Youlean Loudness Meter

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Jmax
Posts: 665
Joined: 03 Apr 2015

Post 03 Apr 2018

Honestly I don't get why everyone uses these meters. Why not just use your ears?
For comparing one track to another maybe this comes in handy?
Loudness is all relative anyhow, I've learned not to look at any meter.

Youlean
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 Apr 2018

Post 03 Apr 2018

Jmax wrote:
03 Apr 2018
Honestly I don't get why everyone uses these meters. Why not just use your ears?
For comparing one track to another maybe this comes in handy?
Loudness is all relative anyhow, I've learned not to look at any meter.
You need to use loudness metering if you want your stuff to be played on TV stations for example. There are exact specifications that you need to follow. Also, if you want to release a song on streaming services you can hugely benefit from knowing exact loudness since then you can optimize transients (you can have much less compression on master). So, here "using ears" method doesn't apply. ;)

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EnochLight
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Post 03 Apr 2018

Jmax wrote:
03 Apr 2018
Honestly I don't get why everyone uses these meters. Why not just use your ears?
For comparing one track to another maybe this comes in handy?
Loudness is all relative anyhow, I've learned not to look at any meter.
Yeah, what Youlean said. If you actually release your mixes commercially, just using your ears won't cut it. For instance, if you plan to distribute via streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, they have a specific requirement. For Spotify, it streams audio at around -14 LUFS. If a track has a loudness level of -8 LUFS, Spotify will decrease the volume of that track to -14 LUFS. If a track is -23 LUFS the volume will be increased to -14 LUFS. Thusly, if you make your mix more dynamic, this is good news.

Streaming on Apple Radio may be different, but ultimately, a visual aid when hitting those final levels are of paramount importance, IMHO.
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esselfortium
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Post 03 Apr 2018

Being able to match volume levels accurately is also important for contract/commission work, so your client doesn’t need to attempt to match them up for you after the fact. Yes, you can more or less do it without visual aid, but that invites more guesswork and takes more of your time.

Plus, if two songs are reading as very different volume levels despite sounding similar to your ears, the reading might be indicative of a discrepancy you hadn’t noticed, like excessive bass in one of them.

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EnochLight
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Post 03 Apr 2018

We haven't even touched redbook requirements for mastering compact disc, but for streaming services - they're mostly different!

Apple Music *Soundcheck On*
~ 16 LUFS

YouTube
~ 13 LUFS

Spotify
~ 14 LUFS

Tidal
~ 14 LUFS
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demt
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Post 03 Apr 2018

Well the question has been answered above yet it seems. I should make several mixes at various LUF rates for a n.o of different platforms or come in on the middle around let say 14 LUFs . Id like to know what happens to the quality of the sound after being normalised by these platforms
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selig
RE Developer
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Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 03 Apr 2018

demt wrote:Well the question has been answered above yet it seems. I should make several mixes at various LUF rates for a n.o of different platforms or come in on the middle around let say 14 LUFs . Id like to know what happens to the quality of the sound after being normalised by these platforms
Nothing happens to the quality, the only thing adjusted will be the volume (same as if a listener turned your song up/down). If you’re worried about loudness wars, meaning if you care your mix may not sound as loud as others, you have nothing to worry about as I understand it because all services adjust the volume of your mix so it sounds exactly as loud as the others.

Some suggest it’s possible on some services for your song to sound softer than others (not sure this is true), but again worrying about that is what the loudness wars were all about! It’s true that a more dynamic mix can sound softer (at times) than a less dynamic mix - your choice!


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Jmax
Posts: 665
Joined: 03 Apr 2015

Post 04 Apr 2018

EnochLight wrote:
03 Apr 2018
Jmax wrote:
03 Apr 2018
Honestly I don't get why everyone uses these meters. Why not just use your ears?
For comparing one track to another maybe this comes in handy?
Loudness is all relative anyhow, I've learned not to look at any meter.
Yeah, what Youlean said. If you actually release your mixes commercially, just using your ears won't cut it. For instance, if you plan to distribute via streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music, they have a specific requirement. For Spotify, it streams audio at around -14 LUFS. If a track has a loudness level of -8 LUFS, Spotify will decrease the volume of that track to -14 LUFS. If a track is -23 LUFS the volume will be increased to -14 LUFS. Thusly, if you make your mix more dynamic, this is good news.

