Many of us use SoundCloud to share rough and ready versions of songs, possibly in the hope of eliciting feedback, but you still want them to sound as good as possible.
That’s where the new Mastering on SoundCloud feature comes in; powered by technology from noise reduction specialist Dolby, this automatic track polishing feature has been integrated directly into the SoundCloud workflow.
The mastering option becomes available in SoundCloud when you go to upload a track. You can choose from four presets - Clear Sky, Thunder, Sunroof and Aurora - each of which has its own sonic characteristics.
You can preview each of these presets on a section of the track you’re uploading, adjusting the intensity of the mastering and A/Bing until you have the sound that you’re looking for. Once you’re happy with your settings, you can pay for the master and commit to the upload.
Prior to outputting a track for mastering, SoundCloud recommends that compression and limiting on the main stereo output in your DAW is minimised or turned off to avoid any duplication. You should also ensure that you leave 3-6dB of headroom to reduce the risks of clipping during the mastering process. Oh, and make sure you export at the highest audio possible resolution.
A single master costs $4.99 regardless of quality, with SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscribers getting three free masters per month with the option to purchase more for $3.99 each. Find out more on the SoundCloud website.