LUFS Metering

The LUFS scale is a measurement of loudness units which identify the loudness and true-peak level of audio. LUFS stands for Loudness Units Full Scale. Nevertheless, before it was invented, there were some troubles to correctly indicate this subjective perception of sound. In the following lines I will explain LUFS metering and how it came to be, for it is useful to consider when one works in music production.

A Brief History of Metering

Back when analog recording was popular, meters displayed electrical levels as representations of audio levels. However, the first level meters were not able to identify between frequency ranges. As time has gone by and digital technology has arisen, several types of metering have emerged. As a result of investigation and a wish for betterment came LUFS, the modern metering scale.

Then What Happened? LUFS Metering Came!

As stated before, the loudness unit measurement system is intrinsically biased to the real perception of audio. To contrast this, LUFS metering helps us understand how human beings perceive sounds. This system guarantees that the volume level is consistent across different types of music, creating a more enjoyable atmosphere for the listener. LUFS scale balances multiple audio sources at the same time. And it does so in a far more efficient way, since the metering occurs in the final product.

Why LUFS Metering?

The units of measurement vary within the different types of meters. LUFS, VU meters, PPM meters, dBVU meters, and dBFS meters all have unique differences. Loudness meters, like the Waves WLM Plus Loudness Meter plugin, offer numerical readouts. Other types of meters offer abstract needle swinging or segments lighting, which opens a door to interpretation rather than an objective reading. And, in this case, are looking for the latter.

Some Examples of LUFS’s Usage

It is worth mentioning that the broadcast television industry around the world frequently uses the LUFS scale to achieve consistent volumes between channels. It also uses it to regulate the volume between commercials and programs offered on the same channel. Game companies use LUFS too in order to achieve a steady volume in video games, as well as to predict the balance between its volume and the alternate game sounds. In all these cases, you can observe that one needs to accomplish specific parameters, which is why LUFS metering is so useful.