severe lack of audio quality of uploads

  • 3 March 2017
  • 4 replies

I've noticed a huge drop in audio quality when uploading. I'm told tracks are taken down to 128kbps, however i'm talking about on direct comparison with tracks that I have at 128kbps already. I even uploaded the last one at 128kbps just in case it was soundcloud's conversion process.

Now, i really get a little audio loss with a 128kbps file, compared to a lossless me its probably under 5%
But soundcloud's quality, is dropping like 50% if i can quantify it... it sounds more like a VERY small kbps well below the acceptable listening range of 92 or whatever is considered 'listenable'..
No sub or highs, weird swirling sounds etc.

What other processes are going on to cause this? Is it just my tracks? Is it anything to do with length of tracks? Why are they changed if i've already uploaded in the same format? Does soundcloud normalise them possibly causing distortion or something?

Nevertheless i'm held back from sorting out current uploads, because they still have some plays and shares, so that's ok, but i don't want to delete all that if i can sort it out somehow...its just a shame people can't hear a bass drum, or that high pitched sounds are like a detuned radio.

4 replies

Well, I figured the way around this is just to upload the WAV file.

Is that common knowledge? oh well, now I know. 320kbps of my previous tracks clearly came out strange, I'm guessing the algorythm just reduces quality by a set amount or something...I thought 128kbps mp3 to start would help but it made it worse.

However I would need a Pro plan to do this? I have over 800 plays on a track because its shared in various what to do about that? Would Soundcloud ever do this for free because they've got a bug in their algorythm? Or would it work to pay £5 for a month just for this and then to go back would all the updates stay there?--i don't need more upload time or city stats or anything yet... Or i could just tell people to go to bandcamp instead 😉
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Hi there,

The latter would actually do - upgrade for a month to replace the track is one option of doing so. Can you let us know where you've tested the track(s) in question? I.e., was this on a mobile device, what operating system, browser, etc. --> this will be helpful for the relevant product team to further improve our encoders.

Thanks for the reply.
It definitely worked with a new track I set private uploaded from a 32bit floating point file.

This is just off Chrome browser with standard headphones I use for mixing. Windows laptop, tried both stock headphones out and my audio interface...and again, direct comparison of tracks when listening, as well as uploading the two different source files under the same situation.

Track in question does have a lot of white noise in the high end, due to having intentional radio samples-yep its partly experimental music that features noise a lot but i still want it in tact. This is how i noticed as it went quite swirly/fluttery kind of distortion is quite obvious. However, whilst I wouldn't necessarily notice on other tracks, they are definitely changed quite noticeably when directly comparing, depending on which file i chose to upload. Mainly in the extremes of the spectrum like sub and high prescence. The lower the kbps of the source file seemed to make it worse- i went to 128kbps as i thought it would avoid any further compression, but it appears to be additionally applied/reduced no matter what the source this is the direct comparison i'm making as well, between soundcloud and the 128kbps and soundcloud has these clear artifacts, whilst 128kbps is nowhere near as low of a reducton in quality.

my url is (I will hopefully have fixed this by then though)

I've upgraded now and am replacing the first track. First attempt didn't appear to actually change it which is strange. Will report back when its done...
ok got it. I could check the original file and hadn't changed for whatever reason. Second try it did change, so I believe i've fixed this.

but still I imagine uploading mp3 is some unique issue still, even if just for me.