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-   -   does soundcloud !#$@#$@!$! your uploads? (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/showthread.php?t=178148)

littlejam 2013-03-14 17:33

does soundcloud !#$@#$@!$! your uploads?
 
hello, i finally got around to posting some tracks on soundcloud
but when i listen to them they sound 'hollow, tinny' and without much 'low end'
however the tracks sound really good through monitors and car speakers, etc.
then
i also read the thread https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/...d.php?t=177820

and started to wonder about soundcloud quality...but i've heard tracks that sound good on soundcloud, too...so i googled and read some more and found the following conversation:

"""I have a few tunes I would like to share here, so I started to upload my songs to soundcloud. I quickly learned that the sound quality is so bad that I don't want anyone to hear it like that. They use 128kb for their free accounts, but people in the pro accounts confessed in forums that they were dissatisfied as well. I don't think I'm being picky. Listening to my uploads sounds like they're going through some kind of comb filter eq, overly compressed, noisey, etc. The stereo imaging is completely gone. I've even rendered my files into 128kb that sound excellent on my computer hoping that would solve the problem, but apparently everything I upload must go through their sound grinding machine. Some people recommended soundclick, which was basically the same.
The stereo imaging is the real deal killer here. Would buying my own domain name,
and rent web space be a better alternative?""""

"""I totally agree. Pretty much all the sites that host audio files actually sound pretty horrible compared to the orignial untouched wav file.. Not sure what can be done about it though."""


"""What gripes me the most is that I intentionally upload a good sounding audio file with the exact bit rate they claim to use, and they literally destroy it. I don't understand it. A web site that claims to be a place to show your audio work off, and they convert it to some kind of sonic porridge. """

"""I haven't tried the pro accounts, but I was pretty bummed when I compared the quality of my files to the originals.
If you're using it to show your work to prospective clients, it matters. It is the first impression."""

"""I have heard stuff that sounds horrible. I have also heard stuff that doesn't sound bad at all. """

"""Gimme a break. Companies like Universal Audio or Eventide use SoundCloud for their audio advertizing. It's always the same with lossy audio encoders, no matter if they are lame or Fraunhofer: They focus on the important material, masking away stuff that is pretty unneccessary in normal listening environments. If a mix is crap, then it will sound even more crappy after the conversion. But they do not do any serious harm to a well balanced recording. Dozens of links in this very forum will give you a proof of that.
PS: Good songs are still very catchy in youtube at 260 and mono..... """

"""I didn't say anything about your mix. Which I even don't know. But a lot of ppl here and in other forums use soundcloud, and some mixes work very well where others don't.

Let's not start discussing audiophile things. This would lead to nothing.
A mp3 is no 44.1/16 PCM which is no 88.2/24 PCM which is no 384/32 PCM.
A Firestudio Project is no Fireface, which is no Rosetta, which is no ADI8QS which is no CraneSong which is no DAD... so what counts in the end ? What are you and (more important) your customers listening to ?

On this one I'm pretty sure: Any brillant mix and recording will translate perfectly even when auditioned over soundcloud. """

"""However, I made some tests with soundcloud after reading through an interesting forum discussion over at gearslutz.

""And to make a long story short, yes, the streamed version degrades the audio, especially material that already
has a very high RMS ( >-8dB). But one thing is cool: Hit the download button, and you will have the unmodified file again."

the gearslutz discussion is here:
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...ect-audio.html

Loading SoundCloud…


Loading SoundCloud…


Loading SoundCloud…


the uploaded files are 44.1khz 16bit wave

i really like soundcloud but i have the same question: should a track be mixed in a specific way to sound good on soundcloud?

thanks, j

adfielding 2013-03-14 17:39

Yeah, the Soundcloud encoder is pretty dodge from my experience.

I upload stuff as lossless files when possible (I think everything I have up was uploaded as WAVs) and their encoder just annihilates it. My hope is that they up the bit-rate at some point and re-encode the streaming versions from source.

Just makes me wonder what would happen if you uploaded an MP3... if encoding from a lossless source sounds bad, transcoding from a lossy format might not be pretty.

But their player is sexy and I can't be arsed to re-upload everything to another service.

edit: yeah, if you're after mixing advice then I'd steer clear of Soundcloud as a music hosting service unless you enable downloads.

neoverse 2013-03-14 18:08

uploading an mp3 sounds terrible. I'm quite sure the poor transcoding is either load balancing thing or, not using standard mp3 encoding. They should switch to m4a.


Quote:

Originally Posted by adfielding (Post 1261133)
Yeah, the Soundcloud encoder is pretty dodge from my experience.

