Steinberg should really include EBU-compliant loudness metering in WaveLab Elements aswell. It’s no longer the high-end feature it was, say, a year ago. Actually, it’s THE metering to use in the future. (As a matter of fact, WL/WLE may dispense with VU/Peak metering all together in a few years time.) The whole industry is moving away from Peak Normalized metering, towards Loudness Normalized metering. This doesn’t only concern professional users such as broadcastes and masteringhouses, but includes streaming services aswell, such as Sound Cloud (where I believe a lot of material mastered with WLE ends up).
Material mastered with Peak Normalized may, very well, on a Loudness Normalized delivery system. Therefore is strongly required that it is mastered with Loudness Normalization in mind, from the beginning.
Loudness Normalized mastering requires a complete change in mindset. Forget squashing your mixes, to make them sound louder than the next guy. This no longer works and will, most likely, make your masters sound quieter on a Loudness Normalized delivery system. Over-compression artifacts will also stand out like a sour thumb. Let’s bring some dynamics back into the the music!
The science behind Loudness Normalization can be quite complicated (especially considering the required change in mindset). However, there is (was) an excellent feature on the subject in the February 2014 issue of the SOS magazine.
It’s a 25 page in-depth article, and is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning about mastering for the future.