Streaming on Apple Radio may be different, but ultimately, a visual aid when hitting those final levels are of paramount importance, IMHO.
Your ears won't cut it? Really? The things you use to actually hear the music. If Spotify and others are adjusting your music as it is then does it really matter how you release it? Within reason of course. I'm talking about a nice loud master, right at the sweet spot before it becomes to much. No visual add has ever been able to help me with that. I do take a look at the limiter to see a general read out of the final output but that doesn't dictate weather I'll boost or cut volume. I also find that each and every track you make is completely different, everything fits together different and thus will always have a different loudness space. The ears are the ones that tell me what space and volume that track can ultimately go to, and for my taste of course. Everyone is different. I'll also never mix my music according to what Spotify or Apple are doing with it.

Where these read outs help like you say would be the tv and commercial work, I can see that with dialog etc..
Anyways, everyone is different and if these read outs help you then that's all that is important. I just focus on the sound itself and that seems to work best. Trying to fit the mold of levels etc seems to confuse things.

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Marco Raaphorst
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Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

Post 04 Apr 2018

I am using -15 LUFS for music and -18 LUFS for podcasts at the moment.
Marco Raaphorst

maker of fancy intervallic things
https://melodiefabriek.com

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EnochLight
Posts: 6356
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Location: your mom

Post 04 Apr 2018

Jmax wrote:
04 Apr 2018
Your ears won't cut it? Really? The things you use to actually hear the music. If Spotify and others are adjusting your music as it is then does it really matter how you release it? Within reason of course. I'm talking about a nice loud master, right at the sweet spot before it becomes to much. No visual add has ever been able to help me with that. I do take a look at the limiter to see a general read out of the final output but that doesn't dictate weather I'll boost or cut volume. I also find that each and every track you make is completely different, everything fits together different and thus will always have a different loudness space. The ears are the ones that tell me what space and volume that track can ultimately go to, and for my taste of course. Everyone is different. I'll also never mix my music according to what Spotify or Apple are doing with it.

Where these read outs help like you say would be the tv and commercial work, I can see that with dialog etc..
Anyways, everyone is different and if these read outs help you then that's all that is important. I just focus on the sound itself and that seems to work best. Trying to fit the mold of levels etc seems to confuse things.
To each their own. If working visually doesn't work for you, that's cool! ;)
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selig
RE Developer
Posts: 8788
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 04 Apr 2018

Jmax wrote:
04 Apr 2018
Where these read outs help like you say would be the tv and commercial work, I can see that with dialog etc..
Anyways, everyone is different and if these read outs help you then that's all that is important. I just focus on the sound itself and that seems to work best. Trying to fit the mold of levels etc seems to confuse things.
I totally agree with this if just for one thing. The way you hit the target if you are too low (too dynamic) will be to squash your mix more than you want. This has it's trade offs, in that now your mix is less dynamic than you wanted, all in the name of loudness. This IS the loudness wars - giving up dynamics in the name of hitting some loudness target.

Where it would help you is if you are squashing the crap out of your mix and you can't hear it (hopefully there's not many folks doing this?). In this case it will tell you to squash less. You can already do this with other tools, it's not like LUFS standards are the first tool for this job.

Since increasing/decreasing loudness is a creative choice IMO, because it does change the sound, I prefer to get the sound I want at the "possible" risk that the volume level will be turned up/down by the streaming service - or by the listener, which is no different, right?

If I was submitting commercial/broadcast work, I'd been using LUFS metering from day one, since it's going to be part of the delivery spec. Even for TV library work, I still simply use VU + Peak mode in Reason, aka "Crest Factor", and trust my sound system and my ears (using ref mixes if confused) to do their job.

All of that being said, in the end if what you are doing is working, keep on keeping on! Ignore the crowd including folks like me - I'm just sharing what has worked for me with absolutely no expectation that it will work for all others.
Selig Audio, LLC

estuary
Posts: 83
Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Location: tokyo

Post 10 Sep 2020

Youlean Loudness Meter PRO is 38% OFF until 15th September : https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/
Truth is hidden in silence

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Marco Raaphorst
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Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

Post 10 Sep 2020

Thanks! The PRO version is great.

What I use for metering is the Klanghelm VUMT Deluxe using K-weighted RMS metering. For exporting I am using YouLean with Loudmax limiter to export to -16 LUFS and -1 DBFS peak for podcasts. For music I use -14 LUFS but I guess that's not so important since auto gaining is used at streaming services.
Marco Raaphorst

maker of fancy intervallic things
https://melodiefabriek.com

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EnochLight
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015
Location: your mom

Post 10 Sep 2020

Since I picked up iZotope Insight 2 on sale, I haven’t touched Youlean’s meter.
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arqui
Posts: 272
Joined: 22 Jan 2015

Post 10 Sep 2020

I use TBPRO dpMeter 4 is free and it has two types of measurements, EBU and RMS.

https://www.tb-software.com/TBProAudio/dpmeter4.html

regards
     

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