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Limit and boost?

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Limit and boost?

Postby awjoe » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:57 am

Okay, help. I've mastered my stereo final to -18 LUFS. I like how it sounds, and I like how it looks. Nothing's been abused in the making of this one. As Borat would say: 'N-i-c-e.'

Now I want to upload it to Youtube, which seems nowadays to have a reference level of -14 LUFS. (I'm out of touch - it might even haven changed in the last year.)

Easy question: What do I do? Limit and boost to -14 LUFS?
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Re: Limit and boost?

Postby CS70 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:43 am

Last time I checked YT did not turn up quiet songs (might have changed, you need to check on the site), so yes, if you upload it quiet, it will stay quiet.

Bring it up! There's zero problems in having it a little louder than the expected LUFS - if the song is well mixed it will be gained down a little but it will still sounds good!
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Re: Limit and boost?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:51 am

You don't actually need to do anything. Most streaming systems will make any required adjustments automatically -- although some (and I think YT might be one of them) wont turn up tracks that are already below the target loudness.

For future reference, I think -18LUFS is a little on the low side. -16LUFS is probably a better target for streamer consistency -- and it is the AES recommedation too.

However, I think it is generally a good idea to take control of as much of the process as you can, just to avoid any surprises. So... if your track's integrated loudness is -18LUFS and you think the streaming service target is -14LUFS, you're theoretically 4dB too quiet.

If you want to resolve that, simply boosting your track's overall level by 4dB will sort it... However, you do need to be mindful of the True Peak level of the track because if it was previously -1dBTP, you've now got a good 3dB of overload on transient peaks.

Whether that's audible or not depends on the style of music to some extent, but it's probably not desirable. Some streamers will limit that for you, but if you do it you have the control.

If your music has a lot of loud transient peaks it's probably easiest to use a limiter to catch them (set the limit to -1dBTP and boost the input level by 4dB) -- as you say. But if it's just a few occasional peaks, some internal editing to help reign them back might be better.

And while I mention the -1dBTP maximum which is what most streamers demand, there is a strong argument in favour of a more conservative peak limit of -3dBTP as that doesn't stress the lossy codecs so much. (And the reduction of transient peaks by 2dB is inaudible)
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Re: Limit and boost?

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:05 pm

Have you tried the Loudness Penalty site to see what YT will actually do?
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Re: Limit and boost?

Postby IAA » Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:09 pm

Have you tried the Loudness Penalty site to see what YT will actually do?

Use this all the time- very helpful for me at any rate!
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Re: Limit and boost?

Postby awjoe » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:13 pm

Thank you so much, everyone. Very helpful.
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