With Mastering on SoundCloud, the streaming giant is aiming to save you time and money on hiring a mastering engineer to polish off your music. In collaboration with Dolby, SoundCloud now gives you the option to instantly master your track during the upload process with a powerful analysing tool that creates a ‘sonic map’ of your track, then offering some mastering presets for you to preview and select.
The mastering technology that Dolby has introduced doesn’t just analyse your track, though. According to SoundCloud, it “critically listens to your music similar to the way an engineer would – identifying the details, the sections, and musical transitions that give your song its unique story arc
You can upload your track in any audio file format, including WAV, AIFF and FLAC, so you don’t have to sacrifice audio quality in the upload phase. It’s also advised by SoundCloud to allow 3-6dB of headroom on your master output for the best results. Once you’ve uploaded the track and let Dolby’s analysing tech do its job, you can choose from four mastering modes:
- Thunder – For pushing your bass frequencies to the limit.
- Aurora – For bright, colourful sounding results.
- Clear Sky – A more pop-focused option with manageable dynamics.
- Sunroof – Open your mid and high frequencies, ideal for hip-hop and beat-focused music.
Mastering on SoundCloud can be trialled for free in the upload process before you commit to paying the one-off fee. Each mastered track will cost you $4.99, but if you’re a Pro Unlimited subscriber you’ll have access to three free masters every month. After your third master, you’ll be charged $3.99 per master. Check out SoundCloud’s tutorial video below.
Sure, the results may not be as satisfactory as what a mastering engineer might be able to achieve, but for those looking to quickly enhance their music at an affordable price, this could well be a viable option. That said, there are some cheaper/free alternatives out there in LANDR and BandLab. Those looking to master their own music can check out our guide here.
Find out more at soundcloud.com
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