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How to master your track for Spotify?

Hey! I want to share some useful information with you about Mastering for Spotify!
Spotify uses Replay Gain for normalizing every audio that uploads on its platform.
It helps to keep every audio at the same loudness level.

For example, every audio from 1924 to 1995 years has 60 dB of Dynamic Range.
Now average audio has 12 dB of Dynamic Range. It’s 4 x less dynamic range and 60x more distortion. So if you will listen to these two songs on the same speaker level – your ears will literally explode with new audio.

So Spotify normalizes both these files with a target of equivalent to -14 dB LUFS, according to the ITU 1770 standard.

So it basically levels the playing field between soft and loud masters. Louder tracks have often been cited as sounding better to listeners, so Loudness Normalization removes an unfair advantage.

So now you can stop heavily compressing your audio file to be louder.

However, it still may have some issues. Some of the Spotify users admit that some of the tracks are louder than others. It happens because Spotify uses its own algorithm (not ITU 1770 from the International Telecommunication Union)

So you will have problems if

You have inaudible high-frequency content in your mix. Loudness algorithms (both ReplayGain and ITU 1770) do not have a lowpass cut-off filter, meaning any high-frequency content will add up to the energy measured by the algorithms and your track will be measured as louder by the algorithms than is actually perceived.
You have a really loud master (true peaks well above -2 dB) which makes the encoding add some distortion, adding to the overall energy of the track. That’s the energy as perceived by the algorithm, which might be inaudible to you but adds to the loudness from the algorithm’s perspective.
You’re not listening to a linear playback system. The ReplayGain algorithm (just like the ITU 1770 algorithm) can’t guess what audio playback system you’re using, so it can’t compensate for non-linearity in your system. Meaning, tracks that have more energy in the frequencies your system lifts up will sound much louder on your system.
A track that is very dynamic but mastered to -14 dB LUFS will have its peak levels preserved when played on Spotify. If you compare that to a loudly mastered track, at – 6 dB LUFS for example, its peaks get lowered to – 8 dB LUFS. The two tracks will playback at the same perceived loudness level, but the loud or “peak” parts of the more dynamic track will be much louder.
I know, it’s a lot of words and technical text. The main point is that a master track should be professionally mixed and mastered well, without super limiting and compression. It also works for any other streaming service (YouTube, Tidal, Google Music, Deezer).

You can find that a lot of award-nominated music these days has a nice dynamic range. We will help you to produce industry-quality sounding songs properly for Spotify and any other music platform.

I hope you found this useful, and if you want, you may check my other articles on https://www.majormixing.com/
March 11, 2021  | person majormixing
It might be more clear to refer to this as "dynamic variance" as "dynamic range" usually refers to the difference between peak signals (0 dB) and the meaningful noise floor.

You comment about 4x less dynamic range and 60X more distortion is nonsense.

With two songs gain normalized to zero-- one with more dynamic variance and one, more compressed, the compressed one will sound louder, the uncompressed one will probably be quieter with brief peaks here & there. That doesn't mean that a compressed mix is distorted.

If someone produces a good mix, whether or not there is compression, and the mix represents the dynamics THE ARTIST wants, then why add more compression at mastering? In other words, don't kill all your dynamics when you are mixing. Don't kill all your dynamics when you master. Don't fight the volume wars at all-- let you mix be quieter than others. Who fucking cares?
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