Soundcloud Upload Quality Questions

xiris

Resident Canadian
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Hey all, been a while since i've said anything.

Recently, I was playing back one of my tracks I'd uploaded through S/C on my phone, and noticed that my entire high end sounded awful. Hats were mudded together, nothing popped. I thought it was a production error originally.. that I'd left something like an extra compressor turned on on my master bus.. Long story short, i uploaded the file to my phone directly, did an A/B comparison between it and the S/C upload, and realized the problem was unique to the S/C upload. I'm guessing S/C has a "normalizer" algorithm to try and achieve some loudness balance across their platform?

So my questions to you guys are:

1. Have you guys noticed this issue too? and
2. Any suggestions to maximize quality when uploading to soundcloud? I know to upload WAV files, as they compress the audio down to 128kbps mp3.. but even when I export the tune at 128kbps it sounds substantially better than when played back from s/c.

Thanks in advance,
 
Last edited:

Dynamicz

Member
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Yea, I've definitely noticed the difference too buddy!

I'm not sure what you can do about it though... either way it'll be 128kbps mp3
I don't think Soundcloud is going to be changing the quality of their streaming services anytime soon!

Do remember though, when people download your trax on SC they download the original file... Whether it be WAV Etc.

I've been listening to some of your trax and they don't sound bad to me :)
Obviously from your perspective though, you may notice the differences a lot more than us...
Just try and keep troubleshooting to see if you can find what the issue is, I do think it may just be SC's streaming quality though...


Peace
 

Dark Lizardro

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Soundcloud is known to apply a heavy compression to the files, which means basically that even if you upload a high quality wav, it'll turn to a 128kbps mp3 for streaming reasons (easier to load a 5mb file than a 500mb one for streaming).

Downloads, on the other hand, aren't affected by this: people who click the download button receive the file in the same quality as the original (wav if it was wav, mp3, aiff and so on).
 

xiris

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Yea, I've definitely noticed the difference too buddy! I've been listening to some of your trax and they don't sound bad to me :)
Obviously from your perspective though, you may notice the differences a lot more than us...
Thanks bud! and I think you're right... I think its SoundCloud's issue. I tested again, this time I uploaded a 128kpbs MP3 to my phone, and also uploaded the .wav version of the file to soundcloud [so that it could create the 128kbps on its own] and then did an A/B comparison between the two files. The playback from the copy directly uploaded to my phone was still better.. herm. oh well.
Downloads, on the other hand, aren't affected by this: people who click the download button receive the file in the same quality as the original (wav if it was wav, mp3, aiff and so on).
Good to know, thank you sir.

Anyone else have any comments/suggestions?
 

Dynamicz

Member
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Thanks bud! and I think you're right... I think its SoundCloud's issue. I tested again, this time I uploaded a 128kpbs MP3 to my phone, and also uploaded the .wav version of the file to soundcloud [so that it could create the 128kbps on its own] and then did an A/B comparison between the two files. The playback from the copy directly uploaded to my phone was still better.. herm. oh well
Hmmmmm...
Now that is strange,
The files should be of same format so there really shouldn't be a difference in quality at all! :eek:
I really don't have much of an idea there man!
 

Dynamicz

Member
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What happens if you upload the mp3 to SC?
It should play back at the same streaming quality...
Unless its 320kbps of course, as mentioned above it'll just stream at 128kbps... (Lower Quality)

I'm not entirely sure what will happen if lets say a 64kbps mp3 were to be uploaded???
I don't exactly see why anyone would want to export one of their tracks @64kbps anyway!?
 

Sulihin

Active Member
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274
The question is whether their conversion from wave to mp3 is different, so uploading an mp3 wouldn't require conversion, so might be the same... Except, as you mention, if it needs to convert anyway to downsample.
 

Dark Lizardro

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The question is whether their conversion from wave to mp3 is different, so uploading an mp3 wouldn't require conversion, so might be the same... Except, as you mention, if it needs to convert anyway to downsample.
Try converting one of your tracks from wav to 128kbps and see what happens. It's pretty much the same.
 

Sulihin

Active Member
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274
Try converting one of your tracks from wav to 128kbps and see what happens. It's pretty much the same.
The OP is about Soundcloud upload quality. I'm proposing a method to test whether their conversion from wav is causing the issue. I guess I was too subtle, as now it is just derailing the thread.
 

blend107

Koherent
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From what I've know SC seems to squish tracks a little when uploading. That's why if you send stuff to labels over SC then they usually ask for download enabled since the downloaded file sounds like its supposed to, whereas the SC stream will playback the tune slightly squished and louder.
That's my experience anyway from dealing with labels - hope that helps!
 

scrTchs

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In my experience its always tracks that have a lot going on the high frequencys especially in the high hats of breaks. I recently had the same problem so I went and did some eqing on the high end and it helped a lot, but I still noticed some distortion I couldn't tame.
 
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