Jump to content
Dj's United

Recommended Posts

Apart from the technical difference, does anyone know what the real audible difference is between these formats?

 

It will depend on the audio being encoded. If the sound does not have many frequency components (ie speach) then it will be very very close. If you're trying to encode a nice clean recording of some classical stuff (strings, brass, perc etc), and you'll probably spot it.

 

320Kbps is a pretty high rate, and for DJ music in a typical venue with poor acoustics, I don't think anyone would notice.

 

However, for comparison:

 

The sample rate of a CD is 44.1Khz.

For a WAV file ripped directly from CD, this is 16-bit stereo, so (44100 x 2 ) x 2 = 176400B/s or 176KB/s, which is 1411Kbps, over 4 times more information.

 

The MP3 format works pretty well, but at lower bit-rates, you get horrible frequency aliasing - a kind of warbling (try encoding a track at 64Kbps...)

 

I would say that 320Kbps is a fine trade off. Harddrives may be cheap, but that 3 or 4MB MP3 will be loaded (*not decoded) pretty much instantly.

I'd use WAV files for offline mixing (home studio stuff), and encode as MP3 for DJ use.

 

 

Best thing is a blind test.. Cue up the original CD, and the MP3, get someone to change the source on your mixer whilst you try to guess..

 

 

Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

320Kbps is a pretty high rate, and for DJ music in a typical venue with poor acoustics, I don't think anyone would notice.

 

 

Which is the answer i was seeking, thanks.

 

I've seen 320 quoted as "CD quality" which it obviously isn't as your figures show. However it's what the majority of people hear that's important and if it sounds fine to them that's OK.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Which is the answer i was seeking, thanks.

 

I've seen 320 quoted as "CD quality" which it obviously isn't as your figures show. However it's what the majority of people hear that's important and if it sounds fine to them that's OK.

 

The blind test will confirm this - just pick a few tracks that you'd normally play. MP3 drops various parts of the sound depending on the bit-rate used.

 

I guess a good analogy is a photograph, where small objects, with more compression, larger objects lose detail until the whole image is blurry.

At some point, the compression is noticeable, but a good balance should make it very close.

 

Jason

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the actual difference is so very small, no audience member will really hear the difference on the average playback system, with the average speakers etc. What with all the usual comments of "a chain is only as good as its weakest link" etc. Someone could have great music files at one end of their sound chain, fantasic speakers at the other end of their chain, but a tacky, factory-fitted laptop soundcard/soundchip in the middle, tainting the whole thing = result: The sound output is poor. Similarly, a DJ could go out with all original CD's, great mixer, great CD decks, fantasic amps, great speakers, but uses tacky old doorbell wire to link his speakers to his amps - result: The sound output is poor.

 

I cant tell the audible difference between MP3 320kbps and WAV/CD but I feel that a certain amount of "punch"/"Energy"/"Dynamics" is missing in many MP3 encoded tracks, which is perhaps more "felt" or "perceived", rather than "heard" on original CD or WAV tracks.

 

About 18 months ago, I started ripping my own CD's to my home PC hard drive(s), at that time for personal use only, whilst the original CDs came out with me. I pondered for a while over the whole "what settings to rip at?" dilema.

 

I decided, even back then, that with hard drive prices plummeting, space/storage capacity wasnt going to be a problem - This lead me towards ripping to WAV files as you then get pretty much exactly the same as CD quality. Sure, the file sizes are 10 times larger, but, as stated hard drive prices were cheap then, and even more so now. 1 Terrabtye (1000 gig) drives for under £100... phew!.

 

Also, as I found out, ripping to WAV is a heck of a lot quicker than ripping to MP3 - I can rip a Now album in under a minute to WAV, using 2 of the CD-ROM drives on my home PC. If ripping to MP3/320kbps CBR (Constant Bit Rate), its almost 3 times that duration. Not much extra, per disc - but if you're (re)ripping your collection of CDs, it all adds up. I think that some of the time difference is due to the PC having to sluggishly convert/encode the incoming data into MP3 format.

 

One thing did almost make me drop down to using MP3/320CBR instead of WAV was the tagging (ID3 tags). I knew I wanted to be able to search my files by Artist, Song Title, Year, Genre, Album Name etc,etc... which means having to have Tags mingled in with the music data, and for a while, it seemed that only MP3s offered tagging. However, there are an increasing number of ripping programs now, which combine all the tag data in with WAV files, eg: Audiograbber, which is great although has been around for a while, and a much newer release (just a couple of months old now) Dragon Ripper.

 

As long as the DJ Hardware which you're using will search on WAV tags, you can have the best of both worlds. I use the Denon DN-HD2500, which does support WAV tags and provides instant search results for any of the tag fields.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as the DJ Hardware which you're using will search on WAV tags, you can have the best of both worlds. I use the Denon DN-HD2500, which does support WAV tags and provides instant search results for any of the tag fields.

 

 

Virtually everything on my hard drive is WAV with the odd mp3. Certainly no problem with searching/identifying. The only reason I might have for using mp3 otherwise ( assuming the quality is almost as good as wav ) is if I burn to CD when my twin CD deck shows the title and artiste rather than simply track numbers, saving labelling.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good god I'm lost again lol

 

Lol all he really wanted to say was I use the Denon DN-HD2500, which does support WAV tags and provides instant search results for any of the tag fields. :dan+ju: So I guess were not going for the "I use XX Brand" ban this month then??? lol

 

320k MP3 is fine for DJ use many radio stations use files well below this for broadcast...

