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Different Sounding Mixes of Songs

Started by Shotglass75, Mar 14, 2022, 14:02

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So I am editing a video using K+D+B and I have a version that was ripped from the CD and I also have a FLAC file as well that I downloaded.  Thing is, they sound drastically different from one another.  When looking at the waveform, the CD version seems blown out, but it sounds a bit more full and bombastic, whereas the FLAC files levels look pretty great in the waveform, but the sound seems a bit more... dry or muted, for lack of a better term.

Does anyone know why they would sound so different, and which version do you think would sound best coming from computer or phone speakers? This isn't really for playing on a home stereo system.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance



No clue how to post audio files, so here's a link to a Zip file w the different versions that match the waveforms for those of you who might be able to help.


Thanks in advance
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2022, 14:42 by Shotglass75

So Flac and whatever codec is used in the .m4a (mostly it's AAC) are two completely different codecs. I never used Flac so cannot tell if you can choose between different bitrates when converting something into Flac, but with AAC you choose between different bitrates (for example 128kbit, 192kbit or 320kbit - you can also choose a variable bitrate and select between different quality setting like low, medium or high). And maybe with converting it from CD to the final .m4a-file the software you have used (iTunes?) has done a lot of compression to the audio itself and then max out the volume so it both looks like it's clipping on the waveform but also sounds like it kicks butt in a pleasant way.
What also may be why it looks like it is clipping could be the dynamic range that you can use for that file/audio. If theres not enough headroom, the peaks just went up to 11 even if you only capable of 10 and dang, it looks blown out.
What you can try is to rip another instance of K+D+B (not only because it's godlike) and choose 16bit/44.1khz-WAV. Look at that waveform and how it sounds compared to the other two. It chould now be exactly like on CD and therefore sound like Tom, Ed & Steve had mixed it.

I hope this all was correct. If not, correct me. And also i hope this somehow answers your question.
no idea, no idea

I couldn't have asked for a better, more thorough response.  Thanks.  So I just ripped a WAV file with the settings you stated and it's barely noticeable, but you're right, the waveform peaks rest just below clipping levels compared to the m4a file.  Appreciate the help with this.

Anyway, I used the song in my video editing highlight reel.  Hopefully I can attract a few more clients with my updated reel.  https://maviproductions.com

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