Podcast Loudness

Listen to the Episode Below (00:10:59)
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Listen to the Episode Below
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Podcast Loudness

This episode will cover thoughts and feedback on how to hit the podcast loudness standard of -16 LUFS. This is what podcasters and audio engineers are pushing for, as it will create a pleasant listening experience for podcast consumers.

I created a video tutorial showing my podcast loudness workflow in Adobe Audition.

It is essentially a case of processing audio in the multitrack by adding EQ, compression and any form of limiting required. Then, when I’ve mixed down the audio to waveform view, I use the excellent Match Volume window to get exactly -16 LUFS on each podcast episode.

It’s really easy to get started with meeting the podcast loudness standard, and if you think it may be way too much but would like your audio produced to a professional standard, then why not hire a professional podcast editor to do the work for you?

Here’s some feedback from industry professionals on my podcast loudness video.

Rob Byers (@RobByers1), an audio engineer and loudness advocate from Minneapolis, MN says:

Hi Mike,

Really nice job with the video!

The thing I noticed is that using a “Match” feature like that, regardless of whether it is loudness or peak (amplitude) based, will usually blindly apply gain without managing peaks.  Regardless of the amount of headroom you have between the highest peak and 0dBFS, it will apply the gain equally and potentially result in clipping.

There are products out there that manage both loudness and peaks, such as a new piece from Nugen and a platform from Minnetonka… But for now the vast majority of loudness normalization tools will simply blindly apply gain.

That’s why the Lund workflow is so solid.  You produce at a lower level (-24/23), then before you apply loudness normalization you manage peaks by limiting at a pre-defined place.  Limiting the peaks adds headroom. Then and only then do you gain up the audio (essentially loudness normalizing).

It’s picky – but it’s an important factor.

I’m curious to know how you discovered the growing support for a loudness, and what your experiences have been like so far.

Care to share?

Thanks, and see you on Twitter!

There is also this great feedback from Paul in New York City from @ProduceNewMedia:

With respect I just checked the most recent podcast distribution file. It looks like you’ve made some changes and managed to recognize the distribution standards in terms of Program Loudness and True Peak that we have been promoting. Excellent!

I’m happy to see this. I’ve been aware of you for a long time. Your stuff is well done. It’s good that someone with your reach in the community recognizes the importance of compliance. So bravo.

I’ve been around in the space for a very long time. These days I’m mostly behind the scenes handling post production, but still acutely aware of what’s happening in the space. The Loudness Compliance issue(s) has been something that I have been trying to promote for a long time. I’m glad to see that it is finally gaining momentum.

Paul’s article about loudness normalization

Will you be aiming to produce your podcasts in a certain way? Let me know how in the comments!


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  1. Richard Farrar says

    So good to hear you promoting this issue to your audience. It’s something I’m quite passionate about and it’s nice to see it being picked up by people such as yourselves who have a “voice” in the podcasting fraternity. Thanks for the shoutout too

    • Mike Russell says

      It’s a pleasure to talk about something that will help us all improve our audio quality Richard. Thanks for sharing all your tools and resources with me!


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