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Best way to convert .WAV to other file formats?

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  • Best way to convert .WAV to other file formats?

    I recorded a single at a professional recording studio and I later got the track mastered at the same studio. I requested an additional .MP3 version on top of the usual .WAV file they would send to their clients.

    However, they forgot to give me an .MP3 copy of it and only sent me the 39.2mb .WAV file. Should I ask them to send me an .MP3 version or should I do the conversion myself?

    If I'd like to convert the .WAV into other formats like .AAF as well, what would be the best way to do it with the minimum possible quality loss?

    I use Logic Pro X as my main DAW. Would dragging the track onto an empty project and bouncing it into the desired format do the trick?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    You can download all kinds of free file converters.

    If you were only going from Wave to MP3, this simple program does a fine job. None invasive and doesn't put any spam ware on your computer.

    It will let you rip files from a CD to wave or MP3 but can also be used to convert wave files to MP3.

    Heres another which is a windows add on. Haven't tried it but it looks like it will work for you.

    Here's another.

    Like I said, just Google up, Audio file converters and you'll find a ton of them.


    • #3
      iTunes will easily convert wav files to mp3
      Every worm, every insect, every animal is working
      for the ecological wellbeing of the planet.

      Only we humans, who claim to be the most intelligent
      species here, are not doing that. ~Sadhguru


      • #4
        Does that mean that ANY free/paid third-party software I download off the internet will do the exact same job with the same results?


        • #5
          Wavs are bit for bit clones but I imagine there might be slack between apps in the compression going to other forms.
          Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...

          Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...


          • #6
            You should realize we're dealing with ones and zeroes here. There is NO sound in the files, they are simply strings binary numbers that represent samples of a waveform. File formats are pretty much standardized these days. Conversion using one program over another isn't going to amount to much because its simply a mathematical issue and most computers are reliable enough to count numbers without dropping bits.

            Conversion programs use algorithms to convert samples. They also use error correction which double checks that numbers to ensure all the bits were properly counted and everything is accounted for.

            Where you can and do have losses is between file format types. A Wav file is a lossless format which can contain 10 Megs per minute of data at 16/44.1 sample rate or 16 Megs at 24 bit. MP3s are a lossy format. This means that encoding audio to MP3 will reduce its quality, but also reduce its file size. They may wind up being less then a meg of data per minute depending on the type of MP3 format you use.

            That difference in data amounts between the two tells you data is lost during the conversion from Wave to MP3. It isn't compressed, its thrown away. This is why up sampling from a lower to a higher bit format will not improve sound quality. Once that data is gone its gone.

            There are occasions where you might want to up sample. In a studio you may need to perform editing on a file. When you use audio tools they recalculate the bits mathematically. They alter bit values in order to do their jobs. When a file is at a higher sample rate there are 10X or more bits these tools can use to perform their jobs so the percentage of damage they do to the file is much lower and much more accurate then you'd have using the tools on a lower sample rate file, so most engineers will up sample files in order to do restoration or corrections to audio files.

            By the way, commercial Art companies do the same thing with digital photos and the movie industry does the same with video files.

            If you have the higher sample rate file available then its always best to use that to make lower sample rate or lossy format files for obvious reasons.

            There are many different types of MP3 file format types. If you want the best quality MP3 select one that's 320kbs or above. Music isn't going to sound very good on the lower sample sides versions because the data loss is greater to get the files that small. You have much greater frequency loss and a higher number of digital artifacts as you go down in size. The lowest which is 3.49kbs may allow a voice to be audible but you'll hear allot of artifacts which sound like a phase shifter in the background. Music at that rate would sound completely washed out with no high frequency content at all.

            Here's a chart of some file type sizes. Its not complete by any means but it at least gives some perspective. To your question of accuracy between one program. Ever if there was a difference (which I doubt because all the companies use the same formulas) between programs its not going to amount to a hill of beans down sampling because there's so much data loss anyway. You'd essentially be comparing how much more one file has been damaged compared to another.

            Where you may find bigger differences is when dithering is used. There are many types of dithering and when its applied to a commercial recording it can influence how a file converter programs do their job. Dither adds noise added to smooth the edges of the wave forms. Its like air brushing a photo to remove imperfections. A raw file with no dither will be read more accurately by converter programs then one that's been dithered because dithering adds random noise. Normally you only apply dithering as the very last step before distribution. Conversion after dithering can cause some weird artifacts to occur.

            Luckily that aren't apparent to most listeners and so long as your down samples are 320K or above they probably wont be anything to worry about unless you have highly trained ears. I have this problem. I cant stand listening to anything below CD quality. I had a subscription to satellite radio for a short period then dropped it. They must be using 256K MP3's on their broadcasts because the treble response is horrible. Both DJ's and music have a horrible high frequency edge to them that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I grew up in analog which had none of those artifacts, just pops and clicks from scratched records and hiss flutter and wow from tape decks.

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Wow, that is such an informative post! Thanks WRGKMC for that!

              The .WAV files I got are 44.1kHz 16 bits, because I was told it's a lot more universal in the online distribution world. That's still high enough for CD quality if I wanted to have that option later on right?

              I will be distributing my songs through various online distributors - iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, YouTube, Triple J radio and possibly physical CD later on. My only concern is what to convert the files to?

              Facebook, for example, have their own photo compressing methods, which is absolutely crap. So if you have an ultra HD photo you'd like to upload, uploading the best file is a NO-NO because Facebook will compress the photo and make it look crap. The way around is to compress it yourself in a way that it still looks good and the file is no bigger than the maximum size allowed for Facebook. That way, your photo doesn't get compressed a second time.

              I found that every online music distributor is different too.
              -Bandcamp requires you to upload .WAV files only and they do the compressing themselves. When people purchase and download your song, they will get the .MP3 version.
              -Triple J Radio (in Australia) does not accept anything more than a 128kbps .MP3, which is pretty stupid if you ask me, but they are a big radio station and those are their rules.

              Last, but not least, I'll be filming a music video professionally for one of my songs. They will be using an 8k RED camera, so the video side of it will be top quality. What would be the most appropriate audio file to use for the video? The .WAV file I have or a 320kbps .MP3? It seems like a tricky situation because the final whole video will have to be compressed to be uploaded online, and YouTube will probably compress it again to meet their standards.

              Thanks in advance!
              Last edited by KevinTJH; 11-22-2016, 04:55 PM.


              • #8


                • #9
                  There are a lot of conversion tools online, however the resulting audio quality depends on the used codec and your settings. I always use the Sonnox Codec Toolbox which uses the Fraunhofer codec. You can convert wav files to various other formats such as Mp3, AAC and much more, you can monitor the conversion process as well.


                  • #10
                    What about WaveShop, portable app:
                    Listen to my music on: