How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
Per Lindhof
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How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Per Lindhof » Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:48 am

Dear all

For some years I have had the challenge that my quite decent recordings on CD's didn't come out well when I upload them to my laptop, to Youtube Soundcloud etc.

What I do is the following:

I make a nice recording in my studio.
Burn it to a CD
Play it on my Hi-fi - it sounds nice.
Upload it to for example Soundcloudor Youtube
Play it on the same Hi-fi via the computer/Soundcloud - it sounds boxy and thin..
If I play it on the CD drive on my laptop the same poor result happens.

Where in the chain does it go wrong?
How do you make high quality uploads?
My laptop is Toshiba Satellite pro running Win10.

Here is an example - please share your opinions.

https://soundcloud.com/per-lindhof/tremolo-in-e-minor

Does it also sound a bit poor to you (like in a lot of middle, no bass and a quite boxy metallic sound)

Thanks a lot

Regards
Per Lindhof

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:44 am

Hi Per.This recording thing is strange. The youtube videos I put up sound very satisfactory to me. My latest upload was Mertz' Elegie. I used two audio technica mics placed about two metres in front of me, a metre off the ground and a metre apart (roughly). I recorded into a cheap (140 GBP) PreSonus USB soundcard and into a mac loaded with studio one. In Studio one I applied a very small amount of compression and 9% signal reverb. The room is square (14x14 feet) and has a high ceiling (10 feet). The only thing I discovered was that recording with the mics placed parallel to a wall resulted in a boxy, hollow sound. As soon as I place the mics at an angle to the walls the result was much better.
The sound of the recording without processing was fine, I just wanted to boost it a little for youtube because youtube performs its own signal processing on uploaded files and this makes them sound thinner and more distant than the original.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:16 am

Per, not having heard the original of your soundcloud its hard to say what's going on. I don't know whether soundcloud apply compression like YT. But certainly YT changes the sound by compressing it, with can cause some artifacts, like increasing reverb tail. Even just making an mp3 is discarding detail.
Make sure, in whatever dialogue box you make the mp3, that you are selecting for the highest quality available.
Don't judge anything by laptop speakers (in case you were!).
If you play the pre-uploaded mp3 on the hifi how does that sound?
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)
Simon Ambridge 'Hauser' (2018)

Per Lindhof
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Per Lindhof » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:18 pm

Hi Denian and Stephen
Thanks a lot for your replies and the tips. As it is now, my recordings are just fine on CD played on my Hi-fi - not on Youtube.
It seems to be the problem here. As Stephen mention they get a bit of reverb tail when uploaded - this adds the metallic sound.
I never use mp3, as I don't know how to.

All this said I here plenty of good, warm recordings on youtube, sounding a bit like my decent CD recordings. How do they do it?

Regards
Per Lindhof

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:32 pm

Per Lindhof wrote:Hi Denian and Stephen
Thanks a lot for your replies and the tips. As it is now, my recordings are just fine on CD played on my Hi-fi - not on Youtube.
It seems to be the problem here. As Stephen mention they get a bit of reverb tail when uploaded - this adds the metallic sound.
I never use mp3, as I don't know how to.

All this said I here plenty of good, warm recordings on youtube, sounding a bit like my decent CD recordings. How do they do it?

Regards
Per Lindhof
Well, when you upload to YT your audio gets changed to mp3 by YT. First thing to try is to use your recording software to make an mp 3 on max quality, upload that, and see how it sounds.
What is your software to record audio? Whichever it is, it has a function to send the recording to the WAV (presumably) to make the CD. That same function should have options for mp3. Failing that there are any number of mp3 conversion applications out there.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)
Simon Ambridge 'Hauser' (2018)

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:00 pm

.

Per Lindhof
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Per Lindhof » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:44 pm

Hi again

Thanks again for your replies.
This one seems more clear. I recorded it with omnis (Rode NT2A) and less reverb than normal. 60 cm from the guitar to limit ambience.

https://soundcloud.com/stream

Maybe we have to keep it simple and present to get it as original as possible. Basically I'm very split on the use of reverb, as it adds reverb to the natural reverb = mess.

Denian. Your post and link seemed to disappear. But I saw it at first and found it quite natural though listened through laptop speakers.

Regards
Per Lindhof

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:56 pm

Per Lindhof wrote:. Basically I'm very split on the use of reverb, as it adds reverb to the natural reverb = mess.
Yes, I think that's true. I believe that's why commercial studios are deliberately 'dampened' so that there is little or no natural reverb. That way they can add reverb post-recording in an accurate way.

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guitarrista
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by guitarrista » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:28 pm

From what I understood, playing it from CD directly through hi-fi system sounds great. But playing same CD on your laptop/computer - presumably through computer speakers - sounds bad. Also, when you upload the audio on the net and play it (still through your computer speakers), it is bad.

It sounds like the problem is your computer audio: D/A converter and/or the actual computer speakers; not youtube compression or cross-conversion. Well of course youtube cross-conversion may have caused something too, but that would not explain why your CD sounds great on the hifi but bad through the computer.
Last edited by guitarrista on Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:16 pm

Per Lindhof wrote:...
This one seems more clear. I recorded it with omnis (Rode NT2A) and less reverb than normal. 60 cm from the guitar to limit ambience.
https://soundcloud.com/stream
Maybe we have to keep it simple and present to get it as original as possible. Basically I'm very split on the use of reverb, as it adds reverb to the natural reverb = mess.
That link seems to be disfunctional?

On reverb, its true that a 'proper' set up will dry the acoustic as much as practical partly so that the added reverb is purer. I tend to wonder though how important it is, since a serious reverb system will have a variable proportion of 'early reflections', eg those that come right back at you - much like those in the room do! Since any normal house-size room is unlikely to have much noticeable natural reverb, I'm not sure whether it would have the effect of noticeably muddying the additional artificial reverb.
But then I do, normally do the whole damping the room thing. But that is also because it helps remove the overall room-eq from the sound picked up by the mics.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)
Simon Ambridge 'Hauser' (2018)

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:32 pm

Per Lindhof wrote:...
What I do is the following:
I make a nice recording in my studio.
Burn it to a CD
Play it on my Hi-fi - it sounds nice.
Upload it to for example Soundcloudor Youtube
Play it on the same Hi-fi via the computer/Soundcloud - it sounds boxy and thin..
If I play it on the CD drive on my laptop the same poor result happens.
Where in the chain does it go wrong?
Let's look at this more carefully. If we want to know what's causing an effect, we need to be taking account of one thing at a time, and it seems that there are steps being jumped here.
But firstly, never even think about assessing audio critically over laptop speakers. Ever.

As already observed, there is the question of the conversion back to analogue when you play the audio back. So eliminate all the possible other causes of the problem I suggest;

i. Take an existing recording you find high quality over your hifi
ii. convert to best-quality mp3 yourself (optional but preferable)
iii. upload (the mp3) to YT and Soundcloud
iv. download the exact same track from YT and Soundcloud
v. burn the original mp3, and the two downloaded versions to CD and play over your hifi. Make a note of which is which track!!!
vi. assess

The point about re-downloading what was uploaded rather than streaming it is that your computer is no longer involved in the conversion from digital back to analogue. Few if any computers let alone laptops have soundcards that would ever come close to a decent hifi in handling audio.

I suspect we also need to more about your studio; what is the gear, how is it organised, are you able to play an internet connection back via the same gear? And do you have decent studio (not hifi) speakers to assess your sound before it goes to the hifi? The latter will tend to be kind to your sound and not 'honest'.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)
Simon Ambridge 'Hauser' (2018)

Per Lindhof
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Per Lindhof » Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:50 pm

Hi all
Thanks a lot for the serious feedback

Guitarrista: I play through the same Hi-Fi speakers all the time as I can connect my laptop to my Hi-Fi system. My laptop speakers are horribly :-)
Maybe there is a problem in the D/A converters. I can try a better computer.

Denian: I guess you ave some good points on reverb, but it's all a balance. I am thinking about quitting it completely and let the natural sound of the guitar be it...
The correct link is here: https://soundcloud.com/per-lindhof/mountains-of-spain

Stephen: Good and very precise 'scientific' way of sorting it out. I will try this.

My studio is small but quite okay. I use Rode NT2A's in a stereo configuration through a Roland Octa Capture to Windows 7/64 bit Sonar LE 8.5.
The result on CD is okay (but not professional). My point is the huge difference between CD and uploaded tracks.

Regards
Per Lindhof

Per Lindhof
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Per Lindhof » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:14 pm

Update...

Hi again. I have tried out some possibilities now.

Set up: I have a good Hi-Fi with good speakers and a recorded melody on a CD.

I have a laptop connected to the Hi-Fi

All sound comes out through my Hi-Fi and its speakers.

Okay:

I play my CD through the Hi-Fi cd-player - it sounds nice and full.

I play it through the laptop cd-drive - it sounds thin and nasty.

I upload it through the laptop - it sounds thin and nasty.

I double checked it with a professional CD/Tatyana Ryzhkova - same result.

This means that whatever YT og SC does the result is already made poor somewhere in my laptops audio conversion.
Any solutions?

Regards
Per LIndhof

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guitarrista
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by guitarrista » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:15 pm

Per Lindhof wrote: Guitarrista: I play through the same Hi-Fi speakers all the time as I can connect my laptop to my Hi-Fi system. My laptop speakers are horribly :-)
Maybe there is a problem in the D/A converters. I can try a better computer.
How do you connect from the computer to the hifi system? If it is analog signal cable (like RCA type jacks) then it is the computer's sound card which does the D/A conversion (as the signal travelling in the cable to your hifi is analog). But if you are sending a digital signal from computer to your hifi directly somehow (optical digital audio?), or sending it to an external DAC first and from there to the hifi system, then the computer D/A converter is not involved. I suspect the former (computer D/A is involved).

EDIT: Just read your latest above. You have to figure out how to send digital signal out of your computer so your computer D/A (sound card) is not involved. You can get a good external DAC and wire it between your computer and the hifi system (if the system does not have a digital-in connection). In any case this so far means that the main culprit is the D/A in the computer rather than anything to do with uploading to youtube/soundcloud.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Per Lindhof
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Re: How to make high quality uploads to YT etc.

Post by Per Lindhof » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:34 pm

Hi Guitarrista

I connect my laptop with a mini jack through the headset out/in.

I just tried to go on Soundcloud on my wifes HTC smart phone via the headset connection too. The result was a lot better and hard to differ from the Hi-Fi cd-player at all.

Maybe my computer is poor??

Regards
Per Lindhof

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