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Formatting for YouTube

JBH

Member
Apologies if GD is the wrong location for this thread- Mods please move to another subforum if appropriate.

My question: When formatting audio for YouTube, what method/strategy do you use?

Background: an old friend of mine has asked me to "master" some songs he made with a band back in the 90s. Once I'm finished he wishes to put them up on YT, and he'd like me to prepare them appropriately so he can lay the tracks down in a "video" to be uploaded.

It appears YT supports a number of different audio file formats, which appear to be based on what type of videos they're embedded in.

I'm also guessing there's a maximum db level they don't want exceeded, but it wasn't addressed on their support page.

I'd like to give my friend the highest quality audio for this application.

Does anyone have tips or online resources for accomplishing my goal?

Thank you.
 

jnorman

Member
For pop/rock stuff, you need to keep the audio under -14dB LUFS and peaks around -2dB. YouTube will run the audio through their own conversion process to ensure proper out levels to their standatds, so don’t submit material that is too hot. I do chamber/classical music, and I keep my stuff around -19-20dB LUFS with peaks around -4dB. Those are also the same numbers I use for commercial releases.
 

JBH

Member
For pop/rock stuff, you need to keep the audio under -14dB LUFS and peaks around -2dB. YouTube will run the audio through their own conversion process to ensure proper out levels to their standatds, so don’t submit material that is too hot. I do chamber/classical music, and I keep my stuff around -19-20dB LUFS with peaks around -4dB. Those are also the same numbers I use for commercial releases.
Cool, thanks jnorman- this info is much appreciated. I suspected YT would do some kind of conversion, and that's part of the reason I asked- I have the impression there are different quality levels available for playback, depending if one is a subscriber or not.

Any preferred video format for best audio quality? In this case, the video itself will probably just be a still image, so visuals won't be very important.
 

chrisso

Venerated Member
Well to be contrary I always use Fabfilter Pro L, set to -1db output. If I don't my audio comes out very quiet on Youtube.
I just mix a track in Luna like I would any other music. I export as wav 48khz, 24 bit. Most videos use 48khz.
I then upload the wav to my video editor (Davinic Resolve). Resolve has a Youtube preset for output.
 
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