Old 07-03-2017, 12:20 PM   #1
eclef
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Default E-Piano track sounds terrible on Blackberry

Hi all, I need help with something I've been struggling with for months. I'll try to be as concise as possible.

I've recorded an electronic keyboard chord progression. It sounds good on all speakers, (inc. A7x monitors), but it sounds terrible on my Blackberry Passport - sort of distorted/scratchy/nasty harmonics.

Other people have asked forums the same question, except about their iPhones, but I didn't find a solution.

I thought my phone speakers might be the problem (if I listen through earphones via the phone it sounds fine), but that doesn't explain why pretty much all other songs sound fine on my phone.

This is everything else I tried (I rendered the solo'd keyboard track after each one):

- Re-recording with a whole different instrument. (I tried audio recorded from different external keyboard voices, as well as a virtual e-piano plugin).
- Removed all comps, FX and envelopes from the track
- Kept a single keyboard track centered rather than panned L+R
- Rendered the entire track as mono
- Made cuts below 200hz and even 600hz in case lower freqs were interfering
- Used EQ to attempt to find and cut what might be the nasty freqs
- Used both Audacity and native Reaper to do the mp3 conversion
- Rendered without normalising etc - it's quiet, but when I listen close I can tell that the nastiness is still there.

The current keyboard track I'm working with comes in at about -19db on the track/master meters.


So my problem seems to be that different raw or processed e-piano tracks sound bad only on my phone, but everything else sounds ok on my phone. I don't know where to go from here so it's been driving me crazy.

Any suggestions please?
Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:55 PM   #2
nyaben
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It's possibly due to inter-sample peaks. In many cases you won't hear these over some speakers but will hear it every time in another places (e.g. car stereo, etc.).

Here's some helpful info (gets a little involved) if you want to try to eliminate this as a possible cause:

https://ask.audio/articles/demystify...etering-levels
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:52 AM   #3
eclef
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Thank you for the response,

Well as my instruments are recorded in relatively low, and also as I have tried rendering without normalising so the whole track was pretty quiet, I think I can rule out clipping from inter sample peaks. However, that was a really interesting read, and I've downloaded a new LUFS meter

If I turn my whole system up to 11, I can actually faintly hear the fuzzy sound - It's a bit like the sound of a spring going bo-i-i-ing, or like a tremolo LFO or something, but at a different rate/tempo for each chord of the progression. And for some reason it's really prevalent on the phone.

This makes me think it could be inherent to the sound itself, which is strange as I have tried different keyboard and virtual instrument sounds, and stranger because my phone is the only thing that emphasises the fuzzyness.
Also I'm sure if my trusty Yamaha stage keyboard has dodgy samples, then that would have been reported by people before too.

Any other suggestions? Or might it help if I uploaded a portion of the track so anyone kind enough can listen and check it out?
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:18 PM   #4
eclef
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Not sure why I didn't do this a lot sooner, but I've just recorded a number of different e-piano voices from my external keyboard, and I also recorded a progression using an e piano plugin called 'mda ePiano'. I did nothing else with it, rendered to mp3 and played it on my phone.

It sounds horrible, my phone seems to be emphasising the worst tones that seem to be hidden away in all of the original sounds.

This makes me think that the problem is either with all the sounds I'm using, or my phone. It also seems impossible for me to cut out the nastiness with EQ, it's always there.

Any more thoughts? Anyone noticed strangeness in epiano sounds before?
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:21 PM   #5
Ulf3000
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do commercial e piano songs also sound horrible ?
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:41 PM   #6
eclef
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Up until now I would've said no (or sometimes very faintly) because I hadn't listened to enough keyboard-heavy songs, but I just went through my music and found a commercial song that has the same nasty effect.

So now I'm wondering,

1. Does my specific phone have a speaker fault, or is the problem on all Blackberrys (and possibly iPhones, according to other peoples complaints)?

2. If it is a fault in my phones speaker, then isn't it interesting that it only occurs with electric piano sounds?

Here is a link to an audio file I just put together. It's three parts - the first is a basic chord sequence using 'mda epiano'. The second is that same clip played out of my phone, into my mic, which clearly shows the distortion. The third is a phone/mic recording of the commercial song that does the same thing.

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1jZMVElN8XR

Notice how the 'rate' of the distortion effect changes as the chords change.

If anyone could for example listen to the first clean part via a decent system and/or through their mobile, I'd be interested to know if you can also hear the same nastiness.

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:34 PM   #7
eclef
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Bump diddly bump...

I know it's a bit of a mind boggler, but if anyone has a few mins spare to kindly listen to the first 10 seconds of the clip above (http://vocaroo.com/i/s1jZMVElN8XR), even just through a mobile, and let me know how normal/distorted it sounds (and what phone it's on), that may help me figure it out. Cheers
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:52 PM   #8
karbomusic
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Quote:
The current keyboard track I'm working with comes in at about -19db on the track/master meters
I have not read all of the above replies/posts...

Have you exported it at something like peaks @ -3dBFS? Seems like -19 dbFS assuming those are peaks, would be completely different from commercial mixes in general which are coming in at -0.1.

If that is the case, the phone may react to it and try to "fix it for you" and the distortion (however it happens) fooling us into thinking needing to be louder isn't the answer. Just a guess but if peaks, that's damn low IMHO.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:47 PM   #9
eclef
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Cheers for the reply,
Just to clarify, by 'keyboard track' I meant individual keyboard track rather than the whole mix. The raw keyboard audio I was using peaked at -19dbfs, but I've also tried recording the keys nearer to 0db, including the clip above, and the problem is still there unfortunately...
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:01 PM   #10
bobobo
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sound (first part) renders ok on a samsung galaxy note 4.

Concerning your device:
it's a phone and is designed to recreate speech, not music.
I guess, there is some kind of eq-ing / maximizing going on,
that does it's evil work.
Check all sound settings on the phone and set it to flat.
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Old 08-01-2017, 01:46 PM   #11
eclef
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Thanks a lot for taking a listen for me, I'm glad there's no obvious issues from your Samsung.
From the limited sound settings on this phone, everything seems to be 'flat'.
I think all I can do is ignore it and just get on with publishing/sharing the track as I wanted to, instead of just letting it die, and then maybe get a new phone.
Cheers
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