New Revised Loudness Standards From The EBU

The EBU has revised their standards for Loudness Requirements in January of 2016. “The EBU has published updates of its core loudness publications. The updates take into account the experiences gained over the past 5 years of loudness measurement and normalization. Here is a summary of the main changes. Simplified commercials handling. The main EBU Loudness Recommendation (EBU R 128) has NOT changed, but the supplement dealing with short-form content has been simplified. In the previous version users could use either a max. momentary or a max. short-term loudness measurement as a parameter to characterise and control the level of commercials, promos, etc. In the new version only the short-term measurement is specified. The EBU anticipates that reducing the options, will help simplify content exchange and reduce costs in daily operations”.

You can read the rest of the write up here.

I’m a bit unclear why you have posted this in the podcasting forum as you have previously stated many times (and emphatically) that podcasts should ignore (be considerably louder than) the EBU recommendations. Also, for clarity of other readers, there’s a typo in the topic title. The correct abbreviation for the European Broadcasting Union is “EBU” not “EUB”.

Right now my head is exploding. I have done nothing but SUPPORT the EBU as well as their efforts in all my post. I suggest you read your own forum. I have stated this over 5 times. Your post above is nothing but lies and you should know better! I have never stated this on your forum or any other! I support the EBU with compliance as well as donations. How much money have you given them? Myself, over $1,200.00.

Your input here, is why I stopped receiving PM’s, on your forum. I really don’t care for smart anal area people, no matter of their status and you are the main reason for my decision, to do this. Dana Tucker.

Sorry Dana but that is simply not true.
EBU R-128 clearly states on page 4:

h) that the Programme Loudness Level shall be normalised to a Target Level of -23.0 LUFS.

Whereas you have repeatedly stated that podcasts should be -16 LUFS for stereo and -19 LUFS for mono. You have repeated that at least 9 times in this topic alone:

I am at a loss to see how the podcasts at -16 LUFS are following the EBU R-128 recommendation for broadcasts at -23 LUFS.

I am not suggesting that podcasts should follow the EBU R-128 recommendations, in fact I see no reason why they should since the EBU R-128 recommendations are for radio and TV broadcasts and make no mention of podcasts. I recognise that, as you say, many podcasts and websites about podcasting, strongly recommend that stereo podcasts should be normalized to -16 LUFS, but I completely fail to see how that is complying with the EBU R-128 recommendation which says -23 LUFS.

I’m sorry if my questioning of the facts is annoying to you, but to assert that -16 LUFS podcasts are following the -23 LUFS EBU recommendation makes no sense to me whatsoever. I am not intending to be antagonistic or confrontational, but it is important for the Audacity support crew that information passed to Audacity users is clear and accurate to the best of our ability. If I make a statement either here on the forum, or in the Audacity documentation that is either false, ambiguous, or unclear, then it is highly likely that one of the other support crew will challenge the statement, and I am very pleased when they do as it enables us to provide a better service for Audacity users.

I am aware that you are not “signed up” to the support crew, but you are putting yourself in the role of teaching other Audacity users, and with that comes responsibility for accuracy and clarity. I do not want to cause you embarrassment, so I would be happy to move this topic off the public forum if that is your wish.

I apologize for getting the letters mixed up with the EBU Steve and I have went back and corrected my mistakes. I am dyslexic and it seems the older I get, the more I have to really pay attention to my writing.

I have shown you via links to the EBU website where they do allow for different setting for the mobile players and Podcasting. Here again, their suggestions, not mine. Even the Auphonic website states this as well. Their program was designed to meet the EBU suggestions and they even have the terms “Mobil and Podcasting” built into their program, under their desired LUFS target.

It is also on the desk top version of their software, that they sell to the public. You can view the picture below, I have paid for their program so I could use it off line and I use it weekly. It is no different then the ACX Analyzer that comes with Audacity. They both are simple to use and both take the mathematics out of the equation.

When I made two request on the forum about the Podcasting LUFS requirement and adding cover art, you were the first to respond.

Dana: “Is there anyway to add cover art using Audacity?

Steve: “No, not yet. MP3Tag is a good alternative. This is a popular request, though we don’t currently have any developers working on it. It is logged on the Audacity wiki feature request page and I have added your vote“.

Even Koz suggested adding it as a new tool with Audacity. “New tool: I-85 Check
Koz” on the same page as mentioned above.

Then we started going back and forth Steve over the -16 and -19 LUFS for Podcasting. I provided you with links to show / back my position on this subject. I do this so others will know that I AM NOT giving my opinion, rather basing it on the people that write the suggestions for others to follow.

Now on this page,

You made the following comment: “It might be interesting to see what the ReplayGain level is after processing with "Auphonic Leveler"on the Podcast setting. I’d guess that you will get fairly consistent results, in which case you could use the “ReplayGain” plug-in that I linked to in my previous post.

