Does SoundCloud change the audio when uploading?

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Mistro17
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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post 27 Jul 2020

I recently uploaded a song to Soundcloud and out of curiosity checked out the mastering feature on the site. The master sounded much better. Then I took another listen of the WAV file on my system and it also sounded much better than what I'm hearing from the uploaded one. Should I hear the same quality after uploading or am I looking at this the wrong way?

Edit: Nevermind. I googled it and see they cut the quality by half. Does this happen with all sites that we upload to? I know YouTube does this with video as well. And how do you manage your tracks to sound as you intended?

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Loque
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Post 27 Jul 2020

Sioundclouds quality is as bad as f^&@k. They compress it, so it just sounds like a poorly compressed mp3 and their additional mastering is crap too.

What you can do is, get the right LUFS and ceiling to get around their stupid mastering. Don't use many high frequency content to avoid mp3 artefacts.

I currently use Bandcamp, which has a better quality.
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PhillipOrdonez
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Location: Colombia

Post 27 Jul 2020

Loque wrote:
27 Jul 2020
Sioundclouds quality is as bad as f^&@k. They compress it, so it just sounds like a poorly compressed mp3 and their additional mastering is crap too.

What you can do is, get the right LUFS and ceiling to get around their stupid mastering. Don't use many high frequency content to avoid mp3 artefacts.

I currently use Bandcamp, which has a better quality.
I don't know, but my stuff sounds just as bad in SoundCloud as it does the original wave file 😂

I use both SC and BC anyway.

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joeyluck
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Post 27 Jul 2020

Loque wrote:
27 Jul 2020
Sioundclouds quality is as bad as f^&@k. They compress it, so it just sounds like a poorly compressed mp3 and their additional mastering is crap too.

What you can do is, get the right LUFS and ceiling to get around their stupid mastering. Don't use many high frequency content to avoid mp3 artefacts.

I currently use Bandcamp, which has a better quality.
Is that true? I was actually looking into this recently and read that Bandcamp streams at lower kbps. I might have been mistaken.

PhillipOrdonez
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Location: Colombia

Post 27 Jul 2020

joeyluck wrote:
27 Jul 2020
Loque wrote:
27 Jul 2020
Sioundclouds quality is as bad as f^&@k. They compress it, so it just sounds like a poorly compressed mp3 and their additional mastering is crap too.

What you can do is, get the right LUFS and ceiling to get around their stupid mastering. Don't use many high frequency content to avoid mp3 artefacts.

I currently use Bandcamp, which has a better quality.
Is that true? I was actually looking into this recently and read that Bandcamp streams at lower kbps. I might have been mistaken.
https://get.bandcamp.help/hc/en-us/arti ... %20average)

But you can buy wave files there. Can't beat that :)

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Loque
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Post 27 Jul 2020

joeyluck wrote:
27 Jul 2020
Loque wrote:
27 Jul 2020
Sioundclouds quality is as bad as f^&@k. They compress it, so it just sounds like a poorly compressed mp3 and their additional mastering is crap too.

What you can do is, get the right LUFS and ceiling to get around their stupid mastering. Don't use many high frequency content to avoid mp3 artefacts.

I currently use Bandcamp, which has a better quality.
Is that true? I was actually looking into this recently and read that Bandcamp streams at lower kbps. I might have been mistaken.
AFAIK. And i was shocked how far away the SC version from my local copy was from the last song i uploaded. The BC version was quite ok.

But i am also interested on high quality streaming sites, preferable without paying per month...
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

PhillipOrdonez
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Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 27 Jul 2020

Loque wrote:
27 Jul 2020
joeyluck wrote:
27 Jul 2020


Is that true? I was actually looking into this recently and read that Bandcamp streams at lower kbps. I might have been mistaken.
AFAIK. And i was shocked how far away the SC version from my local copy was from the last song i uploaded. The BC version was quite ok.

But i am also interested on high quality streaming sites, preferable without paying per month...
If you read above, what you hear on your bandcamp uploads isn't the same someone who hasn't bought the track hears.

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Loque
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Post 27 Jul 2020

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
27 Jul 2020
Loque wrote:
27 Jul 2020

AFAIK. And i was shocked how far away the SC version from my local copy was from the last song i uploaded. The BC version was quite ok.

But i am also interested on high quality streaming sites, preferable without paying per month...
If you read above, what you hear on your bandcamp uploads isn't the same someone who hasn't bought the track hears.
Yea, i just read it and i also read, that they don't do additional mastering. So it's mainly the "mastering" on SC that sounds like sh!t.
:reason: 11, Win10 64Bit.

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Oquasec
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Post 27 Jul 2020

Bandcamp has been better for a long time but Soundcloud is twitter music.
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PhillipOrdonez
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Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 27 Jul 2020

Loque wrote:
27 Jul 2020
PhillipOrdonez wrote:
27 Jul 2020


If you read above, what you hear on your bandcamp uploads isn't the same someone who hasn't bought the track hears.
Yea, i just read it and i also read, that they don't do additional mastering. So it's mainly the "mastering" on SC that sounds like sh!t.
You mean the new Dolby mastering thingy? I haven't tried it. They do have a terrible codec and if you upload anything over -1dbtp, the conversion will add a dB much like when you convert anything to mp3. It'll clip for sure.

