Jump to content


Photo

Why is my Zoom suddenly producing huge MP3 files?


29 replies to this topic

#1 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:12 AM

I did a recording for Cnet and only when I tried to post it (and failed) realised it was over 3 mb. The last few recordings I've made are thereabouts I now notice; until recently they were all coming out about 600kb; sometimes less, sometimes getting up towards 1mb but never exceeding that so this is a clear change.

The music style and instrument are unchanged. I am using the same Zoom H2 and, of course, audacity, exporting as MP3 files to Lame, so none of the kit has changed and I think I'm doing what I always did.

I can only think I've changed a setting somewhere. Could someone who understands all this stuff tell me what numbers to put where, please?

Second question; does anyone know an easy way of resampling (that's right isn't it?) the recording I've got to get its size down?

#2 tallship

tallship

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1703 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kent, UK

Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:33 AM

When you export the file from Audacity as an MP3 there is a button marked 'Options' in the save window. Click on this and make sure the MP3 file size is set to 128kbs which is the normal amount of compression used to ensure reasonable quality in a smallish file size.

You shouldn't need to 'resample' the file at all, just open it and export it again. Hope that helps!

#3 tallship

tallship

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1703 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kent, UK

Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:40 AM

I've just realised of course that there will be a file size setting on the Zoom as well, perhaps you've been into the menus and inadvertently changed something. You don't have to record in MP3 on the Zoom of course as Audacity will happily open a CD quality (or even larger!) .wav file and export it as a compressed MP3.

#4 Kautilya

Kautilya

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1345 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:07 PM

[quote name='tallship' timestamp='1326030053' post='131700']
I've just realised of course that there will be a file size setting on the Zoom as well, perhaps you've been into the menus and inadvertently changed something. You don't have to record in MP3 on the Zoom of course as Audacity will happily open a CD quality (or even larger!) .wav file and export it as a compressed MP3.

tallship, on 08 January 2012 - 01:40 PM, said:
I've just realised of course that there will be a file size setting on the Zoom as well, perhaps you've been into the menus and inadvertently changed something. You don't have to record in MP3 on the Zoom of course as Audacity will happily open a CD quality (or even larger!) .wav file and export it as a compressed MP3.

[quote]
Could be because it is your Magnum Opus which we have been waiting for since Jan 1!

By amazing telepathiserendipity as I opened your post I was just enjoying (9MB file) two hours of ECMW sounds and at that very moment your delicious rendering of Nimrod and other pieces (and of course your slower but still rather fast and powerful (wot singer can resist your squeeze!) Moscow Nights- all luvverly.

And there is some interesting historical discourses there too, e.g. about Mr Purcell (whose family it seems later got into pirate music laundering with his magic powder)nicking tunes. "I suspect it was one of those pop-tunes from the 16thC which the peasants nicked and played in the 17thC...." etc etc.
ZOOM
If Zoom H2 then manual p 36 explains 'quantization' -- ' a higher quantization setting will result in better dynamic range, but the resulting files will be bigger and therefore consume more space in the SD card".

P 35 has box showing wav and mp3 levels under MENU , select REC MODE and see the BIT Size (16 and 24 BIT) or in MP3 up to 320Kbps - I assume the bigger the numer the bigger your file will be.

But you should never go for lower quality - by the laws of death and taxes each time you play a piece it can never be reproduced the same again.

Space on the SD card costs you nowt (after you have bought it), and as the cnetsite limit is small you can always stick a recording into windowsmoviemaker or similar (and put up on youtube as an "unlisted" item so you can ensure only your fans and granny can hear it.

As a no-brainer you must surely realise that

More squeeze oeuvres please! - BTW been trying to do Tchaikovsky's No 1 in B flat minor for piano on squeezebox, but don't have the buttons you have... any chance????????

Cant find a tina version anywhere (help Leo??!!) so would be super to have a world first from you
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=BWerj8FcprM

I doubt if even you have the multi-talents to take on this Mafia/KGB version of T's violin concerto. The opening reminds of Soviet/pianist Gilels refusing to start playing until the packed house had stopped breathing, never mind coughing.

As for the blonde fiddler, I seem to remember music critic Antony Hopkins* saying about the first movement that it was like Marylin Monroe entering the room (actually he was talking about the Bruch violin concerto, but a little musical licence when the Sopranos AND the KGB are behind the film production is praps allowed here! Keeping warm by bellowsing in Siberia does not have its attractions! :ph34r:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=fCXlTNAkOZM

*
http://jennifervyvyan.org/wp/?p=132

Edited by Kautilya, 09 January 2012 - 08:21 AM.


