LUFS integrated lies. did a test today. totally lies. it's gated. Use momentary or K-weighted RMS. I got two metal tracks to -10 lufs. one was about 1.5 db louder than the other overall. the quieter more sabbath section of track 1 made the it read out -10 lufs integrated while the RMS in the loud end with the raspy screams was -8 something. It's slightly limited to be like mid 90s metal. The seconds track was -10 lufs integrated and -10 lufs momentary / rms k-weighted overall because I hit the bus compressor way harder during mix down but it was about 2 db quieter!
The limiter on track 1 and better distortion on every track made it really cut through the speakers.
This is how stuff with a lot of breaks and quiet parts or interludes and intros cheats the system and the integrated LUFS gate!
i always aim for 8db RMS in the loudest part of the song. for rock songs. thats my reference. quieter songs get balanced in regard to those songs. nevermind LUFS ... i am not interested in some kind of average loudness for the entire songs.
the loud part to me if it has the energy i want i am fine with it. 8 db RMS sound good to me. all i have to balance/check than is the relation between quieter intros/verses/bridges and the loudest part (mostly the refrain).
i always have loudness normalisation ON in spotify and the difference to other smashed songs is not big. its a bit there but not a problem to me. i don‘t have to reach for the volume knob.
but i am no pro mastering engineer. this is just the workflow i came up that works for me.
Its funny it should be Apple Music saying they are going to shave a couple of db off .. I actually use Apple music to capture my reference tracks because its louder than Spotify :-)
I put some more pop mainstreme tracks into metricAB and man .. I struggle to get anywhere near the volume .. but I’m actually not trying to match volume so guess how much I drop them by? … yup .. 2db 😄