HELP! MP3 Conversion issues

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Killcrop, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    The final mix sounds great but when I convert to mp3 I think it's compressing way too much and sounds no where near as good. I'm new to this final mixdown thing. I'm using the windows media player to do the conversion.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, compressed is what MP3s are ... that's how they are smaller than the originals.

    What you need to do is change the settings in the MP3 conversion to be stereo, 44.1 kHz sample rate, and probably at least 192 kbps bit rate. Remember, the higher these are set, the larger the file.

    If you can't do it in Windows Media Player, then try the free version of iTunes.

    -jm
     
  3. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Current MP3 compression is actually really good. As already recommended, keep the rate at 192, and go higher if possible. There shouldn't be a drastic difference between CD Quality and 192. 128 and below is another story.
     
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Someone once told me that MP3s don't handle highly compressed "slammed" levels well, and it seems to be true. I put less final bus compression on MP3 mixes than what I'd put on the same mix for a CD. I haven't yet tried reducing the overall level and ceiling.

    elambo is correct about the bit rate, but even at 192k a 3-minute song is not a small file and sometimes you need small. It seems to me that different compression codecs (algorithms?) give different results at low rates, and I feel the Fraunhofer codec gives me the best mid- to low-rate MP3s, better than LAME. I have a terrific Fraunhofer encoder on OS 9 that is no longer available called N2MP3. I'm having a hell of a time finding a free or cheap Fraunhofer encoder for OS X, which I need for my laptop. I use LAME in Quicktime Pro which is OK but not as good as N2MP3.
     
  5. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    That's why drums often sound like they have a "in the washing machine" kind of effect.
     
  6. clayville

    clayville Member

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    All good advice so far... only thing I can add is that I often drop a compensating e.q. into my master track if I'm going to be converting to mp3. The results from my converter seem closer to the originals (at 192K and lower) if I boost both the lower and higher frequencies just a few db (gently sloping up from center in both directs) before I convert.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    What were you referring to, Steve?
     
  8. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    The part about compressed mp3s not handling "slamming" in the audio. It's really just a limitation of compression, not specifically the mp3 format. 192 kbps is just fine, but that's one of the first things I hear when I hear an overly-compressed MP3 file (that and the general "garble").
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Gotcha, thanks for clarifying.
     
  10. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    Try using a varial bit rate setting. It adjusts how much compression is being done throught the song file depending on the source material. I use razor lame to do all of my conversions.
     

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