Normalize setting

Hello fellow members of mairlist.

I searched a bit here about normalize, that all songs are the same loudness. But now I can’t get out of it myself!

What is the best setting for normalize function?

Best regards

Hi @Robertvdberg

I always normalize with mAirList with -23 LUFS and -1dbTP, which is the optimal setting for me, i.e. the one mAirList already specifies.

Best regards

The “best” setting is when the average (!) loudness of each song (and they all together) do not vary while streaming and when they do not exceed a True Peak level of -1 dBTP max.

There is a recommendation (!) from the EBU, called R 128, where you can find the values of -23 LUFS at -1 dBTP max.:

Later, the recommendation was specified temporarily (they call it “interim value”) for a higher loudness in streaming to -18 LUFS (supplement 2 (s2)) and, in revision, to a range between -20 and -16 LUFS:

One of the reasons for this supplement was that…

situations with limited playback gain and headroom and/or higher background noise (for example, devices such as smartphones or Personal Music Players)

… had to be taken in consideration as long as those devices can not follow metadata informations about the loudness the stream is delivered with.
It’s a compromise for listeners using mobile devices and smart speakers.

On the long run, -23 LUFS is the correct target value although this is not very popular at this time. You will notice that there is a loudness race in webcasting and many webcasters have a loudness in streaming of around -11 LUFS or higher (!).
This is pretty strange, since YouTube (by example) does not allow uploads louder than -14 LUFS and -1 dBTP. You can measure official music videos on YouTube: If they are uploaded louder, Youtube regulates them down (you can see it in the statistics). Quieter videos remain unchanged.

However, in each case the loudness should not be so high that the True Peak level exceeds the -1 dbTP. This means that you can try to push the target loudness value as high as you want (even -14 LUFS like in YouTube), but you can not amplify the song higher than the maximum value of -1 dBTP. So the loudness is turned down and you will have variations in your streaming loudness. This is not the idea you have asked for.

From my personal experience, a value of -18 LUFS is the best compromise for a mix of more and less dynamic music and I would be happy if I could turn it down to -20 and later to -23 LUFS. At the moment, our listeners are unfortunately not really prepared for a quieter loudness level (as long as they want to listen to the stream on their smartphones).

A very good explanation in german with graphics from Florian Camerer, ORF/EBU (with official permission) can be found here: R 128: Wie es funktioniert.


Do not underestimate the expression recommendation. (If you are up to act in the circle of the EBU stations) these are in effect mandatory. As the EBU is an organisation which has no rights to dictate anything, the word recommendation is chosen.


Thanks for the explanation, it’s clear to me now.

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