Mp3 format woes.

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Hi All,

Thought I'd ask around as I've been wondering how to get better performance out of mp3 compression... It could be that I'm over thinking this but I've heard some really good mp3 mixes, and to me, when I do it, it sounds hollow like it's missing the oomph.

I mixed this down before it was complete just to see how it sounds under mp3 compression. I'm especially hearing something hollow in the second half after the cymbals kick in. It sounds nice and full in my stereo wav format...
Link if you'd like to hear: http://soundcloud.com/microbialmusic/mexiball

Anyhow, if you have any general tips about mixing or getting things to sound decent in mp3, I'd like to discuss a bit.
 
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BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Mp3 should always be rendered to 192Kb/S. That's where I get my best results. I would happily say that 98% of people couldn't tell the difference between high-quality Mp3 and PCM. If the file needs to be smaller than 192 allows, use the variable bit-rate option. Works wonders.

Either that or try the .ogg format. It's a little more transparent than Mp3.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Mp3 should always be rendered to 192Kb/S. That's where I get my best results. I would happily say that 98% of people couldn't tell the difference between high-quality Mp3 and PCM. If the file needs to be smaller than 192 allows, use the variable bit-rate option. Works wonders.

Either that or try the .ogg format. It's a little more transparent than Mp3.
Ah, okay... I was doing 128 because I thought that was how most of the ones I'd downloaded were, and many of them still sounded pretty clean. Will try lower compression rate. I bet file size won't even be all that bad anyway.

Thanks!
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
128 can certainly cause problems with artefacts. It sounds fine for most commercial applications because of the mastering and production but in reality, higher bitrates are needed.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
128 is very low by today's standards I think. I just looked through a bunch of stuff I bought from Amazon recently and it was all 256.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
128 is fairly low by modern standards, broadband Internet connections being what they are.

256 is overkill, though. It's nice to have high quality but over 192 it really is a matter of rapidly diminishing returns. In numerous studies and in my own subjective testing, I've found it very difficult to distinguish between true PCM (.aiff, .wav), lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 at 192. If anyone tells you they can tell the difference, be very skeptical. If presented with the choice at purchase, I tend to buy lossless (FLAC) and then render my own Mp3 files but it's not a huge deal to me either way. Modern compressed audio really is very good indeed.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Well, it's definitely clearer @ 192, but I'm still missing something about mixing for mp3 use. The low end richness is just lost. Maybe I just need to look at giving the bass frequencies some more presence in the mix expecting the compression to lose some...
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Interesting. Would it be possible to send me the mp3 and the Wav? You can use WeTransfer. If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you my email address. You need it to use WeTransfer. I'm just very curious about what's going on.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Actually, no need. I was being a dolt. The playback for wav I was using had equalization applied, and sounded fuller. When I was playing back mp3, it was played from a different program that did not have the equalization applied. Made me think things were a lot worse than they actually were in the loss-of-bass department.

The link above is valid for the 192 version of the export... You'll probably hear what I'm talking about, kinda hollow; but now I'm more thinking I just need to go back to the DAW and mix a bit differently. There are also missing parts and tracks still to go in, so that will help with the "fullness" in the end product for sure.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Sounds fine through my cans. There are mix things I would change but it doesn't sound like there are any inherent 'mp3' issues. These things happen! I always double check my systems for added EQ in the chain if I'm mixing. It's happened to me plenty of times.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Thanks! I appreciate the posts. Wish I'd figured out the un-flat playback before wasting your time...
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Not wasting my time at all. I woke up hours earlier than I meant to so I'm just wasting time before I have to go to my appointments...
 

BenTen

Junior Member
320 is a charm but it's no match for wav. I wonder how they come up with these disappointing compressions :p
 
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