument takes the incoming auditory signal and analyzes it for these different features. Weighting filters in these instruments then filter out certain f ...
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Critical Band
In audiology and psychoacoustics the concept of critical bands, introduced by Harvey Fletcher in 1933 and refined in 1940, describes the frequency bandwidth of the "auditory filter" created by the cochlea, the sense organ of hearing within the inner ear. Roughly, the critical band is the band of audio frequencies within which a second tone will interfere with the perception of the first tone by auditory masking. Psychophysiologically, beating and auditory roughness sensations can be linked to the inability of the auditory frequency-analysis mechanism to resolve inputs whose frequency difference is smaller than the critical bandwidth and to the resulting irregular "tickling" of the mechanical system ( basilar membrane) that resonates in response to such inputs. Critical bands are also closely related to auditory masking phenomena – reduced audibility of a sound signal when in the presence of a second signal of higher intensity within the same critical band. Masking phenome ...
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