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Show Director Supporting Higher MP3 Bit Rates?


Richard Hamilton
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Richard Hamilton

I am wondering if anyone is using bit rates of 160K or higher on the Show Director and what is the limit that the show director will support?

When amplifying out the sound from the Show Director, there is some distortion and we are 100% positive it is due to the quality of the 128K bit rate that the MP3 files are saved in. The sound is acceptible, but does have a noticeable quality problem.

I don't have the Show Director handy, so I can't try this here, thus it is why I am asking. Ideally, I'd like to export the songs out from my original wav files to a 160K or 192K bit rate for better quality.

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I've stuck with LOR's recommendation of using a 128bps rate. I've tried higher, by mistake, but learned that the music gets out of sequence with the lights, so I've stuck with 128bps. And personally haven't perceived a quality problem or distortion, and I doubt many who are sitting in their cars do either.

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Richard Hamilton

Tim Dorr wrote:

I've stuck with LOR's recommendation of using a 128bps rate. I've tried higher, by mistake, but learned that the music gets out of sequence with the lights, so I've stuck with 128bps. And personally haven't perceived a quality problem or distortion, and I doubt many who are sitting in their cars do either.

Yea, people sitting in their cars are probably not going to notice a difference, but we sure do notice it when it is amplified out over a sound system.
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Guest wbottomley

Richard, I had one at 192 a time ago and it worked. Just noticed it later when re-loading the show.

I know the higher the bit rate is the larger the file is. I can't remember why 128 is the recommended rate.

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Mountainwxman wrote:

I know the higher the bit rate is the larger the file is. I can't remember why 128 is the recommended rate.

According to Light-O-Rama Support, "If you are using the DC-MP3 you should rip the MP3s at 128Kbps. Higher bit rate MP3s consume too much of the DC-MP3's microprocessor cycles and may interfere with the playing of the show."

And I've found that to be true. When playing back the sequence, everything looks OK in the animation on the computer, but in real life, the music is doing one thing and the lights another. Maybe I'll try it at 192 William, and see what happens.

Tim
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Richard Hamilton

Hmmm, I was afraid to get that answer. I was really hoping to use a higher bit rate than 128K. Even 160K would make the audio distortion next to unnoticeable. Interestingly enough, we were doing some experimenting over the weekend. We took the original CD files and converted them to 128K constant bit rate by using Audacity (which I really like). The slightly distorted sound was still present. However, when we used Roxio Sound Editor, most all of the distorted sound disappeared! Thus, we are going to use Roxio. It's not my favorite editor, but hey... whatever does the trick is what I will use.

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Richard, I use both programs. Audacity to "mix" or change the length of songs, as well as work with my voice overs of the elves. Then I save a track as an MP3 file, open it in Roxio Sound Editor and save it again as an MP3 at 128Kbps. Seems to be the best of both worlds.

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Richard Hamilton

Thanks Tim, that is interesting to know.

One thing I discovered this morning is that if I opened an existing mp3 file with Audacity and save it back out, it gets worse. I don't have to do anything sophisticated, just doing something simple like just chopping off silence at the end of the file. When I tried that with Roxio, it still sounds fine. Thus, some of this problem is actually being created by Audacity.

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Richard Hamilton

LightORamaDan wrote:

You can try it at 160kbps... It is not going to hurt anything.
Dan

Dan, we tried it early this morning after building a show and using 160K bit rate instead of 128K. It solved the problem!!! Thanks much for the reply. The show worked great without any glitches, and the digitial compression artifacts are no longer noticeable to anyone.

Again, most everyone doing home shows are not going to notice any issues if they are pumping audio out to a car over FM, but when piping songs out over a louder PA system, there is a noticeable difference to most everyone in our group between 128K and 160K compression.

Having said that... Honestly, I can tell you the difference between 96K, 128K, and 160K by sitting in my car and listening over FM radio, depending on the song and the volume level. You just have to know what to listen for. A couple of friends already lost bets to me on that one.

Tim, I tried your suggestion of using both Audacity and Roxio. I agree it is a good combination.
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