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I need help with the loudness of my mixes please


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For virtually all my mixes, they sound both too loud and not loud enough (if that makes sense). The output volume in my studio monitors sounds like a professional level of loudness, but my LUFS readings indicate that my mixes are not nearly loud enough. I can never get my LUFS readings to the -9 to -6 range without completely distorting every sound in my mixes. Furthermore, when I use reference tracks to compare my mixes to (I use my studio monitors, car speakers, and iphone speakers to do comparisons), the reference tracks are always louder, but not distorted, whereas my mixed are not as loud but distorted and muddy. This issue has been driving me crazy for months now, and I all the research i’ve done online to try to fix this issue as not helped me so far. If anyone believes they know what the problem, and by virtue the solution to the problem is, I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me know.


Thank you kindly.

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I have learned that the -14 LUFS range is what is considered “ideal” by streaming platforms such as apple music and spotify, but -14 LUFS is far too quite. I’ve read the metrics of professionally mixed and mastered songs on an LUFS plug in and they are almost always in the range of -9 to -6 and they are all peaking over 0.0 dbs as well. I produce hip hop music so all my references are of professionally mixed and mastered hip hop songs. I just don’t get it how professional music engineers can get their mixes and masters to sound so loud without the songs ever sounding distorted. I am convinced there is some method or plug in chain they all use that I have not learned about yet.
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