Every platform has its limits.
The industry’s 'loudness wars' where everyone wants to be the loudest possible, has resulted in a lot of collateral damage — like distortion, listener fatigue, and no dynamic range. Whether on YouTube, Netflix, or even music or podcast streaming, sometimes out of nowhere, a commercial sounds 10 times louder than the show that preceded it. In a panic, we leap to turn down the volume, and then again we have to turn the volume back up again when the program resumes. The European Broadcast Union (EBU) decided to do something about it and create LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale).
Loudness. Depth. Volume.
LUFS are used to set targets for audio normalization in broadcast systems for cinema, TV, radio and music streaming. Every service feature's audio that meticulously designed to work perfectly on each platform. By integrating the loudness of audio signals and human perception into a single scale, LUFS acts as a kind of audio measuring tape. The units help engineers compare different types of audio and match them to the requirements of their respective listening environments.
Know the streaming service that will be used.
For broadcast, the recommended standard is -23 LUFS. But when it comes to online platforms, podcast and music streaming services the range can vary, therefor requiring different masters for playback. Often subjective calls are made about how much dynamic range is wanted, and what LUFS are generated. The idea of starting off with the goal of hitting a specific LUFS number is not necessarily ideal — some prefer to master to what sounds good, without being concerned initially about LUFS. Sometimes it’s a higher number, sometimes a lower one; it depends on the material. But after getting something that 'sounds right', then analyzing where it sits on the LUFS scale can make it easier to fine-tune the levels of other tracks so that they’re consistent.
Original music production
Films. Commercials. Jingles.
Immersive 360º audio experiences.
Loudness units relative to full scale (LUFS) is a synonym for LKFS that was introduced in EBU R 128. The EBU has suggested that the ITU should change the unit to LUFS, as LKFS does not comply with scientific naming conventions and is not in line with the standard set out in ISO 80000-8. Furthermore, they suggest the symbol for loudness level, k-weighted should be Lk, which would make Lk and LUFS equivalent when LUFS indicates the value of Lk with reference to digital full scale. LKFS and LUFS are identical in that they are both measured in absolute scale and both equal to one decibel (dB). Loudness units (LU) is an additional unit used in EBU R128. It describes Lk without direct absolute reference and therefore describes loudness level differences.
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