At some point I would like to make a general “loudness normalizing” plug-in for Audacity that supports multiple standards, including RMS (various weightings), ReplayGain, EBU-R128, ITU BS.1770-3, EBU Tech 3342 and others. Unfortunately Nyquist plug-ins currently have problems normalizing very long tracks, and since this plug-in would be quite a lot of work, I’ve been deferring it until that limitation is resolved“.

Now, to answer your question above Steve, after I run my audio through Auphonic at a -19LUFS for mono, Audacity says it need a “0.3db increase” after I analyze it using the “Replay Gain Analyzer“. Since I have no knowledge of writing code, I have no idea what that means but I am sure that you will. If you need any samples from me, set at different LUFS, just let me know and I will try to provide you, with what you need. Please just be as specific as you can.

On page, of the forum, you make the following statement of:

“Steve: OK, so I can see that several podcasting sites recommend a level of -16 LUFS“.

So you are aware of this and I provided you with links to the EBU where they do in fact allow for application other then the -23LUFS. Yet you still want to push this issue with me. The issue is not with me Steve, your issue lies with the EBU guidelines, not mine.

So now you say: “I am aware that you are not “signed up” to the support crew, but you are putting yourself in the role of teaching other Audacity users, and with that comes responsibility for accuracy and clarity. I do not want to cause you embarrassment, so I would be happy to move this topic off the public forum if that is your wish“.

Any information I have provided on this forum, is 100% verifiable, via outside resources. When I state my opinion, I make sure that I include that fact, in my posts and replies. Now one of the member posted this, directed at me:

“Dana, I’ve watched the video - thanks for that. A lot of it was just reinforcement of what I’ve already started coming to understand. I want to keep my process as simple as yours is. That’s what I’m aiming for. Maybe I’m close to that already“.

Now on page I made the following statement concerning the ACX requirements. “Your noise floor peaks @ a -57dbs, which has already failed ACX requirements, before you even start recording. I will explain in the picture below. I also made you a five min vid, showing you how to check your system. I would love for someone with more experience then myself, concerning the ACX, to check my line of thinking. I have no desire to give out false information“.

Since no one corrected me on the information concerning the 5 min video, I will assume my advice to this member, is correct. Now, I have no idea how to sign up for the “support crew” but if you provide with the link, I will check it out and see if it is something I may be able to do or if this community will even except me.

As far as saving me embarrassment and you moving the post out of the public forum, if you choose to do so, it will be due to saving yourself embarrassment on a subject, you seem to have very little knowledge in when it comes to Podcasting. Even though it is a subject, that is so clear to anyone else in the Podcasting Field, that comes straight from the mouth of the EBU, allowing these modifications.

Yes, I agree. The EBU place no requirement on podcasters.

My actual quote has a question mark. I was asking about thoughts from posters, not a firm recommendation. That’s the kind of near miss that causes problems.


Audio for Mobile TV, iPad and iPod
Thomas Lund
TC Electronic A/S
Risskov, Denmark

One of the reasons why this paper was written in the first place also relates to iTunes: When traveling, the author (Thomas Lund), often listens to BBC Radio 4 podcasts, in particular “In Our Time” where history, culture and science is discussed in a stimulating way. One particular program about Benjamin Franklin I couldn’t turn up loud enough.

Parts of it drowned in background noise on the flight. Measuring it later, the combination of a relatively high LRA and a soft Program Loudness, see Fig 8, was part of the problem. However, Sound Check had been able to boost the podcast by 7 dB (from -23.3 to -16.2 LUFS) if its PLR had just not been so high. The program was simply stuck at low level and not suitable for flight. Thomas Lund and his association with the EBU.

This matter is over with me Steve. When and if you start a Podcast, you can choose how loud you wish to render the file, myself, I will stick with Thomas Lund, consultant / adviser / member, of the EBU.

@Koz. With all due respect Sir, you are mistaken. This is your quote below, still on this forum, that contains no question mark. So the “near miss that causes problems”, is non existent, in this situation. I am sure I will give you plenty to work with in the future, but as of now, I should have one in the bank with you! :confused:


Interesting paper. You can find it here:

In brief, it’s about how manufacturers might handle automatic loudness adjustments in mobile devices so that content can be produced to one, well defined broadcast standard and automatically optimized for playback on different devices.

Regarding mobile devices, he proposes:
Use BS.1770-3 to normalize content to -24 LUFS. Then the optimization in mobile devices will:

  1. Bring up low level sounds that would drown on Mobile.
  2. Limit peaks to -10 dBTP.
  3. Add a static gain offset of, for instance, +8 dB.

The main benefits being that HD devices will be able to deliver high quality sound, while mobile devices are able to deliver adequate loudness for listening in noisy environments. To quote Thomas Lund “It’s a waste of valuable time to prepare content for more than one platform”.

OK, now I think you are just “Testing” my limits. Your statement above is 100%, incorrect! Anyone that has made it this far in this thread, please just clink the link in this post and you will read / see, the truth of this matter, for yourself. The picture below is in that write up as well. Everything from this point and below, is in the article. Steve, you said that being corrected was a good thing, when someone passes along false information. It is sad that you can not follow your own advice! If you really are just testing my limits, you need to stop. Other members are reading this post and they are questioning your motives as well as your experience, concerning this issue. For those members contacting me, please stop as I am un-subscribing to this thread.

