Re: [Harp-L] Music editing - Fading out Pre-recorded music (mp3, etc)

 Audacity does have a rich feature set and can't be beat for a free program.  It also supports VST and Audio Unit  plug in's (if you have a bunch of them already).  I like that it can create Ogg Vorbis files which a lot of other Mac programs cannot do.

For more detailed editing, I have used "Bias Peak Pro 6" (Mac OSX) for many years.  Bias made some nice noise reduction plug ins and stand alone programs to clean up problem recordings (clicks, pops, buzz, hum, etc.).  They have some other great plug in's for frequency analysis and mastering.   Unfortunately, in writing this email and going to check their homepage, I am very disappointed to see that they have ceased operations!  Its a bummer as it was a really great program.  Hard to compete with a free program like Audacity!

Adobe's Stereo & Multi Track audio editor "Audition" is also very powerful.  It integrates with Flash and other applications if you like to experiment with layering of sounds.

For PC, Sound Forge is also very good.  
Joel's point about not starting with an mp3 file is a good one.  I have seen mp3 files go through multiple conversions (mp3-wav- /mp3- aif, / mp3 again, etc.) and it can sound ugly.  If you are capturing audio from outside the computer, best to capture as a .wav  or .aif file.

Another "gotcha" with the mp3 format (if you want to do any looping of beats or files inside the computer), is the ID header and footer info that the mp3 file format automatically writes to the beginning and end of the sound file.  This creates a small but noticeable gap every time the loop back occurs.  There is no way to get rid of this unless you work with the file as an aiff or wav and cut it off.   The gap can vary from program to program too depending on what audio editor you created the mp3 with, and it is there even if you don't enter any track info (title, name, genre, etc.).

Burke T.

Message: 5
Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2012 14:10:00 -0700
From: Joel Fritz <williemctell@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Music editing - Fading out Pre-recorded music
	(mp3, etc)
To: "harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Message-ID: <4FFB48A8.10404@xxxxxxxxx>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

One thing that's true of Audacity and every other audio editor is that 
if you start with an mp3 file you'll have to convert it to wav 
(uncompressed) in order to work on it and then convert the finished 
product to mp3.  There's an unavoidable loss of quality.

  Audacity is a great piece of software, one of the best open source 
programs around.


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