Bad quality

  • 11 January 2017
  • 25 replies

Userlevel 1
I've uploaded a track in wav format, the track is mastered.
Somehow it sounds terrible after the upload.
It destroys the whole song.

Thank you for your help
Yarren Ced

Best answer by Daniel van Pel 11 January 2017, 17:10

I had exactly the same problem with my upload, It sounds terrible. especially in the high frequencies.

Hope soundcloud fixes this soon
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25 replies

I had exactly the same problem with my upload, It sounds terrible. especially in the high frequencies.

Hope soundcloud fixes this soon
Same problem. Are you using iZotope Ozone 7 for mastering? I think that is the reason.
Hope soundcloud fixes this!
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Hi there,

Hmm, does the track sound bad on any device you're testing this with, or only on specific devices? (We're currently investigating an issue with the audio quality on mobile devices.

Other than that, iZotope actually has an interesting article on that exact topic. - maybe an interesting read?
Hi Mathis,
When I play the track on soundcloud mobile it sounds bad on my iphone 6s with+without headphones and on all aux+bluetooth devices.
'Especially in the high frequencies'
There seem to be a lot of complaints recently about playback quality. In my case the general quality seems to be OK, but there are clicks at random intervals, especially in some quiet passages, which are definitely not there in the file I uploaded. I've tried uploading in four different formats (48 kHz AIF, 44.1 kHz AIF, high quality AAC and high quality MP3), and they all have the same problem, though the clicks are in different places (some are the same, but not all).

This is particularly disappointing because I was replacing a previous version after a very subtly different remix. I'd prefer to have left it as it was, but I guess it's too late now.
I had the exact same problem last night when uploading a new song. The high frequencies sound really bad at times.

But I noticed something really strange (at least for me who's not a sound expert). When I listen to my sound through the speakers on both my iMac (not the mac speakers, but pretty good monitors) and iPhone, the high frequencies sound distorted like an mp3 file from the '90s. But when I listen through my headphones it immediately sounds better. I don't know what the reason is, but it's definitely a complete different quality.

And if I do the same (speakers vs. headphones) when listening to my song on iTunes, there's no difference at all. So it's like Soundcloud play different versions of the same song or something. As I said, I'm no sound expert, I just notice a distinct difference.

I hope Soundcloud can fix this problem soon. I read somewhere yesterday that they still stream 128 kbps, which is ridiculous in 2017.
I know when you upload a song on anything it looses quality. That's expected. But something is wrong here.

I always upload my tracks privately and listen to it every way possible before the final post, but just recently (early February) I've noticed disgustingly low bitrate distorted quality garbage that sounds nothing like how it really sounds ONLY THROUGH MY PHONE SPEAKER IN THE SOUNDCLOUD APP. When I put on headphones or plug my phone in to any speaker or use my laptop it sounds great. When I use the alternative soundcloud player it sounds great through my phone speakers???? It has to be something to do with the main app connecting to the phone audio driver.

I can't upload anything because of how bad it sounds. It sounds great with headphones but I am a producer/engineer and I need it to sound good in every way possible.

I have a galaxy s7

I know when you upload a song on anything it looses quality. That's expected. But something is wrong here.


It should NOT be expected that the act of uploading an audio file would cause loss of sound quality. Data is data. In order for the audio quality to decrease, something else has to change. Either you're listening through a different playback device, or the file is being altered by Soundcloud during upload. There's no other possible explanation. I did my first upload experiments today and was very disappointed. Since I compressed before uploading, there had to have been a re-sampling or re-processing done by soundcloud to reduce my files from 190 to 128. Better that I had originally compressed to 128 and listened back before uploading than to have a second re-processing of the file which has the potential to cause greater loss in sound quality. Better yet, I'll not post my stuff to a site that doesn't allow higher bitrates than 128 which is unacceptable. It is also possible that Soundcloud is making other alterations to the audio during or after upload. Like compression of the dynamic range, which would cause the audio to sound more "dull."

Anyway, I agree. I don't like the way my music sounds after posting to Soundcloud.

Does anyone know whether you have to upgrade to "Pro" to get the higher bitrates?
Userlevel 1

Does anyone know whether you have to upgrade to "Pro" to get the higher bitrates?

No, every user has the same problem on their phones. One of the official answers was that it's a phase cancellation issue when playing on phones (the devs did not fix it though but just provided a link to a tutorial for making the changes to files via audacity, like it's the producers fault that their app is messing things up). The apk from 30th of May works reportedly fine.

