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Strange audio problem with Youtube

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Hey folks, I wonder if anyone else has experienced this: 

When I upload a music video to Youtube that I have mixed and mastered in Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro the audio sounds fine on my Studio monitors, headphones, Macbook speakers and phones. But sometimes when I watch them on Youtube via an HDMI cable into my TV the audio fades in places. It sounds like its hitting a hard limiter. At first I thought maybe I'd messed up with the adaptive limiter on the stereo bus but that would be noticeable on any source. My best guess is that it's related to the HDMI cable or the TV but if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.





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Hi Dave. 


You're driving the TV via an HDMI ... from  the Mac?  That's a lot of possible candidates for the problem ... YouTube, your Mac browser, the cable, the hardware ports at either end, the TV firmware/hardware.


I'd try isolating the issue, keeping everything the same but changing ONE thing:

  • play the video directly on your TV via its YouTube app
  • play a different Tube video (with similar style and dynamic range) on the Mac
  • access YouTube via a different browser on your Mac
  • instead of playing in browser, user a local player app like VLC
  • drive your TV/cable setup from another computer (borrow a Mac or WIndows laptop)
  • while I can't imagine why the cable would cause the problem, drive the TV without a cable:
    • casting via Apple Aircast or Chromecast
    • put the video on a USB stick and play via the TV's native  app or download one (like VLC)
    • PS. also check the cable specs ... and the Mac/TC port specs ... for compatibility as HDMI has had several major revisions.

I hope you post news of how you found/solved the issue.



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Hey Dave


What was your audio mastered to?


When you say it sounds ok on your studio monitors, do you mean:

  1. your master audio
  2. the audio on your master YouTube format video (if different from above)
  3. the audio on a streamed (ie post upload) video playback

Lets call your studio monitors your A rig and your TV via HDMI your B rig.


If 1 sounds ok on A  try seeing if 1 sounds ok through your B rig. If ok, then move on. If not, it’s worth checking if audio compression is on in your TV.

If 2 is ok on A, fine. if it isn’t ok, then it would be worth checking your codec choice and settings.

If 3 is ok on A, again fine. If not ok, recheck mastering levels and correct codec choice. Ensure all settings are the recommended settings for YouTube, in case YouTube has applied a hard limit on post upload conversion. Worth checking the recommended file format is a match too.

If ok on all of the above, then go through the elimination Greg suggests. It does sound like a compression limit is being hit, it could be due a codec or inbuilt compression very easily.

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