Mastering Levels for EDM

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As a majority of music released these days has moved from physical formats to streaming, and album cycles have given way to a constant flow of singles, the role of mastering engineers in modern music has also evolved. And of course, the artists, labels and A&R’s #1 concern is always how loud a master is.

But loudness is a moving target!

In this tutorial, multi-platinum mixing and mastering engineer Luca Pretolesi details his methods for creating masters that are perfectly suited to work across multiple platforms.

He details the target loudness levels he uses for EDM and pop mixes and masters. He explains all of the different considerations you need to make when delivering masters to all the different streaming services as well as radio and CD.

Hear the difference between a dynamic master and a hyper-loud master that stands out from the rest. Then learn how to prepare alternate masters for social media and streaming platforms.

Equipment & Software
  • Presonus Studio One
  • Plugin Alliance Brainworx bx_meter
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Luca Pretolesi

Luca Pretolesi is an italian born mixing / mastering engineer who currently lives in Las Vegas where he works at Studio DMI.

Luca specializes in Electronic Dance Music where he strives to bring fresh perspectives and focuses on bringing out the emotions behind unpolished sounds, demos and future hits.

After 20 years of experience in the industry, Luca managed to build a unique hybrid analog / digital mixing setup where we successfully blends the best of both worlds. Plug-ins allows him to work with the precision that EDM and mastering often require and his custom made pieces of hardware and high-end pro equipment help him bring a final analog touch and warmth to his sound.

Luca has worked with the biggest artists of the EDM scene such as Diplo, Major Lazer, MakJ, Lil Jon, Savoy, Gareth Emery, and Snoop Lion and more.

Watch Luca's videos on pureMix and see for yourself how Electronic Dance Music hits are made.


Major Lazer

Steve Aoki


Dimitry Vegas and Like Mike

Snoop Lion


What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2020 Apr 25
più' dettagli su come affronti i tuoi mastering,cosi' sono deluso.
2020 Mar 31
Ok, the info here maybe could be good information for newbies on the topic, but common guys, zero information on how to achieve this insane levels without distort, etc is the same as a video about food recipes with a guy eating a very taste food saying this has this or that taste and no talk anything about the ingredients, useless for me, sorry. Luca is one of the biggest names in EDM mix and master, as I do a lot of electronic music myself, Luca's videos was one of the reason that I signed Pure Mix, and after watch this, very disappointed . Common guys, We need the recipes.
2020 Mar 23
I think we need more information regarding the -13 dbfs / -16 dbfs number that online platform are using. Are you really going to leave the turning down of your dynamic master in the hands of these platforms? I've upload at -12 dbfs to Soundcloud and it sounds ok. I tried to upload a super loud master say -6 dbfs to Soundcloud and the encoding on their side was all distorted.
Tazmanian Ninja
2020 Mar 06
-0.3 db for MP3's is a myth. It varies from track to track (how loud it is), and which codec is used (MP3 is worse than AAC, and the lower the bitrate the more ISP – inter sample peaks there'll be).
2019 Dec 30
who LUFS streaming?
2018 Nov 29
Very nice, but some information is quite misinformed. You can't talk digital delivery without going into TruePeak values. Masters that are to be encoded in any way should not have peak levels above -1dbFS TP to make it safe for most mid to hi bitrate processes. Lowering a WAV to -0.3dbFS won't make much of a difference in any encoding situation and even less so if we're not even talking TP. Great info in this video but technically it would need an update.
2018 Sep 06
Amazing video! Tnx so much to Luca and Puremix for sharing all this knowledge! In my opinion it's a little bit a pity and confusing that for example you took a song with extreme requests from a client. I've preferred an example of a master done like Mr.Pretolesi thinks it's the best way!
2018 Jul 30
Thanks this is very well explained and clearer for me. Very impressive loudness too lol :p
AMP Tracks
2018 Jul 08
Superb and exactly what I needed atm! It would be great to get another short video from Luca Pretolesi where he shows some practical application how to precisely achieve those levels. I'm a bit struggling here, my levels aren't always so controlled. I doubt he's just slamming it through a brickwall at the end. ;)
2018 Feb 01
Hey Luca Pretolesi! How about a LUFS standard? It's time to upgrade this video and stop forever the loudness war!.
2017 Jul 18
The loudness war :-(
2017 Jul 07
Excellent video tutorial!
2017 Jun 13
Excellent tutorial on volume levels in todays world. In fact, not one has explained this better. I'm sure Fab has...:)
2017 Jun 07
I thought Spotify and Youtube have turned there's way down to -14LUFS. So based on this video you are +7dB too loud are your lowest version.... :(
Vladimir K.
2017 Jun 03
Great! I want more tutorials from Luca. :)
2017 Jun 02
I thought this tutorial was a fantastic view into the world of levels in professional electronic music mastering and it is a perfect demonstration of what the "norm" volume is on modern tracks. Hate on the lack of dynamic range all you want, Luca is producing results that are appealing to pro level artists. Much appreciated pureMix.
2017 May 30
Hey I'm FOH engineer in many clubs here in Europe and never heard about this loudness normalization @ -5dbfs . Which venues use this setup?
2017 May 28
That's insanely loud! Interesting on instagram. Wasn't aware it was that different.
2017 May 28
I just red that Spotify lowered their accepted RMS level to -9db, So why would you make -7db master for Spotify? (they will automatically turn it down anyway)
2017 May 28
Grazie Luca! The clearest and the most enlightening tutorial on master levels I've watched until now. I'm looking forward to seeing more tutorials from you. A la proxima!
2017 May 27
Great and insightful information for the current EDM producer.
2017 May 26
What drugs do you have to be taking to ask for a master with an RMS level at -2/-3 db? While I have endless appreciation the potential creativity of dj's, its really obvious the vast majority are not musical in the slightest and have no clue how to let dynamics be the impact/ lift in music. With those levels, its no longer is music, its a swirling wall of attention seeking shit with a 4 on the floor thump as it's only qualifying factor to be considered "music". It's not music, it loud sounds to do drugs to, balanced to the best of the ability of talented ME's/mixers. Alarming
2017 May 26
I love PureMix