FREE Loudness Meter

FREE Loudness Meter
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#1

Here’s a really decent loudness meter that has taken over that spot on my mixbus lately. It’s really easy on the eyes and seems to work great. He was the winner of the KVR Developer Challenge a couple of years ago and has continued to work on it.

https://youlean.co/

I just noticed he’s got an online Loudness Meter as well that currently tells you the “Momentary Max”, the “Short Term Max” and the “Integrated Loudness” in LUFS.


#2

I think a realtime loudness meter has only limited use. Loudness measurements are taken using the full sog normally, which means you have to play the full song realtime to get an accurate reading. Better to render out the song then have Orban’s standalone measure the resultant file.


#3

I’ve been using it for a while now. I just let the whole song play through and read the meters at the end to get the final numbers. I like it, and it has true peak sensing, which is not common in a free tool.


#4

You can choose the 2nd link above, then click the “Analyze From File” button which tells you the loudness of your file.


#5

I’ve used the Youlean LUFs meter on an album of ten songs. I matched all of the songs to 10 LUFS integrated. What I found was very audible volume differences in many of the songs. I tried different methods of measuring the songs to see if I could get them to a perceived similar volume. First I played the whole song all the way through to get a reading …That didn’t work…So I I measured the LUFS over 60 seconds of the loudest part of the song…That didn’t give me an accurate measurement either. My ears heard an obvious volume difference between many of the songs.

Make sure that you reset the meters every time you reuse the loudness meter because the readings will be louder on the second reading if you don’t.

Maybe I’m getting inaccurate readings because I’m using the Loudness Meter on the master track? Anyone think I should render the file and then measure it?


#6

Did you by any chance do comparisons with other loudness meters? I’m really just asking, because I’ve only recently started using this one. I had been running my mixes through the “Batch” function on Melda’s MLoudnessAnalyzer to see how far off I was from a desired loudness level.


#7

I haven’t compared it to any other Loudness Meter. I have Orban on my laptop but for some reason I can’t get it to show up in my DAW.


#8

Orban is a standalone, not a plugin.

Try it, you have Orban, you can use it to double-check the youlean meter’s accuracy.

Just a thought, you probably already know this: With an album, I have found that the best results come from getting the firs track how you want it, then using that as a reference track for the others. You can match up levels of various items such a snare, vocals, guitars etc. If you don’t do this. you are likely to have tracks that are of equal loudness, but for differing reasons, (e.g. loud guitar on one song, vs. loud vocals on another).


#9

This is slightly on a tangent, but a related one…

It seems that these days far fewer people listen to entire albums anymore, instead hearing just individual tracks in some sort of shuffle mode, whether it’s from a streaming service or on their own devices. Hell, I myself leave my music player on shuffle mode nearly constantly, despite being fiercely devoted to the album form as the real unit of musical composition. When I get a new album I listed to it end to end many times, but eventually it gets incorporated into the 10,000-plus song library like everything else…

If I were to release an album, I would also strive to get that uniformity across the set of tracks as part of the mastering process, to be sure, but how meaningful is it really these days?


#10

Yeah, I think I’ll check out the Orban Loudness Meter and compare it with the Youlean.

I think what you mentioned about matching up various items/ instrument levels is important. I suspect the reason why I’m getting such a wide variation in perceived volume between songs is because the bass, snare and vocal levels are quite different in some of the songs.


#11

I think it’s still important for anyone who is releasing a group of songs together, whether it’s an EP or full length release. The listener would get pretty irritated if they had to continuously adjust levels throughout the playback of the album.

What you mentioned about “shuffle mode” is something I hadn’t thought of. I’m not sure how people deal with the variety of different playback volume from one song to the next. If they’re using a streaming site the volumes would be pretty consistent, but what happens when you get your music from many different sources? I know some people use a limiter to fix this problem but I’m not sure what the average music consumer does to fix this problem.

I still listen to music mostly on CD’s. Occasionally I’ll listen to music on youtube…but even there I find that I have to constantly adjust the volumes because the levels can vary quite a bit from one song to the next.


#12

You may be right Dave but there are still milions who listen to albums - especially CDs, which still represent nearly 50% of global music sales (lower in the USA).

Very meaningful, and one of the main tasks of an ME.

Ah, well that’s the first thing to have a look at then, I reckon.

Great points. CDs on shuffle mode are now just about the only justification for continuing the loudness war. If the CD player manufacturers were to incorporate loudness normalisation into their units it would be the final piece of the puzzle. Until then, even before you start recording, it’s important to decide on the format of the end product, because that can affect various elements of the recording process - certainly it affects the mixing and astering processes.


#14

Indeed guys, don’t get me wrong: I am a true believer in the album form and I’d never release any collection that hadn’t been mastered to hang together as a collection, any more than I’d get behind the wheel without fastening my seatbelt.

And I’m in fact uninformed on just what the current status is with respect to who listens via CD/album and who listens via random shuffle mode. You reckon it’s fair to say that the demo that still buys CDs self-selects to the segment of the listening population that expects or appreciates song-to-song consistency? I think it’s also true that there is a vast proportion of listeners who have grown up in the shuffle-mode world and almost exclusively listen to individual songs. Ironic in a way, it’s reminiscent of the days of 45 rpm single records, before the advent of coherent albums in the mid-60s or so.

When I was still using Itunes, I always checked the box to “normalize” volume levels track to track, but it never worked. Listening on shuffle mode, with songs coming up from hundreds of different albums or sources, the differences were often totally glaring. I use JRiver now with my iBasso player, and it has an analogous option that seems to work better-- it is less common that I will notice a distinct difference in shuffle mode. But I’ve not yet encountered anything that is fully effective for this issue.


#15

Heh, yes, I meant the first track you mix, not the first track on the album.

Not as rare as you might think IMO.