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MP3's

Discussion in 'Recording' started by dwage, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. dwage

    dwage Active Member

    As we all know, an MP3's time is consistent and will line up with a parent wave file(at least on a 4 minute song.) But why does an mp3 have anywhere from 20-30ms of extra time at the beginning of the file?
    Doing a lot of overdubs for people, I get Mp3's in email all the time. And knowing that the recording was on a grid, it never lines up with their click unless I remove 20-30ms from the beginning of the mp3.

    It sure would be great for me if someone could come up with an mp3 that has a time stamp, or at least starts at 0.

    DW
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    That is one of many reasons pro engineers deal either broadcast wave or .aiff.
     
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This tool might help you and your buddies out:
    CueListTool
     
  4. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Use Ogg files instead?
     
  5. dwage

    dwage Active Member

    I wasn't asking for advice. :) I already have a work around for people that send me mp3's.

    I was asking WHY there has to be an extra 20-30ms at the beginning of the mp3.

    DW
     
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    There shouldn't be any added time. I've done a lot of collaboration over the web and have never had issues with added time. It may be a setting in their software. If they are not directly exporting to mp3, it may be a third party software that is creating the problem. Might consider yousendit, whalemail or some other file transfer service. Many of them will support up to 50 MB files.
     
  7. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Au contraire, mp3 encoding should be expected to screw with the start time of the audio. From wikipedia: "Encoder/decoder overall delay is not defined, which means there is no official provision for gapless playback. However, some encoders such as LAME can attach additional metadata that will allow players that can handle it to deliver seamless playback."

    MP3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ogg files handle this better. But you should probably be using wavs anyway really.
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    With high-speed Internet service we have the world over today, MP3 files should not be recommended for use in this application. This is a hangover from dial-up days. OK, so many e-mail clients restrict attachments to 5 MB or so. That's why there are other online services for upload/download that are free and/or reasonably priced depending upon data sizes needed. One need only utilize 1 or 2 tracks to accomplish this. You don't need to send them 24 tracks of data but a simple mix will do for overdub purposes keeping data and track counts low. 20-30 ms shouldn't be much of an issue for any competent engineer to deal with even on a regular basis. Especially if they include back the cue track back with their overdub track/tracks. So you simply nudge it into place. What? Are you that lazy an engineer that one extra mouse movement and left click is too much for you to handle? I mean I know I'm one of the laziest engineers out there and proud of it. That's like saying you're too lazy to wipe your ass more than once after taking a big dump. So you're probably not dating or married? I know, I know you just want to know why there is that 20-30 ms issue you are experiencing. Well not all of us have experienced that issue even with MP3's sent to us. Maybe it's your computer set up? Maybe you should convert that MP3 back to .wav as it might be your software having the issue when trying to utilize along with your other .wav files in the same multitrack project? Because your computer is handling .wav and then has to decode an MP3 simultaneously and you're not keeping things consistent for the stupid computer. You are simply confusing a mechanical doggie. The doggie thinks you are throwing the ball even when you didn't do it the first time. The cool thing about the doggie is that you can do this time and time again with the same results with the doggie. Which of course is quite fun and makes you feel so much smarter than the doggie. Besides we are engineers and it is our job to tweak, re-tweak, keep tweaking until we are all tweaked out. Then the following day, we tweak some more of the same project. This ain't drive through you know. If you don't like tweaking maybe you should think about becoming a government worker?

    I'm all tweaked up and love to tweak.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  9. dwage

    dwage Active Member

    Do this. Export a mix starting at 0:00:00 of simply one track that is a click track as an mp3. You can do this in Cubase and Nuendo, I am not sure if you can in Protools. Then import it to the same project and zoom in and take a look. The mp3 will be 20 or more milliseconds behind the original track.

    I have also opened an mp3 in Sound Forge and clipped off this extra time and saved, then re-opened. The extra time is right back again.

    I agree that wav's should be used, but again I am simply asking why there is this extra time at the beginning.

    DW
     
  10. dwage

    dwage Active Member

    My friend Don just did what I said to do above:
    "24/48 WAV exported as 128k mp3 and re-imported to session was delayed by 672 samples or just under 14 ms."
    DW
     
  11. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I already answered that: Encoder/Decoder latency is not defined. To put it another way, mp3 is a crappy consumer format and not suitable for production work.
     

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