What's the best format audio to upload to Soundcloud ?


What do you think is the best sounding Audio format to upload to Soundcloud for Streaming ?

I am aware that you can upload an uncompressed .WAV (24-bit) format that can then be downloaded. But, what about for streaming, what is the best format to upload ?

Since Soundcloud converts the audio file to a compressed mp3 for streaming, would uploading the .WAV (24-bit) audio file without any dithering be a good option ? or … ?


I upload 24bit 48Khz files and they seem to stream OK.

I would think that 24-bit @ 44.1 khz should sound, and stream good too.

Thanks for the feedback,

In practice, I always upload the highest resolution that the service will allow me.

I also use the above format.

I also use 24 bit, 44.1 format. Works OK for me.


Anyone know if it would also be possible to upload a video to Youtube, that has audio recorded as .WAV 48 Khz, 24-bit ? or is this not possible for Youtube ?

If this is not possible, then what is the next best quality Audio format for Youtube videos ?

Edit (Update) : After Googling this for a little while, it seems like Youtube currently does not allow .WAV files in the video upload. So, AAC, or high bit rate MP3 are the most popular options at this time. Unless this is not accurate/true. Any feedback on this would be helpful.


From their advanced encoding help file… https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en&ref_topic=2888648

Recommended bitrates, codecs, and resolutions, and more
Container: .mp4
No Edit Lists (or you may lose AV sync)
moov atom at the front of the file (Fast Start)
Audio Codec: AAC-LC
Channels: Stereo or Stereo + 5.1
Sample rate 96khz or 48 khz
Video Codec: H.264
Progressive scan (no interlacing)
High Profile
2 consecutive B frames
Closed GOP. GOP of half the frame rate.
Variable bitrate. No bitrate limit required, though we offer recommended bit rates below for reference
Color Space: 4.2.0
Frame rates
Frame rates should match the source material. For example, content shot in 24fps should be encoded and uploaded at 24fps. Content recorded at 30fps should be uploaded at 30fps. Content shot in 720p60, should be uploaded at 720p60. Content at 1080i 60, should be deinterlaced, going from 60 interlaced fields per second to 30 progressive frames per second before uploading.
Standard quality uploads Type Video Bitrate Mono Audio Bitrate Stereo Audio Bitrate 5.1 Audio Bitrate
2160p (4k) 35-45 Mbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
1440p (2k) 10 Mbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
1080p 8,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
720p 5,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
480p 2,500 kbps 64 kbps 128 kbps 196 kbps
360p 1,000 kbps 64 kbps 128 kbps 196 kbps

High quality uploads for creators with enterprise quality internet connections Type Video Bitrate Mono Audio Bitrate Stereo Audio Bitrate 5.1 Audio Bitrate
1080p 50,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
720p 30,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
480p 15,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps
360p 5,000 kbps 128 kbps 384 kbps 512 kbps


YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio players. If you are uploading a non-16:9 file, it will be processed and displayed correctly as well, with pillar boxes (black bars on the left and right) or letter boxes (black bars at the top and bottom) provided by the player. If you want to fit the player perfectly, encode at these resolutions:
2160p: 3840x2160
1440p: 2560x1440
1080p: 1920x1080
720p: 1280x720
480p: 854x480
360p: 640x360
240p: 426x240

The YouTube player automatically adds black bars so that videos are displayed correctly without cropping or stretching, no matter the size of the video or the player.

For example, the player will automatically add pillarboxing to 4:3 videos in the new 16:9 widescreen player size. If the player is re-sized (i.e. when embedded on another website), the same process takes place so that 16:9 videos are letterboxed when the player is sized to 4:3. Similarly, anamorphic videos will be automatically letterboxed when shown in either 16:9 or 4:3 sized players. The player can only do this if the native aspect ratio of the video is maintained.

You can adjust the fit of your video in our player after uploading your video by using formatting tags.

AAC-LC is one of the recommended audio format compressions to upload to Youtube.

But… Cubase 7.5 does not offer this format (AAC-LC) in it’s export options. So, I would have to use something like iTunes to convert .WAV to AAC-LC

Any idea why Cubase 7.5 does not offer AAC/ AAC-LC export option ?


I don’t know why Cubase doesn’t support it (WaveLab doesn’t either, although that’s changing with 8.5 I hear.)

But when uploading to YouTube, this is my workflow:

  1. Render music out to WAV at 44.1kHz, 24-bit.
  2. Import WAV into my video editor (Sony Movie Studio or Camtasia) and edit the video.
  3. Render the video as MP4 with AAC audio.
  4. Upload to YouTube. (Here’s an example.) The audio in that clip was actually rendered out during an earlier Cubase session from the one shown in the video. I just imported the pre-existing WAV and synced it to the video.

So it doesn’t matter (for me) that Cubase doesn’t do AAC; I rely on my video editor for that.

I upload 44.1kHz (and sometimes 48kHz) 24-bit WAV files to SoundCloud only for things like hardware or softsynth shootouts where people might want to be able to download the original recordings for hi-fi listening.

For just songs or whatever, I prefer uploading to SoundCloud as MP3, so folks can download it to their iPods.

My workflow there might be a little… uh different; I don’t know what most other SoundClouders do.

  1. I render out from Cubase as WAV (again, 44.1/24).
  2. Open it in WaveLab for loudness normalization.
  3. Use the LAME encoder to generate an MP3 file with “-V1 -h” (high quality VBR).
  4. Open the MP3 in iTunes, touch up all the ID3 tags, and add artwork.
  5. Upload to SoundCloud. (Here’s the SoundCloud version of my earlier example.)

As far as I know Soundcloud converts everything to MP3 128kbps for streaming. The uploaded file just keeps the original quality if you allow downloads.

Hi UltimateOutsider,

Thank You for the helpful feedback.


You may follow this simple guide to download and convert SoundCloud songs to MP3, WAV, FLAC, at http://www.allavsoft.com/how-to/soundcloud-to-mp3.html

sorry the side question, but what quality do you bounce or record your acustic instruments? 24 bit too if you are exporting the 44.1/24? why not 32 bit instead? i know this could be a long debate , but keep it simple, i just don’t want to start a thread on this not reallly needed i do everything 16 /44.100 between :wink: thanks


I have purchased CAMTASIA also recently.

So, please, when you SAVE/PRODUCE your PROJECT in CAMTASIA, do you use MPEG4 WITH SMART PLAYER or MPEG4 WITH VIDEO PLAYER? I ask because I am wondering if this makes a difference to the AUDIO QUALITY of the You Tube finished product?



This is what SoundCloud says:
We recommend you to upload in a lossless format like WAV, FLAC, AIFF, or ALAC. If you can, the bit depth and sample rate should be 16 bit and 48 kHz respectively.