It is so very clearly stated Steve, that you start at a -24 LUFS, Add a static gain offset of, for instance, +8 dB, that will bring you to a -16LUFS, which is the target goal for Podcast Audio.

This is the statement under this picture, in the article.

"Adding it all up, ideal and easy cross-platform encoding is shown in Fig 11: Use BS.1770-3 to normalize content to -24 LUFS. Follow the numbers on the illustration to -

  1. Bring up low level sounds that would drown on Mobile.
  2. Limit peaks to -10 dBTP. (THIS IS A MISPRINT. IT SHOULD READ: Limit peaks to -2.0 dbTP) <—Bold Font added by Dana Tucker.
  3. Add a static gain offset of, for instance, +8 dB".

This is the statement to the left of the picture below.

"MOBILE TV AND PODCAST GUIDELINES (Bold Font added by Dana Tucker)
A station should think carefully about immediate and future requirements when deciding on the best overall strategy for the handling of Mobile and Podcast. The procedure needs to be automatic, transparent, well sounding and flexible. (Automatic) It’s a waste of valuable time to prepare content for more than one platform, namely HD. Transcoding to Mobile TV with a Target level between -18 LUFS and -14 LUFS must happen automatically. Fig 11 uses -16 LUFS as the goal.

The picture below is labeled “Fig 11” and a podcast audio level falls under a -16LUFS, as the target goal!

That is precisely why I posted a direct link to the actual paper. Here it is again:

I’ve finally found the time to read that short paper and let it sink in…

The conclusion that podcasts should be at -16 LUFS is clearly wrong. There is nothing in that paper that supports it.

There wouldn’t be any problem at all, if on the consumer’s side, there wouldn’t be any crappy systems. Normalizing to -24 LUFS on the source side would completely fix the problem. However, we don’t live in a perfect world.

So adding 8 dB gain, would fix the problem with crappy devices, but can’t be done on the producing end, since it will ruin the experience for those people listening on non-crappy devices. Any device that isn’t portable, is a non-crappy device in this context.

When it comes to really understanding the problem, you have to take into account these less-than-ideal devices on the consumer side. I hadn’t even considered people listening to podcasts on ipods, so I didn’t understand it either. I am too far from the ipod/podcast scene to understand it. Dana is too far from the other side and needs to read the paper without bias, looking for a proof that -16 LUFS is the simple solution to a complex problem.

Adding gain is only a solution if it’s on the consumer side. Read: the person who controls the volume knob. Not in the podcast studio.

And that conflicts with EU rules for maximum loudness on mobile devices such as ipods. That problem isn’t fixed yet. I think it should be clear by now that the CENELEC* rules are part of the problem and not part of the solution. After all, just connecting headphones with a higher efficiency will result in higher output. And those who want an even higher output will simply connect an extra headphone amp. The mere fact that these amplifiers are on the market, proves that point.

What we need, is to implement EBU128 first and then wait to see how the market will adapt. After that, we need a better rule for maximum output on the consumer’s side, if that is even possible. It seems to me you can’t protect those that want to be deaf from themselves. Crappy rules combined with crappy devices will always result in a crappy experience.

*CENELEC is the EU’s technical committee, advising lawmakers on technical matters.

That is in fact what the paper is written about, Change. Podcast at a -16LUFS.

The only problems that are complex, are the ones we allow to be. Conform, or get left behind. In life or in business. I am not to far on the other side as you suggest, fact is, I fought this issue from the beginning. I am not accustom to having some one tell me how loud to set my recordings. In fact, it was only after I started listening to podcast that varied from an -10LUFS to a -23LUFS, where I truly saw the need for uniformity. In the industrial work place where employees are allowed to listen to mobile audio, using one ear bud, the -23LUFS is just not sufficient. Hence the need for change.

That is truly the real problem here, while the EBU is doing a great job, they do not effect us all and as much as people want to believe, they are not the world standard on this issue. Hence, the first letter in their name. Again, on their website, they list programs that meet their requirement and 90% list Podcast at a -16LUFS.

While the majority of listeners of Podcast are on smart phones, there are many that listen to them in home theaters surroundings as well as powered speakers off their pc, lap tops, cars, boats, ect. The standard for anyone instructing Podcast Loudness Levels, outside of the EBU, is and will be -16LUFS for stereo and -19LUFS for mono, each with a -1dbtp. I have a feeling when the EBU sees this effect for a year or two, they will quickly conform to these suggested standards.

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

H. L. Mencken

I like this quote he made even better. “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats”. It just seems to fit this thread better. :mrgreen:

I got a board warning for this post as threatening. The thought never entered my mind. I just figured if we were going to start quoting people, we could all use the quotes this person made. So my apologies for all the people that thought I was going to jump on a plane and fly to Belgium, to carry this quote out. GAFL! You can read the quote from the man that cyrano used here. Look on the right hand side.