Online loudness isn’t controlled by the levels you choose to mix and master at, it’s being managed – meaning it’s being measured and “normalized”.
Loud songs are turned down, because users always complain about loudness constantly changing – and the PLR of your music plays a key role in determining it’s final playback level.
PLR stands for the Peak to Loudness Ratio of a piece of audio, sometimes referred to as the crest factor. You may have come across the “DR” measurement of the TT Meter – PLR is the same idea, but using the modern LUFS loudness unit standard.
PLR is a long-term measurement, giving you an overall value for a song, album or section of audio. Because online music streaming platforms use loudness management, or normalization, it’s an important factor in determining the playback level of your music on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and elsewhere, and this fantastic video by MeterPlugs tells you everything you need to know about it in less than three minutes. You’ll learn:
- How to calculate PLR
- Why it matters
- Why pushing PLR low won’t help with online loudness
- How to optimise the PLR of your music – and why you should
More information about PLR and online loudness
Loudness online – how loud is loud enough, and how loud is too loud ?
(An infographic comparing several music streaming services)
YouTube just put the final nail in the Loudness War’s coffin
(How and why loudness management is used on YouTube and other online platforms)
AES recommendations for Loudness of Audio Streaming and Network File Playback
(Official online loudness guidelines for streaming audio)
Optimising PLR with Dynameter
You can calculate PLR with any LUFS loudness meter, but to make it even easier we recently added realtime PLR metering to my Dynameter plugin, including presets for YouTube, Spotify and Apple Sound Check, making it simple to check if you’re achieving the right PLR for your music, and maximising it’s dynamic impact.
For more information, click here.