No Silencio
March 22, 2009 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Why is there a teeny tiny bit of silence at the start of exported mp3 tracks? How can I get rid of it?

I need to export mp3 loops. I know mp3 is unsuited for this but the brief is the brief. When I export the loop as an mp3 roughly half a second of silence is added to the start. From googling I know this is just something that mp3s do but is there a way around it? I've suggested Ogg Vorbis to the client but I haven't heard back from them yet. I have audacity, garageband, and reaper at my disposal. Freeware solutions are preferable, thanks.
posted by minifigs to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Are the loops exact multiples of CDDA frames? If not, most encoders will add a gap at the end. It also shouldn't be 1/2 second.

Is there an option to use lame as your encoder? It handles gaps better than most encoders.
posted by scruss at 6:32 PM on March 22, 2009

When I export the loop as an mp3 roughly half a second of silence is added to the start.

ID3 tags? They're typically at the start of the track and if the decoder doesn't understand the frame it'd be interpreted as silence.
posted by Talez at 7:23 PM on March 22, 2009

I have this same problem. I don't know if there is a solution but would love it if there is.
posted by fantasticninety at 7:39 PM on March 22, 2009

I don't know anything about the software you mentioned, but back when I was a DJ, I used Sound Forge to edit music. I could visually see the waves and cut out any silent spots so it was beat to beat.

Also, I assume you've tried playback in multiple programs/platforms?
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 9:08 PM on March 22, 2009

Best answer: Half a second sounds a lot, and is likely to be due to your export process. As JuiceBoxHero says, you should be able to edit that out.

That said, MP3s are wrong to use for looping, as you seem to generally understand. They have a fixed frame size (1152 samples) which is padded if not full, so getting proper loops is nigh-on impossible.
posted by benzo8 at 11:37 PM on March 22, 2009

Response by poster: I edited it out in Audacity but it gets added back in when I re-export it. I've used garageband's mp3 exported and lame and the same thing happens in both. On closer examination the gap is closer to .35 of a second. If it is id3 tags, is there a way to remove the id3 information altogether?
posted by minifigs at 4:26 AM on March 23, 2009

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