Couple dumb referencing questions

so essentially I have tons of Mp3s on my HD.

2 questions:

is there any point at all in referencing using Mp3s since we all know the high end is very compromised? would it still be beneficial to study the lows/mids and mid side stuff of pro mixes even if its an mp3?

so essentially am I looking at going and buying reference tracks? are these going to be wavs? where is the best place to buy stuff?

I wouldn’t worry about using an mp3 its not that critical its just a reference

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there is always that “what if” factor where my ear isnt hearing a “pro” reference. Plus i’ll always be questioning my matches using equivocate because it is going to sense the top end missing from the mp3

It depends on the bitrate of your mp3s. If they are 320 kbps, you will be fine.

I am actually preparing a thread on high-res music sources, which are noticeably superior in sound quality, so stay tuned for that (ha! tuned!) But for referencing, 320 mp3 works great.


and is that going to be listed in properties or something? A lot of mine are dl’ed off of youtube so I know I have some lower quality stuff mixed in

Yep, at least on Windows. Right click the mp3, choose Properties, then the Details tab. Under Audio, you’ll see Bit Rate and the value.

Hope this helps!

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yeah, as I figured, im rockin’ 128k on everything i see lol

probably contributing to my ears being so dull

For the same bit depth, your ear will not hear the difference between a 320 kbps mp3 and a 1000+ kbps wav file, unless you are super super sensitive at the high end. The vast majority of people are not. Bit depth is very different from bit rate. Check out this site to try it for yourself:

But higher bit depth makes a world of difference. Will get into that in my upcoming thread.

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I took the quiz, listening on my monitors at about the same level I usually mix. I only got 2 right. For the first 4, I picked the 320b MP3. For the last 2 I picked the .WAV. (I think the MP3s were louder on those first ones!) Then towards the end, I was thinking those 2 sounder clearer. I’m sure if I were to take it again, I’d get a different result. When doing these things, at some point I find I tell myself to stop trying to “listen” and just “feel”… Oh well, time for more practice. :slight_smile:

Just put up my post about 24-bit audio here:

Interesting!! Turned the HF switch on the monitors (which tells them to show me up to 40,000 kHz). Lets see if I can pass that test lol.

so essentially am I looking at going and buying reference tracks? are these going to be wavs? where is the best place to buy stuff?
Okay, to start out, I’m mostly joking. But isn’t this kind of the mindset of most people right now, home recordist or not? What I’m talking about is the question of whether you need to buy music or not. Believe it or not that is a relatively new phenomenon.
If what you use for reference is relatively mainstream, have fun one day and go to a used CD shop. They are everywhere. I think everyone downloaded their CDs and sold them to buy BItcoins.

Got 'em all and got them on the first try. The absence of frequencies over 20k was blatantly obvious on the lower res stuff.

not sure im following but I assume you mean its dumb to buy when u can just dl stuff.

yeah, i have hundreds of mp3 dl’ed off of youtube. Most of them being older stuff that I dig like Vh, Zep…sort of up thru grunge stuff like STP

The only semi modern stuff I have is some Chevelle, Audio Adrenaline, Shinedown, Alterbridge. Some of that was full albums dl’ed on Mp4. So IMO a lot of it is of shady or questionable audio quality

I just want a few pristine quality songs i can dig into an analyze and reference with the confidence that im at least listening to something top notch

also, the youtube to mp3 converter I was using stopped working, im assuming its having to do with new net neutrality rules etc. It just says that youtube doesnt allow it blah blah

right now Chevelle’s “the North Corridor” is sounding pretty strong. I see it is produced by Joe Barresi who also did the Black Stone Cherry album with 'me and mary jane" which is another song I did with nice production

If there’s a record where I want to study the production of it in depth or dump it into PT for a reference track, I need it in hi-def. I’ve used iTunes shit plenty of times for reference and it works…but if its a track you use regularly its worth it to me to buy a used copy of it and import the wav directly to the DAW. Again, you don’t have to, because what you’re after in reference tracks is really overall EQ curve and the overall color/texture of stuff like kicks and snares and guitars. Its almost more of a like ‘how loud in X in the mix’? and ‘how bright is X in the mix’? which in my opinion, you can get a good frame of reference from a decently ripped Mp3.

well im also wanting to do some in depth analysis of mid/side stuff etc so i can sort of plot out my stuff before I even start recording tracks

how are people dl’ing youtube stuff nowadays?

“buy a used copy”. you are talking buying a CD?

Really, what I was referring to is that it wasn’t that long ago that you had to buy the music, or at least make a bad copy of the stuff your friend bought. Lots of people today think music is a free commodity, which has thrown the whole industry out of whack, some of which was needed, some of which wasn’t. Just showing what an old fart I am again, I guess.
@Jonathan: I agree that a good Mp3 will probably work for referencing, but I don’t mind spending $5 now and then on a used CD if I’m actually impressed with the recording. I’m mostly just saying that the normal frame of reference for the typical listener is why buy it when I can get it (or at least an inferior version of the original) for free?
I know in a home studio referencing is kind of like using a schematic, but I’m just trying to rally the troops to always have the real thing instead of the schematic.

time is money. closest used cd store is an hour away and then u dont know what will be there

Im looking to click and buy lol

help me out guys, can we buy wavs online or what is the next best option?

if 320k mp3 are going to be good enough then fine

You are over thinking all this.Get some cds ripped and put them in your DAW .
Reference until your little hearts content