I record my music on a fairly old Roland VS840 digital four-track, and download to CD... I'm just beginning to get into copying the music on to my computer to load on to my website, and I hope a couple of songs on this site as well.

When I convert files to MP3, I seem to lose a bit of the bottom end.  Is it normal, when mixing for MP3, to boost the bass end a bit so that you don't lose it?

 

Many thanks

-Ian B, Falmouth, Cornwall, UK

 

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Ian, 

 

MP3 is a lossy format - meaning that audio data is "discarded" when you convert to MP3, but saying that you should be able to get almost no noticeable difference when listening on most equipment providing you go with a high enough bit rate for the mp3.  In other words, "no" you should not be losing bottom end.

 

Make sure you listen back to the MP3 on exactly the same equipment that you listened to the wav file on. Otherwise small differences in volume, EQ, signal chain, can effect what you hear.  You need to compare apples with apples.

 

Try a higher bit rate of MP3 and see if that makes a difference.

 

Hope this helps

 

Mark

 

Might also be worth encoding in a lossless format like FLAC or WAV (depending on HDD space available). MP3 was never intended for audio preservation, even at higher bit rates, and should only ever be an output format.
Hi. 

If you post some before and afters I'll give you some proper feedback.

Have you run a spectral analyzer on it to find out what is actually going?

at 196khz you generally can't hear much difference at all! So just try that.. 
But to answer your question, no it's not normal practise. But if mp3 at that compression ratio is your desired output (ie, you have no intention of uppingthe quality) then why not! The mastering process started out as a process specifically made for the end medium. In the digital age that's not any different, however I'd question the logic with the current prevalence of high speed Internet of having any compression losing musically important data. Just encode it better. 

I agree with the responses.

If you decide to "master" the .wav file before encoding to MP3, bring the file into a MAC/PC with an app. for mastering audio.

There are many out there. I use WaveLab and Izotope Ozone for mastering. Bring the file into the computer in 48 Khz and 24 bit rate. Use your favorite mastering plugin, then encode to MP3 when completed. Using mastering after the fact on an MP3 doesn't work very well.

I had a VS-1824. I would have to play back the tunes in "real time" into my DAW recording at 48x24 to do the "FM" tweeks.

Roland uses a proprietary format for the SCSI recording to HD.

Hope this helps. Mastering is tuff dude...study, study, study. It will pay off. =)

John

 

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