I upload stuff as lossless files when possible (I think everything I have up was uploaded as WAVs) and their encoder just annihilates it. My hope is that they up the bit-rate at some point and re-encode the streaming versions from source.

Just makes me wonder what would happen if you uploaded an MP3... if encoding from a lossless source sounds bad, transcoding from a lossy format might not be pretty.

But their player is sexy and I can't be arsed to re-upload everything to another service.

edit: yeah, if you're after mixing advice then I'd steer clear of Soundcloud as a music hosting service unless you enable downloads.


Wyggy 2013-03-14 18:28

I closed my Soundcloud account when I found the sounds, I had enhanced with Reason effects, sounded flat and miserable.

I opened up another account just for communicating on this forum. I have since found that I can upload a zip file for this purpose. I won't be putting many more files on Soundcloud, but I shall use the zip method to send simple examples as Reason files. There is a very punitive limit on uploads to this forum site but with care, it is possible to do something useful. :)

Now that is off my chest, I must congratulate Props on the quality of the ID8 instruments. Drag a MIDI file onto the Reason desktop icon and you get a good rendering of what the Midi file producer hoped for but doesn't get from Windows Media Player.

pr0g7r0n1c 2013-03-14 22:20

I really don't hear a difference from the original mp3s I upload, from the resulting stream. They still sound horrible.. lol

Mathazzar 2013-03-15 17:19

More often than not, when someone complains about this, it's because they mix sausages, not waveforms.

Some thoughts...

1. Don't Pre-Convert

Do not upload an MP3 that you've pre-converted into what you think Soundcloud wants. Their system doesn't magically determine if your file is in a particular format and then leave it alone if it likes what it sees — everything you upload gets converted for consistency regardless, so upload a good quality file (preferably lossless) to ensure that you're not having it convert from lossy to lossy.

2. Turn it Down

If you're uploading sausages, you're going to get distorted ugliness. Period. You may hate dynamic range, your listeners' ears, and/or music itself, but you can't expect Soundcloud to as well — turn your tunes down to a sane level and let the converter have some breathing room. If that means having a SOOPER LOUD CAUSE IT'S COOL BRO "master" version and a quieter "Soundcloud" version of your mix then so be it.

3. Keep Things in Perspective

If you think that the key difference that's going to make someone love or hate your track is the presence of some encoding fuzz on the mix, then your problem extends beyond Soundcloud. 80% of your audience wouldn't perceive the difference between an MP3 and a WAV if it hit them in the face with instructions. It's not because they're stupid, by the way, it's because their ears are not trained to distinguish (or care about) the difference — not only that, but modern music listening habits have trained most peoples' ears to actually consider degraded, compressed, lossy audio as "good" or at the very least "normal". Don't lose sight of that.

Also, keep in mind that SoundCloud is a distribution and engagement platform, not a mastering service. Their job is to help you share and market your music, not make it sound good — that’s your job. Personally, I find SoundCloud to be tremendously helpful in my mastering process because if I post something and it sounds weak on SoundCloud, then I immediately know that my job isn’t done yet.

Loading SoundCloud…

Wyggy 2013-03-16 09:44

This is an excellent contribution to the debate. Thanks Mathazzar.

The idiom sausages and waveforms not understood But . . .

littlejam 2013-03-16 10:30

hello, while looking around for vsti/vst i found

http://bserrano.free.fr/Music.html

it's all soundcloud (but with blue buttons (i don't know what that means))

however the sound is really good and has low end...so there is a way to get good sounding mixes in soundcloud...go figure...j

ps. there is french on the website...maybe its a frenchsoundcloud...

adfielding 2013-03-16 11:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mathazzar (Post 1262521)
1. Don't Pre-Convert

I don't. I upload everything as WAVs.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mathazzar (Post 1262521)
2. Turn it Down

My mixes are relatively tame compared to the current industry "standard".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mathazzar (Post 1262521)
3. Keep Things in Perspective

Very good point, and that's why I'm sticking with Soundcloud :) Ultimately, I don't think people are going to be put off by some encoding artifacts.

It's more of an irritation than anything for me - I could encode some 128kbps MP3s here myself (from the same source WAVs) and I can guarantee that they would sound better than the streaming versions on Soundcloud. That's what really irks me.

elMisse 2013-08-16 18:12

Just opened a soundcloud account and I am immediately at the forums looking for info on why my VAW sounds like super lofi encoded mp3 there :)
Total noob I am, so is there an alternative, more hifi service around...? Or do you get it when you go pro on Soundcloud?


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