LUFS is THE measurement method to define, measure and determine loudness within audio material. Whether at streaming services or in the CD production. LUFS has meanwhile fully integrated into the audio world.


LUFS = Loudness Units relative to full scale Full scale).

This is the signal intensity which is modeled on the human ear. LUFS is THE measurement method that is most ideally suited to defining statements about loudness within a song or other audio material.

What is LU?

LU is a relative value and is directly related to LUFS. 1 LU = 1db

What types of loudness measurement are there within LUFS?

Short term loudness

This is the briefly measured loudness. This happens over a period of 3 seconds.

Momentary loudness

This is the current loudness which is measured within 400ms.

Integrated loudness

Integrated Loudness determines the average loudness over the entire playing time. As a rule, a “relative gate” is also used here. This means that signals which are below a certain limit are not used to calculate the average loudness. According to EBU 128, the limit is, for example, -23 LUFS.

volume and loudness

Loudness is often confused with loudness. In short - volume happens on your end device such as the music system or smartphone. Here you can control the volume. Loudness is also a subjective and relative term. However, if one speaks of loudness, this is a firmly measurable value that is not only relevant for the sound in the master, but also for streaming on Spotify, Youtube and Co. The measurement is usually carried out with a plugin in your DAW. The Youlean plugin is free and can be easily integrated into any audio workstation within the studio. So you have the loudness in the mix through the meter very well under control.

LUFS Metering at Peak Studios
LUFS metering in the mastering process at Peak Studios


LUFS has become more important than ever. The keyword here is the so-called "Loudness war".

The core of this lies with the Use of digital technology, which was used for the first time in the mastering studios in the 90s.

At that time they had stylistically called "Hot Masters" prepared. So here the converters were hit so hard that partly Desired distortions have arisen. This also led to the fact that songs were generally perceived as loud. When other productions that did not have "hot mastering" were inferior to the distorted ones in terms of loudness, the tendency was to play more and more at the same loudness in order to remain competitive with the "hot masters".

As a result, the songs and albums got louder and louder and thus also proved to be more assertive.

The chaos was enormous because suddenly there was no regulation and the differences between two titles could be huge.

LUFS is making a decisive U-turn here. By doing Streaming providers or broadcasters specify a loudness value (which is far below the possible maximum), it is possible for the listener to listen to songs one after the other without having to turn the volume control a lot. So it also takes the pressure of competition away from having to convince through loudness. Rather, it tempts to achieve the maximum of quality within a defined loudness Mixing to achieve. This benefits the listener and the music.


ITunes, Youtube, Spotify, Amazon and co. - This is how your song should be!


Online mastering