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1
MP3 - Tech / Re: Completely confused over these Spectrum readouts?! Encoding MP3
Last post by Porcus -
I would rip CDs to lossless (do that only once!) and then encode MP3s from those files.

For DJing you would be surprised at how low in bitrate you can go if you want to, but then: is space really an issue? Why are you using MP3 in the first place? Is it that it is the only tag-able format supported by a certain application?

2
MP3 - Tech / Re: Completely confused over these Spectrum readouts?! Encoding MP3
Last post by blurry_light -
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Second, with Mp3tag you can use freedb, Discogs or MusicBrainz to try and locate your CD and it'll tag the files appropriately for you, quite often with the correct artist for each track.

Thank you, I wasn't aware it could do that in batches! I will take a look.

Note that for some of these you may also have to register on their website first.

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Third, you say this is for pub/bar DJing ... In this context, do you really think that with all the hubbub and commotion that's common for such social gathering places, people are going to try and stand still to try and pick out lossy compression artefacts? Unless you're using a ridiculously low quality setting, I say it's not likely anyone's going to ever notice anything that's off.

Yes that's exactly what I'm saying.. Maybe not in the literal sense but I've had this happen on more than one occasion, where I've downloaded from supposedly reputable sites (DJ download pools etc, which are stated as 320kbps) and when played through a very high quality loud system in a bar with a dancefloor full of people, it's sounded awful and muffled and this has really killed the mood.  People know something doesn't sound quite right and it really kills the atmosphere.  (that's from real life experience) It's horrible and embarrassing.

All I can think of is, the mastering of the original may have been wonky, or these MP3s were either (accidental, since I'm not attempting to point fingers or anything) reencodes from a lossy source, or used an older, less efficient and fine tuned encoder. As an example, and you can search around these forums for this, the Bandcamp website has provided, on occasion, "lossless" files that almost certainly come from a lossy source, and a user on H-A asked them and they said that they don't force artists to send them genuine lossless files, just a lossless format whose source could very well be lossy.

Which brings me to my point: if you know the source of the MP3, which you seemingly do as you have the original retail CDs, and use a modern encoder with a high enough setting, you should be in the clear.

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I'm not trying to be facetious or confrontational here. The thing is, with modern lossy encoders at a high enough setting, people are extremely unlikely to be able to successfully ABX them when comparing with the lossless original (barring killer samples and whatnot), and that's in a controlled environment, with good headphones. In a noisy social environment, such as a pub, it's a non-issue, imho

Of course and I completely agree with you!  This post was purely to do with me being a perfectionist/audiophille and obviously if I've got two options in front of me I want to pick the best.  I just wasn't sure whether I was actually getting a very noticeable difference in quality as there is an obvious difference in the graphs.  It just confused me a little.  It may well be to do with the settings and I will continue to play with these.  Through headphones no, maybe I can't tell the difference but if there is, I don't want the poorer quality track for my professional work.

Cheers

What you can do is, use both EAC and Audacity, ignore the spectrograms (because as it was pointed out to you, they reveal nothing, and as a matter of fact can be misleading since it could be possible to produce a spectrogram that looks more like the original but audibly sounds worse), and use a double-blind test, comparing the generated MP3s with the lossless original. If they sound indistinguishable to you on a setup involving a quiet room with a pair of quality headphones, they're going to sound just fine out there in the pub.
3
General A/V / Re: Why does LAME cut off frequencies differently for CBR and VBR ?
Last post by rutra80 -
There are also different lowpass values, not only CBR vs VBR.

Anyway, CBR has 320 kilobits for every second of audio data, so it can waste a lot of them to encode even the weakest high frequency content.
VBR first measures how many bits would be enough to encode a frame at given quality level - it decided that the beginning of the song is easy enough to encode at lower bitrates, so it did, but to fit in that lower bitrates it discarded the weakest high frequency content to save bits for the stronger and lower frequency content which you can actually hear.

Altered lowpass values are also important - to encode with 320 kilobits a 22.1 kHz wide band you have to discard more data than if you had to encode with that 320 kilobits only a 20.5 kHz wide band. What gets discarded first? Weak high frequency content which you can't hear anyway.
4
MP3 - Tech / Re: Completely confused over these Spectrum readouts?! Encoding MP3
Last post by greynol -
Picking the one with highest frequency response may end up being audibly inferior.

It could be that data is being wasted encoding things you are less likely to hear in favor over things you are more likely to hear.  Furthermore, it is often the case that higher bands of frequencies being encoded require more data than lower bands of frequencies.  When this isn't the case, it is usually because the higher bands frequencies are being synthesized rather than being encoded in order to save on data.

Make sense?

PS: Don't get sucked into the nonsense that stereo encoding is better than joint-stereo encoding.  This is practically never the case; properly implemented joint-stereo is practically always better than stereo encoding for music.
5
MP3 - Tech / Re: Completely confused over these Spectrum readouts?! Encoding MP3
Last post by Steve18 -
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Second, with Mp3tag you can use freedb, Discogs or MusicBrainz to try and locate your CD and it'll tag the files appropriately for you, quite often with the correct artist for each track.

Thank you, I wasn't aware it could do that in batches! I will take a look.