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joeyluck
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Post 27 Jul 2020

Ok so this is unclear to me...

Bandcamp says it streams at 128.
https://get.bandcamp.help/hc/en-us/arti ... -Bandcamp-

For Soundcloud, I can only find an official support statement for the "High Quality Streaming" which is 256 AAC, but nothing about the standard streaming.
https://help.soundcloud.com/hc/en-us/ar ... -Streaming

I did find articles from 2018 saying Soundcloud streaming dropped from 128 to 64, but I don't see anything on their site stating this (from what I could find). Actually if it is 64 kbps, I wouldn't have guessed it. It's certainly not good (bad enough for me to research options) but I wouldn't have thought it was that low...

This article, which is one that makes the claim it dropped from 128 to 64, also has a quoted reply from Soundcloud:
https://www.magneticmag.com/2018/01/sou ... oads-half/
UPDATE: A SoundCloud rep after many emails back and forth refutes the claim that the sound quality has not changed and the reports are "inaccurate." "We haven't altered our approach to audio quality," continues a statement from SC. "We have been using the Opus codec (among others) since 2016, and we regularly test different combinations of encoding and streaming to offer listeners a quality experience on any device."
Does anybody have an official answer on this and link?

EdGrip
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Joined: 03 Jun 2016

Post 28 Jul 2020

Mad that people buy wavs from BC when FLAC exists. COME AT ME

PhillipOrdonez
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Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Colombia

Post 28 Jul 2020

EdGrip wrote:
28 Jul 2020
Mad that people buy wavs from BC when FLAC exists. COME AT ME
Does every player reproduce flac? Can you burn them to cd easily? Do cdjs play them? What about phones?

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Kalm
Posts: 434
Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Location: Austin

Post 28 Jul 2020

Soundcloud reproduces an Opus based format IIRC. It's' worst than a decent MP3 and definitely not 320 kbps. Bottom line, there's nothing you can really do. Some people have decided to "optimize" their masters for playback on SoundCloud but I think that's utterly unnecessary if the audio playback converter of the site is piss poor. There's no reason to fight against a bad compression algorithm.

I've moved away from the cloud for many reasons and this was one of the,. I stick with the modern streaming platforms. At least they provide better compression and enjoyable playback resolutions . . . . while getting paid.
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EdGrip
Posts: 1881
Joined: 03 Jun 2016

Post 28 Jul 2020

You'd be hard pressed to find a player or a phone that doesn't play FLAC - it's generally in the DAC chips as standard now. (Just checked, it works on my OnePlus phone) I seem to remember even my 2010 Mini plays it. Traktor is happy to play FLAC, I don't know about other DJ software. Ashampoo Burning Studio Free handles them the same as any other audio file; drag and drop and go.

The main problem with WAV (apart from being big files) is the fact you can't tag it properly with metadata.

Billy
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Joined: 09 Dec 2016

Post 29 Jul 2020

I was under the impression that soundcloud plays back at 192kbps maximum and has always "optimised" the uploaded files.





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guitfnky
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Post 29 Jul 2020

I’ve stopped caring about the quality of playback on any particular site/app. at the end of the day, it’s mostly out of our hands, and you’re after the non-sound benefits you get from a particular site or app anyway. if it was solely about quality, everyone would be going through the more traditional avenues to get their music (physical media/high quality streaming apps).

Soundcloud is good because it’s easy. Bandcamp is good because it’s flexible, and *feels* more professional. as long as it still sounds like my music, and it’s not completely trashed by whatever processing/conversion they apply, that’s the best I can really hope for.

not ideal, but also not much we can do about it, if we want to use them.

danc
Posts: 497
Joined: 14 Oct 2016

Post 29 Jul 2020

guitfnky wrote:
29 Jul 2020
I’ve stopped caring about the quality of playback on any particular site/app. at the end of the day, it’s mostly out of our hands, and you’re after the non-sound benefits you get from a particular site or app anyway. if it was solely about quality, everyone would be going through the more traditional avenues to get their music (physical media/high quality streaming apps).

Soundcloud is good because it’s easy. Bandcamp is good because it’s flexible, and *feels* more professional. as long as it still sounds like my music, and it’s not completely trashed by whatever processing/conversion they apply, that’s the best I can really hope for.

not ideal, but also not much we can do about it, if we want to use them.
100,000,000% agree. Go where the audience is.

Most of the time, people are listening on their mobiles with cheap ear-buds, in surroundings totally not cut out to give the best listening experience. There's plenty of production techniques to ensure it sounds the best it can with all of these limitations.
Creating, producing and mastering music in Reason 11 and Studio One 5 (WIndows).


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