FhG vs LAME 3.97 [My comparisons with Wav, 320-CBR, & 112-CBR] [Plus I Need Help]

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by poetryrocksalot, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. poetryrocksalot Enthusiast

    poetryrocksalot
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    I would like any comments and discussions, because I’m a new audiophile and I need your suggestions on which mode to encode Lame using dBpoweramp.

    But here are my comparisons first:

    I used a lossless Wav file and encoded into lossy mp3. I need everyone and anyone’s help, because I think slow encoding settings result in loss of quality. I also need your suggestions so I know if I should encode at High Priority (Fast) or Low Priority (Slow) in order to maintain the best lossy mp3 compression.

    Encoding Software: dBpowerAMP 12.4
    Encoders: Lame 3.97 & FhG & Wav
    Analysis Software: Adobe Audition 3

    [1] Lossless Format vs Various MP3's

    Frequency Analysis:
    http://img93.imageshack.us/img93/2948/frequencyanalysissoundwrb7.jpg ORIGINAL WAV [This one looks most different from the rest]
    http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/6908/frequencyanalysis128cbrbh3.jpg FhG - 128 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/2946/frequencyanalysis128cbrar9.jpg LAME - 128 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img112.imageshack.us/img112/209/frequencyanalysis320cbrte9.jpg FhG - 320 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img112.imageshack.us/img112/304/frequencyanalysis320cbrdu3.jpg LAME - 320 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/2844/frequencyanalysis112cbrbs9.jpg FhG - 112 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/69/frequencyanalysis112cbrgh4.jpg LAME - 112 - Low Quality - Fast
    http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/2364/frequencyanalysis112cbrce0.jpg LAME - 112 - Medium Quality - Normal
    http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/6316/frequencyanalysis112cbrna4.jpg LAME - 112 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/8302/frequencyanalysis320cbrfr0.jpg LAME - 320 - Low Quality - Fast
    http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/4827/frequencyanalysis320cbraa7.jpg LAME - 320 - Medium Quality - Normal
    http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/1185/frequencyanalysis320cbrnx0.jpg LAME - 320 - High Quality - Slow

    [2]FhG vs LAME 3.97

    Spectral Frequency Display:
    http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/5992/spectralfrequencydisplajz4.jpg ORIGINAL WAV

    The original Wav was then encoded into:
    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/9361/spectralfrequencydisplahn6.jpg FhG - 128 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/369/spectralfrequencydisplaxj8.jpg LAME - 128 - High Quality - Slow [Lame Wins!]

    http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/4514/spectralfrequencydisplaxq4.jpg FhG - 320 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/7260/spectralfrequencydisplabz0.jpg LAME - 320 - High Quality - Slow [Lame Wins Again!]

    [3] FhG vs LAME 3.07 - 112-CBR

    Spectral Frequency Display:
    http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/5992/spectralfrequencydisplajz4.jpg ORIGINAL WAV

    The SAME Wav was then encoded into:

    http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/2029/spectralfrequencydisplayi8.jpg FhG - 112 - High Quality - Slow
    http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/3394/spectralfrequencydisplaox3.jpg LAME - 112 - Low Quality - Fast
    http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/4486/spectralfrequencydisplahw1.jpg LAME - 112 - Medium Quality - Normal
    http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/3807/spectralfrequencydisplayi1.jpg LAME - 112 - High Quality - Slow [Best Lame Quality]

    [4] LAME 3.97 320-CBR [Fast, Normal, and Slow Encoding]

    Spectral Frequency Display:
    http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/5992/spectralfrequencydisplajz4.jpg ORIGINAL WAV

    The SAME Wav was encoded again into:

    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/9126/spectralfrequencydisplaol9.jpg LAME - 320 - Low Quality - Fast [Best Lame Quality]
    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/7738/spectralfrequencydisplauc5.jpg LAME - 320 - Medium Quality - Normal
    http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/1076/spectralfrequencydisplarq7.jpg LAME - 320 - High Quality - Slow

    Conclusions:

    [1] Lame 3.97 in dBpowerAMP is superior to FhG no matter what encoding priority speed I choose or what CBR bit rate I choose.

    [2] Wav files look different than MP3 files. Maybe this could be used to determine transcoding?

    [3] What the heck, when I encode 320-CBR with Lame 3.97 at high quality or SLOW, there seems to be a lost in frequencies! But when I encode 320-CBR with lame 3.97 at low quality or FAST, there seems to be a better range in frequency.

    Strange to say, when I encode 112-CBR with Lame 3.97 at high quality or SLOW, I get a better range in frequency, but when I encode 112-CBR with Lame 3.97 at low quality or Fast, I get a loss in the range of frequency.

    I am not a developer or a pro at this kind of stuff, but is this because the more the compression, the longer and harder it takes to encode and keep quality, which will result in a better encoding if encoded slowly?

    So does it mean that the 320-CBR mp3 encoded better at low priority because it took faster and less time to spend on compression?

    Can anyone explain to me why this happening?
  2. bandphan Banned

    bandphan
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    ihmo, if the encoding quality is this important, maybe you should just use .wav and a shite load of storage for cheap;)
  3. poetryrocksalot Enthusiast

    poetryrocksalot
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    Man, I can't it's because I am a huge fan of headphone/earphone music I don't use speakers, and well MP3 players are mainly used for that kind of listening but MP3 players are most compatible with MP3, and the MP3 tagging system is excellent. Wav doesn't have a good name/tag format.
  4. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    Based on what?

