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Music Sounds Bad on Phone Speakers / Optimizing Audio for Phones

Hi there,

I'm having a bit of trouble getting my soundtrack to sound good on certain phones. On the Samsung Galaxy S3, the speakers buzz during the louder parts, and on the iPhone 4, the pitch of the melody is warbly and slightly off. On the Galaxy S2 and 1st generation iPad, as well as on laptop speakers, the music sounds great. It also sounds great through headphones. (These are just the devices I have available to test on). The music is not particularly loud when the problems occur.

I've created the music in FL Studio using Kontakt and Independence VSTi plugins. I'm wondering what I can do to eliminate these audio issues. Are there any tricks of the trade as far as mixing the audio to help music sound decent on smartphones? I've searched all over for answers, and I've come up empty, other than some helpful discussions on bitrate on the GameSalad forums. I understand that music will never sound terrific on a phone, but the speaker buzzing and off pitch seem like correctable issues, especially since they only occur on certain devices.

I'd really appreciate any help! Thanks!

Comments

  • dback021dback021 Posts: 2Member
    I guess I should have noted that I've been testing the music by emailing mp3 versions of the soundtrack to myself and then playing the music on said devices. I also did try AAC format for the iPhone but heard no improvement.
  • TellentStudioTellentStudio Posts: 23Member
    you need different equalisation
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Posts: 12,822Member
    edited February 2013
    dback021 said:

    On the Samsung Galaxy S3, the speakers buzz during the louder parts, and on the iPhone 4, the pitch of the melody is warbly and slightly off.

    For the buzzing you've probably got a low frequency sound, possibly a bass or sub bass that needs to be lowered in volume (or compressed / limited) - or (less likely) the music contains a frequency that resonates with the speaker housing (which you would need to find and then attenuate).

    The pitch of one element of a song cannot be detuned separately from the rest of the song by any phenomena I'm aware of, perhaps it's a resonant frequency that's introducing some harmonics that make it sound a little out of tune to you?

    But in all honesty it's very difficult to tell without hearing the music itself.

    Apply a steep EQ or high-pass filter around 100Hz (maybe even as high as 200Hz) to kill off the bass end and see if the issue remains.
  • dback021dback021 Posts: 2Member
    Thanks, Socks, your reply was really helpful. I was able to reduce the buzzing almost completely using a high-pass filter. Sadly, this leaves the music sounding rather shallow in comparison to the original (due to lack of bass), though I'll take that over buzzing any day.

    I guess I don't understand why I needed to apply a filter at all. All the other kinds of music I listen to on these devices seem to play fine through the speakers, and that includes music containing plenty of bass. My only guess is that it has something to do with the VSTis I used (though I've tried many with the same result). Also, maybe the fact that I'm only using two instruments at a time means that whatever spectral vagaries are present in these VSTis are not attenuated by the presence of other audio.

    Again, thanks very much for the help. I guess I'll play around with the music in hopes that I can retain some bass while still eliminating the buzzing.
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Posts: 12,822Member
    edited February 2013
    dback021 said:

    Thanks, Socks, your reply was really helpful. I was able to reduce the buzzing almost completely using a high-pass filter. Sadly, this leaves the music sounding rather shallow in comparison to the original (due to lack of bass), though I'll take that over buzzing any day.

    The low pass / EQ cut was mostly for diagnostics in this situation - the idea is that once you've established that the issue is with the bass (by slicing off much of the low bass end) you can then get rid of the low pass, go back to your original sound and go in, find the frequency and be a little more 'surgical' with a narrow EQ band - picking out just the problem frequency and attenuating it with a parametric EQ (or whatever you've got available to you).
    dback021 said:

    I guess I don't understand why I needed to apply a filter at all. All the other kinds of music I listen to on these devices seem to play fine through the speakers, and that includes music containing plenty of bass. My only guess is that it has something to do with the VSTis I used (though I've tried many with the same result). Also, maybe the fact that I'm only using two instruments at a time means that whatever spectral vagaries are present in these VSTis are not attenuated by the presence of other audio.

    I'd put my money on a single frequency, if you've got an EQ with some kind of visual feedback you can probably locate it and pull it down a bit and you can have all the bass you want but without the resonating speaker / speaker housing, counterintuitively you'll often find things can sound bassier (is that even a word!) if you roll off the really low subs (50Hz-ish - and below), especially on mobile devices.

    All the other kinds of music I listen to on these devices seem to play fine through the speakers, and that includes music containing plenty of bass

    I'm guessing the bass on those tracks is compressed / limited - without peaks, so it might sound full and big but it's actually quieter in that it doesn't peak so high.

This discussion has been closed.