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Jimmy Haggard

Mix in MP3 sounds different than the mix in Cakewalk

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I've noticed a few differences in the way a mix sounds in Cakewalk compared to what it sounds like when it is bounced down to an MP3.   All tracks are going to busses, and all busses go to the master bus. The output to the MP3 is the Master Bus.

Differences:

1> Bass instrument is louder in the MP3

2> reverb is more pronounced in the MP3

Actions to fix:

I have to go back to Cakewalk and lower the Bass bus a little lower in Cakewalk than what I want in order for it to be correct in the MP3.

I have to lower the wet mix of reverb in Cakewalk in order for it to be correct in the MP3

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I too have faced this. And had to do the exact same thing...
However, since I started exporting only in WAV I wasn't noticing it. Glad you brought it up

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MP3 is a very lossy audio format so all kinds of things get altered while it tries to "demask" in order to compress the file size. 320Kbs - not bad, 128Kbs - bad.

so best bet - always export as WAV at recorded sample rate (don't up-sample, it's generally not useful, and if running 96K, skip down-sample until re-processing) + 24-bit  and then use that file to generate the 41.1K + 16-bit MP3 file(s) (some online sites, or emails, limit the size or bit rate so its nice to have options w/o re-exporting).

i tend to go with 48K+24-bit WAV to generate a 256Kbs MP3 since the file sizes tend to be just under the limit for reverbnation and other sites.

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On 2/25/2021 at 9:49 AM, Jimmy Haggard said:

I've noticed a few differences in the way a mix sounds in Cakewalk compared to what it sounds like when it is bounced down to an MP3.   All tracks are going to busses, and all busses go to the master bus. The output to the MP3 is the Master Bus.

Differences:

1> Bass instrument is louder in the MP3

2> reverb is more pronounced in the MP3

Actions to fix:

I have to go back to Cakewalk and lower the Bass bus a little lower in Cakewalk than what I want in order for it to be correct in the MP3.

I have to lower the wet mix of reverb in Cakewalk in order for it to be correct in the MP3

Question here is: What's the EQ setting of your playback device? 

If it sound right in your DAW / or any DAW of choice - it will sound right on the out side too. 

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