It always feels good to start the new year with some happy news. It seems that Spotify has finally given up the outdated volume standard ReplayGain in favor of LUFS *. In short, this means that the largest streaming services such as Spotify, Youtube, TIDAL and Amazon are now on -14 LUFS, which makes it considerably easier for us who mix and master. The problem for Spotify has previously been that ReplayGain and LUFS have not collaborated so well. In some cases, the difference could be as large as 3 dB between different songs, even though ReplayGain and LUFS gave the same average result. This is due to the fact that the two volume standards, in different ways, try to calculate how we humans experience volume – depending on things like frequency balance, dynamics and not least how long strong sounds last. Furthermore, Spotify’s built-in limits, which accounted for the normalization, may not have been the very best compared to Youtube and iTunes.
But as I said, this concern now seems to be blown away and Spotify has promised to completely switch to the prevailing volume standard LUFS in early 2021. The limiter is completely removed for “Normal” and “Silent” volume level (see picture).
* LUFS, which stands for Loudness Unit Full Scale, is today the most popular way to measure perceived volume of current music.
Run as usual and follow my recommendations according to How strong should your mix be in 2021? but now with the knowledge that your music has even better conditions to perform well in terms of volume. However, keep in mind that:
A well-balanced mix where all frequencies are represented in a good way is still the one that weighs the most. Good music will always sound good, at least if we listen to the story.
That being said, it’s still a good idea to analyze your mixes via loudnesspenalty.com, which you can read more about here:
Feel free to ask questions or comment on the article in the comment field below, and we will spin the topic together. Or if you prefer to discuss mixing in the “Mixing and mastering” section of the Studios forum here!
Fredagstipset is a recurring series where Studio writer Jon Rinneby shares tips every Friday in, among other things, recording and mixing. Here you will find all Friday tips.