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Orchestral music always sounds bad on cell phones?


Active Member
Hi all,

Every time I export orchestral music and listen on a phone, it sounds crackly. It seems small cell phone speakers just can't handle reverb well at all. Anyone else have this experience, and do you have a solution? Or perhaps it's just the way it is and I shouldn't worry about it?



Most phones have mono speakers. Even the ones with stereo speakers are really set up to impress casual consumer needs...which is not exactly orchestral music. Use decent earphones I guess.


Active Member
If you dont like the way orchestral music sounds on a cell phone, the problem isnt the reverb. :)
Yeah I don't necessarily think it's the "Reverb", but the fact that orchestral music is typically wet, in a space is what I mean, compared to something like rap or hip hop.


Active Member
It's hard to imagine that a "crackly" sound caused by the wet reverbish parts of the sound. Usually crackling is a description for clipping or hard limiting.

A few ideas to see if it can help narrow down what's causing it:

Are you trying to listen at a louder volume? Is it possible the speaker is saturating and distorting, or maybe the digital audio is clipping? Does the crackling go away at lower volume?

What audio format are you listening with? If it's an older codec or really low bitrate, maybe the compression effects get revealed more? What happens if you try an uncompressed format?


Senior Member
For making orchestral music to sound even somehow tolerable on cell phone speakers, you need to watch out for the high mids and lows. Lows will be mushed and distort easily, and the lower highs sting out like a knife- especially things like celestas, cymbals, etc.

Use way lower volume levels in your master than you'd normally use, compress less than you'd think (don't think TV) and make sure your arrangements and mix doesn't have too much going on in the mids, because that will mess things quickly up. You also need to orchestrate way more sparsely and watch out for any reverb buildup especially in the mids.

Yet, it still sounds like ass. But at least these are some things to consider!
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