Did commercials increase the volume of their sound?

brainhulk

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2007
9,329
399
126
Kinda annoying, having to decrease the volume when commercials come on. Kinda genius on their part, because I never pay attention to them.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
25,713
1,502
126
Yes, they do that. Maybe not all the time but I've noticed an obvious major increase in volume many times when a commercial comes on, and yes it's awful. I almost always timeshift and skip commercials.

Another annoying thing is that there seems to be (don't know, really) nothing to stop broadcasters from having as many commercial breaks as they want and having them last as long as they want.
 

KeithP

Diamond Member
Jun 15, 2000
5,548
140
106
Years ago they were suppose to pass a law against that, but it never happened.


Do television commercial advertisements sometimes seem louder than the shows they accompany? TV stations are prohibited from boosting the average volume of commercials to levels beyond the programs they accompany.

FCC rules for loud TV commercials are based on the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act.
-KeithP
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
101,026
15,154
136
forever ago.

laws were passed.

they have never been enforced.

it got worse.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
101,026
15,154
136



-KeithP
so...that seems to imply that it is only the duty of the station to not boost the volume; but if the ads are provided "beyond the threshold," they aren't responsible for anything? I mean, I have no idea how that works in broadcasting--if stations actually control base audio levels across their entire stream. I assume they can, but when you run into clear examples that an ad break ends up with some asshole screaming at you out of nowhere, it tells me that if the law simply prevents the station from boosting that volume, then the ad content can be provided to them boosted, and they aren't on the hook for anything.

Is that the law? what utter garbage. Also, is it just that it's not enforced or even enforceable in any way? That's what I've always assumed.

My general annoyance is that sound-mixing has overall gone to shit, anyway. Kids and morons these days only want LFE all the time, and I can never hear anything, Dialogue is non-existent in nearly all content, but explosions and magazine-loading is crisp and plentiful and effing ear-splitting. It seems we've let the frat boys take over content and audio, and humanity is all the worse for it. :(

/shakes cane at the sky
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
25,713
1,502
126
I don't think for a second that the individual stations are boosting the volume. The ads are too loud as provided. The stations could easily and cheaply reduce the volume of the ads to the base level of programming, but don't. This is NOT rocket science. You could hire a 6 year old to turn a knob the bring down the levels. But KNBC can't afford the lollipops. :D
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
55,940
7,489
126
www.uovalor.com
That law sounds pretty useless the way it works then. They should actually disallow loud commercials no matter who set the volume. If the ads are provided with an already boosted volume and that is allowed then it kind of defeats the purpose of that law since that's what it's suppose to actually stop! The law should state that the makers of the commercials are not allowed to purposely boost the volume, but also the broadcasters should ensure to compare the provided volume with the volume of the rest of the programming.

Technically you should be able to have some kind of real time normalizer going on to ensure nothing is too loud or too low. It can be a bit tricky to ensure the volume from stuff that comes from different sources is all matching.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
25,713
1,502
126
Trump's FCC head is a total creep. You'll never get anything like that happening with this administration. In fact, seems to me that 95% of the decisions of this administration are opposite of what's good for the public. But the 1% get what they want, so ...
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
12,911
3,487
146

Nothing like this when some people are sleeping in the house, and you have to scramble to turn the volume down.
 
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Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
55,940
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www.uovalor.com
That reminds me of how some people at work will randomly have something blast through their speakers and they'll be scrambling to turn the volume down lol. Jarrs me out every time. That's why I always keep the volume off or very low on my work PC.
 

snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
5,231
2,149
136
That reminds me of how some people at work will randomly have something blast through their speakers and they'll be scrambling to turn the volume down lol. Jarrs me out every time. That's why I always keep the volume off or very low on my work PC.
It's always embarrassing whenever I'm watching porn at work, and I accidentally yank out the headphone cable.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
23,904
433
126
It's always embarrassing whenever I'm watching porn at work, and I accidentally yank out the headphone cable.
Nothing embarrassing about watching midgets get together. If coworkers don't understand, that's on them bro.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
25,228
934
126
You used to pay for "cable tv" in the 80s, and the cable channels didnt have commercials.

Now, people pay for even the "free" channels, and everything except for a few premium channels has commercials...
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
25,713
1,502
126
You used to pay for "cable tv" in the 80s, and the cable channels didnt have commercials.

Now, people pay for even the "free" channels, and everything except for a few premium channels has commercials...
I'm old enough to remember when there was no such thing as pay TV. It was all free, off your antenna. It's one reason I balk at paying for TV. At the moment I'm 100% free TV, off my rooftop antennas. Also, I refuse to watch ANYTHING live. My TCL 43" 4K Roku TVs support 90 minute timeshifting, so I can and do skip commercials.

The only time I've paid for TV is when there were 6 people living in this house and we all shared a cable subscription. That was brief and ended around 30 years ago! I'm considering subscribing to Netflix 4K.
 

Paperdoc

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,822
87
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Actually, this effect has been used for several decades. I worked part-time in radio back in the 60's and it was becoming common then.

