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final volume level for master WAV


KeithJames
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Go to solution Solved by David Nahmani,

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I've got 16 songs that are published and available for listen on public platforms.  I read that Spotify, Apple, any radio station, they all have their own metrics for evening out the overall volumes of their plays so they sound at the same level.  A friend told me that one of my songs, my first one, is too loud on his devices.  I'm about to send in four new songs and need to set their final volumes to match and be at a reasonable level.  I have lately been streaming such ready files to the car radio and comparing how they set in volume there to other similar styles of commercially produced songs.  Is this a good approach or is there something more "scientific?"  Thanks.

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4 hours ago, KeithJames said:

is there something more "scientific?"

Definitely: insert a loudness meter as the last plug-in on your Stereo Out before you bounce your song, and check the LUFS level of your entire song. It should match what the platforms are recommending. 

Spotify for example recommends a target of -14 LdB UFS. Here are Spotify's recommendations: 

Quote

 

Mastering tips

Loudness normalization means we don’t always play your track at the level it’s mastered.

  • Target the loudness level of your master at -14dB integrated LUFS and keep it below -1dB TP (True Peak) max. This is best for lossy formats (Ogg/Vorbis and AAC) and makes sure no extra distortion’s introduced in the transcoding process.
  • If your master’s louder than -14dB integrated LUFS, make sure it stays below -2dB TP (True Peak) to avoid extra distortion. This is because louder tracks are more susceptible to extra distortion in the transcoding process.

 

Source: https://artists.spotify.com/en/help/article/loudness-normalization

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i master everything at -11 LUFS, and have had no issues here (with spotify, apple music, etc). been streaming for 2 1/2 years.

also, all the streamers adjust your music to fit their metrics, so, if the songs sound good when you submit to distribution, they should be fine on each platform.

is the first song too loud when you check it?

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So, I just marked this solved with David N's specific instructions on adjusting the LUFS level for out going master bounce.  Was helped by all comments.  Thanksgiving took me away from this plus a step backwards on one song where I had to rework stuff on the tracks level.  I found that the song that plays the loudest on the car radio in this current project and the once which I thought was set too high is only coming out around -14 LUFS which I found interesting and unexpected. But at this point all of my projects have gone out with a nebulous guess work on level by just listening on the car radio when streamed through Apple services.  Regardless, I now know how to standardize the level on my releases and now am curious to go back and check on the levels of the previous released material.  Thank you.   

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I unmarked for solution because I'm not sure how marking resolved effects the visibility for futher posts.  Well, I'm very glad to have LUFS and Gain plug-ins in my tool chest, as novice as that sounds.  Love the Gain control.  However, I'm not finding that setting a consistency of LUFS volume by way of gain plug-in in stereo out of the master bounce produces a comparible level when songs play.  With my four songs all running -14 to -11 on LUFS graph, I'm finding that there is still quite a volume range to the songs uncomfortable for side by side listening.  I feel as though I still need to go to the car and listen for how they stream there all through the same service which happens to be Apple and then make appropriate adjustments.  What's going on here?  Maybe a wide difference in the way the songs are compressed, and that there is, as two of the songs are built upon original distorted and clipped recordings from 1978.  They are heavily Izotrope de-reverbed and de-clipped and compressed and then worked with at a low volume in project on the tracks level.  They have come out very nice, but with their LUFS levels matching the other two songs, both and one in particular is too much softer on playback. And that is not good, so with a discrepency in LUFS should I err downward into the -16 range or upwards in the -9 or -8 range in order to get the even playback...

Edited by KeithJames
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Went driving.  The discrepency is not as wide as it seemed on the playback at home.  But I definitely won't be depending solely on matching LUFS levels for playback compatibility on a project.  The songs can't just be set at the same levels and expect to sound like they are on the same album. 

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Sorry for this blab.  I don't want to abuse LogicPro with endless navel gazing on my part.  My files themselves have to wide a variance in volume which needs to be evened out not by compression but by simple automated volume control over the final bounce.  I'll shut up now. 

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23 minutes ago, KeithJames said:

Sorry for this blab.  I don't want to abuse LogicPro with endless navel gazing on my part.  My files themselves have to wide a variance in volume which needs to be evened out not by compression but by simple automated volume control over the final bounce.  I'll shut up now. 

Curious if you've considered getting a mastering engineer involved, or even trying an AI scene like LANDR.  

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No, unless it was an organic artistic relational happening or completely guarded by my having lots of money to pay someone to totally tudor me, it would be artistic haricari for me.  The quality of my technology is not nearly as important as my personal artistic voice.  I'm at this point soon to move more towards increased instrument in hand and live performance though that will involve multi-mike live style recording and more advanced miking skills.  But no, all that I have created has been through creating what I can with a very limited technology base.  I work very long-handed on Logic and very manual.  Most people would not put up with it, but I'm not going down the tunnel of being more interested in the endless technology of the DAW than what I can create with it on the spot.  LogicProHelp, has though been an VERY valuable resource for me.

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