I was recently completing a mastering job and I had the master sounding exactly how I wanted it.
The Wave file wasn’t clipping, there was no distortion and everything was fine.
I uploaded the file to my cloud storage and sent it to the client. The client was happy with what I had provided.
I felt my job was done.
Until I uploaded the file to a streaming service!
Once it went online it kept clipping my DAC (digital to analogue converter) and I couldn’t fathom why!
“But…it was fine in Pro Tools!” I kept thinking.
Then I did some digging and discovered a little something called inter-sample peaks.
Streaming services, such as soundcloud, don’t play the exact file you upload. They stream their files at 128kbps after transcoding them to an MP3 and this results in the uploaded file not sounding the same as the original. It can introduce distortion and clipping.
I was gutted!
It’s now a constant part of my workflow to check for ISPs using numerous plugins and preventing them from ever occurring in my work again.
There are a number of plugins available to detect for ISPs within your digital audio.
SSL’s X-ISM and Apple’s Round Trip AAC are great for showing the faults in our digital audio, the latter even has different modes to select from, such as high quality iTunes plus and low quality 128kbps to name a few.
Stop getting hassle from ISPs and prevent them in your next release!