Top Dj's using mp3's or what?
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  1. #1
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    Default Top Dj's using mp3's or what?

    Hey,

    This is something that has been puzzling me for a while and as I can't find any information online I thought I'd hear your thoughts on the issue.

    I really like 'Hardwells Tomorrowland 2012' performance, especially how he incorporated remixes of more 'popular' chart music. My concern is, when I try to find the tracks, there free to download 'niche' less popular songs on SoundCloud etc which people have remixed, of which are only available to download in mp3 format (320 kpbs). There not available on BeatPort or any form of music selling website.

    Now, as a DJ, I hear endless times to mix with ONLY .wav formats apposed to compressed mp3's which of course, .wav is uncompressed and 'better'. And that got me thinking, how is Hardwell (and no doubt many other top 100 dj's) using mp3's and getting away with it at HUGE venues with surly massively expensive and high end speakers?

    I'm pretty sure there not finding a wav version (quote me if I'm wrong) as I can't find one and also many 'remixes' of popular chart music, use mp3 versions of the original song to start with.

    It's annoying me because I'm finding great mixes that I want to use in set's but then are held back by mp3 only versions. Especially as I buy all my music as wav (same price for me as mp3)

    Would love to hear your thoughts on the issue.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    Generally a 320kbps mp3 is virtually indistinguishable from a WAV. Pretty much every DJ uses them, and I'd wager no one could tell the difference on any club system.

    When it comes to sourcing tracks, if you're a top 100 DJ then I don't think you need to worry about finding a track you like. If you were a producer and Hardwell called you up asking for a WAV copy or the stems, would you say no? Most of those guys get promo copies of new tracks long before they're released to the rest of us anyway, or they make their own edits.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullenglishpint View Post
    Generally a 320kbps mp3 is virtually indistinguishable from a WAV. Pretty much every DJ uses them, and I'd wager no one could tell the difference on any club system.
    sure, but 320kbps MP3 is a pretty poor format imo. i know it is tremendously popular thanks to beatport but that doesn't make it better.

    when storage space or related issues such as limited network bandwidth are a concern, lossy can be a good choice. but vbr -V0 is like 30% smaller than cbr 320. and -v0 is transparent like 99% of the time, whereas 320kbps cbr is transparent like 99.2% of the time. the tiny quality edge of 320 cbr doesn't adequately compensate for the much larger file size.

    if you need the absolutely best quality with no regard to file size, go lossless. that way, you can rule out that you have some non-transparent lossy audio. (non-transparency is rare but it happens. one case i recently encountered was kraftwerk - tour de france - kling klang analog mix which had audible artifacts even at cbr 320.) with lossless, there are some other benefits as well: you can edit non-destructively, you can re-encode without reduction in quality.

  4. #4
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    another thought. i think for djs, lossless makes a lot of sense. while a single encode to a high bitrate lossy format (e.g., CD-quality WAV to 320kbps MP3) may be transparent, transcodes (i.e., further encodes to lossy formats) are frequently not. and as a DJ, you deal with transcodes a lot, e.g. when you share you dj set online.

  5. #5
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    While I believe there is no audible difference between 320 kbps mp3 and Wave files on home and smaller club systems, large systems may be another story. So I guess most of the big names use wave files.

    And as fullenglishpint said, getting the lossless version of any given track might be slightly easier if your name is Hardwell or anything like that...

  6. #6

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    Not this again, yawn.

  7. #7
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    where's mostapha? this is in his wheel house...

  8. #8

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    Well, if the tracks are good and you can't find them in any other formats, play them. Not that Youtube ripped 128k MP3 files are used as an audio torture device by some DJs.

    In general, if you let's say stream a DJ set where the bit rate is low, does not help to play WAV files as it's not that good audio stream experience, anyway.

    If you play on a huge tuned club system let's say dubstep with lossless MP3 files where the dynamics are ripped out by the transcoding, you might as well bring a boom box with you to the gig.

    In the golden days playing vinyl was no issue as properly pressed vinyl tracks have an astounding dynamics range.
    Last edited by ksandvik; 09-16-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru Timbo21's Avatar
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    Many are so deaf to sound quality.

    Some tracks, esp dance can get away with 320 not sounding that different to wav. Converting wav to 320 can lose a lot, definition of bass, you get mushy top end.

    I've heard many very good name Dj's overdrive sound systems so they are being overdriven just so they could be louder. It would sound atrocious.

    My point is that many Dj's have talents in many areas of production & music, but many really lack a good ear for sound quality, whether its due to them smashing their hearing with loud headphone monitoring or just that they lack the ability to discern the difference.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru calgarc's Avatar
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    the trained ear can barely tell the difference between 320 mp3 and wav files.

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