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Loudness: Youtube Music is Louder than Spotify

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  • Loudness: Youtube Music is Louder than Spotify

    I subscribed to Youtube Music a few months ago, mainly for the bundling of no ads on Youtube (which is a Godsend if you can afford it) + Youtube Music for $14.99/mo. I still keep Spotify, mainly because I want have a career in music, but also because it's still a really cool service. One thing I noticed recently though, and especially last night, as I'm listening to a playlist on Youtube Music (Keep in mind this is separate from Youtube) and then I decide to listen to my latest release which I had mastered to Spotify's specs (-14LUFS/-1dbs), and I felt so humiliated. My song's loudness was nowhere near the competition. I felt like a total amateur. Then I switched to Spotify and everything was much lower and my release was more or less on par with the exact same songs that had trounced me on Youtube Music. I guess my main point is that going forward I'm going to start mastering at least a db or two louder than the Spotify specs because what difference does it make? Accept that now going forward I'll be competitive (sonically) on services such as Youtube Music who seem to not be "auto-normalizing" the loudness. And who knows who or what will be the dominant specs in 5, 10 years? Also, I have to say, just as a consumer, especially since my first gen Airpods are so clogged with earwax, when I'm in bed at night and want to listen to music, I always choose Youtube Music because of the higher loudness. What do ya'll think? For all you DIYer's like me how do you target your masters, etc? This issue especially gets under my skin. It's one thing when the competitor has a better song, performance, etc., but it's another when you feel like you have something just as good or better but the loudness handicaps your tracks. That is frustrating.
    Last edited by StevePick; 11-14-2020, 03:52 AM.

  • #2
    Have you ever used this site or plugin?
    https://www.loudnesspenalty.com
    I find the situation really frustrating as it seems that the ideal thing would be to have one master per service but that would be pretty unpractical although doable
    I've also noticed my songs being quieter than others when I've been respecting the -14 LUFS
    So not really sure how I'm gonna approach my next masters

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    • #3
      Yes, I have, and that guy is great mastering engineer and teacher. And you've probably heard of the great mixer on Youtube, Warren Huart. Good mixing has a lot of tricks for getting rid of unwanted frequencies that aren't adding anything to the mix, yet still adding energy to the meters. Yeah, and for me multiple masters is not doable, since I upload to Distrokid once and they send it out to all the services. There's so many moving pieces to the puzzle. I'm new to all the mixing and mastering stuff. I've always thought of myself as a songwriter who comes up with lyrics melodies and chords. But then when I go to produce, I don't think about dynamics and my first releases have been practically all the instruments playing all at once all through the song. Since LUFS is a summing of the whole song when you have quiet parts where all the instruments say except for one drop out for a couple of sections that'll bring up the overall perceived loudness without going above their limits. Every song I'm listening to nowadays, I'm studying their dynamics and seeing what I might apply to my own releases. But beyond that, I'm think I'm going to target -13 or even -12LUFS (CDs are like -9!) because there really won't be any difference between say a -14 Master that they don't turn down or a -13 that they do turn down 1db. It'll sound the same if my understanding is correct, but if another service like YT music doesn't turn it down, then hopefully I'll be more competitive in that environment. Overall I think -14 is too low, and I don't have Apple Music, but someone told me their standard was -16? That's crazy. Of course you probably knew that as a consumer you can go into Spotify settings and change the loudness settings so that what you are hearing is -11. I keep mine at standard though, just because I figure most people keep the default and I want to hear my tracks like they are. Mixing and Mastering is a whole world of its own, that I'm just stepping my toes into. It's fun sometimes but frustrating at others. Kind of makes you think the old days weren't so bad when artists had engineers and producers to take care of that stuff! Thanks for you reply. Cheers!

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