LUFS - LOUDNESS UNITS RELATIVE TO FULL SCALE

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

WHAT IS LUFS?

LUFS stands for "Loudness Units Full Scale" and is a measure of the loudness of audio signals. It was developed to make the loudness of audio files comparable on different platforms and is often used in mastering.

LUFS is expressed in dB (decibel) and takes into account not only the absolute volume but also the dynamics of the audio signal. This means that LUFS adjusts the loudness of audio files in relation to their dynamics measures, instead of only evaluating them according to their absolute loudness. This can help music play well on different platforms and speaker systems and have proper tonal balance.

 

What is LU?

LU stands for "Loudness Units" and is a measure of the loudness of audio signals. It was developed to make the loudness of audio files comparable on different platforms and is often used in mastering.

LU is measured in dB (decibels) and takes into account not only the absolute volume but also the dynamics of the audio signal. This means that LU measures the loudness of audio files in terms of their dynamic range, rather than simply evaluating them based on their absolute loudness. This can help music play well on different platforms and speaker systems and have proper tonal balance.

LU is a derived quantity based on the full scale concept, which refers to the maximum loudness of an audio signal. The term “Loudness Units Full Scale” (LUFS) refers to loudness relative to full scale.

 

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. A “relative gate” is usually used here. This means that signal which is below a certain limit will not be used to calculate the average loudness. According to EBU 128, for example, the limit is -23 LUFS.

volume and loudness

Loudness is often confused with loudness. In short - the volume is set on your end device such as the stereo system or smartphone. You can adjust the volume there. Loudness is also a subjective and relative term. But when we talk about loudness, it is a fixed, measurable value that is not only relevant for the sound in the master, but also for that Streaming on Spotify, Youtube and Co. The measurement is usually done with a plugin in your DAW. The Youlean plugin is free and can be easily integrated into any audio workstation in the studio. So you have the volume in the mix with the meter very well under control.

Streaming master for your tracks?

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

WHY IS LUFS SO IMPORTANT?

LUFS has become more important than ever. Keyword here is the sg”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 one had stylistically sg “Hot Masters" prepared. So here the converters were hit so hard that some Desired distortions have arisen. This also led to the fact that songs were generally perceived as being loud. When other productions that had no "hot mastering" were inferior in loudness to the distorted ones, there was a growing tendency to play 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.

MORE INFO ABOUT LUFS

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

https://www.peak-studios.de/upload-streaming-dienste/

SPOTIFY DISABLES YOUR LIMITER

https://www.peak-studios.de/spotify-deaktiviert-limiter/

online mastering

https://www.Peak-Studios.de/mastering/online-mastering/

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