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Mastered tracks distorting on Soundcloud/iTunes etc.
Old 2nd May 2011
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
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
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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