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Thread: Possible to record directly as .mp3 file?

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    Possible to record directly as .mp3 file?

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    Is it possible to record to your choice of format in the current version of Audition?

    I've been able to do this in other DAWs, but the current software that I'm working in at work doesn't have that capability; so I have to save everything as a .wav file and convert later, which takes a lot of time given the number of files that I'm working in every day.
    This particular DAW (which will remain nameless) is also cumbersome in its file saving hierarchy, so I'm looking at Audition as a possible replacement. If it will save in (and remember) a variety of file formats, that would be a huge help in my work flow.

    Thanks for any help in advance!

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    @whyseye you may be confused about how any DAW works because they all use non-compressed format files internally. If you are inputting MP3 files it just means they have to create a non-compressed file before any editing mixing can be done. And, that file is not actually the original audio but an approximation since some of the original is discarded when creating the “lossy” MP3.

    The most efficient way to record and mix is to keep everything in the original, non-lossy file format, like 48k or 44.1k 24-bit WAV until you are done and then bounce the stereo mix to MP3 if you need that.

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    I'm not sure why you would want to do this unless you are extremely short of disk space but Reaper appears to allow saving in mp3, flac, wav, aiff, ogg and others. If you are short of disk space then flac would be a better alternative as it is lossless - the files are bigger than mp3 but smaller than wav/aiff.
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    mp3 can be quite satisfactory in the higher bit rate versions. For some purposes of course it's best to work at the highest quality level - but very often I'm provided with 320 mp3s for live events and I don't understand the paranoia around using them - they hold up fine for what we use them for, and I doubt anyone is really even aware they're a compressed format. As long as they don't hiss or have evident distortion I'm perfectly happy editing them. In all my editors - I can ingest almost any format, edit it and then save it in mp3 format with no issues at all that scream 'quality' at me. In fact, I have a few bits of kits that won't accept mp3s, and they're a pain!

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    I don't think there is? I get lots of audio to edit as mp3, along side bit for bit formats and I can happily work on either. Unless a file sounds poor, I don't reject it and very often, once things are actually in the editor timeline it's easy to forget which came from a .wav or .aiff and which came from a 320 or even 250+ mp3. Sometimes the wavs sound worse than the mp3 because how they were produced. A .wav from a 70s FM synthesis keyboard is compromised. An mp3 from my near new Korg sounds better. All I'm saying is that compressed formats are NOT automatically poor. If you are talking about working with a source compressed file, and then saving it out again as an mp3, then that's two squashes and clearly less desirable - but surely the only real question is how does it sound?

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    That isn't what I said - I simply pointed out that you should edit in the best quality available to you. Given a choice of the identical music in a high quality uncompressed format or a low quality compressed one, then of course, the better one makes perfect sense. When the file you get is good quality - and the only one available, then it wouldn't bother me editing it. My criteria being a sonic one rather than a spec, because a spec never guarantees good quality without listening.

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    I don't even use MP3 to record my lectures via lavalier mic and pocket recorder. MP3 as a recording format can give you horrific artifacts. When people "wear a wire" in a covert operation, they may use MP3 if they are really pressed for memory space. Buy a decent external disk drive and *export* your finished product to MP3. All the difference in the world.

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    Jeffrey - may I suggest maybe your mp3 recorder does it poorly? For years I recorded with portable HHB minidisc, despite the doom and gloom comments on that compression system, and I will sink back into the sonic shadows now and smile at what I personally feel is snake oil in may cases. Perhaps we should record using two identical mics to mp3 and wav and let people identify which is which? For speech, you really found mp3 inferior? Maybe your recorder was just terrible, because I don't find the same thing.

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    The simple answer, (which I'm sure you were looking for) is NO, it cannot. It records by default as a 16 bit 44.100 kHz stereo file. You can choose to record in Mono and even change the sample rate, but you can only record in wave. Once recorded you can save to many popular formats, (every available form of Mp3 that I know of is an option to record to). I'm not sure why you wish to record in MP3, as other have stated it is much better to record in a raw format then down-convert it to whatever you wish to use. If space is the problem, these days picking up a cheap, (or free) hard drive is pretty easy to do.

    I hope this helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007dust View Post
    The simple answer, (which I'm sure you were looking for) is NO, it cannot. It records by default as a 16 bit 44.100 kHz stereo file. You can choose to record in Mono and even change the sample rate, but you can only record in wave. Once recorded you can save to many popular formats, (every available form of Mp3 that I know of is an option to record to). I'm not sure why you wish to record in MP3, as other have stated it is much better to record in a raw format then down-convert it to whatever you wish to use. If space is the problem, these days picking up a cheap, (or free) hard drive is pretty easy to do.

    I hope this helps.

    Thank to you and all who responded. Amazingly enough, there are valid reasons why somebody might need to do this (mostly having to do with a tremendous volume of files being processed in a very limited amount of time, where saving as a .wav and then converting to .mp3 takes valuable seconds multiplied many times over, and batch processing is not a practical option. I discovered that you are correct - the file can only be recorded as a .wav file, with options for mono/stereo, sampling rate, bit depth, etc., in the DAW that I'm currently using (not Audition, for the record - it's Magix Sound Forge Audio Studio 12).

    Here's what I ultimately discovered through a combination of reading and rereading the manual, and trial and error. When initially saving that recording it can be converted with a "save as" to any number of formats, including mp3, without first saving as a .wav. However (and this is a big "however") you MUST choose the alternate format before naming and saving the file, or it sends it into the cornfield someplace under an automatic file number, rather than under the chosen file name to the specified folder.

    Also important - any markers in the file will be dropped when the file is converted to mp3; so in those cases, it does make sense in that context to save as a .wav file until editing is completed, and convert to .mp3 afterward.

    It's all a workaround - the old Sony Sound Forge Pro had a far simpler workflow for all of these processes, but was increasingly incompatible with newer Windows OS, creating crashing issues. I'm not unfamiliar with recording, having worked in the older version 40 hours a week for over a decade; it was just a question of making the software do what I need it to do. If anyone else was interested in doing that too, I wanted to share what I found out.

    Since so many folks chimed in (if only just to tell me what an idiot I am for wanting to do that ), I thought that you should know the answer to the OP.
    Happy recording, all!
    Last edited by whyseye; 11-07-2018 at 18:28.

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