Loudness standard


#1

Does anyone know if Audio Jungle complies to a loudness standard and if so, which one? I don’t think it does.

YouTube, iTunes, Spotify all do some sort of loudness adjustment so I think it would be nice to know if AJ is considering it.
I think this is important, especially for the tracks which will be used for broadcast.

What do you guys think about this?

Thnx,
HB


#2

Have you ever wondered why ‘YouTube’ varied so much in loudness from poster to poster (still does) and wondered why there was no auto adjustments? I have. I’m no Audio freak but I sure a heck can have my ears hurt with loud music. I cant see (from posts I’ve read) that AJ does anything to someone’s work.

If you are going to broadcast tracks bought from AJ, you need to manage loudness yourself. It took me a fair while to master ‘Audio Studio’ that is part of Sony’s Vegas Pro Video editing suite but now I can tell if I need to tweak the loudness of a track to match commentary. Hope this helps.:mask:


#3

@HitBakery Are you absolutely sure YouTube adjusts loudness? :wink:


#4

@Alienjones
Well I personally don’t know anyone at google who can verify that there is loudness matching on YouTube, but as far as I understand how they are measuring it, I’m sure they match the program material to a certain extent.
This guy says they do at least for the new stuff, so I don’t know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv67sjuq2go

But I don’t want this discussion to go towards “does YouTube or other site have it implemented”, but weather AudioJungle should consider it since it’s not a site where people just come to listen to music.

As for loudness matching of the tracks bought from AudioJungle when broadcasting, the problem is when the track is too loud, and it’s always better if the track isn’t as loud because it can almost always be brought up if needed. Heck, some broadcasting stations will reject a track by default if it doesn’t conform to their loudness standard, provided they use one that is.

@scottwills
The Loudest Noise Ever video doesn’t disprove that fact stated above because of the measuring method being applied. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but it should explain some things regarding the clip you posted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuEtQqC-Sqo

I will repeat my question, do you think AudioJungle should implement some form of loudness matching so every track should be perceived at more or less the same loudness. And do you think this should be considered because the buyers can than more easily fit the tracks into their own projects so it won’t be further squashed by limiters on their end.
I personally don’t like to squash my tracks that much in the first place, and I bet there are others who do as well.

I would like someone from AudioJungle staff to hone in on this one as well so we can have a constructive conversation about it.

Thnx,
HB


#5

Sorry its only me again but as I understand Envato’s policy. It is the Author who is responsible for their work. Suppose you create an Audio track aiming to hit 100 decibels when opened with a browser. That is way over the prescribed loudness level employees can be subjected to in their workplace.

Suppose then that Envato modifies the audio file so it is at a close to identical loudness as all the other Audio files. What happens then when as you say a broadcaster requires every track submitted to have a mean average under or over the compression or stretching that AJ theoretically does to prevent blasts of sound when you open a file.

Sorry my friend but that just doesn’t fly with me. It’s the same theoretical behavior if ThemeForest templates were modified to meet some non-existent standard. Authors would be screaming in their hundreds. Just as if AJ were modifying an Author’s file to a particular standard. All the authors files are copyright to the Author and I can see nowhere an Author gives Envato any license to tamper with their work.

What is more likely to be happening — If you suspect something, is AJ are modifying the sound output of demo files to meet loudness limitation of browsers or buyers hardware to maximize sales. This is what I suspect Google are doing and I know the technology exists to limit sound output with the better web servers (ones that cost money) I strongly doubt you’ll get anything but a short statement from those who approve or reject audio files at AJ.

I am aware BTW of the link you sent me. It is well known to most people who upload clips to YouTube. I don’t use YouTube myself and try to dissuade my hosting clients from using it.


#6

@Alienjones
Please man, don’t apologize, I appreciate the time you put into this.

I see what you mean, and it all makes sense.
Do you think it would be wise to maybe include more than one version of the track than? The one which has been mastered as the preview track, and one which has more dynamic range? Well, DR isn’t the right term here, but I think you understand what I mean. Are we even allowed to do so? And would it just confuse the buyers, especially those who don’t understand audio that much?

