Sound Matters – BBC events

Sound Matters – BBC events

BBC Academy will be presenting a series of events around the UK to raise awareness of loudness and audibility issues in TV sound amongst BBC staff, indies, freelancers and external suppliers. The Sound Matters events are being held with the assistance of Creative Skillset, IABM, IPS and UK Screen Association and will offer two tracks: one aimed at producers and the other at creative technical operators. Each event will feature masterclasses from experienced and renowned audio professionals from both the production sound and post production communities. The events will be launched by a keynote speech from Danny Cohen, Director of BBC TV, who will emphasise the importance of delivering good sound to the TV audience.   Event Dates (Please click the links below to book tickets for the event you require) London 20/1/14 0900-1300 www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sound-matters-tickets-9863891164 Salford 29/1/14 1100-1530 incl lunch www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sound-matters-salford-tickets-9904681168 Glasgow 05/02/14 1100-1530 incl lunch www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sound-matters-glasgow-tickets-9904873744  Bristol 04/03/14 1100-1530 incl lunch www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sound-matters-bristol-tickets-9905012158  Cardiff 20/03/14 1100-1530 incl lunch www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sound-matters-cardiff-tickets-9905070332 Belfast 27/3/14 1100-1530 incl lunch www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sound-matters-belfast-tickets-9905130512    Event Programme Keynote speech: Compelling TV needs good sound – Danny Cohen, Dir. of BBC TV Receiving you loud and clear – Delivering compelling soundscapes for the whole audience What’s LUFS got to do with it? – Loudness explained for producers Crazy little thing called LUFS – Loudness explained for creative technical operators Capturing good sound on location – Masterclass Post production mixing for audibility and loudness – panel discussion with leading dubbing mixers Live mixing for loudness in Sport, OB events, music and studio audience shows – panel discussion with industry experts The events are free of charge but eligibility criteria apply: Delegates should be in one of the following roles: Director, Producer, Production Manager, Head of Production, Live Audio Mixer (studio or OB), Sound Recordist, Dubbing Mixer, Post-production Supervisor, Editor, QC operator, MCR technician, Post-production Facility Manager, Senior Engineer, Technical Manager Delegates should meet any of the following three criteria: 1. Two recent and relevant broadcast credits 2. A permanent position within a facility engaged in broadcast work 3. A permanent position within an independent production company with recent or current broadcast commissions   Background All UK broadcasters, including the BBC, are striving to increase audio quality for television and reduce the number of complaints from viewers about audibility and loudness. Loudness complaints are about jumps in sound levels around programme junctions which cause viewers to adjust the volume controls on their TV remotes. In 2013, all the major UK broadcasters, through the Digital Production Partnership (DPP), introduced a common technical standard for the delivery of programmes which includes loudness regulation. This DPP specification also demands that “dialogue should be acquired and mixed so that it is clear and easy to...

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Peers warn of backlash fears over digital radio

The BBC website reports to day that House of  Lords Communications Committee  says there is “public confusion and industry uncertainty” over the future of FM radio. The Government has set a date of 2015 for the switch over of all mainstream radio stations to DAB yet people are still buying analog radios. Between 50 and 100 million analogue radios will become largely redundant after 2015 and around 20 million car radios will need converters. The committee warned there could be a “major public reaction” against the plans unless ministers explain what is happening and address listeners’ concerns. Read the whole story...

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A Problem with Noise – Radio Four – 20th August

This sounds like a very interesting upcoming programme on Radio Four. A Problem with noise Thursday 20th August 21:00 on BBC Radio 4 Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson investigates the man-made noise pollution which is becoming increasingly invasive in our lives and in our environment, affecting both humans and wildlife. He explores what noise is, the impact of man-made noise and the possible long-term consequences if we don’t turn the volume down. In the oceans, increasing levels of background noise is disrupting long-distance communication among whales. On land, studies of Great Tits have revealed how birds near busy roads sing at higher frequencies than those in nearby quieter woodlands. In 1996 the European Commission issued a Green Paper which stated that an estimated 20 per cent of all EU citizens were exposed to noise levels that scientists and health experts considered to be unacceptable, at which most people become annoyed, sleep is disturbed and health may be at risk. Noise is a health issue as well as a nuisance. Recent studies have demonstrated excessive risks of hypertension in people living near airports, even when asleep. Following the Green Paper, the European Commission issued a directive for member states to map noise levels of major cities. Today, noise, like air and water pollution, is an environmental issue which governments and policy makers cannot ignore. Chris discovers that education is the first step in taking personal responsibility when he explores the potential damage of exposure to loud music in public venues or on personal listening...

