I've been experiencing some trouble lately with my uploads on Soundcloud and I'm not too sure why.
I recently uploaded a couple of tracks on to my page and they sound completely different to my exported WAV. files.
I understand that Soundcloud transcodes uploads to 128kpbs mp3's which is not a problem but I have noticed that the high end of my tracks are becoming a little distorted and its really effecting the quality of it.
I have read most of the forum posts about these, as others are having similar problems, but none of which provide any answers related to pre mastering techniques. I have also read the links that some of your support team have provided to others and am currently trying each and every method in attempt to prevent this.
please feel free to have a listen, I have also enabled downloads for all of my tracks as they should sound normal when downloaded.
I use Ableton Live 9 to produce and use a few different plugins (including reverb and Multiband Compression).
As soon as I am done creating my track, I then mix it myself.
Using Ableton's 'Utility' to lower volume of certain channels.
I have also seen that over saturation could cause tracks to become distorted, which I'm trying to eliminate as I tend to saturate most of my sounds individually.)
EQ, and sometimes Side-chain or Multi-Band compression, to make sure my Master Channel is not clipping.
After that I usually use a limiter on the Master channel to lower the entire mix to around -4 to -5dB (in some cases lower) then exporting it as an AIFF file, 44,100 sample rate, 16 Bit.
Once that is done exporting I use a Mastering Service called LANDR which instantly Masters all of tracks online and lets me control the intensity of the mix.
I usually use the medium intensity to make sure that nothing is being slammed and all sounds are levelled, which would create further problems.
Once thats completed, LANDR exports the file as a 192kpbs, Low Res MP3. In which I convert to a 320kpbs .WAV using an online converter.
I know that converting to a WAV doesn't completely effect the overall sound to the untrained ear but I felt as though it would assist in cleaner and more crisp quality uploads.
Having said all of that my questions follow:
Do you recommend any specific mixing techniques that could help deter the distortion?
Has over saturation been a problem for people in the past?
Does it have anything to do with the CPU load of the track (referring to plugins)?
Does converting to a WAV using this Online File Converter have anything to do with the distortion? (if you know)
Do you think that EQ'ing all of my higher pitched sounds would prevent this from happening?
Does using a limiter on the Master Channel sometimes create these problems?
I 100% understand that Soundcloud is not a Mixing and Mastering service (as these questions seem to relate to that), but I am just wondering whether people in the past have had these problems and have been fixed due to any difficulties during the Mixing and Mastering stages.
If you have successfully helped anyone else in the past with these problems I would love to hear their individual solutions.
I felt as though the Soundcloud forum page and direct help centre was the quickest and easiest way to get help with these problems and I hope that you guys can help me out.
I appreciate the time.