How you can master a song in order to avoid normalizing audio on YouTube and Spotify
When it comes to uploading music to YouTube, it’s important to ensure that the audio is of high quality and meets the platform’s standards. One of the common issues that YouTube creators face is normalization, which can lead to a loss of sound quality and overall poor listening experience for viewers. One way to avoid normalization is to properly master your song before uploading it to YouTube. In this article, we’ll discuss how to master a song and prevent normalization on YouTube.
What is mastering?
Mastering is the final step in the music production process, where a professional audio engineer fine-tunes and optimizes the audio mix to achieve the best possible sound quality. Mastering can involve a variety of techniques, such as EQ, compression, limiting, and stereo widening, to name a few.
Why is mastering important?
Mastering is important because it can significantly enhance the sound quality of your music. It can make your audio sound fuller, louder, and more polished. It also ensures that your audio meets the technical requirements for various distribution channels, such as YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes.
How to master a song for YouTube
- Start with a good mix
The first step in mastering a song is to ensure that you have a good mix. A mix that is well balanced and contains minimal clipping or distortion will be easier to master and will result in a better sound quality.
- Check your levels
Before you start mastering your song, make sure that the levels are consistent throughout the mix. Use a metering plugin to check the levels and ensure that they are not too high or too low.
- Apply EQ
Use EQ to balance the frequency response of your mix. Cut frequencies that are causing muddiness or harshness and boost frequencies that need more presence.
- Apply compression
Compression helps to even out the dynamic range of your mix, making it sound more consistent and polished. Use a light to moderate compression ratio to avoid over-compressing the audio.
- Apply limiting
Limiting is used to increase the overall loudness of the audio. Set the ceiling of true at -1dB TP (True Peak) max to ensure that your audio doesn’t clip or distort.
- Check for normalization
Before uploading your audio to YouTube, check the audio levels using a loudness metering plugin. Make sure that the loudness level is not too high, as this can cause normalization on YouTube. Aim for a loudness level of around -14 LUFS.
- Export in the right format
When exporting your audio, choose a lossless audio format like WAV or FLAC. These formats preserve the quality of your audio and ensure that it meets the technical requirements of YouTube.
In conclusion, mastering your music is an essential step in ensuring that your audio sounds great on YouTube. By using EQ, compression, limiting, and other mastering techniques, you can enhance the sound quality of your mix and avoid normalization on the platform. Remember to check the levels and loudness of your audio and export it in the right format to ensure that it meets YouTube’s technical requirements. With these tips, you can master your song like a pro and deliver high-quality audio to your viewers on YouTube.