CD Burning

I’ve used N-Tracks 4 to burn my recordings to cd-RW. I can playback O.K. on my PC but when I stick the CD in my car or home CD players they won’t read it. Any idea what I’m missing?

Eyup!

Most domestic-type cd players will NOT play CD/RW. Burn the tracks to CDR and you should be ok.

Steve

Thanks!

Now, if you have any ideas on why it is that when I convert to .MP3 (192 bit rate) it comes out with lotsa staticy type distortion,I’d sure appreciate it…

Eyup!

What is the source?
I assume it’s a mixed down .wav from NTrack.?

Steve

Yup. I mixdown to 16 bit then normalize that to 0db, then I run the Bladeenc on it using the N-Tracks file convert function. The 16 bit mixdown sounds O.K. but the MP3 is full of staticy distortion.

What’s the prognosis doctor?

Eyup!

Personal preference of course, but I never normalise to 0dB. There is always the possibility of clipping which is to be avoided at all costs in the digital domain. Also I never use NTrack to create an mp3, I usually use dbpoweramp or cool edit. Usually, I don’t convert to mp3 anyway, I prefer .wma it sounds “better” to my tired old ears.
I have had the problem you describe and it went away after I reduced the bitrate to 128k or lower.
I can’t guarantee it will do the business for you but it’s worth a try at least.

Steve

I’ll Try it…Thanks again!

Steve is right on the money.

Normalize to -.1 db to -1db (or anything slightly less than 0db). Also, make sure automatic level adjustment or normalizing isn’t on in the encoder when converting to MP3. I don’t do MP3 anymore (prefer wma as well) but most MP3 encoders had some kind of way to even out the volume or raise it up during encoding.

It could be that the encoder is simply not doing a good job. Try any other one as a comparison.

Yes, most of us use this one from http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm

The current one from db-poweramp is not free (after trial) to do MP3 but a slightly older version is free forever.

I’ve heard about some higher bitrates doing funny stuff in some encoders and that lowering the bitrate avoided it. Steve might be on to something there, too. Long ago I seem to remember something similar and a friend sent me another encoder dll to try and all was well. In hindsight that might have been the issue back then.

Is that right? Dither down to 16 bit and then normalise?

I thought dithering down was always the final step, but I’m probably wrong; so enlighten me someone. :)

Ali

EDIT: after a trawl of my hard disc, I found the Ozone dithering guide:

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The rule most people know about dithering is don’t touch the signal at all after it’s been dithered. No fades, no volume change, no normalizing, no effects, no panning. Nothing. OK, the one thing you can do is trim the ends. But no actual processing of the signal.


But Mr and Mrs Isotope and all the baby isotopes may well be wrong, (after all, they can’t even spell “normalising”!) :D

If you use a mastering type compressor on a you mix you shouldn’t need to normalise if you have the ceiling on the compressor set at just under 0dB…

I mixdown 32 bit, then do my "mastering on the 32 bit mixdown (compression, maybe some EQ) and then mix that down to 16 bit and dither and no need to normalise after that.

Just load it into a wav editor to trim start and end of song.

Rich

Yup, that’s what I do Rich, (using Ozone at 64 bit).

As far as I can see; normalising after dithering is just going to decrease the number of available “levels” and thereby increase quantising noise and artifacts.

Ali

That is my understanding too. Plus after you have done your mastering compression it should already be hitting the -0.1dB level anyway so normalising shouldn’t make any difference unless your normaliser is changing the relative dynamics and doing some sort of compression rather than just straight normalising.
Which I wouldn’t want to happen to my track anyway…

Rich

Correct Ali (and everyone else). Trim the ends and normalixe to whatever before converting 24 or 32 to 16 then do the dither when converting and don’t touch it after that. Dithering adds a final bit of noise to smooth over stuff so no way should anything be done after that, except to convert it to the compressed format.