Figure Out Optimal Volumes for Various Streaming Services
In this article we will be taking a look at Loudness Penalty from Meter Plugs.
Loudness Penalty analyzes your track and provides you with accurate measurements to optimize the volume for various streaming services.
Streaming platforms such as YouTube and Spotify use loudness normalization to normalize the volume of songs and provide an optimal listening experience for users.
Because of this, even if you mastered your track to be as loud as possible, the volume gets lowered to the normalization point.
The downside of making your tracks louder is a lack of dynamics, and to avoid this, it is important to keep the loudness normalization of various streaming services in mind when adjusting the loudness of your tracks.
Let’s take a look at how to use Loudness Penalty.
Loudness Penalty Video Access
About the Loudness Penalty Website
You can actually use Loudness Penalty’s website to try out their analysis.
Drag and drop a file onto the site to begin the analysis,
And the results will be displayed like shown.
By clicking on the numbers of streaming services while playing, you can preview the normalization results of each one.
However, the website only allows you to hear exported audio files, so it is recommended to use the plugin version which allows you to make adjustments in your DAW on the fly.
Loudness Normalization Tutorial Video
Measuring Your Loudness Penalty Score
Let’s dive into using the plugin.
Place Loudness Penalty last on your master track.
If a maximizer is being used, be sure to place it after the maximizer.
By pressing play, the analyzed measurements are instantly displayed.
These numbers represent post-loudness normalization on different streaming services, and show you how the volume is changed in db’s.
Negative numbers mean it’s too loud and is lowered, and positive numbers mean it’s too quiet and is being raised. Because some streaming services don’t apply much change, aim to master to 0db for the time being while adjusting audio level.
In addition, these amounts in your plugin are called your “loudness penalty score”.
Previewing Volume on Various Streaming Services
Click on the Loudness Penalty Score of a streaming service and press the preview button and let your track play to hear how the track would sound after the normalization is applied.
Lets try out Spotify for this example.
This preview volume reflects the penalty score being applied at the moment the button is clicked. Because of this, even if the score changes, it will not be reflected in the sound.
Click on the score area again to preview the sound with the newly measured volume score amount.
In addition, if an analysis of over ±0.3db change in volume is measured since the previewing started, the numbers will turn orange.
Using this as a guide, you can update the preview volume as well.
The Auto Gain button automatically does this for you.
By turning the Auto Gain button ON, you can preview the sound that is automatically reflecting the loudness penalty score.
How to Accurately Measure and Caution when Exporting
To get the most accurate loudness penalty score results, you will have to press the rest button and play back the song from the very beginning.
This is that amount. For Spotify the track would be lowered by 3.7db, so we will set the maximizer threshold to 3.7db.
Then, let the song play again from the start, and if the analysis for the desired platform is close to 0, this means that the volume levels have been optimized.
Lastly we have more one precaution. When you are done, be sure to check that the preview is off or that the plugin is being bypassed.
If preview is active, it will be exported with the current edits being applied to it.
We believe that Loudness Penalty will provide a valuable service for the mastering process.
If you found this plugin interesting, try it out on their website before purchase!
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