Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

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fiveaces
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Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:59 am

Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

Post by fiveaces » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:02 am

Hello,

I have been reading up on DJing in Ableton and I found some posts and youtube videos which said that mp3s should be converted to WAV before bringing them into Ableton to cut down on caching and processing. I think the main thread that I read was from back in 2010.

Is this still the consensus for you DJs out there? Or has computer hardware advanced to a point where this is no longer necessary?
I want to begin building a DJ library but I want to do it the right way from the beginning.

Also, are there any other Ableton live dj message forums? I found one through google that seems to have shut down two years ago.

Thanks

alpertt
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Re: Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

Post by alpertt » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:13 am

Ableton doesn't open compressed files directly, converts them to wav and puts in /cashes folder. It is 10 GB maximum by default, but you can adjust it from Preferences>file and folders>decoding cash>maximum cash size.

There is no further processing after they are cashed (not more than original wav files i mean).

After reaching maximum cashe size, Ableton probably deletes beginning from oldest files (does it ask before delete? IDK, i never reached that size.)
But since your audio data (warp markers etc) stays in the original folder (ends with *.asd), you don't loose any data. Only couple seconds more opening time per 5-6 min song.

(BTW Im not a DJ, so i can't know the consensus. But i wouldn't use compressed audio files in any serious music business. One shots maybe, yet still unlikely)

Stromkraft
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Re: Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

Post by Stromkraft » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:49 pm

fiveaces wrote:Hello,

I have been reading up on DJing in Ableton and I found some posts and youtube videos which said that mp3s should be converted to WAV before
Just buy lossless from the beginning. The MP3 format was not made to withstand warping. When you add amplification the MP3 sounds like shit and make certain DJs think that vinyl sounds better. MP3s are more for consumers and not for DJs.
Make some music!

randycolby
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Re: Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

Post by randycolby » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:20 am

Stromkraft wrote:
fiveaces wrote:
Just buy lossless from the beginning. The MP3 format was not made to withstand warping. When you add amplification the MP3 sounds like shit and make certain DJs think that vinyl sounds better. MP3s are more for consumers and not for DJs.
Some DJ's prefer the sound of vinyl because vinyl.

Stromkraft
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Re: Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

Post by Stromkraft » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:10 am

randycolby wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:
fiveaces wrote:
Just buy lossless from the beginning. The MP3 format was not made to withstand warping. When you add amplification the MP3 sounds like shit and make certain DJs think that vinyl sounds better. MP3s are more for consumers and not for DJs.
Some DJ's prefer the sound of vinyl because vinyl.
Yes. And? They're wrong obviously, unless you feel the sonically inferior vinyl format sounds better because of its inherent limitations.

You cannot successfully argue that once a 96kHz/24bit master is cut to vinyl it sounds better as if by magic. That's not how audio works. All steps you took you could have recreated digitally mimicking vinyl.

If you got a completely analogue production chain you might have a case. If not, be my guest to prove this. I've convinced multiple well-known DJs on this.

I DJ lossless or with Vinyl. MP3? Never. CD? I hate CDs. Digitally audio that can get scratched? What's that?
Make some music!

Tarekith
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Re: Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

Post by Tarekith » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:48 am

To the OP, yes if you bring a MP3 into Live it will convert it to wav and cache it. This works fine, but the downside is that then you end up increasing how much space your DJ library is taking up on your HD since you now have the MP3 and the cached wav file version of the same song.

As others mentioned, it probably best to buy the uncompressed version whenever you can if you're going to be using Live anyway to DJ. Sometimes that's not an option though, I have a few tracks I could only find MP3 versions of too. Personally I just convert these to a lossless format ahead of time and ditch the MP3.

These days I my entire DJ library is actually been converted to AIF instead of wav though. Not only is it uncompressed with support in all software, but you can also still embed the album art and keep all the ID3 tags in place. The best features of MP3 and wav in one format, well, minus the small file size I guess.

