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Thread: Distortion after rendering to 16 bit when played on consumer devices

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    Distortion after rendering to 16 bit when played on consumer devices

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    Crap crap crap. So during the whole process of recording and mixing I've stayed well within - 6 to - 18 db as far as peaks, I've made sure no plugins caused clipping and NOTHING ever got into the red... Everything has been in 24/44.1. When I rendered for cd, to listen in the car, one song sounds distorted! The electronic piano in particular. Everywhere else I've checked my mix, it sounded great. I've brought it to several different monitors and even to my friend's studio, no problems. I realized it was still in 24 bit when I checked the mixes, the only problem was when I rendered down to 16 but and played it in something other than a computer. Side note, I did bring the volume up on each song a little just so they all matched In volume from one song to the next, should I not have done this?

    What should i do? The tracks have all been mixed down, I could dig up the stems if I had to but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, I did alot of work to the mix as a whole and it wasn't all at my studio.....

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    If you've got distortion in your stereo "bounce" you'll need to go re-open those projects. You need to dither going to 16-bit, too.

    Post a link to one of the files so we can download and listen.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Some burning gear 'Normalizes' to a gnat's under 0dBFS by default and some CD players cannot handle that.

    My son did everything in 24/44.1 and bounced it down to 16/44.1 with Samplitude SE8 and we just used its default settings but we 'told' Nero not to normalize.

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4140 View Post
    Crap crap crap. So during the whole process of recording and mixing I've stayed well within - 6 to - 18 db as far as peaks, I've made sure no plugins caused clipping and NOTHING ever got into the red... Everything has been in 24/44.1. When I rendered for cd, to listen in the car, one song sounds distorted! The electronic piano in particular. Everywhere else I've checked my mix, it sounded great. I've brought it to several different monitors and even to my friend's studio, no problems. I realized it was still in 24 bit when I checked the mixes, the only problem was when I rendered down to 16 but and played it in something other than a computer. Side note, I did bring the volume up on each song a little just so they all matched In volume from one song to the next, should I not have done this?

    What should i do? The tracks have all been mixed down, I could dig up the stems if I had to but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, I did alot of work to the mix as a whole and it wasn't all at my studio.....
    You tested the mixdowns on many sources and only one revealed any issues.......and that was your car system. Car systems might be very familiar to us.......but they're normally suspect as to accuracy. That being said........something on that one song needs to be fixed......so work backwards until you find what the problem is. You made a volume change last. Set the volume of that song back to where it was before you raised it. Lower the volume the same way you raised it. Don't use a different method. That could be it right there.
    Just A Song Writer..........
    www.reverbnation.com/mickster

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    Hi there,

    What DAW are you using and do you have a master fader?
    I did this once in ProTools and baffled myself. Threw together a quick mic check for somebody and the mp3 kept distorting.
    The main audio track did not go into the red, but I was using a compressor with makeup and, without a master track, was unable to see that final output was clipping heavily.\

    In the DAW everything sounded perfect, presumably to do with the operating bit depth? I don't know.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Thanks for the replies, I'll try to post the song so u can hear it, it'll have to be after Thanksgiving tho. I did everything in reaper but used windows media player to burn the disk, that could be the problem. Nothing hit red on any of the faders at any time. I did just try the cd I'm my home cd player and didn't hear the distortion but my hone speakers are pretty limited as far a frequency range so I don't know if the problem is in the car speakers or not but it'd possible. Thing is, other cd's don't have that distortion present. I didn't use a hipass on any of the mixes so there is some low sub energy there... Anyway, I'll try again, this time leaving the faders where they were originally, at zero, and making sure there's nothing weird going on in Windows Media Player like normalization, and if the problem is still there, I'll post the song and we'll go from there. Thanks yall, happy Thanksgiving too

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    Oh, one thing I thought about I forgot to mention. The electric piano part that's distorting was a file record by a buddy of mine, who has been famous throughout this project for recording in the red. I'm fact a lot of what he sent me was so hot, I had to either perform surgery or repair do the whole thing. The thing is, inside the daw it sounds fine, is it possible that somehow there's something going on in that file that isn't apparent until after its rendered?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4140 View Post
    is it possible that somehow there's something going on in that file that isn't apparent until after its rendered?
    Yes. See my previous post.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    What Daw are you using and as Steeno stated, what is on your main out?

    That also being said, I always set the output of my master limiter at -.14 before mp3 export. Somehow MP3 conversion seems really sensitive to inter-sample peaks when nearing the 0 limit. Even with the FabFilter Pro L which looks ahead and is supposed to take care of those.
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    Also check out what processing is on the piano track, compression? Recently I was mastering a guitar instrumental album, one electric guitar with some reverb, nice sound. However when I was using one of my go to plug ins that I use in almost all masting projects, it introduced some distortion. I changed this compressor to a different plugin and no problems. However the original plug in works fine on everything else. I have no explanation except that the parameters I was using (my standard saved mastering parameters) did not suit the material at all, and the type of compressor plugin emulation being used did not suit the material. So check this out with your track.

    Hope there are not too many big words in the explanation LOL.

    Alan.

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