    Of course they do and Ozzy Osbourne looks different than Air Supply. The waveform for Ozzy encoded at 128 kbps will look different than the same song encoded at 256 kbps as well as the same song encoded by a different encoder.

    Lossy compression is called 'perceptual coding' and the main principle is masking; ie if a loud sound is followed closely in time by a softer sound, the softer sound would be masked and you wouldn't hear it - therefore it is discarded and that is how the reduction in file size is achieved.

    Remember it's a tradeoff between time resolution and frequency resolution. The encoder basically chops up each second of audio into 'sub-bands' and then analyzes them for masking. 'Fast' or 'low quality' is supposed to be quicker so it either uses fewer sub-bands or takes less time analyzing each sub-band. Can you hear a difference between the fast vs slow encoding?

    Naturally the waveform of the MP3 is not going to look anything like the WAV. The bit rate affects the frequencies too. At 128 kbps, everything over 16 kHz is chopped off completely.
    MDS,
  5. Cthulhu Audioholic Intern

    Cthulhu
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    If its for computer use, and you care, use FLAC. it's a lossless compression, works great, winamp plugin for it, no reason to use anything else. The only reason I advocate this is that it makes your audio library smaller and more convient for transcoding to portable devices. Otherwise -V 0 or -V 2

    If its for portable use - if you can DBT the difference between the LAME with the -V 2 switch and the CD in a portable environment I'll eat my hat.

    If you care about some non existent gain in sound quality, use LAME and -V 0.

    http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=LAME#Recommended_encoder_settings

    Its really that simple. Lame. -V 2 or -V 0
  6. poetryrocksalot Enthusiast

    poetryrocksalot
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    [1] This is based on the spectral frequencies of many constant bit rates encoded through Lame or Lame using dBpowerAMP. I don't know much when it comes to reading the frequencies but when the FHG is encoded it has a number less in frequency range by 2000 or 3000 when compared to Lame.( sometimes the frequency fhg looks bigger but because the number is less when compared to lame, the picture is rescaled but if you read the numbers, FHG has less frequency by the thousands)

    [2] I am just pointing out that in a frequency analysis, a wav is REALLY different from and MP3 and that audiophiles and other people who don't know, can then know the differences. Because at the end of the diagram, the lines of the mp3 have a sharp drop. But in a wav, there is no sharp drop. I didn't discover this, it's old news but I just wanted to share.

    [3] I don't really understand what you are talking about. Once again I am not an audiotechnician. The point is, which is actually better? The mp3 whose frequencies seem to be more FULL that was encoded at low quality? Or the mp3 whose frequencies seem to be less FULL that was encoded at high quality.???????????????????


    Ok, look, if any of you guys are good at reading the frequencies, just tell me which picture shows better sound:

    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/9126/spectralfrequencydisplaol9.jpg LAME - 320 - Low Quality - Fast
    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/7738/spectralfrequencydisplauc5.jpg LAME - 320 - Medium Quality - Normal
    http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/1076/spectralfrequencydisplarq7.jpg LAME - 320 - High Quality - Slow

    I've tested converting a genuine wav song using a all2lame, and I used -b 320, and the wav form matches:
    http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/7738/spectralfrequencydisplauc5.jpg LAME - 320 - Medium Quality - Normal


    So basically Lame setting -b 320 is the same as dBpoweramp's Normal Lame encoding speed.
    But if you can't tell difference in which mp3 is technically better, than can you atleast tell me what Low Quality - Fast in dBpoweramp is equivalent to in the lame command line?

    I haven't had the time to listen and compare the actual audio. But when you say it encodes faster, then do you mean it takes away less of the sound there is suppose be present? So do you mean if it takes away LESS of the sound, then does low quality actually mean High quality MP3?

    Please tell me what is the highest quality setting for dBpoweAMP (High quality or low quality?). It's been like 5 days since I've been waiting to rip my CD's. (And stop suggesting me lossless formats, because I already archived them with uncompressed wav)

    I just read the frequency numbers based on assumptions, because I am thinking that the thicker the frequencies, the more the sound, but apparently, the highest quality has less thick frequency than any other lower quality settings. I'm afraid that my interpretation that the more frequency I see in the graph means the more quality. So looking at the conversion settings and comparing the frequencies is confusing me.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  7. bandphan Banned

    bandphan
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    is it quality you want? or a tagging system and portable music? Quality=flac(similiar) or wav Ease of use, portable most common= mp3 other than that id be fishing, ie trolling
  8. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    From the graphs, you can see that the slower you encode (higher 'quality') the better the frequencies above 15 kHz are preserved. Can you hear the difference?

    I've done a few comparisons between the fast and slow encode modes in Sound Forge and other than the fact that the slow encode takes 3 times as long, I can't discern any difference by listening to them.
    MDS,
    • Like Like x 1
  9. poetryrocksalot Enthusiast

    poetryrocksalot
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    Ok, I just had a normal listening test with my best headphones, and I can't tell a difference. It's also quite hard to compare to 192 encoded straight from another CD source.

    Well, I guess I shouldn't be concerned with this as much then. But one more thing, how could you tell if the frequencies above 15 kHz are preserved?

    Lol, I'm not trolling, and is fishing the same as trolling? Anyways, I have posted in many forums about high fidelity music, and everyone has told me to use lossless compression. Well ... I just think they should have an uncompressed wav format with the mp3 tagging system (For archival of fidelity, and ultra compatible playback at the same time!). Otherwise I'm tired of these flac suggestions.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008

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