I’ve been working on mastering a song that I’ve recently mixed. For a reference mastered mix, I am using Disturbed (Ten Million Fists, circa 2006) and some of my older mastered songs. I noticed that Disturbed’s album is mastered to -6 LUFS integrated and peaks about +1.6…or =1.4…I forget now… My older recordings were also mastered very LOUD because I was trying to keep up with the hard rock and metal bands of the modern age. I’m at similar levels as the Disturbed album that I mentioned. Between -5 and -8 LUFS integrated.
I really don’t want to limit the crap out of my music anymore. Those levels are ridiculous and it’s impossible to get a great sound out of the music when you’re pushing the levels so hard. I know that itunes, spotify, and youtube all have suggested ideal Limiting levels, because they will limit the music you post. Their suggested levels seem to run between -12 LUFS integrated and -16 LUFS integrated.
I’m thinking of mastering/limiting somewhere between -8 LUFS and -13 LUFS because I’m going to be releasing my music through my own website and I want my music to still have enough LOUDNESS to compete with Rock, Hard Rock, and Metal CD’s that have been released in this era. If I decide to put my songs on itunes, Spotify and youtube, I’ll make a master that is suitable to those respective sites.
What levels do you guys typically master your heavier music to?
AND…Do you set your Mastering limiter to peak at zero, -0.1, -0.2, -0.3 ??? I noticed that Disturbed’s album slams to 0.3 in Reaper.