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Everything You Need to Know About LUFS and Loudness for Your Podcast

March 07, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About LUFS and Loudness for Your Podcast
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Having a deeper understanding of what LUFS is will help you feel confident that your podcast is at the right level for your audience to hear you.


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Have you ever worried that your podcast might be too quiet or too loud? Well today’s episode of Digital Podcaster is sharing a more technical look at something you might have seen but didn’t know what it meant…LUFS. LUFS stands for Loudness Units Full Scale (or Loudness Units relative to Full Scale). Having a deeper understanding of what LUFS is will help you feel confident that your podcast is at the right level for your audience to hear you.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

• The industry standard for measuring loudness and why it’s important for podcasters.

• Insight into how the human ear perceives sound.

• How you can quickly and easily adjust your own podcast audio.

• And much more!


Full transcript and show notes

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00:14 - Digital Podcaster Introduction

00:29 - Episode Introduction and Why This Episode Is Important

00:41 - What LUFS Is

00:59 - How LUFS Is Different Than Decibels

01:23 - Why Lufs Is Important For Podcasters

01:57 - What Is Loudness?

02:38 - Why Is Loudness Important For Podcasters?

03:01 - How Can We Measure LUFS and Loudness?

04:22 - How To Adjust Your Loudness

05:32 - Next Steps



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(upbeat music) This is the show for creative entrepreneurs who have a message to share and want to live a life of freedom. Learn how to grow your network and net worth. Hear from exciting guests and more. My name is Dylan Schmitt, and welcome to Digital Podcaster. Welcome to Digital Podcaster with your host, me, Dylan Schmitt. If you're a podcaster, I'm sure you've wondered about volume, and you might've been worried that your podcast is either too loud or too quiet. know what I'm talking about. On today's episode we're going to be talking about LUFS and loudness. LUFS have you heard this term before? If you haven't no worries we're gonna dive right in and catch you up to speed on everything you need to know and why it's important. So what is LUFS? LUFS stands for loudness units full scale or loudness units relative to full scale. Essentially what LUFS is is a measurement of loudness that's used in the audio industry. LUFS Lufs is different from other measurements of loudness, like decibels for example. Unlike decibels, which measures the absolute level of sound, Lufs measures how loud something sounds to the human ear. This is important because the human ear doesn't hear all frequencies equally. Lufs takes this into account by measuring loudness in a way that's more in line with how we actually hear sound. So why is Lufs important for podcasters? Lufs is important for podcasters because it's become the industry standard for measuring loudness. This means if your podcast is too loud or too quiet, it might not sound right to your listeners. You want your podcast to sound balanced and consistent no matter how your listeners are listening to it. Whether they're listening on their AirPods, headphones, car speakers, phone speakers, or wherever, Lufs is how you achieve the balanced loudness. So real quick let's talk a little bit more about loudness. What is loudness? So loudness refers to how loud or soft something is. In the audio industry, loudness is usually measured in decibels. The louder something is, the higher the decibel measurement. A whisper for example is about 30 decibels. A normal conversation is about 60 decibels. And a motorcycle engine running is about 95 decibels. Side note, growing up my dad had a 1970 sidestep chevy pickup truck. I don't know how many decibels that thing was but if I had to guess it was 140. Anyways, as I mentioned earlier decibels don't really take into account how the human ear perceives sound and that's where LUFS comes in. Why is loudness important for podcasters? So loudness is important for podcasters because it also affects the listening experience for your audience. If your podcast is too loud, it can be jarring and unpleasant to listen to. If it's too quiet, your listeners are going to be struggling to hear what you're saying and they'll probably just tune out. You want your podcast to sound just right and that means paying attention to your loudness levels. So the next logical question is how can we measure LUFS and loudness? There's a few different ways. The mission of digital podcaster is simple, to equip as many podcasters as possible with the tools and strategies they need to succeed. But I can't do it all myself, this isn't actually a one-man show. If you found value from listening, one of the best things you can do to help the show and to help other podcasters like you is to share this podcast with your co-host, friends, family, anyone that you think could benefit from the resources and insights that we provide. Word of mouth goes a long way in helping, and I'm not asking for donations or for you to buy anything. I'm just simply asking you to share Digital Podcaster with other podcasters so we can get one step closer to our goal of helping as many podcasters as we can. Thank you, and let's dive back into the show. One of the most common tools for measuring loudness is a loudness meter. A loudness meter can help you measure the average loudness level of your podcast as well as any peaks or dips in loudness. You can use this information to adjust the volume levels of your podcast so that it sounds just right. Another way to measure loudness is to use a reference podcast track. This is what I like to do. So a reference track is an episode that you know sounds good and is well balanced, whether it's your own or someone else's podcast that you know sounds right, you can compare your podcast track to another that you know is balanced. Reference tracks can help you make sure that it's a similar loudness level. So how do you adjust the loudness? If you find that your podcast is too loud or too quiet, there's a few things you can do to adjust the levels. One option is to use a compressor or a limiter effect. This helps reduce the volume of your loudest parts of your podcast while maintaining that overall loudness level. Another way to adjust the loudness levels of your podcast is to use EQ, which is equalization. It lets you cut or boost certain frequencies. This is useful for making sure that specific parts of your podcast are at the right level. For example, if you find that your voice is too quiet over the intro music, you could use EQ to boost the frequencies in your vocal range. If you want a really simple way to adjust the loudness levels, you can use an app like Aphonic. This is not sponsored by Aphonic. Aphonic is a popular audio editing tool that I use on every single digital podcast or episode. So what you can do is you can quickly and easily adjust the loudness levels of your podcast. All you gotta do is upload the file and at the bottom of the screen there's a section that says loudness target and you could select -16 LUFS which is what Aphonic recommends for podcasts and then you just hit start production and Aphonic does the rest. Alright that's all for today's episode of the Digital Podcast Podcast. I hope you found this episode helpful in understanding LUFS and loudness and why it's important for you to know as a podcast host. Remember paying attention to the loudness levels of your podcast can help improve the listening experience for your audience. If you have any questions or comments about today's episode, feel free to send me a message on Instagram. My username there is digital podcaster. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next time for more tips and insights on how to grow your podcast and reach a wider audience. As always, keep going.