Loudness Penalty website tool

I've been listening to Ian Shepherd's Mastering Show podcast (thanks @tk32 ) and he's created this nice tool to test how your tracks will sound on streaming services (now they are using loudness management). No need to play loudness war games anymore.

https://www.loudnesspenalty.com/

Comments

  • This could be really handy - thanks for sharing!

  • Good find mate. :)

  • edited March 2

    It’s a great podcast. I recommend it to everyone.

    Thanks for the mention @gusgranite

  • Very interesting. If I understand well :

    • if I read -2.1db it means that I could have masterized my track 2.1db quieter and it won’t have change the perceived loudness once uploaded on soundcloud...

    What tactic to use to improve my songs then? Every tracks must be -2.1 ?

  • @cuscolima said:
    Very interesting. If I understand well :

    • if I read -2.1db it means that I could have masterized my track 2.1db quieter and it won’t have change the perceived loudness once uploaded on soundcloud...

    What tactic to use to improve my songs then? Every tracks must be -2.1 ?

    He's also blogged about it which might be useful: http://productionadvice.co.uk/how-loud/

  • edited March 2

    @gusgranite said:

    @cuscolima said:
    Very interesting. If I understand well :

    • if I read -2.1db it means that I could have masterized my track 2.1db quieter and it won’t have change the perceived loudness once uploaded on soundcloud...

    What tactic to use to improve my songs then? Every tracks must be -2.1 ?

    He's also blogged about it which might be useful: http://productionadvice.co.uk/how-loud/

    Thanks. Apparently he mention that recording at -9LUFS might be a good idea...who care if it is too loud at the end !

    To be exact :
    “Master no louder than -9 LUFS short-term at the loudest moments
    (with True Peaks no higher than -1)”

    It reminded me that Fabfilter Pro L2 is so good for that kind of things. I really hope that it will be AU one day

  • Great thanks for sharing. Read the blog too.

  • @cuscolima said:
    Very interesting. If I understand well :

    • if I read -2.1db it means that I could have masterized my track 2.1db quieter and it won’t have change the perceived loudness once uploaded on soundcloud...

    What tactic to use to improve my songs then? Every tracks must be -2.1 ?

    The only tactic IMO is to master to a target like -14LUFS, it should get you in the ballpark. I tested my latest song which was mastered to that target and these were my results:

    I read the blog post too, I think the interesting idea there was that some streaming platforms only turn stuff down, not up. In which case aiming for -13LUFS might make more sense, that way you get the maximum loudness available on YouTube and Spotify will turn your track down roughly 1db, which seems an acceptable compromise.

    The main thing to bear in mind, which I think the blog post is also alluding too, is that you should really consider your music's intended sound and dynamics first, rather than aiming to get maximum loudness. The loudness wars are over, and this means there is room for dynamics in music again, so mix your song as you intend and then master to 14 or -13 LUFS at the end of the process and the chances are very high your dynamics will be fully preserved. In my experience when mastering to -14LUFS there is hardly any limiting happening at all (especially compared to loud CD-style mastering where the limiter has to work really hard). Typically just the loudest transients are limited.

  • edited March 2

    @richardyot said:

    @cuscolima said:
    Very interesting. If I understand well :

    • if I read -2.1db it means that I could have masterized my track 2.1db quieter and it won’t have change the perceived loudness once uploaded on soundcloud...

    What tactic to use to improve my songs then? Every tracks must be -2.1 ?

    The only tactic IMO is to master to a target like -14LUFS, it should get you in the ballpark. I tested my latest song which was mastered to that target and these were my results:

    I read the blog post too, I think the interesting idea there was that some streaming platforms only turn stuff down, not up. In which case aiming for -13LUFS might make more sense, that way you get the maximum loudness available on YouTube and Spotify will turn your track down roughly 1db, which seems an acceptable compromise.

    The main thing to bear in mind, which I think the blog post is also alluding too, is that you should really consider your music's intended sound and dynamics first, rather than aiming to get maximum loudness. The loudness wars are over, and this means there is room for dynamics in music again, so mix your song as you intend and then master to 14 or -13 LUFS at the end of the process and the chances are very high your dynamics will be fully preserved. In my experience when mastering to -14LUFS there is hardly any limiting happening at all (especially compared to loud CD-style mastering where the limiter has to work really hard). Typically just the loudest transients are limited.

    I have long taken a bit if a hybrid of his loudest points and integrated. I think he makes a good case for just the peak sections. I know Ive been hitting too high a target there too, more -8. Im a total victim of the loudness war and Im also guilty of not following the news that theyre all doing the adjustments now.

    Oh well, I never severely crushed the dynamics out of stuff, but this wake up call is helpful going forward.

    The web tool seems consistent with my lufs notes of my own tracks, which I used Melda metering for. I need to drop -1 mostly, -2 on one.

  • Ref loudness wars, it's important to create individual masters for vinyl, digital download, and streaming, especially if you make music that's played in nightclubs. In a club environment, your master needs to be loud, otherwise, it won't cut through against other loud masters (not crazy levels of loudness but louder than you make it for streaming). Large swathes of music on streaming services has been mastered with a very light touch (especially pre 80's stuff), hence the need for normalizing in the player.

    However, the auto normalizing in players like Spotify's destroys fidelity. The downside is that you end up having to tweak the volume of individual tracks (no big deal), but it's far preferable to having Spotify's horrid normalization algorithm do it's worst!

    I suppose what I'm saying is that there's a lot of pure bunkum put out their ref the 'loudness wars'. If you know your market and use your head, things will turn out fine. :)

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