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#559935 - 10/20/19 09:29 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Your Loudness Penalty
Registered: 12/05/11
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Janice & Bud Offline
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I assume most folks have familiarized themselves with the myriad opinions around how loud to master. And if you have then you've certainly run into the LUFS discussions. The ones that make your head spin!

The streaming sites all have their protocols but for me there seems to be a misconception that you should master loudness levels specifically for streaming (or even for a specific site). If you are too loud they are gonna reduce your level. And it's that simple. Now if you have slammed your mix to the ceiling, i.e., the wave form looks like a 2x4, that's another issue. But if your mix retains dynamics yet is loud and you like it then according to some pretty knowledgeable folks that's OK. Why? Because when you upload it will be bumped down or up in db's and that is not going to deteriorate the quality of the track...caveat: as I understand it smile

If you are curious just drag one of your mixes to this site. It will not upload your file and will do a very rapid analysis and let you know how much several of the major streaming platforms would raise or lower the loudness of your production.

https://www.loudnesspenalty.com

I write this FULLY realizing that some folks will differ. smile

Bud

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#559936 - 10/20/19 10:26 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 08/04/10
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HearToLearn Offline
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Wow! What a cool share! Thanks Bud!
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#559938 - 10/20/19 10:35 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 08/04/10
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HearToLearn Offline
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So I pulled in a track (professionally mixed and mastered) of something I always thought was WAY too hot. I can hear distortion in the finals. This is a major label release to the public. Crazy!

This specific song is "Move" by Luke Bryan.


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Edited by HearToLearn (10/20/19 10:37 AM)
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C.Aaron Madison
I often get asked how to pronounce my name.
"Ma-Duh-Sn" J/K wink
As people have left the "." out so many times, "Caaron" has become the norm of it. Still said as the "." was there though. smile


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#559939 - 10/20/19 10:38 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Janice & Bud Offline
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Whoa that is loud. I selected several of ours that I’ve long considered “too” loud. However they were all pulled down only 2-3db.

Bud

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#559941 - 10/20/19 10:55 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 10/09/16
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edshaw Offline
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Woweee. Thanks for that, Bud. Just the thing for me.

PS: OK, so I received flat bar for You Tube and the other, and a -1.9 for Spotify. If that means what I think, then my work is starting to pay off.
Still, I have ask, what if the track is to quiet? That's been my problem, not loud enough. Do you happen to know?

PSPS: Wait, I think I see. I did another and it came out +1.3
on Spotify. Say, that Spotify is a picky one, hey?

No Soundcloud....???


Edited by edshaw (10/22/19 07:37 AM)
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#559958 - 10/20/19 12:04 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Matt Finley Offline
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Bud, I really like this. Great tip; thanks for sharing.

I tested some of my rough composer's drafts, and they are coming in pretty much on the button, though Spotify alone turns them down a tiny bit. My mastered CDs are all a bit hot for some of the services, around zero for others. That's exactly what I had expected.

This program takes some of the guesswork away from INDIVIDUAL services, assuming the algorithm of this program is correct. I knew about a little of the game YouTube is playing, and Pandora, but not the others - it was a mystery.

They have this as a $49 Plugin, too: https://www.meterplugs.com/loudness-penalty I'm getting it.

The same company has a few other products, too, for similar purposes. I use their Dynameter, which gives a different visual perspective to a mix.
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#560156 - 10/21/19 04:57 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/27/13
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Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
sslechta Offline
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Thanks for the info Bud and Matt.....

Checked the "Paradox of You" song I worked last year and was pretty close. Ozone mastering really helps nail it down.


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#560206 - 10/22/19 02:39 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 11/30/07
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BlueAttitude Offline
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Great find, Bud!

I just ran my latest through it, not too bad I think:


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#560321 - 10/22/19 04:26 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 10/31/08
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Noel96 Offline
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Hi Bud,

Thanks for this. It's excellent to see how the wav I upload to Soundcloud compares. Below is my latest song "The Day You Stepped Into My Life".

I take it to mean that the below values indicate that if I upload to any of the sites listed, what I hear at home here should be reasonably close to what I hear on the site after the upload (since loudness adjustment is minimal). If that's the case, it's good to know that I'm on the right track smile


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#560369 - 10/23/19 03:15 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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BlueAttitude Offline
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Interesting, Noel!

I assume the "0' you got for iTunes mean they won't touch the level. But I wonder what the "--" means?

EDIT: The "--" means it won't be touched. The "0" for iTunes means it probably won't be touched, but for iTunes they state "iTunes penalties are rough estimates"


Edited by BlueAttitude (10/23/19 04:50 AM)

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#560493 - 10/23/19 09:17 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Noel96 Offline
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Thanks, Dave. I appreciate the added information.
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#561781 - 10/31/19 12:21 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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What does it mean when it says -27dB?


Oh wait.... -2.7dB.... much better I think.


Most of the ones I tested from my list.... all fall in the -1 to -3 dB range across the board..... except one hit -5dB on one of the target sites.
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#609605 - 08/06/20 04:46 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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olemon Offline
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Interesting. Max reduction on a song I'm struggling with is -3dB for iTunes, but the uploaded wave / streamed SoundCloud song sounds like a different mix. Huge low end, compressed, frustrating.

Scott
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#609614 - 08/06/20 06:00 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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MusicStudent Offline
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Here is a recent upload. I knew right off it was "too low", but I was in a hurry to upload. This confirmed the initial low level.


