Tracks uploaded to the streaming service can now be enhanced free of charge.
Following high-profile agreements with major labels and the launch of a paid subscription service, Soundcloud has shifted focus back to the free user. The streaming and hosting platform has linked up with LANDR, the algorithmic mastering provider, to offer its 12 million users a free means to enhance tracks uploaded to their profile.
SoundCloud users will need to create a LANDR account before linking profiles. Then you drag and drop tracks into LANDR which, once mastered and optimised, become available to stream on SoundCloud. Free users will be able to download one mastered file for their personal usage, after which mastered tracks become exclusively hosted on Soundcloud, where they can be shared and embedded as usual. You can try it out for yourself here.
A spokesman from LANDR spoke to RA about the details.
Does the process of optimising tracks for Soundcloud differ from your usual algorithmic mastering service?
We use exactly the same algorithms but we did some research to find the best output for optimising the sound of any track on the SoundCloud streaming format.
Can Soundcloud users download and store the mastered audio outside of the website?
The optimised tracks will only be hosted on SoundCloud and not in LANDR's track library. It is really aimed at streaming on SoundCloud. If a user wants to get a proper master, they will have to buy it from LANDR in HD WAV, WAV or high or low-res mp3 formats.
The press release refers to the service being free to Soundcloud's "creator community." So one needn't be a paying user to enjoy the offer?
Everyone will be able to use this new feature for free simply by linking their SoundCloud account with their LANDR account. SoundCloud free users will be given one free WAV that they will be able to download. Then the compressed format will still be free for anyone and sent directly to their SoundCloud account. SoundCloud Pro users can download two free WAVs and SoundCloud Pro unlimited users get four free WAVs.