We already have an article about mastering for Spotify. But we decided to create updated notes for musicians about Mastering for Spotify.
Many of you have a questions
- What is Spotify LUFS?
- What is Spotify Replay Gain?
- How to meet the Spotify quality levels?
- And how to make Spotify release louder?
The main feature Spotify has is audio normalization. Everyone knows that Spotify normalizes audio to -14 LUFS and -2 dB True Peak. And most of the mastering engineers try to follow this target. They create great prepared master tracks with Spotify LUFS and peak levels, but after release, most of the artists find that their songs sound much quieter than the rest of the market.
Why does this happen?
The first mistake is to use Spotify LUFS as a target for master. We did a lot of research and found that Spotify has a pretty huge dynamic range and different songs have different volumes.
“But you told us that Spotify uses normalization and Replay Gain??”
Yes, it’s true, but they’re not normalizing every track to target.
Spotify Replay Gain works in a different way. We found that if we record a 30 minutes stream, it will have -14 LUFS and -2 dB True Peak values. So basically it works for the whole stream, not each track.
What do we need to do and how to create a master for Spotify?
You still don’t need to create extremely loud masters. It will not help you sound great and loud on Spotify. Also, you don’t need to follow Spotify Streaming loudness.
Basically, you should create a well balanced, not heavy compressed and limited master.
It’s not about following targets or checking numbers on your measurement tools.
Usually, everyone speaks about – Don’t use a limiter, or Use this RMS/LUFS target, don’t compress your song, etc.
But each song or genre has its own rules and targets.
For example – EDM track can have -5dB of Gain Reduction on Limiter. It will sound great. This genre should have heavy compression in most cases. This is one of the main features of this genre. Your EDM song will sound weak without this heavy compression.
Now try to do the same thing with a piano ballad or soft live sound. It will sound awful and heavily distorted.
That’s why you can’t use any target to create a master for Spotify.
In this case, is the main advice – use your ears and avoid distortion on your master. Usually, it’s just a question of a couple of dB. Just create a great sounding master. You can compare your master to great sounding releases from Spotify. You will find a target for each genre or song.
Also, you can check your song in an amazing service – Loudness Penalty. Upload your song and service will tell you how much dB you need to decrease. It’s the simplest way to prepare your master for Spotify.
But before using this service and releasing songs on Spotify you still need to be sure that your master is great and ready to release. It should have the right Dynamic Range, Frequency response, Crest Factor and it should follow all industry standards.
By the years of working in the music industry, we found that you can create a great master only in a great studio environment. You should have perfect acoustic treatment and a great experienced engineer.
Contact us for the Mastering for Spotify service!
Our engineers will create an industry quality master which will meet all industry and Spotify standards.
Your song will sound great and competitive in Spotify playlists!