Audio mastering is a crucial part of the music production process. It involves taking a raw mix and applying various processing techniques to ensure that it sounds great on all types of playback systems. One of the key considerations in audio mastering is loudness levels. With the rise of streaming platforms, it’s important to understand the loudness standards that these platforms have in place. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at audio mastering loudness levels for streaming platforms and provide some tips to help you get your music sounding great on these platforms.
What is Loudness?
Loudness is a measure of the perceived volume of a sound. It takes into account the frequency content and duration of a sound, as well as the listener’s sensitivity to those sounds. Loudness is measured in units called “LUFS” (Loudness Units Full Scale), which is a standardized measure of loudness used by streaming platforms.
Streaming Platform Loudness Standards
Different streaming platforms have different loudness standards in place. The loudness standard determines the maximum loudness level that a track can have before it gets turned down by the platform. Turning down loud tracks helps to prevent distortion and ensure that all tracks on the platform have a consistent volume level.
The following table provides an overview of the loudness standards for some of the most popular streaming platforms:
As you can see, there is some variation in the loudness standards across different platforms. However, most platforms have a loudness standard in the range of -13 to -16 LUFS.
Tips for Mastering for Streaming Platforms
To ensure that your music sounds great on streaming platforms, it’s important to master your tracks with the loudness standard in mind. Here are some tips to help you master your tracks for streaming platforms:
- Use a Loudness Meter: Use a loudness meter to measure the loudness of your track. This will help you to ensure that your track is within the loudness standard of the platform you’re targeting.
- Use Compression and EQ: Use compression and EQ to balance the frequency content and dynamics of your track. This will help to ensure that your track sounds great on all types of playback systems.
- Use Limiting: Use limiting to prevent your track from exceeding the loudness standard of the platform. This will help to ensure that your track doesn’t get turned down by the platform.
- Listen on Multiple Systems: Listen to your track on multiple playback systems to ensure that it sounds great on all types of systems. This will help you to identify any issues with the mix or mastering that need to be addressed.
Mastering for streaming platforms requires careful consideration of the loudness standards in place on each platform. By using a loudness meter, compression and EQ, limiting, and listening to your track on multiple systems, you can ensure that your music sounds great on all types of playback systems. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to get your music sounding great on streaming platforms and reach a wider audience.