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L.A.M.E. is it limping?

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L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:38 pm

I had a 500M+ music file to send to my son in France and tried to convert it from .wav to 320k MP3 in the trial of Samplitude ProX 3 on my Lenovo W10 laptop. Would not have it, because ot it being a trial?

No matter, I tried Reaper (which is still the freebie in the L but paid for on another laptop). That was ok to render the file to MP3 but it took for freaking' ever! Over six minutes.

I then went back to this HP laptop and tried the same conversion in Samplitude...40 seconds. So, is LAME making a better job of the conversion or is it just naturally very slow?

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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:49 pm

Hi Dave,

The time variations in rendering MP3 audio via various algorithms/bitrates can be huge.

I'd say if you can't personally hear the difference between the 40-second render and the six minute one then stick with the 40-second option :smirk:

Out of interest, what are the textual descriptions of each of these MP3 options?


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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:43 pm

ef37a wrote: So, is LAME making a better job of the conversion or is it just naturally very slow?

I've used LAME for many years and never thought it was slow. I've always found the results to be very good compared to the Fraunhofer encoder. However, it is worth checking that you've set the output sample rate to the same sample rate as the input file otherwise Reaper could be silently doing a sample rate conversion which slows things down.
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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:51 pm

"Out of interest, what are the textual descriptions of each of these MP3 options?"
"Don't get technical with me Artoo!" Martin, where will I find those?

As for hearing differences? Doubt 'I' ever would. When I send audio to my son I used to smash it down to 128k or worse to fit it into an attachement. Now I use WeTransfer and I could send .wavs but even they take a while to upload at 9M. 320k top end MP3 is I think pretty good?

James. It was the same .wav file in each case that was converted. I export as 16bit 44.1kHz as default from Samplitude anyway.

You do not find LAME slow but can we agree that 6 minutes for half a gig is very pedestrian indeed? The laptop is no scorcher, i7 8G ram 160G SSD (new so only 20% filled) but is pretty slick for most thngs.

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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:15 pm

I've just run a few experiments on this laptop which is a very similar spec to yours (i7 2nd Gen, 8GB RAM, mSata SSD) with a 180MB file (the biggest I have currently on the SSD) and I've come up with a range of speeds. The important thing to check is the Q setting in Reaper's render dialog. They recommend a Q setting of 2 but mine was set to 0 which is the slowest setting (probably something I changed in the dim and distant past).

At 320kb/s CBR I recorded the following render times:
Q=0 - 1min 50s
Q=2 - 49s
Q=5 - 21.5s
Q=9 - 12.5s

so you can see that the Q setting has a big effect.

However, I never use 320kb/s normally. My normal setting is variable bit rate with a quality of 80 which is roughly the equivalent of 224kb/s. At this setting I recorded
Q=0 - 21.9s
Q=2 - 21.7s

Just for comparison I tried the highest VBR setting which is the equivalent of 256kb/s:
Q=2 - 23.5s

And just to compare CBR and VBR I tried another render at 256kb/s CBR
Q=2 - 44.5s

So Lame is pretty fast at the highest quality VBR settings but seems much slower at constant bit rates.

And just to confuse things further - have you thought of using Flac for your file transfers? They're lossless but around half the size of the equivalent .wav file.
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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby CS70 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:17 pm

Lame is an excellent encoder and since it’s open source is updated and improved much more often by a much larger variety of talent than any commercial product. I use it exclusively.
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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:43 pm

I had better come clean and tell you all that almost all the music I bounce over to son is from Radio 3 (he cannot get that) but I can assure you that it is for 'interest' only and I probably only send him an hour a month on average. So, the audio does not start out as 24 bit 96k! He does not have anything remotely 'hi fi' to play it on so Samplitude's speed will suit me fine.

I do not intend to use the W10 machine much for audio and so will not stump up another £149 for Samplitude even if it came about again so I shall get to grips with Reaper and pay for that.

That last session was Sean Shibe's guitar programme, 11pm Sundays and I have not had a response from son about it so far (kids! Who'ed 'ave 'em?!) but if he is interested I shall send him the rest of the series.

Of course, IF the BBC made a CD or download of the whole thing available I would be very happy to buy it! As it is I shall be looking out for Mr Shibe's CDs.

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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:28 pm

Just tried doing a very quick null test on a couple of the 320kb/s files and it appears that the Q=9 file gives more of a null (by about 6dB) than the Q=0 file but both are better than the VBR file that I tried.
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Re: L.A.M.E. is it limping?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:53 pm

James Perrett wrote:Just tried doing a very quick null test on a couple of the 320kb/s files and it appears that the Q=9 file gives more of a null (by about 6dB) than the Q=0 file but both are better than the VBR file that I tried.

Ok well, as I say I am not starting out with the best quality and son has no means to hear any (he is just as happy with the dots!).

I have found and bought one of Sean's CDs.

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