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Youtube -13 LUFS Myth or Reality?
Old 19th April 2017
  #1
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Youtube -13 LUFS Myth or Reality?

I've just done a quick mix for a live music video to upload on Youtube. Usually I go through mastering, but for this, neither the time nor the budget.

I've followed the advice, and mixed with minimal squashing to LUFS - 13. And, it just sounds very quiet.

Have grabbed a range of tracks off Youtube, and they're all over the place - though all are hotter, and sometimes a LOT hotter than that. I'm getting ranges from about -11 up to -5.

If everything's supposed to be normalised to -13, why am I not seeing it, and why does my -13 track sound audibly softer than everything else?

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but ...??
Old 19th April 2017
  #2
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Odeon-Mastering's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bing81 View Post
I've just done a quick mix for a live music video to upload on Youtube. Usually I go through mastering, but for this, neither the time nor the budget.

I've followed the advice, and mixed with minimal squashing to LUFS - 13. And, it just sounds very quiet.

Have grabbed a range of tracks off Youtube, and they're all over the place - though all are hotter, and sometimes a LOT hotter than that. I'm getting ranges from about -11 up to -5.

If everything's supposed to be normalized to -13, why am I not seeing it, and why does my -13 track sound audibly softer than everything else?

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but ...??
firstly (and please bare with me if this is something that you have taken under consideration), a piece of music at -13dB LUFS can sound louder or quiter than another with the same loudness specs (frequency response, overall compression and orchestration come into play there)

additionally, I have also noticed that not all channels have been "normalized" and was wondering about the same thing..so I ll be watching this thread
Old 19th April 2017
  #3
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I think it takes a few days before they normalize stuff.
Old 19th April 2017
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odeon-Mastering View Post
firstly (and please bare with me if this is something that you have taken under consideration), a piece of music at -13dB LUFS can sound louder or quiter than another with the same loudness specs (frequency response, overall compression and orchestration come into play there)
Yes, understand that. But for example, the recorded/CD version of this same song, which sounds pretty much the same is a LOT louder.

I accept that this may take time to normalise (or whatever), but then why are some channels louder than others, even on tracks that have been up for a long time?
Old 19th April 2017
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by marchhare View Post
I think it takes a few days before they normalize stuff.
correct.

a other aspect is the used algorithm.
youtube and the most streaming platforms use (i guess) replay gain.
the results are different compared to ebu-128 integrated, closer to ebu-128 short term, but without the frequency-weighting of ebu.
bright masters are a bit louder with replay gain, bass-heavy masters are a bit louder with ebu.

Last edited by teebaum; 19th April 2017 at 11:14 PM..
Old 19th April 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
...
youtube and the most streaming platforms use replay gain.
the results are different, closer to ebu-128 short term, but without the frequency-weighting of ebu.
bright masters are a bit louder with replay gain, bass-heavy masters are a bit louder with ebu.
Just to add one technical detail..

the original RG has also its weighting filter, although it's slightly different from BS.1170 or R128.
ReplayGain 1.0 specification - Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase

Newer RG 2.0 recommends to use BS.1170-3 compliant detection of loudness, albeit with -18LUFS target.. Resulting offset are then written to the same respective tags as previous RG versions.
ReplayGain 2.0 specification - Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase

Other thing is, that most streaming service providers never really published exact specification and description of their loudness management algorithms..
They probably doesn't feel, it's really important thing for content creators.

So it can be something akin to RG and really looks like that, but it's always just guesswork, test uploads, measurement of various other streams to periodically verify, if they doesn't change that, which can be really funny, when they have for example some transitional period and each platform and part of their library works bit differently.. etc.
I'm also not sure, if for example Nugen, which has plugin for simulation of loudness management of different streaming services, has some kind of official agreement about up-to date specs from them.

With regards to YT, I also believe according to previous test, it just takes some time.. My guess is, the loudness profile of uploaded clip is measured at the same time, when they also create its unique audio fingerprint.

Michal
Old 20th April 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
With regards to YT, I also believe according to previous test, it just takes some time.l
Yes I accept that. But:

a) other songs from the same artist (cited because I know exactly what has gone on) have very hot levels, regardless of how long they've been up on YT - everything from a month to 5+ years

b) every single song from this artist that's online, no matter what the source, is hotter than my -13 LUFS mix. OK, there are some variables that will effect perceived loudness, but we're talking big differences.

i.e. I'm not seeing that ANY songs are being dropped down to -13 LUFS.
Old 20th April 2017
  #8
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Hi Bing, I don't know, why those particular clips doesn't seem to be normalized..
How did you measure that?
Loudness adjustment offset is applied during playback and only to some platforms, when I tested it.. So volume change isn't "baked" into streams.
You need to measure YT clip loudness in real time, when played from your browser.. For example I use RME DIGICheck, where it's pretty easy to monitor output stream and obtain its integrated loudness figure. But of course you can record the audio via some kind of loopback to your DAW and do the analysis ex post.
Other option is to setup free ORBAN Loudness Meter
at Windows, it can use its own loopback from WDM devices at Mac you'd probably need an external software like SoundFlower.
If you'd like some comparable figures from it, then go to its settings and set the both integration time sliders at ITU BS.1770 section to its maximum value.. (which essentially means, integration will run, until you manually reset it, otherwise it would use 10 sec. time window by default).

With regards to YT playback platform (like desktop, various smartphone apps and browsers, smart TVs, alternative players like VLC), some apparently doesn't alter volume of audio stream.. for quick test about that, pick for example any track from Metallica Death Magnetic like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFqjDXy9s5A and just watch the peak meters.. if normalization is being applied at the platform, it will peak max. to cca -5-6dB even at climaxes..

Michal

Last edited by msmucr; 20th April 2017 at 09:28 AM..
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