With the introduction of SoundCloud’s paid ‘Go’ service and external pressure to become a more commercial enterprise, there’s been heated speculation that the site might forgo its commitment to the independent musicians and DJs who have been SoundCloud’s emphasis. Today’s news, though a minor announcement to most, may be a signal that music creators will remain the focus of SoundCloud’s long game. Via FACT:
SoundCloud has announced a partnership with online mastering service LANDR that means all users can get free track optimization for the streaming platform. The partnership sees SoundCloud focusing once again on its original market of music creators rather than consumers after the launch of its paid subscription service, SoundCloud Go.
A LANDR spokesman said: “We use exactly the same algorithms but we did some research to find the best output for optimizing the sound of any track on the SoundCloud streaming format. The optimized tracks will only be hosted on SoundCloud and not in LANDR’s track library. It is really aimed at streaming on SoundCloud."
Professional mastering is regardless still mandatory for commercial release (seriously … please), but this is a smart move that not only gives the music uploader a little something extra out of using SoundCloud, but also improves audio consistency throughout the site.
Update, via Ars Technica:
Landr’s landing site describes the mastering process as “complicated and elusive,” then insists that its product, which is almost entirely algorithm-driven, delivers a quality product for small-fry musicians by intentionally limiting how many options they can pick from. “Great design is all about limiting the field,” Landr says. As a result, the company touts that “we’re confident you’ll hear the difference” between professional mastering work and what Landr can pull off.
After our tests of SoundCloud’s new Landr functionality, we can safely agree with that statement—in every bad way possible.