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Muzoid 09-01-2009 06:14 AM

What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
wondering what people are using to create MP3s of their mixes and what you think sounds best?

I generally record to disc within the session and then export the file as a 24-bit / 44.1k aiff, bring it into iTunes and then convert it to a 192 kbps MP3 - have had some really positive comments from some well-known mastering people who've heard these files for reference.

I have not put much thought or time into this process as it's not a big priority for me, though more and more, it seems to be becoming one.

What do you do?

Do I need the Digi MP3 option? (used to own it back in Mix system days, do I have to buy it again?)

What is the best sounding MP3 process?!

jeremyroberts 09-01-2009 06:19 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
You're gonna get a zillion opinions here...

I use iTunes
mp3 256kbps VBR

files are not small, but good enough for reference

Muzoid 09-01-2009 06:25 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremyroberts (Post 1450788)
You're gonna get a zillion opinions here...

That's cool, actually what I'm looking for

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremyroberts (Post 1450788)
I use iTunes
mp3 256kbps VBR

files are not small, but good enough for reference

do you import into itunes as 16 or 24 bit?

jeremyroberts 09-01-2009 06:36 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Muzoid (Post 1450790)
That's cool, actually what I'm looking for

do you import into itunes as 16 or 24 bit?

Ah. For daily refs, I simply export regions (command-shift-K) as 16-bit interleaved, then drag (or command-O) to iTunes.

I have never been comfortable with 24-bit files in iTunes, even if it is supposed to be able to handle them.

I know that PT will output a dithered 16-bit file, so I use a so-called professional tool to make the 16-bit file, then iTunes to make the mp3. I know this is not logical, just habit.

WILL IT SOUND BETTER if the source for the mp3 is 24-bit? Does it matter? We are talking about a lossy compression that sounds, well, lossy. I would imagine the loss from 1411k to 256k is much worse than than 24-bit to 16-bit -- even if it's truncated.

Unless we are talking about files for distribution, does it really matter how we make crappy mp3 references? I think you should find a workflow that makes you happy. :-)

bbob 09-01-2009 07:58 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
I don't know that it sounds any better because I don't care enough to do any tests... but I really like Snapper from Audio Ease for making mp3 or m4a. Its a hundred bucks but it does a lot of other stuff like play any file on any drive... almost instantly.
Free 100 day demo, check it out.

studiostuff 09-01-2009 08:20 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
What Jeremy said... If it's for reference, I just bounce outta Pro Tools using the mp3 function I paid to have there.

For me, the more important question about a lossy file is: how big do I want the ref file to be?

If clients want to just ride by the file at a gallop, I make the file smallish. If clients want to hear how a track sounds, I send them something uncompressed.

Keybeeetsss 09-01-2009 08:24 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
I do itunes but I never do MP3, always MP4 for me...

jeremyroberts 09-01-2009 08:35 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Keybeeetsss (Post 1450869)
I do itunes but I never do MP3, always MP4 for me...

AAC can be a problem if you send it to someone that you don't want to do any tech support with. I KNOW that almost every computer in the world can read mp3. I can't say that about AAC. And I don't want a phone call, ever, from anyone, bitching, "i can't play your file"... so I send mp3 at a higher bitrate. Does it sound better? Doesn't matter.

Keybeeetsss 09-01-2009 08:42 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremyroberts (Post 1450884)
AAC can be a problem if you send it to someone that you don't want to do any tech support with. I KNOW that almost every computer in the world can read mp3. I can't say that about AAC. And I don't want a phone call, ever, from anyone, bitching, "i can't play your file"... so I send mp3 at a higher bitrate. Does it sound better? Doesn't matter.

I feel ya.. but if they don't have itunes on they're comp @ this point then they shouldn't be listening to music:eek:

aux 09-01-2009 09:07 AM

Re: What is the best sounding MP3 process?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremyroberts (Post 1450795)
WILL IT SOUND BETTER if the source for the mp3 is 24-bit? Does it matter? We are talking about a lossy compression that sounds, well, lossy.

Unless we are talking about files for distribution, does it really matter how we make crappy mp3 references? I think you should find a workflow that makes you happy. :-)

Agree. For my reference mixes to clients I always use the mp3 option, since it saves time dragging/converting in iTunes. And I never cared to check the difference between mp3 option and iTunes, it is all data reduction (not compression! That implies that you can get the original data and file size back again) and it both sounds good enough for ref mixes.


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