Does a .wav lose quality each time you export it?

Discussion in 'Audio Help & Tips' started by LC_Pudge, Feb 18, 2010.

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  1. LC_Pudge

    LC_Pudge New Member

    May 10, 2004
    For example, if I export all of the instrumental files separately from Reason, upload them into Pro Tools, record vocals, and then bounce everything out. Then take that .wav and master it somewhere else... am I losing quality along the way?

    Another question: If I raise the high-end EQ of a vocal track by +6, would a De-Esser be pointless to use? And how do I go about removing the pop sounds/excessive S sounds? I used to record 2-3 inches away from the mic (right next to the pop filter), but I hear that I should have the pop filter about 5 inches away from the mic... maybe that's my problem haha.

    And last but not least, does it matter what order I use the plug-ins? Right now, my common sense has lead me to use De-Esser, a vocal Compresor, and then an EQ... followed by potentially Autotune/Melodyne or a Flanger/High pass filter.

    Thanks for all of your help!
  2. D-T

    D-T New Member

    Oct 30, 2001
    As long as your not changing the sample rate or bit rate it should be probably does make it worse but probably not something we can detect with our ears.

    As for the EQ question, its a yes and no, cuz when you boost the high end other frequencies will go up...and when the de-esser kicks in, its like a compressor that will only affect the frequency that you entered.

    Usually de-essers go last if it is even needed. as for the comp and really depends, some people like the EQ first so it can filter out all the low end and other adjustments and everything before hitting the compressor...switch em around and see which sound you like better.

    Personally, I usually EQ first and then compress.

    Do all of your dynamic editing and eq before adding on effects. Plus you dont want to apply an fx directly on the track in most cases anyway. Thats what most people use the sends for.
  3. Degenerate One

    Degenerate One Noe Nose Touching

    Jan 27, 2010
    .Wav is a lossless audio format...
  4. Mr. ROUSH


    Oct 6, 2000
    Quality loss is not a factor at all when importing or exporting a .wav file. Essentially you are just making an exact copy of the master file and therefore it is the identical .wav file and will have the exact same properties. When you bounce down in pro tools you are creatin a new high quality .wav file and the same applies then.

    .wav files are not compressed and therefor retain all data associated with the file. The only time you would notice an audible difference would be when converting a .wav to something else.. depending on how good the program is you're using to convert it and depending on what you're converting it to.

    MIC t re atment >Mic Placement>EQ>DeEss

    All of the above are crucial to addressing your sibilance issue.. #1 proximity effect.. this is the sound in relation to your distance and angle from the mic. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG DISTANCE. It is common in rap to eat the pop filter.. and for the pop filter to be 2-3 in. from the mic.. This give you a nice full rich up front sound from the source.. Now with that being said, the closer you are.. the more problems you're going to have with sibilance, plosives, and wind noises.. The angle of your mic can play a huge roll here in not only reducing the unwanted sounds, but also adding some up front EQ without actually using an EQ.. here's what I mean..

    Hang your mic upside down.. angle the head up toward your face.. This will pick up more of the high frequencies that resonate from your mouth combined with sound coming out of your nose.. WARNING.. Too much of an angle will leave you with a nasaly sound..

    again with the mic hanging upside down.. this time angle the head back so the sweet spot is pointing at your chest.. This will reduce the higher frequencies and increase the lower - high mid emphasis..

    In either case use a 45 degree angle give or take.. this will allow the air that gets through the pop filter to hit the capsule at an angle instead of straight on.. this way you will pick up less...

    eq and deEss.. first of all.. +6 on the high end is a great big boost! More than likely it's much more than you should be adding and you're not likely leaving enough headroom for mastering.. depends, but at a glance I'd have to say that isn't the best regular practice.. Yes you still want to use a de-esser.. if you have pro tools the best de-esser is free.. it's called the "massey deEsser". Download it and use it.. The reason that boosting the high end does not negate the de-esser is because the frequencies that you cut out with the de-esser still have the same relative level difference to surrounding frequencies that were not cut out..

    Think of it like this... if there is three elevators in a building side by side.. 1 person in each elevator.. elevators 1 and three are on the 5th floor and elevator 2 in the middle is on the 1st floor.. If the person in elevator 1 or 3 go up or down a floor.. the relative distance changes between the highest and lowest floor the elevators are on obviously.. but.. if I "boost" the whole building.. and the elevators all stay in the same place relative to each other then I don't lose any properties between the position or "sound" of each elevator.. maybe that's harder to understand.. lol but think about it.. Basically.. when you're boosting a whole range of frequncies in the high end you are more or less adjusting the volume of those freqencies to emphasize the high end.. but you're not bringing up the sibilant frequencies louder than the surrounding good freqencies.. make sense?

    The order of plugins... there is no standard rule for this.. common chains include in order.. compressor>eq or eq>compressor your de-esser will commonly be last in the chain.. use auto tune sparingly.. it's nice but you don't need it.. a high pass filter is nothing more than an eq with the lows rolled off and the highs emphasized.. the best practice when using a high pass filter is to use it in your eq section either first or second.. apply reverb and delay sparingly and use aux sends to route the track through the delay and reverb as opposed to putting it directly in line on the fx chain.

    Most importantly.. each mix is unique and needs unique attention.. Don't think you HAVE to always use plugins on every track.. that depends on how good your source sound is.. there certainly is no rule with order.. learn the practical purpose of each filter / effect so you know when to use it and when it's not necessary to use it.. One mix to the next should have distinct differences though when only recording one person your mixes will be much more similar..

    Well hope this helps.. best of luck. pz.
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