Loudness Penalty

Most online music and video services turn down too loud mastered music to give listeners a more consistent volume experience. The Loudness Penalty plugin tells you how much your music will be turned down by YouTube, Spotify, iTunes etc.

The general idea is that your music should be -1dB and -14LUFS

You can check if your music is being turned down via


I have decided not to do this anymore. I upload my music around -3 dB and somewhere between -6 and -9LUFS (depending on each track). Fact is, I will get a penalty, streaming services will turn down my music.

There are several reasons for me to do so:

  1. Most streaming services have the option for the listener to play the track in its original uploaded status, in my case the track will be as loud as I want it to be.
  2. Every streaming service has its own rules, its own “loudness penalty” – That’s fine, I don’t have to care anymore
  3. Most famous artists upload their music around -8 LUFS – they probably don’t care either
  4. If streaming services change their policies in the future, I don’t want to re-upload every track to meet the new requirements
  5. This is my music and I decide how it should sound

Ofcourse the problem is that now the algoryth of the streaming service wil decide how much and in what way you music will be turned down, which could end in a bad sound quality.

I am uploading tracks to streaming media in its original form since “Acid Bagatela Nebula” 7 june 2023. I am still in a test fase…