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Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

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Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby calacstrides » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:43 pm

Hi guys,

I have a question about bitrates, namely those used by sites like Soundcloud. I know they stream at 128kbps (not super awesome I know but does the job), but I have noticed some iffy sound quality on one of my tracks. I was wondering the best way to get around this.

I guess it's best if you listen to what I'm on about...

http://soundcloud.com/calacastrides/daughter-moon-demo

...when the bass starts up there's that tell tale buzz/ring mp3 encoding horridness.

By way of comparison here's a link to the same track as an MP3 at 320kbps

http://www.calacastrides.com/Daugher...n%20(demo).mp3

...which oddly enough still has a ringing to the bass when played via a web browser but not when played with windows media player and such like.

Can anybody help me out here?
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Re: Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby calacstrides » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:06 pm

..and I've realised I may well have put this in the wrong forum, sorry
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Re: Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby zenguitar » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:27 pm

No problem calacstrides, I'll move it to Production for you and leave a pointer.

And welcome to the SOS forums

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Re: Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby calacstrides » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:45 am

Thank you!
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Re: Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby ElectronicMusicMaker » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:54 pm

Not an instantly helpful response, so sorry, but I had a similar problem - I can't remember for the life of me what the solution was, but I do remember I contacted Soundcloud support. They are super helpful and friendly, and usually get back to you pretty quickly. There was a definite solution, I think there is an optimum file type/quality to upload so it is unaffected when soundcloud convert it for their players. Just can't remember what it is though!

Hope this helps.
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Re: Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby ElectronicMusicMaker » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:58 pm

Just searched my emails and found the original response, but I'm not sure how helpful it is -

"Changes in sound quality happen because we transcode all tracks to 128kbps mp3 for streaming playback. You can prepare your source file for the transcode to have less of an impact though: uploading lossless files or high quality mp3s, each with at least -3db of headroom, tends to create the best sounding streams on SoundCloud. "

Not sure what to suggest if you are already doing that.
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Re: Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:17 pm

If they always transcode the source files, then starting with something of the highest practical quality will minimise the degradation through the transcode process.

Also, the advice about leaving headroom is very important. If the source files hit 0dBFS the chances are that the digital filtering involved in the encoder process will overload, resulting in distortion of one kind of another. Leaving some headroom will avoid that problem.

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Re: Newb question about MP3's bitrates and buzz/ringing of doom

Postby calacstrides » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:24 pm

That's all certainly worth a try, thanks for the tips guys
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