Podcasting Loudness Standard

Hi there, I was wondering how do I make sure in audacity my podcasts are at the correct level for the new loudness standard of
-16 LUFS I don’t know what this is, in relation to audacity.

Many thanks


Unless you are under contractual obligation to guarantee -16 LUFS, I’d suggest that you don’t worry too much about it. There is no formal (accredited) standard for podcast loudness, though it is generally recognised that around -16 LUFS is a reasonable level - not too loud and not too quiet. If your podcast sounds about the same loudness as other podcasts, then you are going to be about right.

If you are making a regular podcast, it is definitely beneficial to keep each of your podcasts at about the same level - if you decide that your podcasts are too loud or too quiet, make the change once, then stick to your new standard. It will be annoying for your listeners (and unprofessional) if your podcasts are constantly changing.

Assuming that you have removed sub-bass rumble from your recording (the “Low rolloff for speech” preset in the Equalization effect is very good for removing sub-bass from speech recordings), then an RMS level of around -20 dB will be about the right level (ACX specify a range of -18 to -23 dB RMS). The dB RMS level can be measured very quickly and easily with the Contrast tool (https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/contrast.html)

Just as important as the loudness, is the peak level. The peak level should be less than 0 dB throughout the recording. Note that MP3 encoding is an approximation of the original audio, so the peak level of an MP3 may be higher or lower than the original (usually a bit higher). It is therefore advisable to keep the peak level at no more than about -2 dB before exporting.

If you really need an accurate measure in LUFS, then there is an online tool here: https://youlean.co/online-loudness-meter/