LOUDNESS and LUFS!!! (why am I shouting???)

LOUDNESS and LUFS for podcast editors

The hot topic of the past 24 hours in the Podcast Editors Club has been all about LOUDNESS and LUFS.

As a podcast editor, engineer, and/or producer you know how important it is that a person wearing earbuds or listening in their car can hear what’s being said or done in a podcast.

Here is a summary of those posts from the Podcast Editors Club on Facebook and the resources that help us learn about LOUDNESS and LUFS.

Standard Loudness for Podcasts?

Chann asks “What’s the standard loudness in LUFS for podcasts?

In layman terms, LUFS is the perceived loudness of the overall mix.

To answer this confusing question, James Cridland from Podnews.net chimed in.

He has a great article that explains that Apple wants -16 while Spotify wants -14: https://podnews.net/article/lufs-lkfs-for-podcasters

However, there are differences between LUFS for mono vs stereo. Jump into his article to find out more.

How do you fix loundness?

At this point, you are probably wondering how you are supposed to fix loudness in your clients’ recordings.

In another post in the Podcast Editors Club on Facebook, Bryan calls out a video by Tom Kelly about “How to use Vocal Rider and Multiple Stages of Compression…

Apparently it helped him tame an unwieldy Zoom call. 

Ah, Zoom.us. My favorite…

Anyway, watch Tom Kelly’s video, then get 10% off the Vocal Rider plugin if you use Tom Kelly’s affiliate link: https://www.waves.com/r/9mitjc

What about Levelator?

Kim has been using Levelator to automate loudness in post-production for years, but her computer is dying.

Her fear is a new computer won’t be able to use Levelator (the creators no longer support or update the program, and it won’t work on newer operating systems).

…and she is right.

What are her cheap or free options?

Well, nobody has answered that question – but as of this writing they have all recommended Auphonic.com.

Auphonic does more than leveling volume and bringing recordings to the right LUFS levels. So as you can imagine, a powerful service like Auphonic isn’t free.

You can use Auphonic by purchasing credits, which are used based on the number of hours you upload to their service. http://auphonic.com/pricing

There are also desktop versions of the software with a one-time purchase, which are more economical for a podcast editor producing a dozen hours a month. However, there are a couple online features that aren’t available in the desktop versions.

An individual can purchase a Windows or Mac OS X version for $89 USD or commercial license for $349.

However, you might be more interested in the multitrack version, which also go for $89 or $349 USD.

Trial versions are available for each, so go play!

You might already have a leveler

Leveling processes may be built into your DAW.

Take a look and see if there is an option built into yours.

I’m certain Pro Tools or Audition have native tools. Here’s a video for leveling the volume of speech in Audition (by Mike Russell) https://youtu.be/M2f865HBPMg

Or you may have another tool in your toolbox.

For example: iZotope’s RX7 has Leveler and Loudness features in their Advanced version.

Take a look at your DAW to see if you already have a volume leveling tool or plugin.

Level first?

Or Normalize, then compress, then level, then…?

I’ve hosted a half-dozen video sessions with experts on everything from EQ settings to LUFS to Exciters …and more.

These presentations are only a small part of the Podcast Editor Academy’s library of content.

Join the Podcast Editor Academy today and binge on all the audio engineering goodness!

Happy Editing!