Not sure what all this loudness stuff is about and how it affects you? Confused about the difference between LKFS and LUFS? In this article loudness expert Mike Thornton answers all these questions and many more, including what loudness is and how it relates to both music production and audio post-production workflows.
‘[How Will My Music Sound on Spotify?](https://www.izotope.com/en/learn/how-will-my-music-sound-on-spotify.html\)’
by Bill Podolak, Senior iZotope QA Engineer May 12, 2021
In 2021, the vast majority of listeners are consuming music through streaming services. And though they’ll forever have their fans, the days of LPs, Tapes, CDs, and even MP3 downloads being the standards for music consumption are waning. As audio engineers, it’s critical to understand what’s happening when we upload a final version of our songs to streaming services, since this is what most listeners are likely going to be hearing.
The GRAMMY® awards are on March 14th, and there’s a lot to learn by analyzing some of the records that have been nominated. But where to start? There are so many questions surrounding music production, mixing, and mastering, especially now that streaming services have started to move towards loudness-normalized playback. How loud should I make my master? What tonal balance should I aim for? How high should I set my limiter ceiling? How dynamic should my record be?
iZotope posted a fine article examining the tonal contours of some of the 2021 GRAMMY® awards
Looking back at the analog days, mixing level requirements seemed so easy. You aimed for 0 on the VU meter and didn’t worry too much if it bounced over. Of course, under the hood 0VU could actually be calibrated to different levels, but we usually didn’t concern ourselves too much with that as long as it was clean around the 0 mark. These days there are so many different meter reference calibrations available that it can take some time to settle on one that you feel comfortable with. That said, LUFS looms large when it comes to delivery signal levels, and that makes for lots of confusion.
Loudness control is an essential part of the mastering process, but it can also be a handy ‘quick fix’ means of ensuring your rough mixes stand up to commercial recordings…
By Mark Cousins