What is the best RMS for a song master?

What do you think about it? Depends on style? VU in the sky?
If the buyers needs to edit the song is better not too much compress…but if your song has less volume that other similiar one…you loose :confused:

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Yeee !!! Modern music production is a loudness war ! But here I thing -10 -12 LUFS is most suitable

[quote=“RBP_music, post:1, topic:5222, full:true”]
What do you think about it? Depends on style? [/quote]

Of course, this depends on the style. Heavy Metal (now) -7, -8 dB. Pop music is -10 dB. I usually stick to the level of -10 dB RMS.
More depends on the pace of the work. And the density of the arrangement. I choose a reference example (in the proper style) for yourself and try to do the same.


Exactly how you said . Although , there are some styles of music/songs where I tend to go close to 0 , but that is a lenghty discussion I think .

Rms loudness is highly influenced by the bass. So less bass and high rms dB might be destructive.
Just wanted to point that out

rms 0 dbfs!!!

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Haha, some songs of Merzbow are about -0.4 RMS. (Really! almost full square wave!)

Just fun fact.
From other side, some of bright piano tracks are not only fully uncompressed, but even not normalized to zero by peaks.

:grinning: As i know max RMS today is about -4, -5 (electronic mixes)

Yes , but as i said , rare-specific cases .

I think that even this is too much ! :joy: But yes, I had measured one pop song and there was -5,6 RMS !

Most RMS’s for pop and electronic style tunes I’ve analyzed have been around -7 to -3. (-3 more common for some of the heavier electronic stuff.)

However, recently I’ve noticed a relaxation on that trend among some big records. -9 to -11. (Don’t quote me but I believe Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” was around -10…)

I think we’re taking steps back into “your loudness should be what sounds best for your song.”

So keep it tight, but don’t worry if you can’t get it quite loud enough… Let the song be itself!


Yes, this indicator is very rare, but I saw it a couple of times.

Yea definitely noise music and drone. It needs it sometimes! I used to clip things purposefully to achieve that.

I like that very much. Every song calls for something different! Well said!

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RMS was a problem for me long time ago … now, I don´t like to touch the red zone in VU. Mi ideal is -9 in most cases. When I´m mastering if my monitors doesn´t have a standard volume I can reach -5 RMS. I consider it a mistake. I like the Bob Katz´s rules. Look this link:


hopefully the loudness war ens soon, we have some responsability too.

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I think sometimes as would sounds the standard songs we know if the loudness war not happen

Some (related) good reading/watching:



Nice! Thank you

most songs seem to be between -10 and -6, if you want it loud then aim for around that mark but beware of squashing out transients and listen out for distortion before limiting your track to the max. It can vary on different genres, the mix down, frequency response etc.

I don’t really push louder than -10db as most radio and TV stations will compress and limit even further anyway