https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=11553 - Loudness management
And this post by furrypedro in the pocket full of bones review thread:
https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic. ... 40#p212340
So in response to furrypedro:
Louder things sound better as a rule. In order to appropriately compare two mixes, one would have to normalize the volume so that both tracks are at the same perceived loudness to truly compare.Now on Song Fight! ... most stuff sounds quiet
Firstly, if you're "releasing" a track elsewhere, putting it on your soundcloud or youtube or spotify or anything, then you make a very valid point. You should be mixing so it sounds "good" in whatever setting you're gonna ultimately put the music. But most (definitely not all) services have some sort of normalization for play back. If you read that first thread, for instance, you'll see Spotify plays back at -14 LUFS. So if you have a track that is -8 or -6 or whatever, they are gonna simply reduce the volume until it plays back evenly with all the other tracks. Similarly if you are at -16 or -20 they are gonna raise the volume. To me it makes more sense to mix/master/render at that level so that there is less chance of over-compression and you'll have a good reference. I, personally, aim for -14 LUFS and will error on the quiet side.The question is should I then bring the level of my mix down so that it sounds normal amongst the song fight crowd. Frankly, I'm not gonna do that. Like most people, I won't touch my track again after the fight is finished and I'm more concerned about how it'll sound out in the normal world alongside the music that most people listen to rather than how it'll sound for one week in a song fight
Secondly, a louder mix generally sounds better than a quiet mix because human ears/brains are weird. So the same mix rendered at different levels (assuming you don't have to compress to get it louder) will sound better/worse depending on the level even if the mix is the same. However, if your song is quieter than the other songs or louder than the other songs, I'm simply gonna use the volume knob to adjust it (or if it's too loud, I'm gonna skip it half way through on repeated listens because I'm susceptible to ear fatigue, especially if I'm listening on the phone where I tend not to change the volume song to song.)
While it's more work, it's not that hard to do renders with varying levels. If it were me, I'd do a songfight render and then another render for whatever application I would release the song on. I would hate for a good song to miss out on a listen or a vote because it was too loud or too quiet compared to most of the other songs in a fight.