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  • ThB303
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absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Hello,

I tried to search for an answer here and on google aswell but without luck.


So I ask my question here now


Which settings do I need to get the absolute best possible audio quality with lame and mp3?

Right now I am using these switches:

--preset insane -q 0

can it be any better? maybe with adjusting the frequency ranges or something like that?

the size of the mp3s or time for encoding does not matter (well ok, a 70mb wav should not be a 50mb mp3, I could use flac then )


thnx in advance!


  • Northpack
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absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #1
Seems like you didn't try very hard...

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lame
  • Last Edit: 18 September, 2010, 04:13:54 AM by Northpack

  • ThB303
  • [*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #2
and it seems you didn't read my question very hard oO

the wiki entry says -b 320 is the best. I already got that  (--preset insane -q 0), even better with the -q 0 switch

I asked if it can be any better than this! there are various more switches but I got no clue if they make it better or worse!

  • twostar
  • [*][*][*][*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #3
If there were switches that made quality better than -b 320 it would be there in the wiki.

  • ThB303
  • [*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #4
sorry but I doubt that, because it also doesn't say anything about the -q 0 switch (which improves the quality according to the inbuilt help of lame.exe)

what about these switches?

PSY related:
  --temporal-masking x  x=0 disables, x=1 enables temporal masking effect
  --nssafejoint  M/S switching criterion
  --nsmsfix <arg> M/S switching tuning [effective 0-3.5]
  --interch x    adjust inter-channel masking ratio
  --ns-bass x    adjust masking for sfbs  0 -  6 (long)  0 -  5 (short)
  --ns-alto x    adjust masking for sfbs  7 - 13 (long)  6 - 10 (short)
  --ns-treble x  adjust masking for sfbs 14 - 21 (long) 11 - 12 (short)
  --ns-sfb21 x    change ns-treble by x dB for sfb21

Filter options:
--lowpass <freq>        frequency(kHz), lowpass filter cutoff above freq
--lowpass-width <freq>  frequency(kHz) - default 15% of lowpass freq
--highpass <freq>      frequency(kHz), highpass filter cutoff below freq
--highpass-width <freq> frequency(kHz) - default 15% of highpass freq


I guess they are there not just for fun...


absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #5
-b 320 is the highest quality as stated by others.

  • lvqcl
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #6
Quote
I guess they are there not just for fun...

Take a look at https://sourceforge.net/blog/potm-201005/  or just http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=703914

  • ThB303
  • [*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #7
guys, can't you understand what I mean or don't you want understand I mean?

of coz I know -b 320 (--preset insane) is the best possible audio quality/bitrate.

I already wrote that in my first message.

Some time ago I found the -q 0 switch:

Quote
Noise shaping & psycho acoustic algorithms:
    -q <arg>        <arg> = 0...9.  Default  -q 5
                    -q 0:  Highest quality, very slow


So I'd like to know if can use some other switches too to pimp the quality A LITTLE BIT!

what about changing the cutoff frequency range for example?


  • Northpack
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absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #8
I guess they are there not just for fun...

That's right. However, they are not for the end user to mess with, but for development purposes. -b 320 has been optimized for the best possible quality according to extensive listening tests. When new versions of the encoder are developed it may become necessary to fine tune these parameters again, that's the reason why they are there.

Btw. -q 0 is not used because it slows down encoding without providing any audible advantage.

Similary, any other parameter has been carefully fine-tuned for optimal results with the -b or -V setting you use. Messing around with the above posted settings will thus most probably decrease sound quality. That's especially the case when changing the --highpass parameter.
  • Last Edit: 18 September, 2010, 06:00:33 AM by Northpack

  • twostar
  • [*][*][*][*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #9
This forum is frequented by LAME developers. Forum members have been ABX testing LAME for years. If there were switches to improve quality, they would be in the wiki. It's not like this is the first time this question has been asked.

  • ThB303
  • [*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #10
ok, that were good answers! a bit more explaination is very helpful!

thnx

PS: I wish some mp3 shops would read that wiki... many of them (including beatport) are still using fullstereo...


absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #11
If you are being tod -b 320 is the best quality possible why are you disagreeing.

If there was a superior setting we would tell you.

absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #12
You may also want to ask yourself the question, "Do I need the best possible quality?", as it's extremely likely that you could create files averaging less than two-thirds the size in VBR at -V2 and hear no difference whatsoever.
  • Last Edit: 18 September, 2010, 07:47:04 AM by Slipstreem

  • ThB303
  • [*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #13
If you are being tod -b 320 is the best quality possible why are you disagreeing.

If there was a superior setting we would tell you.


