13

The quick answer is the Loudness War. The longer answer is that you can increase the perceived loudness of a track by applying lots of audio compression (not to be confused with data compression on the audio file). Compression evens out the loud and soft sounds, and then you typically normalize the track so that the largest peaks are just short of clipping. ...


9

If you use a new crappy cable, it's going to sound worse than a well-made and cared for high-quality cable that's 10 years old. But by the same token, a well-used workhorse cable that's been cared for properly for 10 years might not sound as good as something studio-grade. Age really has nothing to do with it. Quality, construction, and care are what ...


9

The ultimate answer for this is: It depends on what material you are encoding. And the strongest scientific evidence is in the coders themselves. When encoding an mp3 using VBR (Variable Bit Rate), some encoders show how many frames were encoded using which bit rate. Here's a screenshot from LAME: You will notice that only 10 frames out of 10735 were ...


6

Assuming you are dealing with human audible audio transmitted as as a line level, analogue electrical signal, then No. To put it in perspective, if your signal is one that cannot be transmitted through a solid piece of metal then you are going to already experience degradation in the wires. If your signal is high enough frequency to require transmission ...


5

No. Once lossy formats are encoded, any data not saved within the file is lost. You could convert a lossy MP3 to a WAV or an M4A file but the quality of the WAV or M4A would be exactly the same as the original MP3.


5

I wouldn't record using FX unless I was very sure about the end result I wanted and how it would sit in the mix, just to leave my options open since you can't go back and remove the FX. On the other hand, if the FX are an integral part of the performance then it might be a good idea to record after the FX. Sometimes the performer might hit a 'sweet spot'that'...


4

In general, the creator of a video can choose any combination of video-quality and audio-quality. In practice, persons who know what they are doing, and also the automatic engines of YouTube (facebook should be similar) that create different quality versions of the same video, have profiles, where the quality of video and audio is linked. So yes, higher ...


4

This reminds me of another joke: This one courtesy UK Production Sound Mixer, Malcolm Davies, A.m.p.s. http://www.winstonsound.com/norespect.html A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a guy below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, ...


4

It depends what method is used. If it's simply played back 'faster' without actually changing the data, then of course there is no lasting damage. This would be how a simple sampler would ordinarily do it, by changing the speed, ie data rate, of the playback. If you resample so the same amount of audio plays back in half the time at the same sample rate - ...


3

Yes, they do wear out eventually. As pointed out already, the life time depends greatly on use and quality. Even with a cable that seemingly works sound quality may get drastically reduced. See below. The type of defects you will start to see over time, can be categorized into three main areas: mechanical damage corrosion dry out/cracking Mechanical ...


3

If you down sample sounds as Stavrosound has said you need to be wary of the Nyquist limit. Roughly the sound must be sampled at twice it's frequency to be accurately represented. In game sound people will down sample making sure that the majority of the useful data is below the limit, eg. If the audio has no useful info above 4k then the sound can be down ...


3

First, lets start by clarifying that "volume" isn't a particularly technical concept. Most generally "volume" refers to SPL or sound pressure level which is the amount of pressure being exerted by sound waves and depends on the distance from a sound source. Rather what we are talking about here is the impact of signal level. Within an analog system, the ...


3

The standard for sound-to-picture tends to be 48kHz. The only real advantage I know of 44.1kHz over 48kHz is that it produces a smaller file size. However, when sound is put to picture, the file size is far more influenced by the video than the audio. I'm not much of an expert on exactly why 48kHz is favoured over 44.1 for video (it could be because 48kHz ...


3

In my experience, it all depends on where the audio is to be used next. If there is a limiter of some kind in the next phase of the process. Sometimes a limiter will be applied at varying levels below 0dB to prevent overload and clipping distortion. -o.1dBFS is a peak normalization preset because basically, that is the highest level a sample can be without ...


3

There are a number of factors involved here but mainly frequency response, transient response, signal to noise ratio (S/N) and total harmonic distortion (THD). Frequency response is largely dependent on the size, shape and mass of a speaker cone and there is no such thing as a speaker with perfect frequency response. But most significantly, the size of a ...


