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Mastered tracks distorting on Soundcloud/iTunes etc.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Mastered tracks distorting on Soundcloud/iTunes etc.

I guess I could ask what is the best way to put your music onto itunes? I tried tunecore and some other 3rd party widget sites and my playback is always distorted, even on soundlcoud when I uploaded my .wav files they clip. I mastered it with a standard -.3db headroom and kept the RMS below 6db. Is there something I'm missing here? Help please!
Old 2nd May 2011
  #2
Here for the gear
 

There's a sort of "audio enhancement" that is on by default into itunes. Did you turn that off? That is known to wildly change the way itunes sounds.
Old 2nd May 2011
  #3
Beyond the audio enhancement settings in iTunes -- although if that's still the default there are probably going to be loads of people hearing things that way -- you should look into the issue of "intersample distortion."

It's a tough one to wrap your head around (Bob Katz talks about it in his book) but the upshot is that in the interpolation process during playback, some (particularly cheaper/lower fi) CD, Mp3 and other players' DA effectively create illegal values (overs) -- and that can happen even if there wasn't a single 0 dBFS sample in the whole file.

Happily, the nice folks at SSL created both a free intersample distortion-aware meter (VST and AU) and a handy explainer that does a pretty good job of laying it out in a pretty easy to understand way: Solid State Logic | Music
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