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Did I Do This "Correctly"?


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  • Did I Do This "Correctly"?

    I wanted to take a track from a ripped CD into Audacity for editing practice.

    I had ripped this CD using the "Windows Method" ( i. e. Proprietary Codec) so, naturally, Audacity wasn't going to accept it until I had converted the file.

    I went here:


    to give it a shot to see how it would do.

    Under "optional settings" I chose 320 kbps for the bit rate, 44.1 for the sampling rate and made sure the audio channels were set to stereo. After it was converted, I uploaded the file successfully into Audacity and gave it a critical listen.

    I didn't hear anything wrong , like artifacts and the such and the whole thing sounded pretty darn good, Mp3 or not. I seem to hear a lot of grumbling about Mp3 quality, or, apparent lack thereof.

    The thing I need to know, is if I chose the "right" settings. I'm still learning about WAV. and Mp3 and all sorts of other formats , codecs and stuff like that, so this thread is going to go beyond this initial post.

    What settings would any of you had chosen? And why ?




  • #2

    when the final audio file off the CD must be MP3, then you did all steps correct


    • Rudolf von Hagenwil
      Editing a comment

      of course usually the MP3 off a CD is done directly from the CD, with no step over Windows *.wma codec

  • #3

    What I suggest is download a copy of CDex. http://cdexos.sourceforge.net/  Its a simple CD ripper that will allow you to pull a track off a CD directly to CD quality 16/44.1 Wave File (or MP3). I'd pull it off as a wave file and  wouldn't mess with MP3 at all. Then you can import it into the DAW as a wave file. If you want it at a higher sample rate like 48/24 then you have to use addition conversion. The sound quality wont be better, but you'll have less losses and better definition if you plan on using plugins and plan on converting it back to a more compressed format.

    I wouldn't work with MP3's in a DAW unless I absolutely had to. It may not sound so bad to your ears, but that may be a monitor system deficiency that's hiding the problem. Put an audio analyzer on the waveform and compare the MP3 to a wave file and you'll see how much of the high frequency is lopped off. MP3's have practically nothing above 10K. For crappy monitors or headphones that don't produce much above 10K you may not hear a difference between the wave file and MP3 because the Wave file is having those upper frequencies removed by the playback system.

    The other item is if you plan on using plugins. The MP3 is going to deteriorate quickly and start sounding grainy and blurred with the use of plugins. That's because there aren't as many bits of data comprising the file so any math done on the file using effects is going to damage larger chunks of the audio data which leaves distortion.

    Look at it this way, if you were dealing with digital photos instead of audio, you always want to start with the highest resolution photograph, because any manipulation before you shrink the file down and compress it is going to affect the picture quality. Its better to have a million pixels that you trim 1% off of then to have 680 that you trim 50%. Removing a small percentage of data from each pixel may not be noticed by the normal viewer. If you're dealing with low resolution, that barely meets minimum viewing standards, anything you do to enhance it will be visibly noticeable. Same thing holds true in audio. If you're already at minimal standards, you can only degrade it when you use plugins. Then its a matter of deciding if results of logarithmic manipulation is worth sacrificing quality loss based on the changes.  


    • Rudolf von Hagenwil
      Editing a comment

      in todays digital music production software you drag&drop the CD tracks into the timeline of the music production software, or import them via "import" in the pull down menu

  • #4

    workstation M.I wrote:
    Did I Do This "Correctly"?

    No.  You basically encoded the audio multiple times using different codecs for no good reason. 

    Audacity doesn't edit MP3 natively.  It will let you import MP3, but behind the scenes, it is decompressing the track to plain old PCM (aka uncompressed WAV) in order to perform editing and processing. 

    If practicing editing was your goal, you should have gone straight from CD Audio to WAV and been done in a single step.  Most free players can rip CD audio to WAV, including iTunes.  There's no encoding involved, so there's no degredation of the audio quality, either.


    • Rudolf von Hagenwil
      Editing a comment

      you can also transcode a CD with Windows Media Player.

      The audio format you choose in the media player.

      No need to buy software.