2

As far as digits are concerned, you can multiply by any "gain" you wish, as long as you do not overflow (-127 to 128 for 8 bit; -32676 to +32678 for 16bit audio; ±8.3x106 for 24bit audio, and up to ±1.7×1038 for 32bit floating point). However, there will be some rounding involved, and the fewer the bits the more the rounding error. Note that whatever the ...


2

None whatsoever. Though I've heard that they can't take as much power for some reason. The reason we have 3.5mm plugs is because they allow for much smaller portable media as they take virtually no space to mention. They are, however, much easier to break - both connector and plug, they are harder to solder together as there are much smaller margins and ...


2

The 6mm jack mainly exist for historical reasons. Long ago phone switchboards used this jack to connect callers. This was standardized for audio and was used in studios and home HiFi systems. The 3.5mm jack was developed because there was need to reduce the size of the jack for portable audio such as the Sony Walkman. Choosing one jack or the other has more ...


2

You need to think about your end goal and what platform your project is to be viewed/heard. 44.1 kHz is the exact sampling rate of a CD. Therefore, it's the go-to sampling rate when recording/editing/mixing music or anything else that is being created with the intent of being played back on a CD. 48 kHz was chosen as the standard digital audio sample ...


2

The short answer is "No". The long answer is: I did a study in university to find out if people can, as some people say, notice the difference between different audio codecs and different bit-rates of those codecs. So I created a program in which the subject could rate 'versions' of a song for quality. In this program, each song would have it's own page, ...


2

If you normalize all of your samples to -0.1 dB, then use them in your DAW projects, you'll end up clipping your audio tracks all the time as soon as you use a plug-in. I use Pro Tools where the channel faders default to unity gain in a new project. The channel fader on an audio track is post-plugin. This means if I put a Kick Drum sample on Channel 1, and ...


2

Are the subwoofer crossover outputs indeed for passive speakers? Or are they intended for active speakers or amplifier? I would expect an active subwoofer to have the crossover at line level since passive crossovers at speaker level are quite more expensive and lower in quality. If the crossover outputs are at line level, then you want to route the line ...


2

This very much sounds like the plugs are incompatible. Compare the looks of the two headphone jacks (those you actually plug in in case you use some kind of adapter), in particular the number of rings on each. If there is significant difference, you likely need another adapter. With headphones, there can be impendance mismatch, but your panning symptom ...


2

Schizomorph makes a solid answer for all the technical details, but I'm going to break it down more basically. Sound consists of pressure changes. A speaker makes sound by moving a diaphragm that pushes air to make pressure changes. The volume of a sound is determined by how much air moves and how fast it moves. Small speakers can only move so much air....


1

For the large part the quality of the DAC is like any other quality/price assessment: You get what you pay for. A cheap speaker set is not likely to contain a DAC better than the one in your computer/interface. However there may be a few other advantages with the external DAC: It is physically separated from the CPU and mainboard. This alone will most ...


1

You should be fine plugging your power bar into the furman (i do the same thing) as long as you don't pull too much current. The pl-8c has a 15amp 'breaker' on it, so don't exceed that. I don't think using your power bar would nullify the benefits of the furman 'cleans' in the incoming ac current then delivers it to it's outputs, which your power bar plugs ...


1

Based on cursory look at the website they seem to share a fairly similar feature set. My guess is that they use extremely similar components and even if they were to use different circuitry they'd still be close enough in specification that they wouldn't make much of a difference in the real world. http://global.focusrite.com/audio-interface-comparison-...


1

There may be some signal loss from making another transition from one cable to another, but it would be no more or less than going through a 6mm extension cable. What can make more of a difference is the material used on the connectors to make sure that they get good solid contact, but surface area of the connection doesn't really matter, particularly since ...


1

As far as I know, m4a is also considered to be a lossy format. So converting from lossy to lossy would not make any difference, probably worsen the quality depending on the coding standard being used.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible