Ridiculous regulation: sound decibels on commercials

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Congress can’t agree on a fiscal cliff solution – perhaps that’s because they’re too busy spending their time on fixing ‘problems’ such as TV commercials being louder than regular programming. True story – there are now ridiculous decibel regulations producers have to follow. How bad is it? Glenn and Stu explain how one of the sound designers for his show has been impacted in the clip above.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Step by step, slow and steady, the rights and freedoms of the Constitution are being eliminated. Before long, it will be announced we live in a communist nation, and many of those who said it could never happen will go “How did this occur?”

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Step by step freedom is restricted and regulated out of existence by the Federal government, how much longer will Americans allow the madness to continue? When will people say at long last enough is enough?

    Or have we hit the point that the treasure of freedom is so little valued, people will freely trade it for slavery to the Federal government?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GW6ALM3N2YFTOT6TN3GZGAHQG4 Frank Balcer

    the government keeps exceeding their authority, they have no right to do this. our rights are being eroded away.
    I do have a problem with commercials coming on too loud but there are solutions to that problem, when I know when one is coming on, I get ready to mute it, or change the channel.

  • Draxx

    Cass Sunstein is the Devil’s Advocate plain and simple…  They are killing America As Quick As Possible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1733367121 Ryan Laytart

    I am the average guy..  no big corporation, here.  I’m also a full time video-editor.   I can tell you that it literally takes an extra minute or two to apply a volume-leveling envelope to an audio track so as to create an “even” listening experience.   In fact,  it’s something that I do to almost every one of my projects.    I wouldn’t disagree with the overall implications of government intervention (which in this case should not be needed… it should have been dealt with in an honest fashion by producers, years ago),  but loud commercials have always been extremely annoying and completely unnecessary.   I guess I just don’t understand how so many new “regulations” should need to be studied for a topic like this.  Are they cramming more hidden agendas into this thing, or what?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Caluwaert/100000218117532 Anne Caluwaert

    Just mute the commercials!

  • Anonymous

    I’m a sound re-recording mixer in LA. The CALM act came about because our industry would not police itself. I’ve been in this business for 35+ years. Every TV show has a delivery requirement for sound levels. Feature films too. Commercials? Never. Its about time. If you don’t care about the quality of your mix you can run your sound through a piece of software and get to CALM specifications with little effort. If your a fanatic about your work (That’s me) it adds a few minutes more to make it sound right. 

    GBTV should get on the CALM bandwagon. The sound levels of the commercials on GBTV are all over the map  and makes it distracting to enjoy Glenn. I love GBTV but its level discrepancies remind me of a small town TV station and detract from my enjoyment. Glenn’s comments this morning that his sound people have wasted 2 weeks on this new rule come from the perspective of someone who doesn’t understand sound. Maybe Glenn could use some new sound people. I could show you how to easily make every sound bite on your show play consistently and make GBTV a more pleasant aural experience. 

    and…I agree that the government should spend its time on more important things and has no business wasting tax dollars on this.  Glad things are “CALM” now.

    • http://twitter.com/Carolyn94047503 Carolyn Wilson

      I guess I just don’t understand how so many new “regulations” should need to be studied for a topic like this.http://youtubeAmericanJobByGoogle.qr.net/jVB4/watch?v=wCTtf5s2HFk

      • http://twitter.com/AF6YC_Doug AF6YC_Doug

        Carolyn: The link on this post goes to a spam site flagged as dangerous by Web of Trust (WOT). Perhaps it has been hijacked. The text part of your post is fine, but the link needs to go.

    • http://www.facebook.com/steve.watkins.3386 Steve Watkins

      Piratepost, your position on CALM is the most rational thing I’ve read this morning. I am a fan of Mr. Beck’s, but sometimes his opinions are amiss. His complaint against the advent of these regulations does not consider that they have been in the works for a while, so relatively little recent time was spent passing them. And his ridicule, too, of the regulations themselves are philosophically weak. We at home adjust our volume level on our televisions to our own personal comfort levels. For a commercial ad to impose itself into our personal space by knowingly blaring what they want us to hear at a substantially higher decibel is unethical and rude, and, like you said, if the industry won’t police themselves, then the regulations are justified because we should have a reasonable expectation to hear our televisions at all times at the volume level we set them at.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Huuf-Arted/100000868400175 Huuf Arted

      Amen Piratepost they blast the sound so we hear it when we hit the kitchen at commercial time. Glenn is as guilty as the rest of them of this so tuff rocks glenn baby…

  • Anonymous

    This has been a problem since the beginning of TV.  I think the theory was that people are going into the kitchen for a snack or into the bathroom (you know what for) and the sponsors didn’t want the ‘audience’ to miss the hype so the commercials were louder.  You don’t need regulations, as someone said, just mute the commercials.  When commercials that I can’t stand to look at come on I shut the thing off for a few minutes.  Consumers (TV viewers) can easily take care of loud commercials without begging the government to interfere in yet another area they don’t belong.

  • Anonymous

    As Congress wants to mute the commercials, why don’t they try to do something about the DO NOT CALL list?. Remember when they enacted that. Why do I still get bookoo calls that I don’t want or need, and I am on the list? (Maybe they should turn their attention to the so-called “fiscal cliff”)

  • http://twitter.com/miniskunkz Minerva Skunk

    I think because you are in media industry, your view on this subject is biased Glenn. The rest of us who consume media products are tired of loud obnoxious ads. Several cable TV networks are incredibly guilty of pumping the volume up on ads. They should have self-regulated themselves if they didn’t want this mandated by law. Saying just hit the mute button doesn’t solve the problem. It would be in the interest of media providers to cut the volume down, because if the end user does mute the sound, now the ads aren’t heard at all.

