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How loud in LUFS should i master my tracks for soundcloud?

  • 26 August 2015
  • 69 replies
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Is there a max loudness on soundcloud? If so.. how much in LUFS?
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Best answer by Mathis 15 January 2016, 14:08

Hi there everyone,

Thank you for contributing here. For general feature request queries, please read this convo to learn how to best forward your ideas to us. Other then that, please don't worry, we don't ignore you. 🙂 This convo has been forwarded to the relevant product team for reference.

All the best
Mathis
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69 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi there,

There is no max loudness on SoundCloud, no. We don't normalize the tracks that our users upload. The uploads are encoded into 128kbps mp3 audio files for the purpose of streaming. If you do enable downloads for your tracks, though, the file that others will download will be the exact same file as you originally uploaded.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Mathis
Userlevel 2
Hey Mathis, are there any plans for SC to integrate LUFS? Spotify, Youtube and iTunes all do at this point. As a producer (who prefers SC over the others, by the way) it would be so fantastic for SC to also use a LUFS standard.
Thanks,
Ian
Userlevel 2
Hi there,

There is no max loudness on SoundCloud, no. We don't normalize the tracks that our users upload. The uploads are encoded into 128kbps mp3 audio files for the purpose of streaming. If you do enable downloads for your tracks, though, the file that others will download will be the exact same file as you originally uploaded.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Mathis

So you still support crushed mixes, good to know 🙂
Userlevel 2
Hi Mathis,

I'm inclined to agree with DJ IBG. SoundCloud is one of the last places to hold out on doing any sort of loudness normalization, and it would be great to add it to ensure a consistent listening experience for your end users. You already encode / transcode every uploaded song to mp3 so why not just streamline it into that process and shoot for something similar to YouTube or iTunes (-14 to -16 LUFS)? Thanks for your consideration,

Ian
___
Userlevel 2
It would be GREAT if Soundcloud would implement loudness normalizing! I'd suggest around 16 LUFS (true peak @ -1 dBTP) = PLR of 15.

If you want a general loudness target for music that goes on Youtube, Soundcloud etc. ... then you're good with -13 LUFS (true peak @-1 dBTP) = PLR 12. But final target should always be based on the music ... so somewhere between -16 LUFS and -12 LUFS ... depending on the sourse would be my estimate.
Userlevel 1
Hi!

Yes, I really think SC should implement loudness normalisation too. It would improve the listening experience and music quality in general. Win-win situation!

Looking forward to seeing this happen!
Userlevel 3
I agree, it would be great if Soundcloud would implement this ! Both for listening (no need to keep adjusting the levels) and for uploading (no need to try and compete with extremely loud material, creative freedom, better results for varied content etc.

The AES (Audio Engineering Society) recently release new guidelines for streaming loudness - they recommend normalising @ no higher than -16 LUFS or equivalent level, ie. the same as iTunes Radio:
http://www.aes.org/technical/documents/AESTD1004_1_15_10.pdf

Loudness management is standard on almost every other platform, it would be fantastic if SoundCloud could implement it too !
Userlevel 2
I agree, it would be great if Soundcloud would implement this ! Both for listening (no need to keep adjusting the levels) and for uploading (no need to try and compete with extremely loud material, creative freedom, better results for varied content etc.

The AES (Audio Engineering Society) recently release new guidelines for streaming loudness - they recommend normalising @ no higher than -16 LUFS or equivalent level, ie. the same as iTunes Radio:
http://www.aes.org/technical/documents/AESTD1004_1_15_10.pdf

Loudness management is standard on almost every other platform, it would be fantastic if SoundCloud could implement it too !

By the way mr. Shepherd, thanks a bunch for your efforts like Dynamic Range Day, your videos and analyses regarding loudness! I enjoyed watching them, and they were of great value.

In an ideal world the only thing still being crushed is candy.
Userlevel 1
Loudness normalisation would be great for SoundCloud. A definite enhancement to the user experience.
Userlevel 3
I agree, it would be great if Soundcloud would implement this ! Both for listening (no need to keep adjusting the levels) and for uploading (no need to try and compete with extremely loud material, creative freedom, better results for varied content etc.

The AES (Audio Engineering Society) recently release new guidelines for streaming loudness - they recommend normalising @ no higher than -16 LUFS or equivalent level, ie. the same as iTunes Radio:
http://www.aes.org/technical/documents/AESTD1004_1_15_10.pdf

Loudness management is standard on almost every other platform, it would be fantastic if SoundCloud could implement it too !

My pleasure 🙂
Userlevel 1
Hi,
It would be wonderful if Soundcloud could implement loudness normalization, as set in the EBU R128 loudness recommendation. It would improve listeners experience and I think it would be a mark of quality for Soundcloud and its community.

Best regards,
R.Mollvik

The Arctic Knights
I agree, it would be FANTASTIC if SC could implement volume normalization!
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Store? What did you measure?
Userlevel 2
Hi there,

There is no max loudness on SoundCloud, no. We don't normalize the tracks that our users upload. The uploads are encoded into 128kbps mp3 audio files for the purpose of streaming. If you do enable downloads for your tracks, though, the file that others will download will be the exact same file as you originally uploaded.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Mathis

Good to know indeed, DjSadhu. And really Mathis, Soundcloud needs to rethink the policy. Lossless loudness normalization is a no brainer in 2016.
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
yes please! normalisation in SC now!
Userlevel 2
Hi,
It would be wonderful if Soundcloud could implement loudness normalization, as set in the EBU R128 loudness recommendation. It would improve listeners experience and I think it would be a mark of quality for Soundcloud and its community.

Best regards,
R.Mollvik

The Arctic Knights

Hear, hear!
Userlevel 2
This question has been "answered," but I believe it would behoove someone at Soundcloud to consider escalating the issues comprised for their serious implications. There's glory in doing so. There's really no good reason to not perform lossless loudness normalization in 2016.
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Measured the actual output level of iTunes store.
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
It is lowered somehow, but it is not normalized. There are still significantly different playback levels if you compare tracks from the 80ies and new tracks.
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
So it was not iTunes Radio ... or a file playback using Sound Check in the iTunes app?

You need to bear in mind that there is album normalisation as well which keeps the internal balance of the tunes (of an album) like the artist intended.

What song did you measure? And what number did you get? Was the volume on the player fully up? (I'm sure it was... but shit happens!) 🙂
Just a post to say as everyone before, please go with LUFS normalization (-14 db... -16 @-1dB TP).
Thank's.
I too would be happy to hear loudness normalisation on SoundCloud.
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Measured Roxanne from a best of The Police Album and a Song by German Artists EFF. 8dbLU (integrated, 30 seconds) difference.
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
I'm not sure how this relates to the Soundcloud request, but you can check the volume adjustment setting in the iTunes file info. Don't yet fully understand the mechanism of the Album vs. Track normalization meta, but it might provide some clues if you suspect something out of the ordinary.

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