The fact is (or was at that time), the station does not actually make them at higher volume levels for the PEAK loudness. To run audio levels above the max possible for the ampifiers and transmitter circuits is poor practice because it results in limiting or "clipping" by the amplifier and hence sound distortion. For this reason, may broadcasting systems have automatic volume level limitng circuits to prevent this and make it impossible. But there IS a way to produce the effect of loud commercials that IS legal and technically feasible. It is called audio level COMPRESSION. Any audio signal train covers a wide variety of levels or "volume" as we experience them (often called "dynamic range") , and true reproduction of all that tries hard not to change that. A broadcaster does set their controls so that the MAX level does not exceed the technical limit. But what a special Compression circuit does is deliberately introduce some distortion by boosting the volume of the quiet bits, with less boost to the louder bits and none to the max volume parts. So a signal that normally ranges, say from 10 dB to 60 dB, is transformed into something that ranges from 40 dB to 60 dB. It never exceeds the max limit, but it most certainly is HEARD by the listener as "louder" than normal. This has been used widely in commercials for a long time. It is the technical replacement for the old technique of having the announcer or commercial reader almost yell their speech, which then still has to be limited for the highest volume parts.
 
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jameny5

Member
Aug 7, 2018
177
30
61
I think the OP needs to make a complaint to the "FCC". That will fix their arses from turning up the volume when commercials come on.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
25,713
1,502
126
Actually, this effect has been used for several decades. I worked part-time in radio back in the 60's and it was becoming common then.

The fact is (or was at that time), the station does not actually make them at higher volume levels for the PEAK loudness. To run audio levels above the max possible for the ampifiers and transmitter circuits is poor practice because it results in limiting or "clipping" by the amplifier and hence sound distortion. For this reason, may broadcasting systems have automatic volume level limitng circuits to prevent this and make it impossible. But there IS a way to produce the effect of loud commercials that IS legal and technically feasible. It is called audio level COMPRESSION. Any audio signal train covers a wide variety of levels or "volume" as we experience them (often called "dynamic range") , and true reproduction of all that tries hard not to change that. A broadcaster does set their controls so that the MAX level does not exceed the technical limit. But what a special Compression circuit does is deliberately introduce some distortion by boosting the volume of the quiet bits, with less boost to the louder bits and none to the max volume parts. So a signal that normally ranges, say from 10 dB to 60 dB, is transformed into something that ranges from 40 dB to 60 dB. It never exceeds the max limit, but it most certainly is HEARD by the listener as "louder" than normal. This has been used widely in commercials for a long time. It is the technical replacement for the old technique of having the announcer or commercial reader almost yell their speech, which then still has to be limited for the highest volume parts.
Yep. I suppose there's some question of how the local broadcaster deals with it. They could bring down the overall level some and not have the maximum challenged.

I'm producing 3 hour shows weekly right now for my college radio station, using Audacity. I'm limiting the peaks considerably. My shows probably are not as loud as most others being submitted by other DJs. But the listener is free to advance the volume on their listening systems. It gives my show more dynamic range than if I hit the peak with any frequency. I play music, with occasional mic breaks. My mic breaks tend to be lower level than my music. I don't think people want to hear talking at as high a level as their music. That's my usual thinking even when we are in the studio. We're 100% working from home right now.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
55,940
7,489
126
www.uovalor.com
I'm old enough to remember when there was no such thing as pay TV. It was all free, off your antenna. It's one reason I balk at paying for TV. At the moment I'm 100% free TV, off my rooftop antennas. Also, I refuse to watch ANYTHING live. My TCL 43" 4K Roku TVs support 90 minute timeshifting, so I can and do skip commercials.

The only time I've paid for TV is when there were 6 people living in this house and we all shared a cable subscription. That was brief and ended around 30 years ago! I'm considering subscribing to Netflix 4K.

It's surprising how clear the new digital OTA TV is now too. I don't watch enough TV to justify paying for any kind of service, so I stuck a piece of wire in the back of the TV and get Global in crystal clear HD. We only get like 3 channels here, 2 of which are snowy (at least without a proper antenna) but there's everything on Global from news to TV shows.

Really I think it needs to be that channels are either free, and have commercials, such as OTA, or paid, but no commercials. But not both paid, AND with commercials, that's a bit much really.

Even through Cable they should offer like a very basic service where you pay a setup fee, and pay any time you need support, but don't pay per month. It could include some base channels that have commercials.
 
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AdamK47

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
13,375
746
126
I would like to take this time to arrogantly point out that I no longer watch commercial based television and therefore have no reference point for the loudness of which you speak of.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
59,257
11,459
126
I would like to take this time to arrogantly point out that I no longer watch commercial based television and therefore have no reference point for the loudness of which you speak of.
I would like to point out that the last time I owned a TV set Red Squirrel was nothing but a six pack in his mom’s fridge.
 

MtnMan

Platinum Member
Jul 27, 2004
2,828
875
136
As far as commericals, the FCC can only control this for "broadcast" media, i.e., over the air.

Cable, satellite, streaming, can probably turn up the volume on commercials.
 
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