How to Upload Audio to YouTube

Sound Production Training

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Sound production training so how loud is youtube? What loudness does youtube use? Is youtube normalizing the audio of your youtube video? I’ll tell you right away. Youtube normalizes all videos to the loudness of -14Lufs but only if it’s too loud.

So it won’t make your youtube video louder when it’s softer than 14Lufs, it only turns the volume down for the entire video if it’s too loud. I got inspired to check this myself because I make youtube videos and my m8 and fellow YouTuber Alexei Soloviev were wondering about youtube sound production training loudness.

Check out his channel, Alexei does great music mixing tutorials. So 14Lufs. s̲o̲u̲n̲d̲ ̲p̲r̲o̲d̲u̲c̲t̲i̲o̲n̲ ̲t̲r̲a̲i̲n̲i̲n̲g̲ How did I test it? I got myself thinking about how to test the loudness normalization. I could choose music or something else and I chose to use noise. The reason why I chose noise is that noise has a constant frequency output. So it’s ideal for testing I created 5-second noise samples with white noise and pink noise.

Some of these files were below the loudness I believed was set by youtube, so I expected those not to be raised in volume, and a few which were louder, which I expected to be reduced in volume.

White Noise is the most constant and pink has different filtering so that is why not all tests are with pink noise. By changing its loudness at a certain point it started to clip and then it cant be used for the test. That’s also the reason why I excluded brown noise, which started to clip too soon for this test.

The clips are white noise -16 luffs, White noise -12lufs, white noise – 9 luffs, pink noise -16 luffs, and pink noise -12 luffs. I included a white noise clip of 15 seconds with 5 seconds of noise and 10 seconds of silence, I wanted to see if youtube excludes silence when measuring and normalizing.

And I included a white noise clip with a volume ramp which ended above my expected loudness of -14lufs of youtube but started below the loudness normalization, I made sure it’s overall loudness was that threshold. that one starts at -43.2 luffs and ends at -9.

3 but overall is -14.4 so I expected it not to be normalized. Then I created Youtube clips for all of the audio files and uploaded them to my channel. I played them back and recorded the audio. Now I can do an internal loopback on my RME soundcards so it can record any audio source inside of my computer to an audio track.

So when I did the internal loopback recording for this test, set the level to 0, because then t records the actual output level of youtube. I measure the volumes and that’s how I came to my conclusions. Order: White ramp, white -16, white -12, white -9, pink -16, pink -12, white 9 +10 sec silence. The -16 measures -16.8.

It’s a bit lower, this can be due to youtube conversion or some other factor.

But it’s not turned up in volume. The -12 white noise measures -14.1 luffs. So the sample is normalized by youtube.

The TRUTH about Youtube Loudness normalisation - We Tested!

The -9 Lufs white noise sample measures -14.2. So that one is also normalized to -14 Luffs. The pink noise -16Lufs is now -16.3 luffs.

So no real change here, its volume hasn’t been turned up. The pink noise -12Lufs measures exactly -14Lufs, so t has been turned down. The white noise clip of -9 luffs with 10 seconds of silence measures -14.3 Luffs.

So it has been turned down and using a large chunk or slice cant help make your video louder in a sneaky way.

The ramp still measures at the end above the 14Lufs, so It really looks at the whole file. So with these samples, it’s clear youtube normalizes all audio to 14Lufs when the overall loudness of the video measures above that 14lufs.

It turns down the volume of videos that are too loud. Also, you could see youtube does not turn up the volume when the overall loudness of the video is below that 14Lufs. So what does that mean when you mix your audio for youtube videos.

Aim for 14lufs or higher integrated for the entire video. I aim for -13 to -11 LUFS for youtube. That way the audio is a bit more compact and less dynamic bit isn’t overly compressed and still natural. The volume will be turned down by youtube a bit so I know it will always translate well. In Cubase, you can measure it easily and you can use the stats functions to measure the loudness of the entire audio for video.

There are plenty of tools available that measure LUFS, for instance, the freeware Orban loudness meter is a useful one, It also shows a graph of how the loudness develops over the mixed audio track.

And when you don’t have any sound production training tool to measure loudness, use reference videos for audio volume. Like all videos on my channel, my volumes are correct. Just listen to side by side and check if your video is louder or softer. If it’s a bit louder or equally loud, you’re good to go.

If it’s softer, turn up the volume a bit. I hope this helped me understand the loudness and normalization of youtube better. sound production training  If you want to know more about how to mix, check out the video displayed on the screen right now. Please remember to subscribe to the channel and like this video. Thank you for watching and I’ll see you at the next one.


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