Question on CD burning

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zippie
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Question on CD burning

Post by zippie » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:00 am

Hi Folks!

Just finishing up my first project on MC7. Because i use a very underpowered computer, I always have my tracks frozen. I was wondering if anyone knew if it makes a difference in audio quality if tracks are frozen when burning a CD? I see there is an option to convert to WAV files first, is that essentially the same as having frozen tracks? Also, is it better to have them all frozen or all unfrozen or could I do a bit of both?

Thanks for your help on this. I've learned an awful lot just reading this forum over the past few months!

cheers!

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Question on CD burning

Post by Mark Bliss » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:37 am

Hi Zippie

Its a good question, and I have to be honest that I am not absolutely sure about some of this, but here's some thoughts anyway.
In theory, yes- frozen tracks are already .wav files so there should be no difference there. I never tried it, but some experimenting and a few CD's should be a good test.

I personally dont render directly to CD from Mixcraft, mostly just out of old habit I guess.
I render the project to a 44.1/16 .wav file and then burn a CD via an outside program. If nothing else it unloads some resources to do it in two separate operations I guess.

If "mastering" in Mixcraft, I pretty much do the same, after importing my rendered tracks back into a new Mixcraft session and working on them.

Experiment. Best way to learn IMO.
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

zippie
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Re: Question on CD burning

Post by zippie » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:30 pm

Thanks Mark! Yes, I'll do some testing. I'm such a novice at this I hadn't even thought about the mastering! Much to learn...onward!

thanks again!

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Question on CD burning

Post by Mark Bliss » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:59 pm

Just a follow up thought for clarification. Somebody correct me if I am wrong on this, its just my theory....
While freezing tracks frees up resources for playback performance, the rendering process shouldn't really rely on the same needs, so in effect, frozen tracks or not, the rendering process simply doesn't have any need to run faster than necessary.
As far as I know, (havent tried it) the project should render from frozen tracks. Or you could unfreeze them and render the project. There is no "rush" and the process takes a little time, thats all.
Hope that more clearly answers the question! :D

Oh, and welcome to Mixcraft and the forum. Let us know if we can help you. 8)
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

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Juno
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Re: Question on CD burning

Post by Juno » Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:37 am

Mark Bliss wrote:In theory, yes- frozen tracks are already .wav files so there should be no difference there.
Mark is right.

A frozen track is a temporary wav file. It's managed by MC: it's simply deleted when the track is unfrozen.
A track that's converted to a wav (by right clicking the track and choosing "mix to new audio track") is only different in that you cannot unfreeze it. They have the same bitrate (1411 kbps for mono, 2822 kbps for stereo) which shows they are both encapsulated in a 32-bit file:

bit rate = #channels * sample rate * bit depth -->
bit depth = bit rate / #channels / sample rate -->
bit depth = 2822 / 2 / 44.1 ≈ 32

(Note: a clip that's "merged" or right clicked and "mixed to new clip" (both CRTL+W) has that same 2822/1411 kbps bitrate.)
(I use a sample rate of 44.1; using a lower or higher sample rate would give different bit rates as well.)

So, in terms of audio quality: it should not matter at all if you freeze your tracks and then burn to disc, or if you unfreeze, convert them to a wav, and then burn to disc.

But, there's another option to make wavs: you can also mix tracks down to wavs from the mixdown menu. Those wavs are subject to settings you can determine: the sample rate, bit depth and mono/stereo settings you can make in that menu can have a great impact on the quality.

So, go ahead and freeze tracks to your desire. But as soon as you are in a menu where you can make your own settings, such as in the mixdown menu, always check what the settings are before you do anything.

Example:
For a cd, i would record and mix in 24 bits. I'd set this in MC's preferences/my audio interface/Windows. Don't worry if you have only 16 bits available for recordings; 24 bits is handy for recording and mixing but makes no difference for the quality.
I'd use 44.1 kHz sample rate (again in Mixcraft's preferences/audio interface/Windows).
I may have some tracks frozen, i may have others that are converted to a wav; MC converts them to the same format.
When my project is ready, i'd mix down the whole thing to a stereo wav with manual settings of 44.1 kHz/16 bits (required for a cd).
I'd load that in MC (and might do some mastering if i knew what to do :D ) and then i'd burn to cd, or use an external program to do it.
We the undersigned being of sound mind hereby do declare:
'We henceforth pledge ourselves unto the power of the Upper Air'
Doesn't that sound simply super
Zeppelin visions of the future
Of course we all know very well it wouldn't work but what the hell

zippie
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Re: Question on CD burning

Post by zippie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:42 am

Thanks Mark for the clarification. As long as I'm not losing quality by having frozen tracks it should be fine.

Juno, thanks for that. Is there an advantage, sound wise, to first mking a WAV file, then loading it back in to burn a CD?

Appreciate the help! Just for your amusement, I'll tell you that I am using a HP netbook with the mighty atom processor and a whopping one gig of ram. As long as i go in stages and keep freeing tracks it's amazing what I can do. This is just a side thing I'm doing so I can't justify a big computer expense. But who knows where it'll lead. Been having a blast with MC7 and all sorts of cool vstis. thanks again!

cheers!

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Question on CD burning

Post by Mark Bliss » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:55 am

Ouch. Thats pretty crippling. :D Good on you for experimenting and having fun anyway.

The primary reason to render then reimport, if I understand your intent, would be to import multiple songs and for example adjust their relative levels, apply any desired "mastering" processes (I'd suggest you dont worry too much about that at this point) And then create a CD of those songs.

You dont want a CD with just one song on it do you? :D
Now get to work on that album. 8)
Stay in tune, Mark

My SOUNDCLOUD Page

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Juno
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Re: Question on CD burning

Post by Juno » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:24 am

zippie wrote:Is there an advantage, sound wise, to first mking a WAV file, then loading it back in to burn a CD?
Well, i suppose you could burn directly to cd. I don't think the sound quality is affected by that (have never tried it, but it seems silly to include such an option if the quality is less). But, apart from reasons already mentioned by Mark, it can't hurt to make sure it still sounds OK in the version that's gonna be burned to cd.
We the undersigned being of sound mind hereby do declare:
'We henceforth pledge ourselves unto the power of the Upper Air'
Doesn't that sound simply super
Zeppelin visions of the future
Of course we all know very well it wouldn't work but what the hell

zippie
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:36 pm

Re: Question on CD burning

Post by zippie » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:19 pm

"You dont want a CD with just one song on it do you?"

Exactly! Yes, just one 30-minute long soundscape. So, if all my tracks are already frozen, then i suppose I could burn it from the project then. I did it once and it sounds okay but I don't have a good quality devise to play back on.

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