    • Steve Purcell

      They should ALSO limit the number of times a commercial is allowed to run in a day. Right now it’s AUTO INSURANCE commercials. AMICA not only runs their ads at every commercial break, on every channel, they run them back-to back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bette.cox.79 Bette Cox

    I have to say, I’m glad. I’m tired of having to keep the volume control in my hand so my ears won’t be blasted when the commercials come on.  Don’t they know if you want to get attention, whisper.

    • Anonymous

       I still hold the volume control while watching TV. During a movie you set the volume to comfortably listen to the dialogue, and then they start to change scenes and music starts to blast. I’m wearing out the volume control on my controller!  It’s not just the commercials!  :(

  • Anonymous

    Personally, if they get the commercials to be quieter rather than blaring noisily through the house, I’m with them on this one.  The TV industry needs to stop and police itself.  Then this wouldn’t happen.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Sound in commercials is ridiculous. This issue is not about attacking freedom, but our poor ears between the breaks of our favorite shows. Get it right, Beck. Listen to @piratepost:disqus 

  • http://youtu.be/ff8jDkOHp3U Sam Fisher

    Wow this is stupid they worry about sound from a TV but not the dagger hanging over our heads. What more important the fiscal cliff or sound waves coming from a box with moving pictures. Look out we are ruled by morons.

    • http://twitter.com/nutts2020 nutt

      Glenn makes it sound like government only deals with 1 issue at a time. Do you believe that?

      • http://youtu.be/ff8jDkOHp3U Sam Fisher


  • http://twitter.com/AF6YC_Doug AF6YC_Doug

    Actually, similar rules were in effect for about 10 years through the 70s with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), passed in 1969, and the Noise Pollution and Abatement Act, more commonly called the Noise Control Act (NCA), in 1972.  In 1981,  Congress ended funding for the NCA, so it’s been up to the providers ever since. See Wikipedia article, on noise regulation at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_regulation.
    I tend to agree with those who are irritated with sound blasting commercials. However, it seems that at least some of those actually are within the constraint of not exceeding the loudest volume. However, TV programs may have a variety of sound levels, from whisper soft to explosively loud, with the “average” or normal level somewhere in between. Apparently what the producers of commercials often do is set their “average” level much closer to the loudest level of the actual program, thus making them SEEM much louder. While the commercial level may not be higher than the loudest level of the program, when the whole commercial is pushing the top level it definitely gets aggravating. For an article on this subject, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17229281/ns/business-consumer_news/t/why-are-tv-commercials-louder-show/#.UMzj_m_Za3Y

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     The best soldiers are not warlike.

  • dgroover

    You are a busy man and undoubtly watch very little Television. It has been know for years that the Television Media has raised the audio levels of Commercials. They have done it so if you go to another room while the Commercials are on, you will probably still hear them. 
    We all have complained for years about it! Turn it up! Turn it down! Turn it back up again! Can you hear it??? No Turn it up a bit more. You’ve got it too loud! Enough of the CRAP. If we can just find a volume level that everyone in the family can agree upon, I want to leave it there.
    Everyone I have ever mentioned it to, has said the same thing. What’s GLENN BECK’s problem with everyone else being happy about the Change.
    Shame on you Glenn Beck. But Merry Christmas….

  • dgroover

    Actually, your post was dead on and I’m betting that most of us, if not all Beck Watchers and listeners hope that GB will take you up on the offer.

    Perhaps if you put the procedures on video and then post it on YouTube a lot of the Churches who put their Service on Television would benefit from your 35+ years of knowledge. Whether you are a believer or not, it would benefit a lot of people.

  • crazy betty

    I’m glad they are going to do it. the loud commercials are too much to take.

  • crazy betty

    who cares, Stu – it hurts our ears.  turn it down.  if you would have been doing so in the first place, this would not be an issue.

  • http://twitter.com/nutts2020 nutt

    Overblown nonsense from Team Beck. Standardising audio levels isn’t difficult. It isn’t. I work in the industry. It’s not difficult.
    Secondly – it’s necessary. Broadcast network technology can be sensitive – send a sudden blast of too loud audio and you can cause damage.
    Thirdly – advertisers push for it. They’re paying a lot of money for each second – do you really think they want the consumer to be distracted from their message by having to readjust the volume every 30 seconds? Do you really think that they want to annoy their target audience and thus create an underlying negative feeling?

    Preposterous, even by Blaze standards…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Huuf-Arted/100000868400175 Huuf Arted

    wah wah wahhhhhhhhhhhh glenn try reading the feedback here and stfu!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t disagree that they’re solving a problem, but it’s something the free market could have, and should have, fixed anyway. There’s no reason for TVs sold these days to not have a way to regulate the extreme decibel changes by themselves. And really it was just a matter of time until that would have been the standard. Without the incentive that badly-made commercials give to do so, though, there’s no reason to innovate in that way and it might not happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.boulrice Mike Boulrice

    While I agree its annoying. For me its the principle of the manner. If you hate the volume change, purchase a stereo system that will equalize the output. Or don’t watch channels that participate in this behavior.

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