[Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

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diaseis
KVRist
44 posts since 16 Jul, 2019

Post Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:03 am

Hey !
Sorry if this is not the place for this topic ;).
So I have been using Sound Cloud for 3 months and I've had a recurrent issue : my tracks aren't loud enough.
Now I know there is no LUFS matching on SoundCloud so at first, I thought my master wasn't loud enough. So I keep pushing my masters louder and louder but they aren't really louder than the precedent on SoundCloud.

Since examples are better than words, here is my master : https://soundcloud.com/user-244473496/d ... seis-remix

and here is the master I'd like to be as loud as :
https://soundcloud.com/user-298899420/d ... ield-remix

By the way, if you have some advice not related to my question, don't hesitate, it will be really apreciated.

datroof
KVRist
169 posts since 19 Sep, 2012

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 pm

diaseis wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:03 am
Hey !
Sorry if this is not the place for this topic ;).
So I have been using Sound Cloud for 3 months and I've had a recurrent issue : my tracks aren't loud enough.
Now I know there is no LUFS matching on SoundCloud so at first, I thought my master wasn't loud enough. So I keep pushing my masters louder and louder but they aren't really louder than the precedent on SoundCloud.

Since examples are better than words, here is my master : https://soundcloud.com/user-244473496/d ... seis-remix

and here is the master I'd like to be as loud as :
https://soundcloud.com/user-298899420/d ... ield-remix

By the way, if you have some advice not related to my question, don't hesitate, it will be really apreciated.
Dynamics processors are generally the go-to tools for issues like this. I'd advise aquiring, and playing with a limiter. There are a lot of good ones. I've been using "The Wall" by Boz lately - it's pretty simple and has a decent interface.

User avatar
diaseis
KVRist
44 posts since 16 Jul, 2019

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:31 am

datroof wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 pm
Dynamics processors are generally the go-to tools for issues like this. I'd advise aquiring, and playing with a limiter. There are a lot of good ones. I've been using "The Wall" by Boz lately - it's pretty simple and has a decent interface.
Hey ! Thanks for your answer ! My point is I used limiters (Pro L2 and the TDR one) to make it louder and it's already pretty loud and I think I can't push it louder without seriously harm the track. I don't think that the track I put in reference is louder in LUFS. But maybe I'm wrong.

datroof
KVRist
169 posts since 19 Sep, 2012

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:25 am

diaseis wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:31 am
datroof wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 pm
Dynamics processors are generally the go-to tools for issues like this. I'd advise aquiring, and playing with a limiter. There are a lot of good ones. I've been using "The Wall" by Boz lately - it's pretty simple and has a decent interface.
Hey ! Thanks for your answer ! My point is I used limiters (Pro L2 and the TDR one) to make it louder and it's already pretty loud and I think I can't push it louder without seriously harm the track. I don't think that the track I put in reference is louder in LUFS. But maybe I'm wrong.
Ah, I see. Well, your tracks appear to still have significant dynamic range. (As you already know) limiters will reduce the dynamic range so you can increase volume without worrying as much about peaks. But, it is a balancing act - you have to find your "happy spot", the threshold between too much, and not enough. Oh, and different frequencies will have varying affects on the limiters response. Try playing with a filter to see if removing a little low end will help, etc.
That's about the extent of my advice. :)
Last edited by datroof on Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

datroof
KVRist
169 posts since 19 Sep, 2012

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:34 am

stupid button!

imrae
KVRian
758 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:35 am

diaseis wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:31 am
I think I can't push it louder without seriously harm the track.
This is an important part of the answer right here: the track you're comparing with *was* harmed in the name of loudness. Your mix has crisper transients, more space and when you have things low in the mix they still sound hifi.
I don't think that the track I put in reference is louder in LUFS. But maybe I'm wrong.
It sounds brighter to me, have you analyzed the frequencies? However, the "ideal" and "loudest" frequency spectrums depend on the playback volume; for a 7 minute listen I prefer your darker mix, even if the brighter one is more immediately attention-grabbing. Brighter can mean more fatiguing... but different genres/listeners have different tolerances/expectations.

User avatar
diaseis
KVRist
44 posts since 16 Jul, 2019

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:05 am

imrae wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:35 am

The track you're comparing with *was* harmed in the name of loudness
OK I didn't notice it but this is maybe lots of tracks are harmed so I don't hear it anymore. I really need to train my ears.
imrae wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:35 am
It sounds brighter to me, have you analyzed the frequencies?
I think that might be it, when I start my track after his, it's really dull. Maybe I can gently push 4k without making it tiring. I'll try when I get the time !

Thank you for your answer, it really helped me understand a lot of things. :tu:

User avatar
diaseis
KVRist
44 posts since 16 Jul, 2019

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:09 am

datroof wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:25 am
Try playing with a filter to see if removing a little low end will help, etc.
That sounds really interesting. My mastering chain is certainly a problem since I put all compressors and EQ first and then the limiters. My goal is to gain stage until the very end and then push up the volume. But with what you say I guess I should add some Pro Q 3 between the limiters. Thanks a lot ! :phones:

ramseysounds
KVRist
456 posts since 9 Jul, 2014 from UK

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:15 am

diaseis wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:09 am
I guess I should add some Pro Q 3 between the limiters.
wtf? Between limiters? How many you using on your stereo buss? :o
I wonder what happens if I press this button...

User avatar
diaseis
KVRist
44 posts since 16 Jul, 2019

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:21 am

3 hahah ! I took a mastering course and they said to do that. Pushing no more than 2db each

ramseysounds
KVRist
456 posts since 9 Jul, 2014 from UK

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:26 pm

Did you keep the receipt? :scared:
I wonder what happens if I press this button...

User avatar
diaseis
KVRist
44 posts since 16 Jul, 2019

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:42 pm

ramseysounds wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:26 pm
Did you keep the receipt? :scared:
Well the guy did have good results though. Can't say it works for me :dog:

ramseysounds
KVRist
456 posts since 9 Jul, 2014 from UK

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm

In 30 years Ive never ever heard of 3 limiters in a mastering chain. One should be plenty, at the end of the chain
I wonder what happens if I press this button...

No_Use
KVRAF
2388 posts since 13 Mar, 2004

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:23 pm

diaseis wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:31 am
I don't think that the track I put in reference is louder in LUFS. But maybe I'm wrong.
It actually is louder in LUFS:
LUFS.jpg
Though I totally agree with this:
imrae wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:35 am
This is an important part of the answer right here: the track you're comparing with *was* harmed in the name of loudness. Your mix has crisper transients, more space and when you have things low in the mix they still sound hifi.

Reaching around -12 LUFSi as your track does is totally sufficient imo, given that most other streaming services normalize to around -14 LUFSi.
Dynamic wise I prefer yours over the other any day.

Btw. I find it a bad thing that SoundCloud is one of the last streaming services still not doing any LUFS matching otherwise this thread would be a non issue obviously, but that's another topic..
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imrae
KVRian
758 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Re: [Mastering] How to sound loud on SoundCloud?

Post Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:03 pm

Re: multiple limiters, there is some logic behind the setup in TDR Limiter 6 GE: a multiband or frequency-biased limiter does the main reduction, and a final "safety" limiter is rarely active but catches ISPs.

Whether you *should* do either of those things is debatable and track-specific, but they're not redundant.

Working on an EQ between limiters seems like a great way to undo some of the work of the first limiter, by phase-shifting new peaks into existence?

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