Audio screaming loud after Loudness Normalization

I’m editing a podcast for two stereo files, one music track sectioned to play an intro and outro. One voice is lower and more bass and the other already comes in higher and louder, maybe a bit higher in dB but still close. I run the loudness normalization to -14 LUFS for Spotify and when it’s done the whole track is screaming loud. Jumping to -2 or 0dB and coasting back in convo around -8. Is this normal? I do all tracks done together, not individually. Nothing crazy done but noise reduction as I’m still learning quite a bit. I remove some hard p spikes, but that’s the extent. Is there a better way to edit audio? We posted the episode this week without the LN adjustment per their request and it’s good, just plays quiet.

That might be too loud for dialog.

There is a variable relationship (unknown in advance)between the peaks and LUFS. If you peak-normalize (“maximize”) your file, it may be quieter than the -14dB LUFS target.

If you normalize to -14dB LUFS you may push the peaks into clipping (overload distortion).

Spotify is going to loudness-normalize, but they’ll normalize the whole file so the loud parts will stay relatively louder and quiet parts will stay relatively quieter.

But they won’t push the peaks into clipping so it may not hit their -14dB target.

Turn-on Show Clipping if it’s not already.

If you see (potential) clipping after running loudness normalization you need to lower the volume (with the Amplify or the regular Normalize effect) or you can try the Limiter effect effect to push-down the peaks.

It’s important to do that before you export because Audacity can go over 0dB internally/temporarily, but most audio formats cannot.

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I turned that on now, thank you! And I normally do the gain dB lowering per track after loudness normalizing to get it averaging around that -14 (per Spotify recommendation that’s the level to be at). So instead I could do Amplify/Normalize or Limiter per segment that needs it? That isn’t something that I should apply to the whole track just willy-nilly, right?

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