#5 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:07 PM

OK Thank you both of you. I think I know what's up now; it's coming back to me. Some months ago I noticed that the zoom records as a wav and I was importing files painfully slowly into Audacity then saving to lame as an mp3. I thought "If the zoom recorded it as an mp3 in the first place that would make handling easier all round." So I altered the setting. The trouble is I use it so infrequently I forgot in the meantime.

I suspect that I set it higher on exactly your 'better quality is always good' principle, K, because it was on 320kbps. Hence the problem. Does this seem to fit the symptoms?

So can I ask the obvious follow ups; does saving it as an mp3 make sense? I'm expecting I'll get the same sound but be able to download it onto my computer much faster. And secondly what WOULD be a sensible setting for the record mode? MP3 128kbps? Or can I go lower?

There doesn't seem to be a default setting but whatever the factory put in must be OK for my purposes because Al Day knew I was using this for my Duet International recordings and never complained about the quality, so I'll settle for that.

#6 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:31 PM

Could be because it is your Magnum Opus which we have been waiting for since Jan 1!


No. It's a cute little bit of trad. music. I've an interesting piece of Bach too but it's waiting for me to stop a couple of reeeds buzzing.

But you should never go for lower quality - by the laws of death and taxes each time you play a piece it can never be reproduced the same again.

Space on the SD card costs you nowt (after you have bought it), and as the cnetsite limit is small you can always stick a recording into windowsmoviemaker or similar (and put up on youtube as an "unlisted" item so you can ensure only your fans and granny can hear it.

As a no-brainer you must surely realise that



Yes but you need to factor in the Luddite tendencies and straight laziness of the man involved.

More squeeze oeuvres please! - BTW been trying to do Tchaikovsky's No 1 in B flat minor for piano on squeezebox, but don't have the buttons you have... any chance????????

Cant find a tina version anywhere (help Leo??!!) so would be super to have a world first from you


I think orchestral stuff works really well on a big duet, certainly better than on a piano and perhaps better than any other instrument, so I have no problem with the basic idea. It's finding the music, because I have neither the patience nor the skill to bash out an arrangement for myself. At least let's assume I haven't the skill because I've never had the patience to try. The Debussy was a piano arrangement found in the great piles of s/h music I buy from jumble sales; the ICA is a great source too (Nimrod). But it's more about finding any nice piece that works than choosing one and selecting the music with this system. It's complicated because sometimes you can't see how it will turn out on one try; the Debussy is an example of that; I had no idea how well it would work when I started playing it and took it on more as an exercise. "See what I can do with it"

#7 tallship

tallship

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1703 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kent, UK

Posted 08 January 2012 - 04:22 PM

For what it's worth I would always record on the Zoom at CD quality then if you need a good recording you already have it. File transfer time between recorder and computer really isn't an issue, just go make a cup of coffee! Audacity will take slightly longer to open a large .wav file but after that everything is the same because an MP3 is always an export from Audacity even when the opened file was an MP3 to start with.

As to your reluctance to become too involved is concerned there is actually no difference. Record on Zoom, transfer to computer, edit with Audacity, export to MP3. A large file will take slightly longer to move from the Zoom to the computer but after that it's all the same. Do whatever you are comfortable with but mostly it's much of a muchness.

#8 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 08 January 2012 - 05:35 PM

For what it's worth I would always record on the Zoom at CD quality then if you need a good recording you already have it. File transfer time between recorder and computer really isn't an issue, just go make a cup of coffee! Audacity will take slightly longer to open a large .wav file but after that everything is the same because an MP3 is always an export from Audacity even when the opened file was an MP3 to start with.

As to your reluctance to become too involved is concerned there is actually no difference. Record on Zoom, transfer to computer, edit with Audacity, export to MP3. A large file will take slightly longer to move from the Zoom to the computer but after that it's all the same. Do whatever you are comfortable with but mostly it's much of a muchness.


You lost me a bit there Pete; so you think I should go back to WAV files because my basic data is better? I've got it set to 128kbps MP3 at the moment. In that case where should I set the record mode level on the choice of wavs do you think?

#9 tallship

tallship

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1703 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kent, UK

Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:03 PM


For what it's worth I would always record on the Zoom at CD quality then if you need a good recording you already have it. File transfer time between recorder and computer really isn't an issue, just go make a cup of coffee! Audacity will take slightly longer to open a large .wav file but after that everything is the same because an MP3 is always an export from Audacity even when the opened file was an MP3 to start with.

