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 Post subject: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:13 pm 
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Q33 NY

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Everything that I make I like to save and bounce to my MP3 player so while I'm out and about I can pick out any potentially interesting bits, trouble is that when I listen to it in live 9 it sounds half decent then when I listen on my MP3 it sounds as dead as "A-line flares with pockets in the knees"

Could someone please explain (in lay terms) what MP3 does to audio and point me toward a solution?

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:44 pm 
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MP3 shouldn't be doing anything unless you are getting clipping or notmmastering with headroom for conversion or using bad converters.

What it might mean is your mixes aren't balanced properly and therefore aren't translating in your MP3 player.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:58 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
MP3 shouldn't be doing anything unless you are getting clipping or notmmastering with headroom for conversion or using bad converters.

What it might mean is your mixes aren't balanced properly and therefore aren't translating in your MP3 player.


Thanks voidloss,

I'm using cubase's converters and leaving 2-3db headroom. I should have pointed out that most of the clips I convert aren't really mixed, (I'm still very much a novice when it comes to mixing, could you explain what you mean by balanced?) they are just sketches really but they just don't sound as good once they're on my MP3 player.
Just not as 'alive'

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:35 pm 
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Unless I'm majorly mistaken there are some options when you export your audio in mp3 format in Cubase. You might end up doing something fishy without realizing?

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Q33 NY

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Mattias wrote:
Unless I'm majorly mistaken there are some options when you export your audio in mp3 format in Cubase. You might end up doing something fishy without realizing?


Hmmmmm, never really thought of that. I'll have to check what the settings are on my cubase.

Thanks Mattias.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:43 am 
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Pelecaras wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
MP3 shouldn't be doing anything unless you are getting clipping or notmmastering with headroom for conversion or using bad converters.

What it might mean is your mixes aren't balanced properly and therefore aren't translating in your MP3 player.


Thanks voidloss,

I'm using cubase's converters and leaving 2-3db headroom. I should have pointed out that most of the clips I convert aren't really mixed, (I'm still very much a novice when it comes to mixing, could you explain what you mean by balanced?) they are just sketches really but they just don't sound as good once they're on my MP3 player.
Just not as 'alive'


As long as you export at CBR max 320 you are safe, with the kind of headroom you are using, should be fine.
.
As you said, stuff you are converting is not really mixed. A good balanced mix will translate well to a number of systems, if the mix balance is not so good, then it is likely it will only sound good on a few systems, or even only on the system it was produced on.

Essentially to go further on this we are getting in to the whole discussion on mix philosophy and monitoring.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:44 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
the whole discussion on mix philosophy and monitoring.


not to divert the thread, but what do you mean by mix philosophy? just a sentence or definition would be cool


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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:22 pm 
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Alf Garnett

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Silly question but are you listening to the bounced mp3 in the same setting you made the music? Are they different sounding in the same studio setting?

What are you using with your mp3 player earbuds? headphones?
What are you using to produce? Monitors? Headphones?

It's to be expected that if you take a sketch from studio listening to mp3 player environment, there will be some difference in translation.


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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:30 pm 
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Pelecaras wrote:
Could someone please explain (in lay terms) what MP3 does to audio and point me toward a solution?


MP3 encoding both compresses the data like normal data compressors (zip, rar etc), but it also removes data according to psychoacoustic principles, aka strips away parts of the sound our hearing (mainly the brain part) can't process anyway. In other words, what you put in is definitely not what you get out, but it sounds pretty much the same to vast majority of humans.

Like Lost to the Void already said, it's a process that can really reveal problems in the material. If you have lots of overlapping frequencies for example, the algorithms, while super advanced and quite fancy indeed, can't really make an ideal decision on what to discard and what to keep. It's just basic maths, not AI.


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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Q33 NY

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buffered wrote:
Silly question but are you listening to the bounced mp3 in the same setting you made the music? Are they different sounding in the same studio setting?

What are you using with your mp3 player earbuds? headphones?
What are you using to produce? Monitors? Headphones?

It's to be expected that if you take a sketch from studio listening to mp3 player environment, there will be some difference in translation.