 

Nik

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

I stick with 256 or 320 bitrate for all mine

 

wav can be used but the filesize is way too big

 

mp3's are a lot smaller and I see no difference on a job

but at home then thats a different matter

 

just one question

unless a client can 100% tell the difference between a wav and mp3 or a 128 and 320

 

 

 

thats when you will need to look at where you play

 

the test that I did in a club proved that they have no idea what format your using as long as its on and has the beats for a song....

 

try it one time and they wont care

Edited by DjDennis

DjDennis
(In this crazy business for over 37+ years
CEO - Director/Manager/Entertainment Director

Also Associated with = ANDJA, Djchat, Clubdjzone, DjApproved, USODJA, CODJA, Ourdjtalk, plus more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some old 128 tracks that I got from Napster and now I can't remember which ones they were. If I can't tell then the drunken public certainly can't.

 

Even less so with the iPod generation bought up on MP3s. Seriously, I bet some don't even know what a WAV is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some old 128 tracks that I got from Napster and now I can't remember which ones they were. If I can't tell then the drunken public certainly can't.

 

Even less so with the iPod generation bought up on MP3s. Seriously, I bet some don't even know what a WAV is.

 

iPod users deserve all they get ;-) lol

 

The problem with poor quality sound is that the ear gets used to it.. Play a bunch of 128Kbps MP3s and then chuck in a 96Kbps... not much worse...

Then compare to a 320Kbps MP3!

 

The drunken public may not be able to notice the difference, but the sober public probably will!

 

I use ORB to stream music from home to my PC in the office. A very noticeable difference (as it transcodes to suit the bandwidth) - even more so now I'm on headphones.

 

With rubbish PA, I guess the finesse of 320 can get lost, but on a full range system, 128 is very obvious.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked for many years in an Audiophille electronics store I can Hear the difference between individual CD players never mind the diference between mp3 and WAV everyone can.. in blind listening demo rooms with decent amps and speakers. I used to Demo speaker cables and RCA phono leads with customers often spending £100 on a 2 phono to 2 phono lead ...now the difference in the cheap lead and that sort of cable in sound is way less than the difference between poor mp3 bit rates and good ones.

WAV is much better in my personal experience and now you can get wav downloads with spec above that of CD.

 

Gilbert Briggs said the more you open the window the muck gets blown in.. he was the originator and founder of Wharfedale speakers and he was refering to the fact that if you have a better sound system ie speakers and amps you do get more detail but also you hear all the nasty stuff too. On basic gear which cannot play all the lows mids and hi's well ,you wont hear much differences thats why on personal stereos you can get away with low quality source material on high end gear it shows up as a weak link in the chain.

 

In audiophille circles we would talk about Synergy , sometimes we would match certain components together and they would work better together than some products that were more expensive or would normally be considered better but always the media, the source material was of upmost importance with the philosophy :crap: in then you get :crap: out.

 

For the sake of future up grades and you buying better gear my suggestion would be always get the best media you can

Edited by Robster
Rob Star Entertainments
Facebook page
landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26

Link to post
Share on other sites

But thats the thing Robster

 

in a home or a demo setup like you do then YES anyone can tell the difference

 

being in a club or mobile setup in a loud echoy type room or a large hall with bad very bad Acoustics

 

then even you wouldnt have a clue if I was using reel to reel

 

dont believe me then hire a setup or work in a club (set it all up prior)

and test each item and ask after its all over if they knew you wasnt using a computer

 

they wouldnt have a clue!!!

 

so at home yes I would strive to have the best sound possible

on the road/club forget it!!

 

have a nice day

DjDennis
(In this crazy business for over 37+ years
CEO - Director/Manager/Entertainment Director

Also Associated with = ANDJA, Djchat, Clubdjzone, DjApproved, USODJA, CODJA, Ourdjtalk, plus more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

well what if you set up in a room with good acoustics ? Then the source material will be the weak link and then there is nothing you can do but suffer the poor quality. If the files are are good quality its one less thing to worry aboutr when setting up.

 

Good files are good for bad acoustic rooms and good acoustic rooms

 

Bad quality files are just that poor in every room

 

My mixer has a pink noise generator and i can set up the sound the best for the room , one thing i dont have to worry about is the source media.

 

As professionals making sure the actual media we are playing is legal and of good quality for me is of massive importance.

Rob Star Entertainments
Facebook page
landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26

Link to post
Share on other sites

My mixer has a pink noise generator and i can set up the sound the best for the room , one thing i dont have to worry about is the source media.

 

My old Behringer DSP8024 has an AutoEQ function on it. It throws out pink noise and with the measurement microphone, (supposedly) will automaticaly EQ the room. It works most of the time, although I still end up adjusting a few extremities... This does make things sound *much* better overall..

 

Although in one particular school hall the acoustics are terrible and it sounds rubbish whatever you do... a Paramore track sounded rubbish, yet in the headphones sounded quite good :/

 

Cheers,

 

David.

DJ David Graham

Tel: 01204 537716 / 01942 418415

Email: hello@djgraham.co.uk

FB: http://facebook.com/djdavidgraham

Web: [under construction - it really is coming soon :)]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Robster it still wouldnt happen with 100 or so people

 

try what I said, I have done it and you will NEVER know whats played.....

 

if there is one or two people in a room thats got good acoustic's then you will hear a difference

 

if a Uni can show that there is no difference when there is over 100 people in a room talking , dancing etc

 

how the hell will you prove it!!

 

I wouldnt worry

 

have a nice day

Edited by DjDennis

DjDennis
(In this crazy business for over 37+ years
CEO - Director/Manager/Entertainment Director

Also Associated with = ANDJA, Djchat, Clubdjzone, DjApproved, USODJA, CODJA, Ourdjtalk, plus more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...