As to your reluctance to become too involved is concerned there is actually no difference. Record on Zoom, transfer to computer, edit with Audacity, export to MP3. A large file will take slightly longer to move from the Zoom to the computer but after that it's all the same. Do whatever you are comfortable with but mostly it's much of a muchness.


You lost me a bit there Pete; so you think I should go back to WAV files because my basic data is better? I've got it set to 128kbps MP3 at the moment. In that case where should I set the record mode level on the choice of wavs do you think?


My Zoom H4 is set to record at 44.1kHz which is CD quality. With that I can record a couple of hours on a 2Gb SD card. Yes, your basic recording will be of much better quality at this setting and if I was recording to submit to one of the International series (I wish!!) that would be my choice. Quite a lot of folk can't really hear the difference in quality but then we are getting back to the Hi-Fi debates that have raged for years ...

#10 Kautilya

Kautilya

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1345 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:54 PM



For what it's worth I would always record on the Zoom at CD quality then if you need a good recording you already have it. File transfer time between recorder and computer really isn't an issue, just go make a cup of coffee! Audacity will take slightly longer to open a large .wav file but after that everything is the same because an MP3 is always an export from Audacity even when the opened file was an MP3 to start with.

As to your reluctance to become too involved is concerned there is actually no difference. Record on Zoom, transfer to computer, edit with Audacity, export to MP3. A large file will take slightly longer to move from the Zoom to the computer but after that it's all the same. Do whatever you are comfortable with but mostly it's much of a muchness.


You lost me a bit there Pete; so you think I should go back to WAV files because my basic data is better? I've got it set to 128kbps MP3 at the moment. In that case where should I set the record mode level on the choice of wavs do you think?


My Zoom H4 is set to record at 44.1kHz which is CD quality. With that I can record a couple of hours on a 2Gb SD card. Yes, your basic recording will be of much better quality at this setting and if I was recording to submit to one of the International series (I wish!!) that would be my choice. Quite a lot of folk can't really hear the difference in quality but then we are getting back to the Hi-Fi debates that have raged for years ...

It's like cameras - always shoot in RAW +jpg or the highest setting.
When you get the great shot of your life by accident but you took it at lowest level 'to save space and get more pics per card',you can never boost it upwards.

But you can always get a small, low-res pic from a giant RAW one.

Here are the dots for Tchaikovsky Piano C No 1 in Bflat (and pots of other really free scores!)
http://imslp.org/wik...,_Pyotr_Ilyich)

Edited by Kautilya, 08 January 2012 - 06:58 PM.


#11 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:55 PM

Well, having reset the zoom to 128kbps MP3 I recorded it again, exported it to lame and got almost the same figure of 3mb for the file, so it looks like that's not it. It's a better recording musically but still bigger than Cnet lets me load. I'll change it to 44.1khz as you suggest anyway.

There's a quite clear point, (last year in May, I don't often get it out.) when the few recordings I made suddenly stop being between 500kb and 1mb and become 3 mb. I've done SOMETHING stupid; probably working it myopically without glasses, something I still don't use graciously, it's just what. I'll have to see if I can find the destructions for the zoom; my feeling is that is the component most prone to mangling. I can't have set some level on auto despite having told it what my preferred record level is, can I? I couldn't see any options that seemed to do that.

The other thing is I don't get offered options of any sort when I export from Audacity, and if that's turned off I can't see where. I've had a good ferret arround in lame, audacity, and the H2 and can't see what's up; this is beginning to get irksome.

#12 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:26 PM

It's like cameras - always shoot in RAW +jpg or the highest setting.
When you get the great shot of your life by accident but you took it at lowest level 'to save space and get more pics per card',you can never boost it upwards.

But you can always get a small, low-res pic from a giant RAW one.

Here are the dots for Tchaikovsky Piano C No 1 in Bflat (and pots of other really free scores!)
http://imslp.org/wik...,_Pyotr_Ilyich)


Yes I appreciate that, and the H2 seems to have lots of space for my purposes so that's OK. It's how to get the end result down in size so I can post it here, and the frustration that it used to do it automatically (and I wasn't aware that it sounded bad either. But as Pete says this is a hi-fi type argument, and I am on record as preferring to have 2 bottles of Chianti to one of Chateau Lafite.)

Yes I know and use Petrucci; no solo piano score there though.

#13 Kautilya

Kautilya

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1345 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:15 PM



It's like cameras - always shoot in RAW +jpg or the highest setting.
When you get the great shot of your life by accident but you took it at lowest level 'to save space and get more pics per card',you can never boost it upwards.

But you can always get a small, low-res pic from a giant RAW one.

Here are the dots for Tchaikovsky Piano C No 1 in Bflat (and pots of other really free scores!)
http://imslp.org/wik...,_Pyotr_Ilyich)


Yes I appreciate that, and the H2 seems to have lots of space for my purposes so that's OK. It's how to get the end result down in size so I can post it here, and the frustration that it used to do it automatically (and I wasn't aware that it sounded bad either. But as Pete says this is a hi-fi type argument, and I am on record as preferring to have 2 bottles of Chianti to one of Chateau Lafite.)

Yes I know and use Petrucci; no solo piano score there though.

The file size limit here means anything longish/complicated is more trouble than worth when u can slam it into windowsmoviemaker and put on youtube or equivalent (I dont use omnivoice or wotever it is called)

Why not start with some simple scale work on Zoom in wav or converted to mpeg?
Then start by making sound file in windows moviemaker
here's how
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=TIyvJUlQGzg
and then put up on youtube

and here's the suggested simple :rolleyes: :rolleyes: scale notes (you indirectly just led ME to Petrucci a few hours ago - great innit!) halfway down the page in toccata scores

http://imslp.org/wik..._Charles-Marie)

I am practising with this* (using video downloader in firefox

https://addons.mozil...downloadhelper/

which saves the youtube to my PC as an MPG4 which plays back with VLC which allows me to slow it down, but again you have bass bottons I aint remotely got!)
*
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=jtj300j129k

And the basses are so easy peasy you can do em with a bit of tap-dancing....

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

or you can warm up :D with a slower Jazzy version like this one
http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#14 cboody

cboody

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 401 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mound, MN

Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:25 AM

A couple of things:

1) I'm quite sure that CD quality is 22.1 not 44.1 as Pete suggests.
2) LAME settings will, I believe, attempt to save in some sort of lossless format which would take more space (I could be wrong here. I'm working from memory and haven't energy to look it up...at 12:30 AM)
3) 128K is an accepted mp3 setting for monaural recordings. The usual accepted setting minimum for stereo recordings (which the Zoom probably is producing, though I think it can be set to mono) is 192K.
4) If you want high quality without loss you can check to see if Audacity or the Zoom can record in a lossless format. But I suspect the file size will be too big for your needs.
5) I too would recommend recording and saving at CD quality if the quality is important to you.

Hope this helps.

Chuck Boody

#15 tallship

tallship

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1703 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kent, UK

Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:47 AM

CD sampling rate. See Audio section further down the page.

#16 Kautilya

Kautilya

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1345 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:21 AM

Summat wrong with the comedy KGB / Mafia Tchaikovsky youtube link of "Il Concerto"

try these

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=fCXlTNAkOZM

a quick session
http://www.youtube.c...n&v=lbcNSlJI3rw

antics
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=mnxdVgg0sxU

#17 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2538 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:58 PM

Thanks for trying everyone but none of this answers the basic question. What have I (or the machinery) done that has at least trebled the size of the file when saved?

That Debussy piece, much longer than anything I've recorded recently, played on the same instrument and still with lots of notes was only 860kb. I didn't have to fiddle with it at all, just recorded it, and and no one said 'Nice playing, shame about the recording' did they?

Yes Kautilya I could use Youtube. I'd just rather work out what's happened and put it right. Bleedin' hard work at the moment but hopefully worth it for the dead simple final result.

I have an idea I may have reinstalled audacity, maybe. that shouldn't change things should it? And I see in audacity preferences my 'default sample format' is 32 bit float whereas my 'uncompressed export format' is WAV 16 bit PCM; should the first one be 16 bit too?

#18 Randall Cayford

Randall Cayford

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 69 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California

Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for trying everyone but none of this answers the basic question. What have I (or the machinery) done that has at least trebled the size of the file when saved?


It's hard to say without more information about your workflow but the obvious item that would change the file size that much is you've changed the compression settings (or a new installation of audacity has a different default than you were using). It sounds like your process is:
record on the zoom
move file to a computer and open it in audacity
export as an mp3 to upload

In Audacity, when you export the file, there is a button next to the Format pop down menu. What are the settings you see when you click on that?

For comparison, your Debussy piece seems to have been exported with a constant bit rate and quality setting of 32kbps. The default for Audacity is going to be much higher than that. At a 128k setting, your Debussy file is 1.8M. Try exporting your new piece with a 32k setting. The setting sticks so once you've exported a file, all subsequent MP3s will use the same setting. Until you change it or possibly until you install a new version of Audacity.



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users