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No VBR's DO NOT DO WELL in the MP3 Directors. Most often the Director unit WILL IGNORE and NOT PLAY a VBR MP3. At least that has been the case on those MP3's I didn't catch and got loaded onto the SD card in my DC-MP3 Showtime Director. So I always use CBR MP3's in the director unit. And they will do the same thing on any MP3 with a higher bit rate of 192k. I can use 128kbps or 192kbps, anything higher and the director unit doesn't play that sequence, it gets ignored and usually halts the show too when it encounters these type MP3 files. And no, the next sequence doesn't load or play, it just halts the unit dead in its tracks!

As for Wav vs MP3, some folks may not have the room with all the music they have on their HD, some of us still use older systems to do this and don't have large HD's or we may have them loaded down with other stuff we do.

This is why I have and use MP3 files in the sequencer, also larger files require more ram as opposed to smaller ones.

But if you have the room to run and use WAV, by all means go for it, if that's your cup o' tea, myself, I'll stick with the smaller MP3 form that comes from most sites, and my CD's I purchase and convert using Windows Media Player.

Just find it easier to keep track of MP3 files over WAV files since the MP3 can have tags embedded that the Sequencer can pick up and load into those music identification fields. I use MP3 tagger to add comments and info when I know it or have it available. Then the artist and song name are added for me in the sequence as I code it. Far as I know, can't tag WAV files like that, least not that I've ever seen.

Unfortunately my first year, I didn't tag my MP3's so, many I don't recall the artist name, just know the song name, just not who did the version I may have used. Ah well. Live and Learn.

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Orville wrote:

....  And they will do the same thing on any MP3 with a higher bit rate of 192k.    I can use 128kbps or 192kbps, anything higher and the director unit doesn't play that sequence, it gets ignored and usually halts the show too when it encounters these type MP3 files.  And no, the next sequence doesn't load or play, it just halts the unit dead in its tracks! .....

Yikes! That is good to know. Two of my songs are 320kbps. Not that it would be a big deal to convert down to a smaller bit rate, but the fewer last minute surprises the better. I am sure there will be plenty of surprises already my first year.
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Thats Jim for you..always pointing out issues with LOR products....:P:D

I think he does it just so he can put more visibility on his used light string raffles, err, giveaways...

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ok, stupid follow up question
What makes .WAV files easier to sequence with than .mp3 or any of the other compressed formats supported ??
I've never tried with a .wav, but I'd think the audio is the audio, and as long as it plays it would be the same, no?

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Jim Saul wrote:

ok, stupid follow up question
What makes .WAV files easier to sequence with than .mp3 or any of the other compressed formats supported ??
I've never tried with a .wav, but I'd think the audio is the audio, and as long as it plays it would be the same, no?


Do a google search to compare a wav file to an mp3 file.
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Jim Saul wrote:

ok, stupid follow up question
What makes .WAV files easier to sequence with than .mp3 or any of the other compressed formats supported ??
I've never tried with a .wav, but I'd think the audio is the audio, and as long as it plays it would be the same, no?


See post # 20
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JBullard wrote:

Jim Saul wrote:
ok, stupid follow up question
What makes .WAV files easier to sequence with than .mp3 or any of the other compressed formats supported ??
I've never tried with a .wav, but I'd think the audio is the audio, and as long as it plays it would be the same, no?


See post # 20


ok did the homework but it didn't answer the question. I already understood that an mp3 is a compressed file and from an audiophile standpoint wav files are much higher quality.

BUT

wbottomley wrote:

I agree 100%. Use wav files. So much easier to use for sequencing.


My question is WHY is it better for sequencing? Does the software do something different? is there a lag or other issues to back up why it is better to sequence with WAVs or is it just because it sounds better?

For the sound quality issue - I'm sequencing with laptop speakers, and transmitting with the whole house transmitter so I don't expect anyone to be able to hear the difference after that :(
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Jim Saul wrote:

My question is WHY is it better for sequencing? Does the software do something different?

The sequence editor (and the show player) use the Windows Media Player to play the audio (and video) files. While sequencing, if you play from a certain point, for example if the play range is set to "Visible Screen", the sequence editor must tell WMP to set the starting play point to a certain position.

