What exactly is "High Quality Mode?"

When exporting audio to an mp3 file, you are presented with the choice in the dialogue to either set the sample rate, or choose “High Quality Mode.” The manual says little about this, except: "this can yield better results depending on your settings." WTF does THAT mean? What settings?

I ask because I exported a song where I had the mix where I wanted it (or at least wanted it for the time being – NO mix is ever really “final” – right?) and I chose “High Quality Mode” because of course who wouldn’t want the highest quality possible? But when I played it back, the vocal was murky and decidedly farther back in the mix. So, I went back in and made sure I hadn’t missed anything – but this time exported using a sample rate (44.1kHz) and leaving the “High Quality Mode” box unchecked. This time the export sounded like I had originally mixed it (give or take – I always use the maximum 320kps rate, although I swear it often does not sound the same as when I was mixing it in Cubase).

:question: :question: :question:

+1
and not just C7.

I tried it with C5 and C6.5 and same thing.

One thing I did notice is that if a user does choose to use:
‘High Quality Mode’, the ability to access the ‘Sample Rate’ field
is no longer available. Seems the two must be related.

IMHO
There are several features in Cubase that are not fully explained in the manual.

Wish there was a place/site for more in-depth information on each and every
feature and aspect of the programme. In complete detail.

After all, somebody wrote this stuff.
The info exists somewhere. Please share it with us.
{’-’}

It improves yer performance??? :laughing:

I’ve tried it in the past, and only once, didn’t like the results… is it a VBR switch or something?

Since the other option deals with sample rate, I’m going to assume it’s NOT a VBR switch. I’m guessing it’s for when one uses really low mp3 bit rates, like 128kps… truly, I do not know what it does, however

This almost certainly means, that the author didn’t know either. Note the use of the non commital “can” followed by an indefinite conditional “depending” clause, the author was simply camouflaging their ignorance.
Better to take refuge in obscurity than admit “…no idea what this does…” especially in an Operation Manual. :wink:

:bulb: I’m not at my Daw at the moment, but you might check the online (F1) help on the export popup window itself - very often these helpfiles will have more definite information than in the manual.

I’ve been wondering the same, would like to know.
This asks for some comparisons :slight_smile:

High Quality Mode is undoubtedly Variable Bit Rate (VBR) MP3 encoding. I don’t like the concept for my own stuff, but it does have its use I suppose.

You should clearly be able to see that from the filesize then. I never looked for it, but there should be a clear difference there between regular 320kb/s and VBR.

Good point, and one I should have mentioned. In my case, the pass that used the “High Quality” setting and sounded murky was a considerably smaller file size than the regular method

Ok, that’s good to know. I can do without high quality then :sunglasses:.
Why they would call a lower quality mode high quality mode is beyond me though.

Why they would call a lower quality mode high quality mode is beyond me though.

And now this is where a mod or someone from the development
team chimes in on this thread and explains it all to us.

—the mic is open…

{’-’}

Well, I got a new vehicle that can play .mp3’s from a USB stick, so for the first time I’m getting involved in this.

There are 3 or 4 choices to make in the .mp3 dialog … the “Help” isn’t that helpful. If someone has a moment, can they discuss these a bit please … ?

For example:

  1. “128Kbit/sec is often considered to result in ‘good’ quality audio …”. Is this like saying “for audio, 44.1KHz/24 bits is often considered to result in ‘good’ quality audio”? Do you guys generally use the 128 Kbit/sec value?

  2. Sample Rate:Even more than the “128Kbit/sec” discussion above, this part of the manual seems to assume the user knows all about what sample rates to use … I don’t :frowning: . What is the best way to decide which sample rate to use? Is there a tradeoff re: larger files for larger sample rates?

  3. High Quality Mode:Based on the above discussion, I guess I’ll stay away for that from now.

Thanks much -

128kbit/s is the absolute minimum, I actually always go higher unless storage space on where you’re looking to play it back is very limited. Higher is always better here, I always go with 320 myself. 256 is fine as well and in most cases you won’t notice a difference.
Samplerate, personally I didn’t even know MP3 works with anything other than 44100, I wouldn’t be surprised if most players have trouble playing back other samplerates.

Thanks as always, Stroph! I did do a 128kbit/sec export. It’s a two-track project - acoustic piano (S-90 patch in HSSE) and voice. I noticed a LOT of discrete volume issues at the syllable level listening to it in my car, spent 45 minutes taking notes with the engine running in the garage (electric vehicle … no problem!), then went back in ready to do some volume automation and noticed that NONE of those “problems” I heard were audible in the .wav version.

Now, I don’t know if the difference in what I heard was due to the 128kbit/sec, or the fact that it was .mp3 of any type, or the fact that my car stereo speakers/listening environment is obviously not ideal … but nonetheless there was a real difference in how it sounded. I think I will do one experiment by downloading at 320 Kbit/sec, and if it sounds in the car like my .wav does in the house, then we’ll have an answer.

I should say I have the opposite of Golden Ears*, so if I heard a difference, it was definitely not subtle.

Thanks! Alexis

*A Golden Member.

(Speaking credit card ratings, of course!)

The performance of 128kb/s depends on the type of song and codec, I suppose you used the Cubase fraunhofer codec?
I don’t know what it sounds like at 128 kb/s. I have heard files at that rate sound ok, but generally you get a distinct lack of detail at low bitrates, where high frequencies go missing or lose their clarity.

I always export to mp3 at 256k. I’ve found 128 always unacceptable. You can’t even sell mp3’s at some sites ( Broadjam) unless they’re at least 192k. File size shouldn’t be an issue as a 4min song at 256k is around 7mb. Thats nothing to get quality playback for your work. Actually I should experiment with 320

I personally always use 320, like you said, the filesize is not an issue so why not take the highest available quality? It’s still 4x smaller than a wav anyway :slight_smile:

Hello?.. Hello?.. Hello?.. Hello?.. Hello?..

Anyone?.. Anyone?.. Anyone?.. Anyone?.. Anyone?..

ECHO…ECHO…ECHOECHO

Crazy…I’ve been using “High Quality Mode” this entire time lol.

Clicking it never seemed to do anything other than convert the export sample rate to 48khz (if it wasn’t already) and then greys it out, making it uneditable.

I’m curious what else it does too :stuck_out_tongue:

I choose the 320. Can’t tell the difference between that in my car (engine off) and 32-bit .wav over Beyer DT880s and 770s. But that’s just me, I like AM radio music sometimes also.