Turn it down! Why has TV got louder in the UK?
TheGuardian.com reports that the Head of Sound at the BBC must be increasingly tempted to stick a finger in both ears. With one lug already ringing from the rumbling complaints that TV actors (in shows such as Jamaica Inn and Happy Valley) speak too quietly or indistinctly to be heard by older viewers, now comes an earful in the other from those moaning that the soundtracks on TV shows these days are too loud.
Top TV choirmaster Gareth Malone has said this week that The X Factor leads the shows that offend his musical sensibilities. It is not just that they pump some notes to 11 on the amp, but that 7 and 8 become noisier, too. Malone blames a process called “audio signal compression”, in which the sonic range is reduced to raise the volume of the quieter sounds in a track closer to the loudest.