TPS085: Auphonic and Loudness Standards with Georg Holzmann

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Post processing your audio podcast can be a daunting task. Where do you start? What effects do you use? How to adjust the effects once you choose them? These questions and many more like them can easily scare a podcaster away from doing any polishing of their audio podcast file.

But if you’re interested in rounding out your sound to make it better overall and don’t want to learn the tech behind doing it there’s Auphonic.com. On this episode I’m talking with Georg Holtmann, the creator of Auphonic, software for helping you get the best audio possible. Auphonic Logo

Of course the first step is to record it well. I like to say, you can’t make bad audio good, you can only make it less bad. For that reason you’ll want to make sure you have a decent microphone, a quite recording space and a few other pieces (pop filter, quite preamp, etc.) before you even think about processing your audio. The better the audio, the better the software and processing will work. 

Georg will guide us through some of Auphonic’s most important features for podcasters such as audio leveling, background noise removal or reduction, hum and buzz removal and most interesting to me, a new standard in audio known as loudness normalization.

Loudness normalization and standards have arisen due, in part, to a loudness war that has been escalating in music and broadcast audio for a few decades. Fed up with wildly different audio levels from program to program, listeners complained enough that new standards and tools were created to better measure perceived loudness.

Georg and I dive into a little of the history of loudness and elaborate on why this new standard is important and specifically how these new standards are being applied to podcasting.

*Links mentioned on this episode (in order of appearance).

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To learn more about “loudness” standards, the history and the solution, here’s a fantastic talk.

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About Ray Ortega

Full-time podcast producer and host of The Podcasters' Studio and Podcasters' Roundtable, I enjoy sharing my ten years of experience making podcasts to help others improve or start their own show.

Comments

  1. Epic discussion! I hope one day we can all adhere to standards with post production. Great episode.

  2. benignsource says:

    Oddly I'd tried Auphonic when starting out – but my audio going in was rubbish, so I didn't continue with it. But just put one of my recent shows through it and must say I'm impressed. It may be worth investing in the desktop version.

    • You might be producing much better audio than you did when you tried it the first time. As with any post-processing or audio in general, you want to deliver the absolute best audio you can in the recording. Also, they are constantly working on Auphonic so it could be a combo of the two. Thanks for listening!

      • benignsource says:

        Oh my audio on the early shows was terrible. Its much better now and a tool like euphonic is well worth using. The issue wasn't with auphonic back then, it was with my recording.

  3. Brilliant show Ray, but a lot to take in for people unfamiliar with the new loudness paradigm. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    • Thanks Richard! I agree, it's a lot to grasp and it's likely that more than one listen will be required for people who are new to the concept of loudness. The beauty is Auphonic. For those people lost but still feel that standards are important, there is an answer. Everyone else will either dive much deeper into what we're talking about or just drop it. "You can lead a horse to water"…;)

  4. benignsource says:

    Ray

    Do you have an affiliate link for Auphonic?

  5. Looking forward to Part 2!

  6. Brilliant show Ray, but a lot to take in for people unfamiliar with the new loudness paradigm. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    • Thanks! And yes, lots to learn here. Auphonic is definitely recommended for anyone lost in the tech of it all. The good news is that it's fairly simple when broken down to it's parts but I wanted to make sure we dove deep for those interested. Glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Cyrstal Samora says:

    Nice one, I really like your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Listening to show now, but from your notes, I was wondering what is the link to a mentioned 2nd episode? And more importantly, what are your thoughts on Auphonic desktop version compared to Georg’s Auphonic online service?

    Last question, any experience of Auphonic compared to Levelator?

    Thanks in advance for all you contribute to the community.

  9. Hello Ray,

    Nice podcast. I testing a LUFS Logic Pro X plugin by Klangfreund. It looks easy to use. I think it would be a good idea to have us podcasters create / use a loudness spec until one is officially internationally adopted. Maybe podcasts that follow the -16 “proposal” can put an icon on their website saying that they follow the standard.

    Take a look here from the free version:
    https://www.klangfreund.com/lufsmeter/

    James Thomas
    WDEVN: Taiwan

    • Cool, thanks James. Always nice to have another free resource. At this point, -16LUFS is the accepted standard in podcasting and the web in general. A badge would be cool. Most will never know what it means but it couldn’t hurt.

  10. Here is another webpage of LUFS interest:

    http://www.tcelectronic.com/loudness/broadcast-standards/

    James Thomas
    WDEVN: Taiwan

  11. Todd Koenig says:

    Hi Ray,

    Have you experimented with the Auphonic multitrack (web)app? It seems ideal because I do lots of interview podcasts. Unfortunately, I’m pretty new to all of this editing and can’t seem to find much info about what post work needs to be done before submitting to the multitrack system and what it does automatically. Or is it worth doing all the post work outside of Auphonic and then submitting to the original single track system? Thanks for all of your hard work!

    • Yes, a little bit. It’s something you have to try on your audio. Sometimes it’s great other times it’s not what you need. Every file is different. Primarily what I’ve used it for is to take multiple audio files recorded in the same room (more than one microphone “in-studio”) and then multitrack combines them, leveling them, cleaning them up and it’s bonus feature of helping to knockdown the bleed that can be caused by having multiple microphones in the same room. The result is one merged file which you might want or not. I find that I use the regular leveler version more, processing each track individually for leveling and loudness normalization then making my edits in an audio edit. Thanks Todd, keep going and stay in touch.

Trackbacks

  1. […] “Free” may require more knowledge for making things work your way. Free may not be as pretty and easy as premium tools. You may have to understand more technical things, or figure out how stuff works before you can effectively use a free tool. (Listen to Ray Ortega’s recent interview with the Auphonic creator about audio loudness standards.) […]

  2. […] pay attention to. I mentioned Auphonic, a good bit of audio levelling software for podcasters, Ray Ortega’s podcast on loudness and Adobe Audition’s loudness radar […]

  3. […] of our voice and there isn’t a one size fits all. Ray Ortega has an episode of the Podcaster’s Studio where they interviewed a rep from […]

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