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In the classic loudness war, music and radio producers have been trying to create their recordings as loud as possible and loudness normalization was introduced to stop that. Now one can see the start of a new loudness target war, where podcasters set their loudness targets higher and higher, mainly triggered by high target recommendations of platforms like Spotify or Amazon Alexa.
In this article, we will show how to resist the loudness target war and still be compliant with major platforms.

Resist the loudness target war! (Photo by Nayani Teixeira)

What's the problem?

“Two or three ...

Have you ever wondered why commercials sound louder than your favorite TV shows? Or why you have to adjust the playback volume on your television when switching between channels? The answer is that until recently, there was no standard way to measure the perceived loudness of sound recordings. Instead, audio productions were (and still are) normalized to peak levels, which do in no way determine how loud a signal is.

In this article we will discuss the EBU recommendation R128, a new and open standard for balancing audio programs according to their actually perceived loudness.

EBU R128 logo

This recommendation marks ...

After recording a podcast or speech audio, it is usually necessary to modify the recorded levels. This post illustrates how to normalize the subjective loudness and how to compress the dynamic range (= difference between the loudest and softest sounds) of an audio file.

Loudness normalization is one of the most common misunderstandings in audio post production. Many people use peak normalization, which ensures that the maximum peak (= the maximum value of the audio data) reaches a specific level. However, the human perception of loudness does NOT depend on peak levels, therefore peak normalization is mostly useless. Recordings should ...