It is funny that Soundcloud staff are marking every thread reporting the problem as solved.
Im having the same issues today 1-1-2018, 10 months later and they still haven't fixed this issue.
Please do something about this Soundcloud I'm sure Ed Sheeran or Justin Bieber art having these issues ???????
This is ridiculous. First upload and the high frequencies are all muffled and sound extremely compressed. Soundcloud need to fix this.
@Scars Alive @Kalahan I've been having this issue for about a month now, have you found any resolution?
I have the same problem 😞 The quality was good but since a few weeks it sucks on every song i uploaded. But why?
Userlevel 3
SoundCloud has always been known to have terrible upload quality. Way over-compressed and airy. I think we just gotta deal with it until they get off their asses lol.
Its funny how none of the big names have issues tho.
I never use to have any problems at all and I've been on here for years.
Its just my most recent upload.
Still no resolution from me
Userlevel 7
Badge +3
Please see here for more info:

We don't do EQ'ing or audio compression to your mix & master, and the streaming quality has not been decreased. Our engineers are looking into the report we've received more recently on individual tracks to make sure any glitches are sorted out moving forward.


P.S.: More generally speaking, this might be an interesting read.
I'm pretty shocked. I've just started using soundcloud and the sound is really poor. It's very audible in high frequencies (like with this track: It's very clear that there's modulation going on in the harmonics and it's not nice. What do you compress your mp3's into? it must be lower than 128... And thanks for a nice platform aside from this - it's just that I'm afraid you'll lose your users if this is the (new?) standard?

Best, T
i never had this problem until now. My song sounds terrible on my phone and other phones to the frequency of the high notes is to high and some other things sound really bad to. only with my pc, speakers or headphones it sounds good. please help. this is the track where he problem occures
Kinda having the same issue. Just 2 specific songs which are sounding absolutely terrible on my phone, completely different than how it should be. And all my songs were masterized and sound good in other devices and headphones I've tried
Yeah, almost all of my songs are distorted on here, but in Ableton and even on my computer as an audio file they sound fine. I render my songs in 44.1 kHz (considerably lower than what I can do) and 24 bits with no dither (can upload in 32 though). I use .wav files and I really don't use anything on my master track, I just adjust the volume of each individual sound so that it sounds right with the other instruments, which are usually < 1.0 volume. Should I upload in .mp3 and make my tracks quieter (as suggested)? Or is this just an error with Soundcloud?
I'm getting the same bad results, massive amount of artifacts in the higher frequencies. I uploaded the same file to Alonetone and the audio quality difference is night and day. I reloaded my song from a 24bit 48K file and had the same results so it must be in Soundcloud's streaming resolution vs. any conversion issues.
I also have that problem. When I upload my beats to sc, the hihats that sound crispy in my daw and on my computer sound strangely pitched and somehow flanged...example:

In this beat I used pretty crispy and normal sounding trap hihats that now sound like I flanged or pitched them...sounds terrible, might sadly have to switch to youtube for uploading my stuff
Same problem , im switching to Youtube. I've tried everything
this still seems to be an issue. Is there a thread which lists possible solutions/recommendations to try out. Thanks.
You're most likey going to have to do a seperate master for soundcloud. For a soundcloud master, I would just upload a wav file, listen to how it sounds, make timestamp notes of where you hear any noticeable artifacts. Then upload the same wav file in pure mono, and listen to whether or not those artifacts are still there. If not, great... you now know what you need to do. Go back to your project file, find the bus or the mix insert and narrow the stereo imaging of the problem area. For any other issues that aren't solved from that, consider a few things: what synths are you using? I remember uploading a track that I made using nothing but 3x osc, and I felt super proud of it at the time, but as soon as I uploaded it to soundcloud, I realized that the synth itself is nothing but aliasing. It supposedly removes aliasing upon rendering, but it certainly wasn't my case. So check whether or not you are using quality synths or samplers for the problem areas that you hear in your track. Try to reconstruct the sounds in another synth. The last thing I'd suggest is whether or not the problem area lies in short tails, or the troughs of your song in the more dynamic parts of your mix. Sometimes when you have a loud kick, for instance, go off by itself, you'll hear artifacts near the attack and the tail of that kick. Try to experiment adding some sound design layers over that kick or even reducing the volume of the kick. You can also try rolling off some highend if you're getting really desperate.