Acoustic Music - wav to mp3 - I'm not happy

I wanted mp3’s for my mp3 player. I play and record varous insruments but the sound is predominantly acoustic.

Wavs sound tolerable compared to the source, so either it’s simply that mp3 is crap or my setups are - however my ears have never been overly impressed by any music even at high bitrates on mp3. For my own music that I know inside out, it is excruciating.

I have tried compressing wav to mp3 with cdex, eac and foobar but so far I am not impressed.

I’ve tried medium and very high bitrates and various settings (from reading around the web) but with all of them the wav has a richness, depth and smootness that the mp3’s nowhere near duplicate.

I know mp3 is a lossy format, but when for example I sit and listen to an acoustic guitar fingerpicked in open tuning coming back at me with the “D string” and the top end much more pronounced in the balance of the sound across the 6 strings on mp3 - then something fundamental is not right.

It’s as if someone has deliberately set them up for an artificial mp3 soundscape, in a misguided attempt to jazz the sound up up a bit for mp3 at the expense of real quaility.

Foobar and cdex are the worst for this but eac isn’t much cop either, it is more even across the acoustic guitar range but sounds a dull by comparison with the wav.

Geez. How are you recording? Microphone or do you have a pickup for your accoustic? Have you tried doing any post processing of the recorded sound with any software like playing with the EQ settings before you convert to mp3? If, as you say, you just don’t like the sound quality of mp3, no matter what the bit rate, then there isn’t much you can do to change that.

Converting it to MP3 is unnecessary as I´m sure you have enough space on your player to store lots of music in an uncompressed format such as WAV

Have you tried playing back the MP3s on your PC or MP3 player when comparing with the original wave files?

Unfortunately, most MP3 players don’t have have very good sound quality, which means that even if they could play wave files, the sound coming from its headphones socket would still be inferior to that coming from professional playback equipment. Try a Google lookup on the keywords “iPod sound quality”

If you were doing the comparisons on your PC, I would suggest using lossless compression (e.g. FLAC). If you’ve no problem distinguishing between a 320kbps MP3 and the original wave with both played back on your PC and your MP3 player does not support Wave or FLAC files, I would suggest replacing your MP3 player. Be sure to do some research first, as the ability to play Wave or lossless encoded files does not automatically mean it can provide Audiophile sound quality.

I would strongly suggest that you carry out an ABX test to determine whether you can actually hear a difference between lossless and lossy versions of the same track. The results may surprise you…

[QUOTE=Nick.C;2242591]I would strongly suggest that you carry out an ABX test to determine whether you can actually hear a difference between lossless and lossy versions of the same track. The results may surprise you…[/QUOTE]

:iagree:

I’d be curious to know what compression software he’s using.

Likely something that uses “Blade”

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Some MP3 players also have undocumented Ogg vorbis support, if they also support WMA as well, then that is another choice.

For MP3, you want an encoder setup that uses the current LAME version in settings equivalent to alt-preset standard (or extreme, if you find standard is not good enough).

http://rarewares.org/mp3.php - See “Bundles” for the raw LAME, LameDrop for a user interface (and seems that it includes the files as well)

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lame
This describes various settings, and how they relate to what used to be the “alt presets” - the normal VBR modes now carry the former preset tunings.