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

  • 26 August 2015
  • 69 replies
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Userlevel 1
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Let's be clear: iTunes RADIO has integrated playback normalization: take all the files that are on the station's playlist (all with very different levels) and play them back at a target LUFS for a more consistent volume - the adjustment happens on playback. iTunes STORE - file downloads - is still the same old wild west its always been: mastering engineers choose the PAR, and use all the available amplitude. I would guess Apple will never go back and "remaster" their entire catalogue (nor could they get the rights to do so, I'd imagine). That's the beauty of a streaming world of music: consistent playback levels, regardless of the heavy handedness of the tools used to create the music! So comparing songs on iTunes STORE will always be variable level - that is what the "Sound Check" feature is there to combat: *playback* volume adjustment.
Userlevel 1
Can I get an Amen! Please implement integrated loudness on playback and stop the madness! Another mastering engineer for YES PLEASE!
Userlevel 1
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

DJ Sadhu: its the USER who makes crushed mixes, not SoundCloud! Right? Guns don't kill people: people with guns kill people! The same can be said of digital peak limiters.... SC is not to blame for crushed mixes. Playback volume inconsistency, now THAT is something SC can do something about... no limiters required.
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

No, not really.

First of all, I was being sarcastic. Soundcloud "supports" crushed mixes by NOT punishing them based on LUFS. So on this platform you can still sound "louder" than others by crushing your mix to the max.

The proper thing for Soundcloud to do would be to lower these crushed mixes by a couple of dB's, thus removing the "loudness advantage" - and showing how terrible these songs really sound.

So, you're right: Soundcloud is not responsible for crushed mixes. But they are responsible for playing them at an unaltered volume level, when they should really be lowered in volume.

Once we have proper loudness equalization on all platforms, mix engineers (or amateurs, really) will finally see the benefit and beauty of a proper dynamic mix, because loudness will be taken out of the equation.
The War will be over.
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Aye, and last I checked, if you turn off SoundCheck, pre-existing meta data is not erased in the files. Be interesting if one source provided files with the meta data in advance of sales and another did not... Perhaps GSCHNEIDER, SoundCheck was not checked "on?" "Mastered for iTunes" will take awhile to be fully adopted, so in the meantime we suffer "the same old wild west" crappy mastering -- and Soundcloud could really help by instituting lossless loudness normalization.
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Word. I'm still not sure though what GSCHNEIDNER ... or where exactly he measured.. was it a download... and/or did it play in the app? Sound Check on?

If it was streaming (radio) then Sound Check is on by default if I'm not mistaken... if you play a downloaded file ... or ripped from CD you need to turn the Sound Check feature on.
Userlevel 1
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

Amen brother! Seems like we're headed for the finish line presently, tho, doesn't it? That's a good feeling. Its been a wasteland for so long... amazing it took the industry so long to get their lasso around this one. Movies, TV and radio have had it for a long time. Glad its finally happening!
As with everyone else here, to see a normalisation of loudness on Sound Cloud would not only be good for the listener, but also every other link in the chain between a band and an end produced product. For music providers to show a unity on the importance of dynamic music vs "loud" music displays their commitment to providing the best possible product to their users and a respect for the very product they provide.
I agree, loudness normalization would make for a much more pleasurable listening experience. LUFS -16 would be fine. Thanks
Userlevel 3
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.
I wonder if we should create a new question ? The mods may just ignore everything that's been "answered"
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.
I suspect the same. "When will Soundcloud implement..."

Thanks Ian,
D
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
I routed ITunes store output via Soundflower App directly into Protools.
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Then I bought one of the tracks, imported into Protools and compared to streaming the same track. The actual imported file was significantly higher in level. So there is some kind of leveling going on. But iTunes store does not normalize in a sense that all tracks have the same playback level. Try it!
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
The difference between streaming and the actual file is 4 dbLU on that track
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
5 dbLUFS difference on a Coldplay Track
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
5 dbLUFS difference on the old Police track. That means to me ITunes output is around 5db lowered but not normalized.
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
And that means there are still a lot of reasons for mastering tracks into distortion only to have them louder.
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

I misread your comment at first, it seems we totally agree on this matter 😛
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.
Yes, not if but when, or how
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.
or Where can we download the "Mastered for Soundcloud" manual?
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Do you get the same levelling when you play the file in iTunes and Sound Check is on?
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
With Soundcheck on everything goes to -19 dbLU
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
Even when played from the store. That is pretty amazing.
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
-19 LUFS?
Userlevel 2
There is no normalization in the german iTunes Store. Just measured.
When you say... ["5 dbLUFS difference on the old Police track. That means to me ITunes output is around 5db lowered but not normalized."] ... what do you mean by "not normalized"?

Isn't it exactly normalized when the loudness/volume has been adjusted according to a target?

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