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Digtal doesn’t neccessarily mean better…..

Digtal doesn’t neccessarily mean better…..

A lively debate can be heard on You and Yours (via Radio 4 listen again) discussing the switch to digital radio. That section of the programme starts at around 34 minutes in but the rest of the programme is also very interesting, discussing other digital issues. I think the government have this completely the wrong way round. National stations need FM, cheap for people to listen to wherever they are. Niche interest and ultra local stations would be at home streaming on the internet – cheap at the point of broadcast. By all means have DAB as well but replacing all our radios with more expensive versions that draw more power is just not green or cost effective! I have a wind up / solar powered radio that costs nothing to run. I don’t see that for DAB yet. Just because it is digital does not mean it’s better quality, the sound quality of FM is better than DAB because the broadcasters cut bit-rates in order to cram as many stations as possible into the bandwidth available. More stations doesn’t necessarily mean more quality choice – look at digital tv for goodness sake. There’s room enough on FM for all the choice we need. Many areas already have a local BBC station, several independent stations and a community station. Internet streaming can provide anything else we really need and the main mass appeal, large listenership stations can stay where they are and be listened to on the radios we already have. If you feel as I do you can sign this petition on the number 10...

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Chaos? – Government announces analogue switch off

Chaos? – Government announces analogue switch off

The End of an Era Not radio mics this time but something that is going to directly affect way more people. The Government has announced that all radio stations in the UK will be digital only by 2015. Most radios in the UK by far are analogue and they will all become pretty useless (in this country) in 2015 when the signal is switched off. Just think how much junk that is going to generate. I don’t know how many analogue radios there are in this country but I personally own at least four so that’s got to be a lot of technology to throw away. I don’t want to throw it away either, we throw way too much away. My car radio also plays CDs and talks to my ipod, but what it’s doing most of the time is bringing me the wonderful radio four. I’m not sure I can even drive without it! On my allotment I listen to a wind up radio. I thought I was being green by buying it, but now I find that I am going to have to replace it with digital in 8 years time. Sad that as I write that I’m thinking that 8 years is an ok lifespan for a piece of technology. Technology moves at such a pace we replace things like mobile phones and computers way more often than that, but radio had so far remained apart, sets my parents had when I was a child still continue to work with pleasurable reliability. It’s an overwhelming shame, the radio is such a simple piece of technology and so cheap to make and power. I grew up in a house with radio in every room and while that may not change, with stations streamed over wi–fi a beautiful simplicity will be gone. As a child I built a crystal set and marveled at being able to hear a scratchy signal from something with so few components. Will the children of tomorrow have anything to listen to if they make such a set? Don’t get me wrong, I love new technology. I love that I can listen to radio online or via freeview. I love that I can download programmes as a podcast or “listen again” these things have brought radio up to date. I shall miss the simplicity of analogue, it always works it’s not reliant on wi–fi or broadband or even mains electricity. If people are still broadcasting, we can hear them, can we really not have both? The FM spectrum we are told is going to be used for “ultra local” and community stations, so at least the amount of analogue radios that are bound to...

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BBC launches probe to find out why so many of us can’t hear actors on TV

BBC launches probe to find out why so many of us can’t hear actors on TV

By Liz Thomas Viewers are turning off modern television shows because background noise and music are drowning out voices.Hit programmes including Panorama, Ashes to Ashes, Newsnight, Waking the Dead and Mistresses have all come under fire from viewers unable to hear what is being said.Now the BBC is backing a major study into the problem of ‘ambient sound’ after pressure from influential lobby group Voice of the Listener and Viewer. read whole article in The Mail...

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