Demystifying Audio Formats: What Format Is It Advisable To Record In?

There are plenty of audio formats available, the ones that should you decide to record your audio in? A sound format is really a file format where music is stored on your pc. You will discover numerous formats, like wav, mp3, aiff, wma etc. To learn the visible difference between various formats, we need to first understand terms compressed and uncompressed formats.

Uncompressed Audio Formats

Uncompressed audio formats are bulky files and fill up considerable space on your hard drive or storage drive. The main benefit of uncompressed audio formats is the excellence of the digital audio remains intact, as it is unchanged. It offers the identical quality; irrespective of how often you process or re encode it.

Compressed Audio Format

Compressed audio formats compress the digital audio data, contributing to smaller files. You are able to regain valuable space on your own hard drive by utilizing compressed audio formats.

Compressed audio formats are further categorized into 2 two groups:

Lossless Compressed Audio Formats

These audio formats compress digital audio data, however, there is no loss of data or degradation of audio quality in the compression process. The finest type of such format is flac.

Lossy Compressed Audio Formats

These audio formats compress digital audio data, but are acknowledged to eliminate certain information and frequencies to reduce the file size. lossy compressed audio formats causes degradation in audio quality. The main difference in audio quality could be large or small, depending upon the amount data continues to be removed. Also, each subsequent processing or re encoding will lead to more quality loss. The classic example of lossy compression is MP3.

Which recording Format is right for me?

To choose the best recording format, we will need to understand 2 more terms, Sampling and bit rate. Digital audio has two primary qualities that compose just how the audio is described. — sampling rate and bit rate.

Sampling Rate

If you are recording audio digitally, these devices (say, your pc) receives the audio signal, by breaking it up into «snapshots» or samples. In recording technology, the number of samples received per second is named the sampling rate. The notion is comparable to an electronic digital movie camera that records several image frames per second and plays it back as a continuous moving image. Similarly, you pay attention to uninterrupted audio playback. Sampling rates are measured in hertz and represents the sound frequency range. Higher the sampling rate greater is definitely the audio quality and ensures greater precision with your high notes and low notes. Standard CD quality contains a sampling rate of 44, 100Hz or 44.1 KHz. Sampling rates start from 8000hz(extremely low quality) to 196,000(very good quality, with extreme huge files).

Bit Rate

In digital multimedia, bit rate often means the quantity of bits used per unit of playback time for you to represent a continuous medium like audio. Let us understand what the bit rate actually represents. While sampling rate is range of samples recorded per second, bit rate means the characteristics for each individual sample recorded. Going back to digital camera example, bit rate is the same in principle as pixels in digital images. Higher the pixels, better is definitely the image quality. Similarly, higher the bit rate (also referred to as bit depth), better will be the audio quality. For instance an 8 bit audio will sound grainy and harsh, while a 16 bit audio sounds much better. Standard CD format has 44.1k sampling rate along with 16 bit rate.


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