SoundCloud has been a popular place for creators and professional musicians to post demos, experiments and finished work. The company’s Pro Unlimited plan gives users more tools and info on their tracks, including the ability to schedule releases, real-time stats and more for $12 a month. Now, with help from Dolby, SoundCloud will offer mastering services to anyone for $4.99 per song. Pro Unlimited subscribers will get three free masters every month with the option to tack on additional tracks for $3.99 each.
The company says the Mastering on SoundCloud will be the last step in the upload process, making tracks “release ready” in minutes. If you’re unfamiliar, the mastering process is what makes professional recordings sound... professional. It fine-tunes loudness, EQ levels and overall clarity to created a balanced and full sound. It can be pricey, especially if you’re paying for one song at a time instead of a full album or EP. By adding the option to a plan creators may already paying for, SoundCloud has removed one key roadblock to users giving their work a final polish.
Upload any tile type — including lossless formats like WAV, FLAC or AIFF — before choosing from “a custom suite of mastering styles.” Those options are optimized for loudness and “enhanced sonic quality of any track,” SoundCloud explains. The details are a bit vague, but the company says Dolby’s mastering tech “critically listens” like an engineer would. Those mastering profiles allow artists to decide what will best showcase their original creative intentions before the tweaks begin. The mastering styles include Thunder (heavy bass), Sunroof (mids and highs), Clear Sky (brightness and dynamics) and Auroroa (experimental tracks).
If it works well, Mastering on SoundCloud will certainly be an attractive option for creators to improve the overall quality of what they post. Plus, it will provide the extra polish when they publish to other streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music