On 11th October 2019, some of the most prominent audio industry professionals gathered in Mumbai for the Loudness Seminar hosted by Ansata.
The Loudness Seminar, a seminar on loudness concepts, measurements, and applications boasted of eminent industry experts who shared their expertise on loudness measurement and mixing for OTT, with the Indian sound community.
The speakers at the seminar included Bhaskar Pal, Senior Content Services Engineer, Dolby, Sreejesh Nair, Pro Audio Application Specialist, Avid and Scott Kramer, Manager, Sound Technology/Creative, Netflix.
There were around 200 delegates from across India who attended the invite-only event, held at Sea Princes Hotel in Mumbai to acquire critical information on loudness specs. The Loudness seminar helped attendees who included professionals from film post and TV industry understand the strict requirements for loudness specs being enforced, and understanding of how achieving the same would deliver much better output and quality.
LOUDNESS MEASUREMENT AND DOLBY ATMOS FOR OTT
The first half of the seminar focused on topics like “Loudness, True Peak and Standards. Measurement and how to interpret that” conducted by Sreejesh Nair and “Building a Nearfield room and Dolby Atmos for OTT” by Bhaskar Pal.
“This event was led by Avid with the help of Dolby, Netflix, and Ansata. The event was more in line of educating the audience on loudness. This was a first time event. It was not a sit down on deciding standards. However, more in explaining why the standards were set so. The agenda was about explaining what loudness was, how it is measured, how to use that knowledge in mixing for a delivery spec on Pro Tools. This was followed by Dolby explaining how a room is built for delivering Dolby Atmos audio through OTT/streaming media platforms. It also outlined how to place speakers, how a Dolby certified room is built, and what should be looked at acoustically as well. Netflix followed this by how their specs are written. What should be done to mix and make sure the mixes are approved. Scott also explained how the deliverables were created for shows and where their guides were followed” said Sreejesh Nair.
Rakesh Ranjan, Senior Faculty, Whistling Woods International, who attended the seminar, commented, “The seminar by Ansata was a very well attended by many professionals. The presentations by all three speakers was very informative. Sreejesh’s presentation on Loudness was excellent and was well explained and so was Bhaskar Pal’s Dolby Atmos room dimensions and work flow”.
Bhaskar Pal’s session on “Building a Nearfield Room and, Dolby Atmos for OTT”, was designed to make people aware of:
- Minimum requirements for a Dolby Atmos HE mix room
- Design principles of the room
- Monitoring standards for such rooms
- Workflows for content creation in Dolby Atmos for home entertainment to show that it is actually much simpler than people imagine and more time efficient to deliver multiple formats from a single mix.
“Dolby Atmos for Home Entertainment (OTT/Streaming services) is becoming very popular and almost a standard now. However, local content creation in Dolby Atmos for the home is still relatively new. Most of the expertise in Dolby Atmos today is in creating content for cinemas. There are certain important differences in how Dolby Atmos content is created for home. The mix room needs to be designed specifically keeping this in mind. We at Dolby have also put in place a program to certify mix rooms for Home Entertainment (HE) Atmos. The aim of this program is to ensure that such certified rooms will meet the minimum international standards for Nearfield Dolby Atmos mixing. There are also certain norms for the loudness management of content created for homes. This is a very new concept here in India,” said Bhaskar Pal.
Eminent sound engineerBishwadeep Chatterjee, Chief Engineer, and Founder, Q-Factor, Timbreworks and Orbis Studio reinforces, “Sound has diversified from movie theatres to OTT platforms, and surround broadcast. Tech specs change depending on what platforms we eventually cater to. Seminars like these update us and bring relevance to what we do. Special thanks to Sreejesh, Bhaskar, and Netflix for enlightening us and Ansata for the support.”
Talking about the aim of the session, Bhaskar added, “The aim of the session was to make the participants fully aware of the latest standards in Dolby Atmos for Home Entertainment content creation and enable them to design standardized mix rooms and mix this content with confidence”.
Rakesh Ranjan felt that both the presentations needed at least one full day for people to grasp and understand. “This observation comes from the type of queries people were putting up at the seminar,” he said.
MIXING, METERING AND DELIVERING SPECS
The second half of the seminar focused on “Workflow for OTT. Mixing and metering specs and delivery” once again conducted by Sreejesh Nair. Post this session Scott Kramer educated the Indian sound community on “Delivering for the spec”.
“This was a very unique event for many reasons. One being, that three major players came on a common platform. The other reason was we explained the process from creation to execution. This means it was a complete breakdown of the measurement specs, how to read those meters, how those meters actually measure, and how to use that knowledge in mixing. This was a true-eye opener for many because once the technicalities were understood from a very simple layman perspective; they understood the tricks and methods they could use for a mix. It also enables them to understand the core differences between ITU, EBU, and various measurement standards,” said Sreejesh.
“The audience was very receptive. We had a mix of engineers and designers who flew in from Hyderabad, Delhi, Kerala, and many other places just to attend the event. It was unique in that way and shows the need of the industry in the current hour. In fact, it was very important for Avid as well because we see passing on more than just product information and actually engaging in industry on educative workshops like this along with partners as a key element to the betterment of an industry as well. This workshop came because of a conversation of a large group of engineers who said it would be very good and useful to be able to understand key elements of loudness and delivery. Everyone does this on a day-to-day basis and knowing exactly how these measurements and tools work help very well in delivering good sounding mixes consistently. Moreover, showing Pro Tools features and tips and tricks to use this knowledge in quick delivery was also a huge benefit”, adds Sreejesh.
Speaking about the participation of the attendees, Bhaskar Pal said, “There were 200 industry professionals from the field of audio and audio mixing and it was the largest attended seminar held for similar topics earlier. The feedback was simply great, the attendees loved the topics covered, and they wanted more in depth knowledge”.
Farhad K. Dadyburjor, Chief Technical Officer, Famous Digital Studios, said, “It was really good. It is much appreciated and I would be glad to attend many more of these kinds of seminars.” He thanked Ansata, Dolby, AVID and Netflix for taking the time, effort, and expense to do this Loudness Seminar.
THE ANSATA INITIATIVE
Attendees were unanimous in that, Ansata had taken a great initiative to educate the community on topics, which were not yet well understood by industry professionals.
Bhaskar spoke about Ansata as being a great partner who believes in working with their customers and organize workshops from time to time as an initiative to spread awareness about the latest technology and best practices in the industry. “One needs to appreciate Ansata for taking the initiative and organizing a seminar of this magnitude”, added Rakesh Ranjan.
Speaking about the efforts put in by ANSATA, Sreejesh says, “None of this would have been possible without the support of Ansata. They took the lead in organizing the space, getting the invites out, coordinating equipment and much more. In fact, Ansata’s singular effort got such an overwhelming response not only about the event but specifically from the attendees as well. Ansata has always been supportive of educational events and with ANSATA we have done multiple ones through the year. This was unique in terms of content, participation, and attendees”.
“I am thankful to Sreejesh Nair for conceptualizing the Loudness Seminar and to Bhaskar Pal and Scott Kramer for agreeing to do this seminar which was the need of the hour. This seminar certainly delivered its objectives to help clarify doubts Engineers had on OTT & Netflix quality standards,” concluded Leslie Lean, Director, ANSATA.
Palm Magazine : Ansata hosts Loudness Seminar with Avid, Dolby, and Netflix
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