Measuring the Netflix loudness level

The Netflix loudness level

The Netflix Sound Mix Specifications & Best Practices was first published in 2018.

It is now in version 1.4 and the “Netflix loudness level” is supported in Fairlight in Resolve and in Nugen Vislm 2 plugin in Resolve and Pro Tools.

Netflix found that a
-27 (+/-2) LKFS dialogue gated loudness level with Max true peak -2
matches a lot of films and decides to use it as their loudness level.

When I checked the Netflix loudness level on feature film DCPs I have worked on I found:

  • Theatrical mixes also usually have -27 (+/-2)
  • Dialogue sound levels can vary between countries. Some can be as low as -32.
  • Drama films can have a lower dialogue level than action films. Normal dialogue parts of a movie can be -30, while action parts can be louder resulting in -27.
    Read more about different Loudness levels in DCPs in this post.

There is no loudness setting for an 85 dB SPL theatre sound mix in Resolve and loudness plugins. But the Netflix loudness level can be used as a reference.

The Netflix loudness level compared to 85 dB SPL theatre sound mixes

  • Netflix max true peak is -2, while on theatrical mixes True Peak is often max 0
  • Netflix small near-field mixing rooms is calibrated to 79 or 82 dB SPL reference level and a low to moderate X-curve. Large mixing rooms are calibrated to 85 dB SPL and use a normal/modified X-Curve.
  • The dialogue level in an 85 dB SPL cinema mix can be lower, but 82 dB in a small room can translate to 85 dB in a larger room.
  • The Netflix loudness standard uses the Dolby algorithm (dialnorm) for measuring dialogue gated 1770 LUFS/LKFS loudness. This algorithm measures only dialogue, while Program gated loudness used in 1770–3/4/EBU R128 does not measure parts of the movie with low sounds.
  • If a film has 15 percent dialogue or less Netflix state that you should use a -24 LKFS program gated loudness level instead (-24db LKFS +/- 2 ITU BS 1770-3). Program gated loudness can vary a lot on movie theatre mixes.
  • Recommended loudness range (LRA) in the Netflix loudness standard:
    -5.1 program – LRA between 4 and 18 LRA
    -Dialogue – LRA of 10 LU or less
    Theatrical mixes often have a higher loudness range.

You can check the Netflix loudness level on films in Resolve,

Measuring the Netflix loudness level in Resolve

In the Fairlight module in Resolve

Right-click the audio

Choose Analyze audio

Normalize Audio Levels in Resolve screenshot

Choose the loudness standard Netflix and click analyze


Result

Integrated -26.7. Dialogue 39 percent.
True Peak -0.1 dBFS.
(It does not measure LRA)

Analyze Audio Levels in Resolve screenshot

Normalizing the Netflix Loudness Level in Resolve

If I want to lower this to True Peak -2 and a Netflix Loudness level -28.6 I use Normalize Audio Levels.

Normalize Audio Levels in Resolve screenshot


Close Normalize Audio Levels
Right-click the audio and choose
Normalize Audio Levels
Normalization Mode = True Peak
Target level = -2 dBTP
and then click Normalize

Normalize Audio Levels in Resolve screenshot

Measuring the Netflix loudness level in the Vislm plugin

You can measure the Netflix Loudness level in Nugen Vislm 2 plugin in Resolve and Pro tools Ultimate. The Vislm plugin also measures program LRA and dialogue LRA.

In Resolve

In the Fairlight module in Resolve – Set Netflix 5.1 as the default

Drag the Nugen VisLM2 VST effects to the 5.1 sound track and choose
Options – 12 Netflix 5.1
Choose current as the default

Analyze the audio

Right-click the audio

Choose Analyze audio

Choose Nugen VisLM2 or Insight and click Analyze

Analyze Audio Levels Resolve Nugen VisLM2 Screenshot

Results:

Integrated (dial) -26.7. (40%)
LRA 19.8,
LRA (dial) 14.1,
True Peak (TP) (max) -0.1

 Nugen VisLM2 Screenshot

In Pro Tools Ultimate

  • Add track
  • Track- new
  • 5.1

Drag the 5.1 mix to the 5.1 track

  • Click on the 5.1 track
  • Audiosuite – Sound Field – Nugen Visml2
  • Click on options and choose Netflix 5.1
  • Loudness
  • Analyze

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