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Hi guys, this is the first time i post on this forum, although i've been reading quite often in the last few months.

I've got an issue on something i just came across.

I'm editing dialogues (voices only, no ambient noises no sfx) for tv, and i've been asked to follow the following specification:

Dialogue targeting –26 Leq A – 10dBFS max on peaks - 22 RMS

I can't (and perhaps don't want) to compress the audio too much (max reduction on compressor 3db, only on the peaks). I managed to get the right levels as regard dBFS and RMS, but the Leq A value is around 33 / 35 only (short term).

I was wondering if the only way to reach an higher Leq A value is by compressing, or if there are other way.

Thank you in advance!

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I'm sure some more experience mixers can chime in, as I'm not a mixer by trade so I don't know all of the in's and outs.

Although, from my somewhat limited experience, the LEQ(a) is effectively an RMS-type (averaged) measurement of sound energy. Meaning that it stands to reason in my mind that based upon what you've said, upward compression is the only thing which will push the LEQ(a) hotter because by doing so, you're pushing up the average sound energy level. The specs you list seem on point with what I know for TV, and some have even more stringent specs (I believe I've heard somewhere that Discovery asks for -24 LEQ(a) ).

  • -24 is probably a reference to a loudness measurement, Steve...LKFS, not LeqA. -24 is what most broadcasters have been using as a loudness measurement, and it's what's been adopted in the ATSC A/85 spec and the C.A.L.M. act. For a while, Discovery required both spec be met: -27 LeqA dialog, and -24 LKFS loudness. That was a bit tricky sometimes. – Shaun Farley Nov 17 '12 at 12:35
  • Could be very likely. Where I originally read it, it could have been stated sloppy because it was a topic about LEQ(a) but the numbers tossed out didn't state exactly what measurement scale was being referred to, so it was assumed that everything was referring to LEQ(a). I guess not though. – Stavrosound Nov 17 '12 at 22:19
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Steve is correct in that LeqA is effectively an RMS style measurement. The main difference is that the measurement is weighted by an EQ curve (which is one of the reasons why there can be a difference between the LeqA and actual RMS measurement).

Yes, you're going to need more compression to meet the necessary levels. Most television dialog sits in that -26 range already (it's always compressed). In fact, -26/-27 LeqA dialog levels was a very typical broadcast requirement prior to the introduction of Loudness metering.

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