Questions & Answers

mp3 export quality is poor.

–1 vote
1,540 views
asked Feb 28, 2018 in Studio One 3 by randyhayes3 (390 points)
When exporting speech audio (narration for example) by itself as an mp3 file, a low-frequency rumble or distortion is present.  It appears no matter the bit rate.  Exporting first to .wav file, then converting to mp3 in a 3rd party program, there is no such noise introduced into the audio.  Please fix this.  I'm happy to provide samples.

Also, it would be best to provide additional options in outputting to the mp3 file format, such as VBR and monaural files.

4 Answers

0 votes
answered Mar 3, 2018 by jonnylipsham (14,880 points)
I just want to check if you are aware that you can export at a variety of different qualities: 128, 264, 320 (which is the highest quality for mp3). Have you tried any of these? I export voice tracks all the time, and all works smoothly. So, I wonder if this rumble is present because of interference in the circuitry, room lighting, etc.

PLease bear in mind that different rates will allow for different amounts of compression of the file by the mp3 encoding, which means some loss of quality compared to .wav files.

I hope this helps.
0 votes
answered Mar 3, 2018 by randyhayes3 (390 points)
jonnylipsham:

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my inquiry.  I have tried the various bit rates, and the rumble is present to varying degrees.  It's really a puzzle.  As mentioned before, the problem is not present when exporting into a different format, such as .wav.  Currently, I have to export as .wav, then open the file in Sony Vegas and re-export as mp3 (mono, 128kbps), and everything sounds clean as a whistle.

If I could ".wav" a magic wand, I'd want to see Studio One using the exact same mp3 codec with the exact same options as found in Sony Vegas.

Again, thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.
0 votes
answered Nov 28, 2020 by lancebrown-ochs (510 points)
Any luck with this yet?  I’m having the same issue, but with songs.
0 votes
answered Nov 29, 2020 by randyhayes3 (390 points)

lancebrown-ochs , I just opened a voice-over project from the time period when I generated this question.  I had an archive of the rendered mp3 from February 2018 to compare to, so I just opened the project file and did a Song>Export Mixdown.  Comparing old with new, the bad mp3 output issue is fixed.

This question was raised when S1 was on v3.  Now I am using v5.  I'm not sure if the mp3 codec changed, and to be honest, since the issue was experienced nearly 3 years ago and I never heard from PreSonus about addressing a fix, I completely stopped using the mp3 option and switched to M4A>AAC.  However, I had noticed that sometime in v4, they had added a "Mono" checkbox in the output options, so that was at least an indication that part of my request had been rolled out.

For my A/B comparison, I output a new 128kbps mono mp3 of the timeline and then created an empty project and dropped the old mp3 and new mp3 on tracks.  I slipped one to match the timing of the other, then used the Solo button on one, then the other while looping various segments of the audio.  The difference is night and day different, so I consider this solved.

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