How To Get Apple Music To Play Songs In Order Demystifying Audio Formats: What Format Should You Record In?

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Demystifying Audio Formats: What Format Should You Record In?

There are many audio formats out there, which one should you choose to record your voice? Audio format is a file format in which music is stored on your computer. There are many different formats such as wav, mp3, aiff, wma and so on. To understand the differences between the various forms, we must first understand the word compressed and the uncompressed form.

Uncompressed audio format

Uncompressed audio formats are bulky files and take up a lot of space on your hard drive or storage. The advantage of the uncompressed audio format is that the quality of the digital audio remains the same because it does not change. It offers exactly the same quality; No matter how many times you run or re-encode it.

Compressed audio format

The compressed audio format compresses the digital audio data, resulting in smaller files. You can increase the valuable storage space on your hard drive by using compressed audio formats.

Compressed audio formats are further divided into two groups:

No loss of compressed audio format

These audio formats compress digital audio data, but there is no data loss or loss of sound quality during the compression process. The best example of such a form is flac.

Loss Compressed Audio Format

These audio formats compress digital audio data, but are known to eliminate specific information and frequencies to reduce file size. A lost compressed audio format causes damage to the sound quality. Sound quality differences can be large or small depending on the amount of data being extracted. Also, each subsequent process or re-encoding will cause more quality loss. A classic example of lost compression is MP3.

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To choose the best recording format, we need to understand 2 more words, model and bit rate. Digital audio has two main advantages that form the way sound is described. – Sample rate and bit rate.

Sample rate

When you are recording digitally, the device (say, your computer) receives the audio signal by breaking it down into “photos” or samples. In recording technology, the number of samples received per second is called the sample rate. The concept is comparable to a digital movie camera that records the number of frames per second and plays them back in sequence. Similarly, you listen to uninterrupted audio playback. The sample rate is measured in Hz and represents the sound frequency range. Higher sampling rate is the quality of the audio and ensures greater accuracy in your high notes and low notes. Standard CD quality includes a sample rate of 44, 100Hz or 44.1 KHz. Sample rates range from 8000hz (extremely low quality) to 196,000 (very high quality with the largest files).

Bit rate

In digital multimedia, Bit rate Often refers to the number of bits used per unit of playback time to represent a continuous medium, such as sound. Let us understand what the bit rate really represents. While the sample rate is the number of samples recorded per second, the bit rate refers to the characteristics of each recorded sample. Back to the digital camera example, the bit rate is equal to the pixels in the digital image. The higher the pixels, the better the image quality. Also, the higher the bit rate (also called bit depth), the better the sound quality. For example, 8-bit audio will sound blurry and hard, while 16-bit audio will sound better. The standard CD format has a sample rate of 44.1k combined with a 16-bit rate.

Naturally, 24-bit audio will provide the highest quality, but such files occupy a lot of space and require more computer power to operate, and may not be necessary for your audio purposes. For FM transmission or Internet streaming, 16-bit rates are perfect. Professional audio studios opt for the 24 or 32 bit bit rate because of the high accuracy it offers, useful in the recording, mixing and mastering process.

Bit rate in MP3

MP3 format is a lost audio format that compresses audio files to reduce size by eliminating data that is no longer needed. You can choose how much information an MP3 file will be stored or lost during the encoding and compression process by modifying the bit rate. Low bit rate means that the converter will discard additional information during the compression process, which can affect the sound quality during playback. Bit rates for MP3 converters range from 16 KB per second (kbps) to 320 kbps. A bit rate of 320 kbps delivers CD-quality sound similar to what you hear on the radio. Higher MP3 bit rates provide better sound quality but produce larger files.

So what do you choose for your recording? For valuable quality, always record in uncompressed format such as wav or aiff, at least 44,100 khz and 16 bits. This has 2 benefits. First, the audio will be recorded in CD quality. Second, subsequent processing, such as blending, editing, etc., will not result in a decrease in quality. No. If you need to encode / record an mp3 at least 196kbps is the minimum for decent quality, though 320 kbps is always the best.

Some of the most commonly used audio formats include the following:

1. WAV format

Wavform or wav audio format saves uncompressed audio data on a Windows computer. It is based on the RIFF bit-bit format method of data storage. Because it stores uncompressed audio data, it retains 100% original sound quality and is popular among audio professionals. WAV formats can be easily edited using software. (Always record at 44,100 Khz and 16 bits (minimum) for studio level recording)

2. AIFF format

The Audio File Transfer (AIFF) format developed by Apple Computers is an uncompressed audio format commonly used for storing audio data on the Apple Macintosh. Because it stores uncompressed audio data, AIFF formats are also commonly used for professional audio applications. (Always record at 44,100 Khz and 16 bits (minimum) for studio level recording)

3. MP3 format

MP3 format is the most commonly used compressed audio format. It significantly reduces the file size by deleting the data in the file. Using perceived audio coding and psychological compression, the MP3 format keeps the quality as close to the original as possible. Therefore, MP3 is the most commonly used audio format for storing large amounts of music on your computer, regardless of size. Too much with acceptable quality. Do not record MP3s unless you have no other choice. Always save in an uncompressed format such as wav / aiff and then convert to an mp3 file of the desired size.

4. AAC format

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Another lost audio format was created to replace MP3 because it delivers better sound quality than MP3 at low bandwidth. It is the standard audio format in Apple’s i-Tunes and i-pods.

5. WMA format

Windows Media Audio (WMA) is a decompressed audio format designed by Microsoft to compete with MP3. However, MP3s still retain the top spot in popularity. A lossless compression version of the WMA format called WMA lossless is also available, which reproduces the original sound quality with zero deletion on compression and playback, similar to wav or aiff.

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