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Poor CD sound quality

Hello,

I've been using Mixmeister 6 Express for a number of years now.
I love its ease of use and often quite impressive beat matching.
But I've become more and more dispirited by the quality of sound.
I'm sure my source mp3s are fairly top notch; 320s.
I burn my mix straight to CD and then play it on a decent CD player over a fairly large PA.
The sound is frequently muddy and lacking in dynamism, compared to other DJs who are playing their mp3s straight from their iPads over the same system.
Does Mixmeister compress the data when it burns the disk?
Can anyone offer advice on how I can improve things?
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  • Hello, I would recommend upgrading to Mixmeister Express 7 it features an improved version of the CD engine :) Upgrades are just $19 please use your existing serial at the checkout under promo code.
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  • Problem is this also occurs with, say MixMeister Fusion 7.X. It's just not an issue with burning/encoding but with the sound quality of the MM output overall (compared with the source files). As a matter of fact the burning process stays true to the MM output: it's the MM output that is bad.

    I use WAVs and a high end sound card (and have been trying different sound card-settings under "Options") so this is not a problem on my end.

    If the sound quality was equal to that of the input files you would have the perfect mixing program imo.
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  • Does normal playback in MM also sound 'muddy' ?
    What if you export to .wav (for example), does it sound equally bad?
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  • Yes and yes. Playback as well as WAV-exports sounds 'muddy' (for example "edgier" treble, diminished stereo effect and less detailed/blurry bass). It's not very noticeable when listening in even good headphones but in my living room with it's HiFi-system the difference is huge. Even with cheaper speakers (I have tried quitea few) it's easy to hear the difference when compared with an original music file.

    To be able to discard any subjective judgement I have compared WAV-exported single tracks (also where I deleted all measure markers to have the tracks as "clean" as possible) with a Spectro analyzer and the differences between a MixMeister WAV-export and a WAV-source-file is huge. To check the fidelity of the spectro analyzer I compared a WAV-source-file with a FLAC-convert and there was no difference at all.
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  • (I also did this with 320 kbps MP3s with the same result)
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  • Okay, hm .. can't say I hear a difference in the mixdown and original files, but maybe I'm just not hearing it. I'm sure you've checked that there is no VST on the (master) output channel running that might cause this?

    In the output configuration in Mixmeister, what kind of interface did you select? (I can select Wave Output, ASIO or DirectSound). Does this make a difference?
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  • As said: with headphones it's quite hard to distinguish the difference but as soon as it's played in a stereo system (active or passive speakers; I have tried both) the difference is huge. I have no VST-effects added and choosing different output configurations doesn't make much of a difference, perhaps the sound is slightly better with my Indigo DJx-soundcard compared to the built in lap top-DAC, but that could be the good ol' placebo.

    That there IS a difference can be confirmed with a Spectro analyser. I cannot reach any other conclusion than that the sound is severely downgraded when it's been through MixMeister. Just off the top of my head I'd say that it sounds like an MP3 compressed to like 128-192 kbps.
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  • Can you elaborate a bit more about what spectrum analyzer you have used and how you have used this (settings)?

    I have quickly compared an original 320kps mp3 with the exported 320kbps MM version using Audacity (Analyze > Plot Spectrum, using default settings) and both plots a pretty much identical.

    Other than that I think only mm devs might be able to help you with this.

    Ronald.
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  • Toscanalyzer. I've taken pictures:

    http://oi57.tinypic.com/292ppq0.jpg

    Here you can see two blue spectrums. The uppermost is a WAV-file compared to the MM export (also WAV). The red dots are where the files differ frequency-wise. The green line shows how much the comparison track it's off by average. Up to about a frequency of 1k it's fairly accurate and it's at it's worst between 10k and 15 k.

    The downmost blue spectrum is the same WAV original compared with it's FLAC version. As you can see they do not differ whatsoever. The green line is completely straight. The files are identical.
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  • Okay, I've tried this as well with a (random) track in my library (320kbps mp3, Import > remove markers > export to 320kbps mp3).

    Although I do notice also some differences, my 'green line' stays around 1db or so. It's a bit more noisy, but at higher frequencies it's does not peak that much (as your green line has peaks up to the 5db mark).

    See: http://i59.tinypic.com/35k2ykj.png

    So yeah, there is a difference, but whether I play this (MM exported) track on headphones or an external audio system, I can't hear any major difference in respect to the original file.

    Anyway, hopefully the developers read this post as well and maybe they can share their thoughts as well.

    Ronald.
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