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Screaming Loud: Managing Loudness on All Hallow’s Eve

Screaming Loud: Managing Loudness on All Hallow’s Eve

Candy corn, pumpkin carving, horror movies. Halloween is just around that dark, eerie corner and the current crop of seasonal TV and film offerings are taking scary to the next level.  On Netflix, the new horror series the Haunting of Hill House is apparently so terrifying that some viewers “are vomiting and nearly passing out” according to CNN.  On Hulu, Into the Dark seems to combine horror with the holidays, or you can check local showtimes to see the 11th installment of Halloween in the theater.  Yes, 11. But beyond the frightening imagery and cover-your-eyes gore, what really makes our hearts skip a beat is sound. It’s sound effects and spine-chilling music that makes us leap out of our seats.  It’s the art and craft of timing the abrupt stinger after a suspenseful pause. The problem is that, sometimes, on our favorite OTT channel, the show or movie is, overall, way louder than the romcom you watched the night before.  The jump in volume alone can scare the heck out of the unsuspecting viewer.

The Gaudio Sol Loudness SDK provides an improved audio experience for viewers by smoothing variations in loudness, providing continuity of the perceived sound level between streaming content programs.  The Sol Loudness SDK uses a unique architecture in which the server-side performs the loudness measurement and generates metadata that the client-side uses to normalize content to a target loudness setting. Other loudness management software solutions employ a legacy “file-based” approach that destructively modifies the original content and can produce distortion. Advantages to the server-client solution include the opportunity to set loudness targets per platform, end-user device, or even listening environment.

That’s great, but what if your neighbors or roommates don’t celebrate Halloween and don’t appreciate blood-curdling screams?  What if your OTT has solved the loudness issue by integrating the Sol Loudness SDK, but you still need to turn down the volume on your device?  We already mentioned that sound is integral to the horror experience, but if the volume is down, you lose the power of the low-frequencies. Without those low-lows how are you going to “nearly pass out” from fright?  Again, Gaudio has solved for this problem. The Equal-Loudness Dynamic EQ (ELEQ) feature incorporated into the Sol Loudness SDK is the 2018 version of the beloved “loudness” button on hi-fi amplifiers. ELEQ knows the loudness target for your device, and it knows your volume level settings.  ELEQ uses that data combination to apply an equal-loudness curve to the content, ensuring that low frequency sounds stay present and that the highs remain clear, but without pumping up the mid range frequencies.

Want to learn more about the Sol Loudness SDK, ELEQ, and other features?  Please visit our totally re-designed website at Sol Loudness SDK and contact us at for information about integration, licensing, and pricing.  Happy Halloween!

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