Stromkraft - A lot of people prefer the warmer/duller sound of something like vinyl (not me personally), the flaws are part of the attraction and gives it the vibe they like. It doesn't make them "wrong" just because you don't agree with it. You need to keep an open mind to the fact that not everyone works the way you do, and stop putting people down because they like things differently than you. Nothing wrong with sharing your point of view too (as well as all the valuable help you provide), but you're so incredibly negative sometimes when you disagree with how or why other people do things. It's art man, all opinions are valid, not everyone works the same way to create it or does it for the same reasons. :)
Tarekith
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Stromkraft
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Re: Clips for DJing- convert to WAV first?

Post by Stromkraft » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:20 pm

Tarekith wrote: Stromkraft - A lot of people prefer the warmer/duller sound of something like vinyl (not me personally), the flaws are part of the attraction and gives it the vibe they like. It doesn't make them "wrong" just because you don't agree with it. You need to keep an open mind to the fact that not everyone works the way you do, and stop putting people down because they like things differently than you. Nothing wrong with sharing your point of view too (as well as all the valuable help you provide), but you're so incredibly negative sometimes when you disagree with how or why other people do things. It's art man, all opinions are valid, not everyone works the same way to create it or does it for the same reasons. :)
Analogue sound
I also prefer analogue sound and I love the sound of Vinyl, so my previous post wasn't about this. It's more about how I cannot go along with "magical thinking" in music production or DJ discussions, however much I may love to marvel in this myself. I will not be quiet about this as this is where many newbies go wrong applying recipes instead of learning to think like a producer (I view DJs as both artists and producers, even though this varies how much of each). Waving magic product flags, or magic formats in this case, is unacceptable to me. I suggest that if you want to state that a format is better then please also supply arguments how exactly it's better.

Expressing Opinions
I don't see here that my stance on what's correct with audio quality vs Vinyl or Digital is putting anyone down. I don't see anyone else expressing an opinion different from mine is putting me down, so I don't see how expressing mine can be harmful. It's perfectly possible that two, on the surface contradictory opinions on something can both be right.

Learning from differing opinions
When we have different opinions and we listen to each other we might learn something, for example discover that we didn't mean the same thing exactly and that our collective data is complementary. But that doesn't mean anyone must start with accepting claims that border on magical thinking.

Solid arguments for the Vinyl sound
In this case, there are a few arguments that can be viewed as remaining solid for the case of Vinyl and that is if your vinyl cutting process involves stages where you use unique products, or someone applies unique talents that they or someone else cannot reproduce in the digital process.

Vinyl mastering and printing process
As this process from Master to Vinyl are adding sonic steps — You should know a lot more about this than I do — that a producer or label may choose not to mimic in the digital release, you could very well end up with 2 products with the same content that do sound different. You, or someone else, may also prefer one of those formats, so this is a strong second argument I think. I argue though that what you actually prefer is not the format, but the additional processing.

Emulating Vinyl production processing steps
In many cases, not all I assume, this additional processing may be emulated with products like Abbey Road Vinyl and similar. Not two similar production chains are exactly the same though. But which is the best processing isn't something you can decide based on formats alone.

100% Analogue Production Chain
A third argument that I already mentioned previously is that with a completely analogue chain, including only analogue instruments, going all the way to Vinyl you will end up with a product that hardly can be made to sound exactly the same in a parallel digital production chain. If this analogue path is something you like, then this is a perfectly valid approach to music production. But then you don't DJ this material in Live unless you record it which kind of makes all of this another discussion.

If you couldn't make a digital product sound as good is another question. I'd argue here that any given chain of selections of tools and applying specific processes may result in equally fine sounding end products, yet these might be somewhat different.

DJing and formats
I'm leaving aside playback systems here as this discussion actually is about DJ'ing in Live and as far as I know there is no support for even Vinyl control in Live, even less so Analogue Vinyl audio signals. And when DJing with Vinyl there are few effective ways to change the tempo without affecting pitch, which makes digital Djing quite superior in many cases. Personally, I don't think Live's Warp methods are good enough for Djing.
Make some music!

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