Are there proof that spotify normalize audio at -14LUFS?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by detlef, Mar 2, 2018.

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  1. detlef

    detlef Active Member

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    Sep 3, 2006
    Are there proof that spotify normalize audio at -14LUFS?
    I did some empirical A/B comparison between mp3s donwloaded on my pc and audio streamed on spotify.

    I choosed this quite loud songs on pourpose:

    King of Convenience - Misread -10 LUFS
    Radiohead - Burn The Wich -9.5 LUFS
    Beck - Colors -6.5 LUFS
    Bjork - Arisen my Senses -8 LUFS
    Carla Bruni - The Winner Takes it All -10.7 LUFS
    Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Skeletons Tree -9.6 LUFS

    Except the first song, all are very recent releases , all quite far from -14 LUFS.

    Guess the results? Both audio levels were absolutely identical.
    In a quick A/B comparison even a 0.5-1 db difference is audible.

    Perhaps normalization is applied only on smartphones?

    So why everybody says that the loudness war is over? (look at the numbers above).
    I measured 20-30 songs which came out from 2016 to erly 18 and only 2 were at -14 LUFS or less (David Gilmore and Arcade Fire).
     
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Downloaded vs streamed is different. Honestly I don't know the specs of spotify. But most streaming platform will regulate volumes.. some only downward and some up and down.
    I publish on youtube and if I check the nerd specs, my last video was adjusted -2.7db and I saw -3.9 in an older one...
    What makes it interesting is that finally the loudness war is over !! ;)
     
  3. ronmac

    ronmac Active Member

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  4. detlef

    detlef Active Member

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    Sep 3, 2006
    So the normalization applies only on the downloaded version of spotify and not the webplayer?

    How is the loudness war over with the great majority of albums mastered at - 6, 8, 9 LUFS?

    Can you point out some example of songs actually mastered at -12-16?
    (I have another one, Natalie Merchant last album)
     
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert but I think it's the other way around. Normalization occur on the streaming side and if the streaming service let's you download songs. It's its own choice to give the original version uploaded by the artist or management or if it's going to be the normalized version.
    Mastering these days ain't just about one medium. Most mastering engineer do 2 , 3 and more versions of their master. 1 for radio, 1 for CD, 1 for MP3, 1 for streaming, then TV, movies etc... The service extend to this, because each platforms ask for different levels and care.
    The beauty is that not all versions need to be crushed the same way by compression/limiting. Some already been aware of this while comparing CD vs Streamed version of the same song.
     

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