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#609726 - 08/07/20 06:17 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Deryk - PG Music Offline
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Dang - great find, thanks for sharing! Got it bookmarked - I know a few people who'd get a lot out of this. Also is interesting to see the differences between streaming platforms.
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#609728 - 08/07/20 06:37 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: olemon]
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Janice & Bud Offline
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Originally Posted By: olemon
Interesting. Max reduction on a song I'm struggling with is -3dB for iTunes, but the uploaded wave / streamed SoundCloud song sounds like a different mix. Huge low end, compressed, frustrating.

Scott



SC is one of the very few platforms that leaves loudness levels as uploaded. When listening on SC I check my monitor volume levels before each song as some are earthshaking and the next one may be whisper quite.

Like you I follow SC’s recommendations re uploads but sometimes they do sound over compressed. If so I replace the file on SC with a fresh upload of the same file and it sometimes sounds better. Beats me. One would think their algorithms would treat identical files the same.

Bud

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#609877 - 08/08/20 11:37 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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olemon Offline
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Thanks, Bud. I'll keep at it.
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#610008 - 08/09/20 10:49 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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olemon Offline
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Actually, the mp3 uploaded to Reverbnation sounds better to me and very close to the wave file I'm uploading to SC.

Perhaps I should be uploading an mp3 to SC instead?
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#611166 - 08/18/20 09:38 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Frankp Offline
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Thanks Bud. I'd like to add a couple things.

1 - In youtube you can right click a video and select "stats for nerds" and see if the volume of a video was changed by youtube. You want to look at the line "Volume/Normalized", the first % is how high you have the video volume slider, the second % is how loud the video is playing. If the second % is lower than the first % then youtube has reduced the volume.

2 - I'd prefer to not have a streaming service change my file if I can avoid it. Even if it probably doesn't change the quality, but are we 100% sure of that? So I try to get it right going in by using the YouLean's free LUFS plugin.
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#611246 - 08/19/20 05:22 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Frankp]
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BlueAttitude Offline
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Originally Posted By: Frankp

1 - In youtube you can right click a video and select "stats for nerds" and see if the volume of a video was changed by youtube. You want to look at the line "Volume/Normalized", the first % is how high you have the video volume slider, the second % is how loud the video is playing. If the second % is lower than the first % then youtube has reduced the volume.



Didn't know you could do that, thanks!
I just checked our latest video, shows Volume/Normalized at 100%/100%.
After that however it says "content loudness -6.3 db", do you know what that means?

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#611518 - 08/21/20 08:24 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: BlueAttitude]
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Frankp Offline
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Originally Posted By: BlueAttitude
Originally Posted By: Frankp

1 - In youtube you can right click a video and select "stats for nerds" and see if the volume of a video was changed by youtube. You want to look at the line "Volume/Normalized", the first % is how high you have the video volume slider, the second % is how loud the video is playing. If the second % is lower than the first % then youtube has reduced the volume.



Didn't know you could do that, thanks!
I just checked our latest video, shows Volume/Normalized at 100%/100%.
After that however it says "content loudness -6.3 db", do you know what that means?


I'm not sure. I'd guess you are that much under the limit before youtube starts reducing your volume... but that's just a guess.
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#611522 - 08/21/20 09:40 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Frankp Offline
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I just found this article, lots of good info: https://www.diyvideostudio.com/youtube-loudness-standard/

From the article:
Quote:
"Content Loudness: Positive values means your audio is too loud. Negative values means your audio is too quiet."

"A little over or a little under is OK."

"If your audio is too quiet youtube does not touch the volume of your video. If the audio is too loud youtube lowers your volume."


I shoot for a little under and use the YouLean LUFS meter free plugin in my master channel of my DAW (Reaper). https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/

I shoot for -15 to -16 LUFS on my mixes and it works out well for both youtube and facebook. Note that you need to run through the entire track to get the LUFS reading as it is an average of the whole track which is also what youtube does.

I like that youtube does this so one does not have to participate in the "loudness wars". As a result we can make our music much more dynamic.

Here is a recent example of one of my videos that the stats for nerds is at -1.1 db. I considered that very close to optimal (optimal being 0.0).

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#611524 - 08/21/20 09:57 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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BlueAttitude Offline
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I always shoot for -14 LUFS here because that’s what Spotify seems to like the best, with peaks of -1. And yes, I run through the entire track. Using Ozone 9 to do that.

That -6.3 stat seems odd, unless the software my partner used to create the video did something to the audio file I sent her, I’ll need to check on that.

EDIT: Just checked the same song with the loudness penalty analyzer and it showed 0.0 for youtube (-.09 for spotify).


Edited by BlueAttitude (08/22/20 01:23 AM)

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#611529 - 08/21/20 10:54 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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Janice & Bud Offline
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I stay with +1 to -1db for Spotify on the loudness penalty site. For me that can be 13-15 LUFS depending on the dynamics of the particular song.

Some of the user forum posts are extremely loud. That was all the rage a while back but nowadays it’s annoying and actually dangerous for what’s left of my ears.

Bud

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#613797 - 09/05/20 08:36 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Your Loudness Penalty [Re: Janice & Bud]
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David Snyder Offline
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This is extremely interesting. Thanks. I will use it as an extra tool. I have a loudness analyzer/fixer from Waves, but this is a great double check.

I don't really care about loudness that much--I am into dynamic range. I like a .wav that looks like wave, not a 2 x 4 as Bud said. If I don't get a LUFS of about -18 and a DR of say 11 or 12 I am not happy.

I used "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones as a mastering reference on the last track I posted here (All Love Matters) and the DR on that song is astonishing--I think it was like 14 or something, and it wasn't that loud. But it is one of the most iconic rock mixes of all time.
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