Quote
Third, you say this is for pub/bar DJing ... In this context, do you really think that with all the hubbub and commotion that's common for such social gathering places, people are going to try and stand still to try and pick out lossy compression artefacts? Unless you're using a ridiculously low quality setting, I say it's not likely anyone's going to ever notice anything that's off.

Yes that's exactly what I'm saying.. Maybe not in the literal sense but I've had this happen on more than one occasion, where I've downloaded from supposedly reputable sites (DJ download pools etc, which are stated as 320kbps) and when played through a very high quality loud system in a bar with a dancefloor full of people, it's sounded awful and muffled and this has really killed the mood.  People know something doesn't sound quite right and it really kills the atmosphere.  (that's from real life experience) It's horrible and embarrassing.

Quote
I'm not trying to be facetious or confrontational here. The thing is, with modern lossy encoders at a high enough setting, people are extremely unlikely to be able to successfully ABX them when comparing with the lossless original (barring killer samples and whatnot), and that's in a controlled environment, with good headphones. In a noisy social environment, such as a pub, it's a non-issue, imho

Of course and I completely agree with you!  This post was purely to do with me being a perfectionist/audiophille and obviously if I've got two options in front of me I want to pick the best.  I just wasn't sure whether I was actually getting a very noticeable difference in quality as there is an obvious difference in the graphs.  It just confused me a little.  It may well be to do with the settings and I will continue to play with these.  Through headphones no, maybe I can't tell the difference but if there is, I don't want the poorer quality track for my professional work.

Cheers
6
Support - (fb2k) / Re: foobar DSD playback problems with AVR
Last post by sakujou87 -
Thanks for the offered help and advice.

I actually had everything setup correctly, I was using WASAPI (event) with my AVR, converting to PCM than downsampling using sox Mod2 resampler to 192kHz. My receiver was recognizing the signal as 192kHz PCM and sound was awesome.
Then my Windows 10 updated, or I do not what happened and now everything is messed up again. :/
When using the previous settings which worked for 3 days flawlessly, now I get this error message when trying to playback a song.

"Unrecoverable playback error: Device invalidated"

In the windows setting I have allowed apps to take exclusive control for sound, I read a lot online, I was resetting some audio stuff through command prop, reinstalled foobar, tried every possible advice I found online with no luck.
Basically I can no longer play files through foobar using WASAPI output.
When I switch to DS output it works, files play without issues, but I guess this is not the way to go if I want good quality and/or bit-perfect conversion to PCM.

Again - advice and help would be most welcome and greatly appreciated!
7
General - (fb2k) / Re: Undo tagging operations
Last post by jazzthieve -
Just a question. But have you ever had any of your suggestions being taken on by someone here resulting in a working component? You said you've rarely seen one of your ideas be adopted so that would insinuate at least one.
8
MP3 - Tech / Re: Completely confused over these Spectrum readouts?! Encoding MP3
Last post by blurry_light -
Let me address some of the concerns here.

First of all, both EAC and Audacity can use the LAME, so as long as they're the same version and are configured with exactly the same parameters, the output should be identical.

Second, with Mp3tag you can use freedb, Discogs or MusicBrainz to try and locate your CD and it'll tag the files appropriately for you, quite often with the correct artist for each track.

Third, you say this is for pub/bar DJing ... In this context, do you really think that with all the hubbub and commotion that's common for such social gathering places, people are going to try and stand still to try and pick out lossy compression artefacts? Unless you're using a ridiculously low quality setting, I say it's not likely anyone's going to ever notice anything that's off.

I'm not trying to be facetious or confrontational here. The thing is, with modern lossy encoders at a high enough setting, people are extremely unlikely to be able to successfully ABX them when comparing with the lossless original (barring killer samples and whatnot), and that's in a controlled environment, with good headphones. In a noisy social environment, such as a pub, it's a non-issue, imho
9
MP3 - Tech / Re: Completely confused over these Spectrum readouts?! Encoding MP3
Last post by Steve18 -
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EAC and Audacity both use LAME so you should be able to set them up identically.

Yes I am am aware of this, hence my confusion with the different readouts, I was expecting them to be the same, that's why I'm confused.

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Audacity doesn't rip CDs.   You could rip to WAV and then convert the tracks individually to MP3 with Audacity (or some other conversion program).

Sorry my bad, I'm also aware of this.  I meant I am importing Flac or Wav files in to Audacity.  EAC you can encode to MP3 straight from the CD.. maybe this is what is causing the difference in readout and possible quality difference?!

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Frequently, I end-up editing some of the metadata with MP3Tag anyway.   (And of course, most CDs do have the same artist on all tracks and it's the only the various-artist CDs that you'd have to change.

This just isn't practical for me.  They are compilation CD's and have multiple artists.  This is what caused me to try and find an alternative, i.e. Exact Audio Copy.  Purely because it's much quicker for the quantity I need to do and having to edit all the metadata manually would literally add hours to the task.

BUT I'm still predominantly interested in the final audio quality, hence my hesitation.  Just to clarify I am doing this for pub/bar djing and with what equipment I use and my workflow Lossy is my only option.  For other types of DJing I do I only use Lossless formats.

Thanks for your reply,
Steve
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