Analysing your designs for loudness units

It may be useful to quickly check that you’re EBUR28 compliant. Basically if you’re looking to generate broadcast compliant material, then you’ll need to be aware of these rules, up to date on the thinking and have some production strategies so that you know what you’re with loudness.

The EBU recommendation for measuring loudness and for the peak impression of loudness across a programme of material is explained here; https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/r/r128.pdf.

Their recommendation is that “Programme Loudness Level shall be normalised to a Target Level of -23.0 LUFS”, that’s -23.0 Loudness units at full scale.  The command line can sort you out here by giving you a very quick readout of the loudness units of your track:

cd into your directory and run this with FFMPEG

ffmpeg -i yourSoundFile.wav -filter:a "ebur128" -vn -f null /dev/null 


You’ll get something like this:

Output #0, null, to '/dev/null':
  Metadata:
    encoder         : Lavf57.71.100
    Stream #0:0: Audio: pcm_s16le, 48000 Hz, mono, s16, 768 kb/s
    Metadata:
      encoder         : Lavc57.89.100 pcm_s16le
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.0999792  M:-120.7 S:-120.7     I: -70.0 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.199979   M:-120.7 S:-120.7     I: -70.0 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.299979   M:-120.7 S:-120.7     I: -70.0 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.399979   M: -21.9 S:-120.7     I: -21.9 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.499979   M: -20.7 S:-120.7     I: -21.2 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.599979   M: -20.4 S:-120.7     I: -21.0 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.699979   M: -20.6 S:-120.7     I: -20.9 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.799979   M: -21.5 S:-120.7     I: -21.0 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] t: 0.899979   M: -22.7 S:-120.7     I: -21.2 LUFS     LRA:   0.0 LU
size=N/A time=00:00:00.98 bitrate=N/A speed=95.6x    
video:0kB audio:92kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: unknown
[Parsed_ebur128_0 @ 0x7ffe02522300] Summary:

  Integrated loudness:
    I:         -21.2 LUFS
    Threshold: -31.2 LUFS

  Loudness range:
    LRA:         0.0 LU
    Threshold:   0.0 LUFS
    LRA low:     0.0 LUFS
    LRA high:    0.0 LUFS