Loudness in Radio

EBU R 128 S3

This supplement to EBU R128 gives guidance for an audio levelling solution in Radio based on loudness.

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Whilst the majority of European TV broadcasters produces its programmes according to EBU R 128 - and this for quite some time - many European Radio broadcasters have been delaying the adoption of loudness normalisation, not least due to the heterogenous distribution landscape encountered in Radio (FM, DAB, Streaming etc.), all with different levelling schemes for legacy and digital solutions.

The key concept behind the recommendations in this supplement is the clear differentiation between the production and the distribution realms. Production is now more or less universally digital - and this is well covered by theEBU's suite of Loudness publications. Distribution of Radio programmes, however are a pot-pourri of legacy and modern digital platforms. The recommendations deal pragmatically with the requirements of loudness normalisation in this environment. Adopting these recommendations will provide a win-win-win situation for the technicians, the content producers and of course for the audience.

Also in support of loudness normalisation for Radio is the new Tech 3401 'Guidelines for Radio production and distribution in accordance with EBU R 128' that goes deep into the intricacies of radio production and distribution in all its shades - an essential acquisition to go alonside this third supplement to R 128. This is version 2, dated November 2023. Document History and Acknowledgement sections have been added.

Keywords: Audio levels, loudness, Radio, production, distribution, normalisation, R 128.

All versions of this publication

Version   Date   Short description
2.0   2023, November   Added footnote to point to updated (IEC and CENELEC) sound level hazard standards in Europe. Document History & Acknowledgement added.
1.0   2021, June   First version