Thursday, July 24, 2008

File formats

Welcome back to the hit maker!

I would love to talk about our file formats for a second here. I know, "Yawn", but I feel the need!

Have you ever tried to upload a song to a website and had it refused because it wasn't an MP3 format? Well, lets see what we can do here....

Pro Tools saves most songs as wav files. This format works well with a lot of websites, but not all. Plus, these files can be rather massive too. MP3 files are a lot smaller in size, and used by every digital "MP3" player on the market.

Audacity is free. It is a music editing application. You can use it to burn almost any sound from any source, and then merge it into your music files. The beauty with Audacity is that you can load a wav file, and then export it out as an MP3 file! That's right, magically turn your wav file into an MP3 file, and save them both to your machine!

After you have downloaded Audacity you will then need to download the LAME MP3 conversion tool. You only need to do this one time, and it will work forever! You need to follow the online instructions on the "Lame project" website. Don't stress out, it is very simple!

After all of that is done you can open Audacity, open a song that is a wav file, and convert it to an MP3 file in seconds flat! Be sure to open a "tester" song file, or a "copy" song file, and then try out all of the tools in Audacity. You might just get some awesome ideas of your own by playing around with this stuff! I like to merge in sound effects into some of my songs. I get them from CD's and DVD's that I get from the public library, and then burn them into Pro Tools via a CD/DVD player, and then open them up in Audacity, along with the song! Insert (or merge) to taste, serve chilled.

Be sure to put a shortcut to Audacity on your desktop as you will use it allot!

A second reason for using Audacity is to trim your songs. If your Wav file has an "intro" or an "outro" that consists of digital noise, or tape hiss, than get rid of it! Use the trim tool in Audacity and get rid of that annoyance for the last time! Sometimes we leave a four count intro on our recorded music, and edit them out when we are finished. This leaves a long silent spot at the beginning of all of our original songs. Audacity makes short work at getting rid of these intros. Highlight them and then delete them, and then your done!

Want a third reason to use Audacity? What about a sampler of your greatest hits in one short playing MP3 or wav file format? When selling a song on a website, sometimes the Savoy can steal it. Why put a song up on the web in its entirety, anyway? Putting a song "snippet", or a one-verse and one-chorus song preview, might make more sense. The purchaser can listen to the short snippet of your song (that you made in Audacity) and get the idea and the feel of the entire song. Then the consumer can purchase the large, complete song file. Same sales figures for you, without any chance of theft!

What about getting the song-buying-listeners to hear all of your songs in one quick moment? Getting a purchaser to hear all of your songs in a "snippet-collection" makes sense in many ways. They can quickly get a feel for the type of music that you make, and the feel for the album in its entirety, with one quick MP3 snippet.
Again, using Audacity, merge together your newly made song snippets into one longer MP3. This, when played, will be a song that fades in and out of your songs.
Now that you have a new "greatest hits" snippet MP3, give it away! Use it as your sales pitch. Embed it onto your websites and your "My space" pages for a great sales approach!
Until next time,
I am KERN. Please Subscribe

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