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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 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
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 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
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
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 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 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
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 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.
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.
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"
I agree, it would be FANTASTIC if SC could implement volume normalization!
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.
Userlevel 1
Can I get an Amen! Please implement integrated loudness on playback and stop the madness! Another mastering engineer for YES PLEASE!
I agree, loudness normalization would make for a much more pleasurable listening experience. LUFS -16 would be fine. Thanks
Userlevel 3
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

I agree, thanks for the reply, Mathis.
Hopefully we'll see this implemented on SoundCloud soon !
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
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
Userlevel 2
https://www.soundcloudcommunity.com/soundcloud/topics/when-will-soundcloud-implement-the-established...
I also support loudness normalisation. I've nothing to add to the other comments other than to second the notion that Soundcloud should be at the forefront of audio quality improvements.
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
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
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 🙂

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