MP3 vs WAV

Ableton

rongehrke

over 5 years ago (edited)

Will MP3s at 320KBPs work as well in Ableton as WAV files? I know that there will be a bit of sound quality loss, but I know that to most it is imperceivable and probably less so as a backing track. My concern is more with warping audio tracks or other latency issues. I have been using WAV's because I feel like I read/saw somewhere that it was best, but my Macbook is only 256GB SSD and the space I would save on tracks by using MP3s would be significant.
nlsn

over 5 years ago

WAV or AIFF is the best format. They are "lossless" meaning highest quality to replay. They do use more space on your computer's HD, but a better solution would be to utilize an external hard drive to gain storage than to drop sound quality by going mp3. I use mp3s only for a reference track for our praise team to listen to while learning a new song. It gets muted when we use multitracks in services. I have noticed the occasional problem trying to warp an mp3 that I don't get with AIFF or WAV. Just my .02
dspille

over 5 years ago

WAVs are easier to warp than MP3s, as MP3s always have some padding at the beginning of the track, so it can be more challenging to line up and warp multiple tracks. Also, once Ableton reads the MP3, it is cached as a WAV file anyway. Check out your .../Library/Caches/Ableton/Cache/ folder.
phardage

almost 3 years ago

Is it better to export a wav in 16 or 24 bit?