If I understand correctly (and I may not), the command from the SE to WMP is not "start at 0:26.34", but more like "start at byte 2,055,616", which it calculates based on the size of the file, the position to start, plus the header, etc. If the bit rate is variable, then this calculation will be off, and the file will start playing at slightly the wrong time. Even if the bit rate is constant, the MP3 compression may make it impossible for WMP to start playing at the exact time, because there may be some "chunking" involved. These problems go away entirely with WAV because it's uncompressed and constant.

I have noticed that the timing is a little "off" on some of my MP3 files when I don't start from the beginning. If you set your timings using the waveform or Beat Wizard then they will still be correct when the sequence is played from the beginning. However, if you set your timings by watching and listening, then making adjustments, you should probably use WAV files for sequencing.
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Ok, just finished the testing ;) and here is what we have

Computer 1 - Lenovo T60 - c2d @2.33 1 gb ram XP PRO 32 bit
At a fast part of the song with playing the on screen, there was a slight delay with the MP3

Computer 2 - Lenovo T410 I5 @ 2.67 4gb ram Win 7 pro 64 bit and SSD
No delay on either one

Computer 3 - Alienware M15x I7 @ 2.9 8gb, Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
No delay on either one.

Computer 4 - Home made I7 overclocked to 3.8, 16gb ram, Win 7 Enterprise 64 bit
No delay on either one.

Computer 5 - Home made quad core @ 3.06 4 gb ram XP 32 bit
At a fast part of the song with playing the on screen, there was a slight delay with the MP3

So at this point I do not know if it is an XP issue or horsepower issue, but for whatever it's worth, there was no delay or difference with the win 7 64 computers. All computers are 100% up to date for updates including Windows Media Player.

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LORi P wrote:

Orville wrote:
.... And they will do the same thing on any MP3 with a higher bit rate of 192k. I can use 128kbps or 192kbps, anything higher and the director unit doesn't play that sequence, it gets ignored and usually halts the show too when it encounters these type MP3 files. And no, the next sequence doesn't load or play, it just halts the unit dead in its tracks! .....

Yikes! That is good to know. Two of my songs are 320kbps. Not that it would be a big deal to convert down to a smaller bit rate, but the fewer last minute surprises the better. I am sure there will be plenty of surprises already my first year.



Yea, I found this out the hard way last year when I didn't realize I didn't convert 2 of my Halloween 2010(my first live show) MP3 files to 192k or less. They were at 320k and I just happen to walk out to check on the show and everything was dark!:shock:

So I waited to see, 3 minutes later, still nothing, so I pulled the SD card and checked the sequences, hmmm, look fine, what's the problem, put the SD card back in, show started just fine, so I waited and watched, about 3rd or 4th song in, bam, all lights out and nothing, waited for another 3 minutes, so pulled the SD Card again, took it inside and checked the MP3 files. Oh crap, 2 of them were at 320k and VBR, into the Music editor, resave back to the SD card as 192k CBR and everything ran fine from then on.

So now I try and use 192k CBR's(to me they sound a little better than 128k does, especially when using an FM transmitter), although rarely I have come across some 192k converts that wouldn't work and had to lower them down to 128k for those. Think out of over 50+ songs I've done, only 2 actually required being converted to the lower 128k CBR rate.



BTW: the DC-MP3 Showtime Director CAN play VBR MP3's, it only seems to have a problem with them when paired with a Sequence file. At least that has been my experience.
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  • 2 months later...

Is there a way to swap out the music file once you've already got a sequence started? I've been using MP3s straight from Amazon/iTunes, but I've been dealing with the Sequencer out of sync issue, so I'm going to switch everything to wav files. Any easy way of doing this?

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patrickj wrote:

Is there a way to swap out the music file once you've already got a sequence started? I've been using MP3s straight from Amazon/iTunes, but I've been dealing with the Sequencer out of sync issue, so I'm going to switch everything to wav files. Any easy way of doing this?

You can use audacity to convert your MP3 files to .wav files.

In the sequence editor select Edit>Media File. Navigate to the .wav file you want and select it.
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I had a heck of a time my first year of sequencing, the music was always getting out of synch with the lights. One of the more experienced LOR people in these forums told me to convert my mp3 to wav using Audacity and use the wav file for sequencing.

That was the trick, I now covert all songs to wav before starting to sequence - have never had the problem since.

sjmiller

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