Approximately 80% of podcast listening is via Apple podcasts in 2020.
Standard podcast loudness according to Apple should be -19 LUFS for a mono file, and -16 LUFS for a stereo file.
Which is great, if you have ever heard of LUFS. If not, here’s a quick explainer.
What are LUFS?
LUFS stands for Loudness Unit Full Scale. Loudness Units are the unit of measurement used to analyse average loudness over time.
Previous level standards quantified the peak level (the loudest part of your audio, however brief) or the average level of the audio. But LUFS standardises loudness in relation to how we perceive it.
This means that two pieces of audio with the same LUFS measurement should sound equally loud.
Two pieces of audio that register the same LUFS should sound equally loud.
Which means that if you match your podcast audio to -19 LUFS for a mono file, and -16 LUFS for a stereo file, it should sound as loud as other podcasts.
How to adjust loudness
I’m a huge fan of Auphonic, and you can tell auphonic’s production engine to master your audio to -16 LUFS.
Give it a go here: https://auphonic.com/engine
Under ‘Audio Algorithms’ you’ll see an option to adjust the Loudness Target
What you’ll get out of Auphonic is a beautifully mastered sound file at the correct loudness for iTunes, and every other podcasting platform.
Levels are smoothed out, compression has made each voice on your podcast easier to listen to, and the whole thing just sounds like a beautiful, bright sound bath.
Let me know what you’re working on, and any questions I can try to help with. I use comments to work out what to write about next.