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Getting into the details There are several issues that have yet to be agreed upon on an international level, the most obvious of these being the difference between a 5.1 mix and its corresponding downmix. It is commonplace for the downmix to differ slightly in loudness from the 5.1 mix, but what makes the issue even more confusing is that the difference can be in either direction, so a simple offset is not a viable solution. Similar situations arise with dual-language, multi-mono stereo, where a consumer’s television can produce an unexpected 3 dB loudness jump – or not – depending upon the configuration. Reaching for that metadata magic bullet would be one solution, but that solution assumes the metadata is accurate and the appropriate device is capable of reading and responding properly. Looking forward Clearly, based on the reduction in complaints, loudness normalization has brought a great benefit to the consumer. Having begun to get the basics in place, a second look can yield even better solutions, ultimately leading to loudness as a primary consideration during production. As tools improve, loudness parameters will increasingly be used to check audio not only for compliance, but also for being ‘target appropriate’ using transferable, objective measures. These same tools will also be available to the audio engineer to assist in producing program material that better satisfies the myriad of differing creative and consumer demands. TV-BAY MAGAZINE | 67 TV-BA073JAN13.indd 67 11/01/2013 14:18