It's not a silly question at all mate. I should have put details into my OP, I am using etymotic er4 SR Earbuds (highly recommended by voidloss...thanks Steve by the way, they are well worth the money) to produce and to listen back to on my MP3 player.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:52 pm 
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Q33 NY

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Pagan wrote:
Pelecaras wrote:
Could someone please explain (in lay terms) what MP3 does to audio and point me toward a solution?


MP3 encoding both compresses the data like normal data compressors (zip, rar etc), but it also removes data according to psychoacoustic principles, aka strips away parts of the sound our hearing (mainly the brain part) can't process anyway. In other words, what you put in is definitely not what you get out, but it sounds pretty much the same to vast majority of humans.

Like Lost to the Void already said, it's a process that can really reveal problems in the material. If you have lots of overlapping frequencies for example, the algorithms, while super advanced and quite fancy indeed, can't really make an ideal decision on what to discard and what to keep. It's just basic maths, not AI.


That makes sense, I suppose cos they are just sketches and not really mixed the frequencies are all overlapping. I am still very raw when it comes to mixing and I'm afraid I haven't got into the habit of mixing as I go, which I know is a crime really. I should be more disciplined.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:53 am 
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Overlapping frequencies really aren't much of a concern with mp3. The audio is split and masking thresholds are applied, it's quite clever, based on the way hearing works, but it's not an issue. Especially with ugly undynamic music like techno.
More likely is that your mp3 players just doesn't drive phones very well. Mine doesn't either, but you can't expect a little mp3 player to have a decent quality headphone amp with a neutral output. I too listen to my stuff on my er4s on my mp3 player when I am out and about. It's not an experience comparable to listening at home through my heaphone amp or monitor controller

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:53 am 
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Try playing back the same mp3 with the same headphones on your pc, and on a number of mobile phones. Should help you hear if its the mp3 or just the mp3 player you're hearing.


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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:08 pm 
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Q33 NY

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Lost to the Void wrote:
Overlapping frequencies really aren't much of a concern with mp3. The audio is split and masking thresholds are applied, it's quite clever, based on the way hearing works, but it's not an issue. Especially with ugly undynamic music like techno.
More likely is that your mp3 players just doesn't drive phones very well. Mine doesn't either, but you can't expect a little mp3 player to have a decent quality headphone amp with a neutral output. I too listen to my stuff on my er4s on my mp3 player when I am out and about. It's not an experience comparable to listening at home through my heaphone amp or monitor controller


this makes perfect sense. so I guess the only way to tell is to listen on as many different things as possible.
could you recommend any mp3 players up to a couple of hundred quid. I'm using a sony walkman and I'm sure it's not the best for my budget.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:08 pm 
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innovine wrote:
Try playing back the same mp3 with the same headphones on your pc, and on a number of mobile phones. Should help you hear if its the mp3 or just the mp3 player you're hearing.


will give that a try, cheers dude.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:24 pm 
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Pelecaras wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
Overlapping frequencies really aren't much of a concern with mp3. The audio is split and masking thresholds are applied, it's quite clever, based on the way hearing works, but it's not an issue. Especially with ugly undynamic music like techno.
More likely is that your mp3 players just doesn't drive phones very well. Mine doesn't either, but you can't expect a little mp3 player to have a decent quality headphone amp with a neutral output. I too listen to my stuff on my er4s on my mp3 player when I am out and about. It's not an experience comparable to listening at home through my heaphone amp or monitor controller


this makes perfect sense. so I guess the only way to tell is to listen on as many different things as possible.
could you recommend any mp3 players up to a couple of hundred quid. I'm using a sony walkman and I'm sure it's not the best for my budget.


I use a clip sport, it`s absolutely fine, obviously nowhere near the quality of my studio but I have no problem listening to all sorts of stuff on it when I am travelling around.
No idea what expensive mp3 players are like.

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 Post subject: Re: What is MP3 doing to my audio?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:00 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:

I use a clip sport, it`s absolutely fine, obviously nowhere near the quality of my studio but I have no problem listening to all sorts of stuff on it when I am travelling around.
No idea what expensive mp3 players are like.


I reckon I should just re-calibrate my ideas about the sound I get from my audio interface and the sound I get from my walkman, Everything translates quite well but it just doesn't sound quite as rich.
hey-ho.

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