Few audio topics make it to the political agenda, but that is what dramatic changes in the loudness of broadcast programs did ten years ago. Furthermore, the wide dynamic range of digital audio required a way of tackling the problem that would not cancel newly gained benefits.
Fortunately, solutions had already been studied in ITU-R, where Craig Todd was chairing international efforts to establish a universal, perceptually-based measurement and loudness normalization method, ready to be picked up by broadcast organizations, gaming, music streaming, podcast, VR, and the like.
Loudness is actually a perceptual property of an audio signal when it is reproduced acoustically and listened to, but this edition of the AES Inside Track is exclusively about loudness in the general definition of ITU-R BS.1770. It’s a metric that is revolutionizing production and distribution by restoring audio’s magnificent potential across genres, formats and applications.