SPOTIFY normalization, anyone has experience with that?


Hi guys,

so I'm having serious doubts about normalization in Spotify.

Everyone says, and it's also written on their website, that you should keep your master at around -14 LUFS integrated (on average), with true peak set to -1.

Now I have my master at around -13/-14 integrated LUFS, and checked on, it will normalize it just by -1 which is fine, even though for me it sound much more quiet then those reference tracks on Spotify.

The thing is, I downloaded from soulseek some reference tracks in FLAC format, and if I upload them in it will show me a normalization of -8!!! I'm speaking about big artists reference tracks.

Now I understand that the downloadable version of the reference artist tracks might be those mastered for CD or to be listened in local, which usually should be at around -6 LUFS integrated (very high volume) and maybe they have another lower volume version for Spotify, but if I go to their respective Spotify and listen to those same reference tracks on streaming, comparing it with the ones in FLAC downloaded which on were showing a normalization of -8, they have exactly the same volume!!

So here someone is taking a piss off me, Or Spotify normalizes tracks to -14 LUFS only if you don't have a premium account while if you have, you can even upload a -6 LUFS integrated track??
Otherwise why the hell the downloaded FLAC version of a reference track which shows a -8 normalization on, sounds the same volume as the one on streaming on Spotify?
You can make this test if you like.
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There you go indeed, so Spotify won't normalize anymore, Bandcamp never did. Does it make sense still to master at -14 LUFS integrated?

Surely the point is to make all the tracks not require the listener to change the volume? I've often wondered if the algorithm they use simply identifies the tracks pushing the volume and this triggers the modification? My tracks are always quieter, and they don't seem to be very much different to what was uploaded?
I faced this problem while uploading my track first on Spotify because it won't let me even add it to my channel. I didn't have a premium account back then, so I thought the problem was particularly in my song. Good for me, I tried it again from my girlfriend's computer, where she had a premium, and everything worked. Spotify has a lot of such things where you're restricted without premium. Now I know most of them and even use them to my advantage. Also, I use a plan of gaining more audience at For only 25 dollars, I have 10k plays in my music genre. It's convenient for me because I'm not too fond of advertising but also want to be famous.
^^^Don't pay for fake plays.^^^ Everyone knows when they're fake (unless you pay to add the fake plays to every one of your songs).
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Spotify and the others are extremely good at spotting fake plays. Your music gets removed instantly - all of it, as in your entire catalogue, you have no right of complaint and any funds you thought you'd get get frozen. Paying for plays is now plain silly - far, far too risky!
If you grab tracks at random from Spotify, they are all different in absolute measurable maximum level unless they are the kind of track that when you look at it in the editor, is totally squashed the hell out of. Those tracks with a brick wall of sound seem to be a very similar level, but if you look at non-EDM style music that does in fact have a dynamic range, then these tracks seem to be much less messed with by whatever system Spotify (and others) employ. A bit like the classic radio Optimods when all of the protection kicks in. Lots of folk who put up music with dynamics never have a need to even worry too much about their levels - many have not even switched on metering that uses LUFS - they just use the normal meters and peak at -3dBFSor -6, or even -12 - whatever they fancy. 3dB is really not even worth worrying about. Drop a track of mine by 3dB and I doubt anybody would even notice. Maybe even 6dB would not really be picked up - it's all genre specific.
Here are the specs. Limiters for "soft" tracks that fall below spotify's -11 or -14 thresholds are set at -1.

So ... If you master the softest tracks to -11LUFS and don't ever exceed -9 lufs (or -7lufs if you want a brick wall of noise) for loud tracks, and all with a true peak of -1dbfs, the only thing Spotify will do is turn the volume down depending on user settings.

Loudness is easy.

Perceived loudness though ... That's a whole other ball of wax.