I never thought or said  there is something better than -b 320, I just thought there may some additional switches which could improve
the audio quality a little bit.

the problem was the lack of explaination on the first answers here


You may also want to ask yourself the question, "Do I need the best possible quality?", as it's extremely likely that you could create files averaging less than two-thirds the size in VBR at -V2 and hear no difference whatsoever.



for home listening I like the -v2 switch. But I need the maximum audio quality for djing with Traktor/Itch.
and does size really matter nowadays, in an age when 2tb drives cost around 100€ ? surely not!
I would also use higher bitrates for this purpose if they would be available. Of coz I could use WAV too but
I prefer to have all the metadata in the ID3 tags which WAV doesn't support at all (at least not that I know)
  • Last Edit: 18 September, 2010, 09:49:54 AM by ThB303

  • pdq
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #14
what about changing the cutoff frequency range for example?

In theory one could increase the quality by lowering the cutoff frequency. By spending less bits on high frequencies that are not audible, there are more bits to spend on the lower frequencies that ARE audible. I'm not aware of any ABX tests to confirm this, however.

  • halb27
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absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #15
My favorite Lame usage is -V0 -b 320 --ns-bass -8 --ns-alto -8 --ns-treble -5 --ns-sfb21 5 --lowpass 16.7, and it leads to an average bitrate of 295 kbps (after applying the fast and lossless mp3packer procedure afterwards).

-b 320 makes best use of the available space for audio data. The available space will not be totally filled with audio data however, which makes sense for the mp3packer procedure to kick off the unused space.

A negative value for --ns-bass, --ns-alto, --ns-treble makes Lame more defensive and brings improvement for certain kind of problem samples. Whether or not it's worth while is a matter of personal taste, as is already the usage of -V0. Lame quality is usually excellent without these additions and with a lower quality level. On the other hand small file size isn't an important thing any more for many people with music players of giant capacity around.

--ns-treble -x --ns-sfb21 x makes sure that the increased defensiveness doesn't work for sfb21, that is the frequency range above 16 kHz. Precision of sfb21 encoding can lead to inadequate inefficiency of the overall encoding. That's why Lame automatically reduces sfb21 accuracy for quality levels below V2. Not a bad idea as we aren't sensitive to this frequency range anyway and it contains little musical information. For V2 and above the same can be achieved by using the -Y switch. Alternatively an explicit lowpass can be used as I do it in my setting above. All a matter of taste.

I have no idea whether this -V0 variant leads to a better quality than plain -b 320. Since 3.98 I like the VBR quality of Lame, that's why I personally prefer VBR to CBR.
I did positively ABX the above setting against plain -V0 for certain problem samples, but I did no ABXing against CBR 320. Maybe I should do it some day.
  • Last Edit: 18 September, 2010, 10:41:57 AM by halb27
lame3995n -Q0.5

  • Northpack
  • [*][*][*][*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #16
@halb27: I don't think it is any good to give advises like this to inexperienced users. It just raises confusion and encourages people to mess around with switches they can't really understand from their limited experience.

  • MichaelW
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absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #17
I would also use higher bitrates for this purpose if they would be available. Of coz I could use WAV too but
I prefer to have all the metadata in the ID3 tags which WAV doesn't support at all (at least not that I know)


I don't know your systems, but there are lossless encoders that do support tags, and which are guaranteed to be of identical quality to the CD. FLAC is widely supported (though not, alas, universally).

There seem to be a few instances where any lossy encoder can lose transparency. Whether or not your patrons would actually register these moments in the heat of dancing isn't clear, but if FLAC works for you, it would give you peace of mind.

Edit: removed unnecessary information.
  • Last Edit: 18 September, 2010, 01:34:23 PM by MichaelW

  • halb27
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absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #18
@Northpack: That's why I explained the options. In case my explanations aren't clear enough, I can try to explain them in more detail.

I think you're more concerned about 'stick to the standards'. You're right that this is the way to go for those who don't want to care about details. Obviously the OP doesn't belong to this group.
  • Last Edit: 18 September, 2010, 01:33:30 PM by halb27
lame3995n -Q0.5

  • ThB303
  • [*]
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #19
I don't know your systems, but there are lossless encoders that do support tags, and which are guaranteed to be of identical quality to the CD. FLAC is widely supported (though not, alas, universally); the other relatively widely used one is ALAC, the Apple proprietary format, which is unlikely to be supported on third-party systems, and which ought to go away.

There seem to be a few instances where any lossy encoder can lose transparency. Whether or not your patrons would actually register these moments in the heat of dancing isn't clear, but if FLAC works for you, it would give you peace of mind.



I was thinking about FLAC too but Serato Itch (the software which is bundled with my desired Vestax VCI-300 MK2) doesn't support it yet.
NI Traktor Pro does but I think prefer Itch. Since people are yelling for FLAC support in Serato Forum I doubt it will take that long until they support it.

Beside this I noticed another advantage of FLAC... I have plenty old and rare CDs. Would suck to lose them due to their age.
FLAC is the way to go I think. Until Itch supports FLAC I stick with 320kbit CBR.



  • greynol
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
absolute best audio quality settings for lame?
Reply #20
So I'd like to know if can use some other switches too to pimp the quality A LITTLE BIT!

Assuming you can't tell the difference between -b320 and the original how do you plan on demonstrating that quality has  been improved with additional switches?

Assuming you can tell the difference, then experiment and provide us with double-blind test results.
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