Hi fellow chipmusicians!

I'm not entirely new to creating chiptunes neither to basic software mixing/mastering and I'm not creating this topic without having read through a lot on this topic on different forums, watching through different videos and tutorials etc.

I used to compose and produce music with a friend before, but now I'm getting into music on my own and I can't seem to find were the problem lies.

So here's the deal:

I recorded my track created in LSDJ through a ProSound modded DMG via my EMU 0404 USB- Soundcard.
*To maintain a good quality throughout the mixing/mastering process I always record at 48k/24-bit

(Sometimes I do a noise reduction on the recorded song based on the noise floor from the DMG when it's not playing any sound.)

So I continue the mastering process and I get to a point where I feel kind of satisfied. (Although I still have some problems cutting out sharp n' irritating highs)

I compare this 'master' on my studio headphones (AKG k271 mk2) which I use for the monitoring during the mastering process with the sound from my consumer speakers (harman/kardon Go+Play) and I still feel OK satisfied with the result.

Then I upload it to soundcloud and then my track suffers from some heavy compression artifacts.

I've been following several guides on how to make the master/product as 'clean' as possible and even give room for the compressor to do it's thing..
But it still suffers from the same artifacts. I don't know if it's me or if it's something about my equipment that's not working the way it should.
I know it's weak to blame the equipment, but I honestly don't know anymore...

The track:

So please, tell me what I'm doing wrong!
All suggestions and tricks are very welcome!

Thx in advance

Happens to me as well. I figured it was unavoidable.

Yeah, that soundcloud compression. Master with as much headroom as you can, louder songs seem to clip pretty hard on SC. People complained that my songs were mastered too quietly, as soon as I brought the final volume up to what's considered a normal level I got all sorts of weird artifacting. It seems like one of those things you just have to deal with. Maybe somebody with more experience mastering will have some better advice.

(Also, I kinda think that maybe if you pay for an account on SC your music gets a better overall treatment. Just a theory.)

Thanks so much for your replies! It feels better that I'm not the only one that experience the same thing!

What about the master of my track though?
*What could I do better?
*Are the highs too harsh?
*How could I make it sound more like those clean and crisp 8bp productions for example?

I'd be thankful for all tips n' tricks concerning mastering/finalizing LSDJ chiptunes!
- this track is, for example, not recorded on separate tracks.

I haven't experienced this on soundcloud.  if you are making a "loud" track, i.e. for the radio or something, always turn the master out volume down to -0.03db. Meaning if your song peaks at 0db, it now really peaks at -0.03db (imperceptible to the ears), this will kill a lot of artifacts when you upload to something like soundcloud and it converts it to 128 or worse.

i should say, I don't mix SUPER loud tracks, i like there to by some dynamics/headroom left, but here's one DJ Cutman did using the -0.03db trick and there is really no artifacts that I can hear.

example: https://soundcloud.com/beatscribe/beats … ptunes-win

Buy more Distressors. If there's is one sound in the universe that is still louder than your song, add more Distressors. If people say its too soft, add Distressors. If [any situation here] then add more Distressors.

It's super simple to use. Just turns the Moron knob way up, and the Tasteless one to about 50%. Watch it for a second, then put it to 100%. Then add another Distressor.

If your resulting wav file is not a solid black bar, you're doing it wrong.

Whoa whoa whoa, a properly used distressor is the voice of god. Its not empirical labs fault people use it for evil.

haha yeah I know it's a sweet ass piece of gear. It's just a shame that 90% of all distressors out there are handled by EDM jerkoffs on a mission to make music as undynamic as possible.


I normally set the max output gain to -1dB and that's also the case for my song that I referred to in the first post. Despite that I still get the compression artifacts.


Although I actually manage to get slightly less compression artifacts by cutting out -5dB at 4,5kHz and 9kHz in the post equalizer. Then I added a gentle lowpass filter.
I had an idea that the ProSound mod might deliver too much noise when recording and affecting the result when converting the song to 128kbit Mp3..

So if you'd like to compare
here's the first one i posted earlier: https://soundcloud.com/cobits/regular-jean-pierre
Here's the new filtered one: https://soundcloud.com/cobits/regular-j … ilter-test

Please let me know if there's something I could do better in the mixing/mastering process.