Artifacts with Sampled instruments

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The_G
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09 Oct 2017

Anyone other Reason users have issues with sampled vintage synths when compressed to 128kbps (i.e. Soundcloud)? There are a few I use a lot, and they introduce a ton of artifacts at this low fidelity.

Some things to know:

(1) I only have this problem with sampled instruments in Reason, not Logic
(2) I do not have this problem with plugin synths, either REs or VSTs.
(3) It's not any and all sampled instruments, just leads and polysynths with a lot of high frequency information.
(4) It's not sounds from one sample library, but three difference ones: 1 is from Bitley's WBF, 1 is from Analog Monsters and a 3rd is from Props R9 sound bank.
(5) It's not introduced from mastering or lack of headroom on the master channel--the artifacts are there with premasters with -6db headroom.
(6) There are no artifacts on any other platform than SoundCloud or </=128kbps MP3.
(7) I've tried using EQ and compression in Reason to solve the issue but the artifacts remain.

At a loss--if anyone has experienced this problem, I'd love to hear how you solved it.
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Ahornberg
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10 Oct 2017

Maybe post an example uncompressed and compressed.

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Loque
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10 Oct 2017

Dithering problem?
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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The_G
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10 Oct 2017

Thanks guys. Here are two links: first one is 24-bit, 44khz (no dither) and second one is 16-bit, 44khz (with dither). The artifacts seem slightly worse on the one with dither, but they are present on the one without dither as well. I've done nothing at all to the sounds whatsoever.


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Ahornberg
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11 Oct 2017

Try to leave more headroom.

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The_G
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11 Oct 2017

Ahornberg wrote:
11 Oct 2017
Try to leave more headroom.
That was the first thing I tried, once I isolated that it was a mix issue and not a mastering issue. And it doesn't solve the problem, unfortunately. I leave -6 db headroom and there are still artifacts. I pull down the gain on individual tracks and...still artifacts. I use EQ and compression to tame the high end and...still artifacts. It's very frustrating.

I mean, a big part of it is soundcloud using 128kbps compression, which is just awful. But my genre of music (synthwave) still depends on soundcloud, so it's a problem.
Cosmopolis, out now: : https://timeslaves.bandcamp.com/album/cosmopolis! Check out the first single, "City Lights:

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Ahornberg
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11 Oct 2017

Can you also post the 16 bit file you uploaded to SC?
It would be interesting to sum the original mix with the phase inverted from SC to the frequencies that are affected.

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The_G
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11 Oct 2017

Ahornberg wrote:
11 Oct 2017
Can you also post the 16 bit file you uploaded to SC?
It would be interesting to sum the original mix with the phase inverted from SC to the frequencies that are affected.
Sure...here you go (and thanks for your help!):

Cosmopolis, out now: : https://timeslaves.bandcamp.com/album/cosmopolis! Check out the first single, "City Lights:

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The_G
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19 Nov 2017

Checking in to see if anyone has any ideas.
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Loque
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20 Nov 2017

Didnt checked your exampless yet, but imo the sound quality on soundcloud is awfull. They seem to add some additonal "mastering" bs and the compression algorithm does its rest. Its a shame how bad the quality is. But i heard from some friends, that i a pro version you could have a option to leave the sounds as-it-is. There also seem other platforms with better quality out there.

In an article i read for a while they said, the streaming platforms try to target different LUFS and perform additional stuff and each platform in a different way. That is actually a PITA for mastering engineers. So if you want best quality, try to get what Soundcloud expects in LUFS and what kind of compression they perform. Experiment with enough headroom, LUFS and also check which final ceiling they want ( i found out it works much better with -0.6 than with -0.3).

TBH, iam still looking forward to a platform without some "smart-assed-algorithm" to mangle my stuff. So if anyone has some suggestions?
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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