Thnx,
HB


#7

There’s not enough statistics to decide on your question. Before I’d assume any type of buyer I.E. nerd, audiophile, non audio knowledge buyer (knows nothing) I personally would like statistics over a long period of time or at least 200 sales. That way you could identify your ‘buyer type’ and cater to them rather than just upload an audio file because you like its compression levels.

Keep at AJ for information. I know it gets boring going over numbers and I know AJ don’t collect anywhere near enough data to get meaningful statistics but why not upload two or more types or styles of your work and see which one sells best. I only buy background music for creating a particular type of video or slide show but others might buy music for their own listening, who knows?

Pardon me for saying this but you don’t seem to have a handle on marketing. I guess paying Envato so much, you shouldn’t need to be a marketing guru but one of my companies (when I bought it) had zero resources allocated to marketing. I actually paid a marketing annalist some serious money to tell me why the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. Today (4 years later) it employs 6 people and earns me a tidy sum of income from it’s main customer base — a customer base the annalist identified that was overlooked by its last owners and me.

If you don’t mind a suggestion… If I were you, I’d do independent research of my own to discover if my music was what the people who visit AJ actually wanted, rather than assume because your music was well received at venues, it would also be something AJ buyers wanted. Keep in mind too, that Envato’s customer base varies from people like me who buy from convenience (too busy or lazy to do it themselves) to people who expect to get something ready to use (dreamers). I don’t know if they have any i-tunes type buyers find out and you’ll see your sales rise.
Hope this helps in some small way.


#8

Yoda: It is finished. No more compression you require.
Luke: Then I am a Track.


#9

For me, normally it’s not a big issue, but it does happen that I stumble upon my music in videos where the editor doesn’t know anything about sound levels and the audio ends up clipped and / or distorted. Probably, if all tracks on the marketplace were simply normalised at 50% of max (about -10dB) there would be less mixing problems for editors overall. I believe many AJ authors squash their tracks against the ceiling mostly to get their previews heard on the marketplace. It’s kind of an accepted fact that “loud sells”. Forcing low output levels by policy would probably be a bad thing when AJ needs to stand out against competing (loud) sites. A possible work-around solution to the dilemma could be to lower the max on all zipped files, but not on previews.

Another discussion is relative amplitude vs relative perceived loudness/harshness, which has more to do with attenuated frequencies and / or use of compression. Obviously this is something you would think all authors should be aware of, but it’s actually considered quite a rare skill to get it right every time - and people who are experts in this craft would probably make a lot more money working as pro mixing engineers than selling micro stock. :wink: Anyway, for this reason a lot of AJ tracks are quite unpleasant to the human ear regardless of output level. Nothing we can do about that unless AJ decides to brute-master all the 360,000 files through a multiband limiter :sunglasses:

Oh, and someone mentioned 100 dB (I’m guessing dB SPL) - if you’re getting 100 dB SPL or not should depend more on your speakers and how much you crank up your amps :sunglasses:


#10

Y: Hmmm, Track you are not yet, -3dB hard limiting you need.
L: (facepalm)


#11

All that unzipping first :scream:


#12

I think the standard is like this: the louder the better


#13

100 DB is the legal limit for workplaces in Australia but that is not for continuous noise, its the peak allowed.
Have you identified yet what or who your target market actually is? So called ‘elevator music’ has some odd licensing in Australia - I can’t speak for other countries but it allows (for example) a shop to play music all day for the supposed benefit of getting customers in the shop.

I’m thinking AJ is a marketplace heavily leaning towards background music mainly aimed at video production or to a lesser extent, websites. The licensing on AJ makes distributing tracks (as in elevator music) illegal.

So If my estimate of your market is right, the loudness is a factor high on the list of criticism by people buying tracks. You only need to look at the number of posts about excessive noise on AJ to figure that one out.