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Building an audio preset

From: Compressor 4 Essential Training

Video: Building an audio preset

I think it's important for us to take a brief moment and look at some of the audio settings. If you're doing any sort of documentation or instructional-based video, you may find that the audio of it is an item that's worth distributing-- it's worth getting out to people. So I've started up Compressor and I'm going to go ahead here and just take my starting point. Really, this should be your video, and not the starting point, especially for this, because this is more of a little promo than it is an instructional video. I'm going to open up my Apple settings here, and under Audio Formats, I have a number of formats. I just want to give a short explanation of a couple of their uses, and then I'll end up picking MP3, and I'll explain why.

Building an audio preset

I think it's important for us to take a brief moment and look at some of the audio settings. If you're doing any sort of documentation or instructional-based video, you may find that the audio of it is an item that's worth distributing-- it's worth getting out to people. So I've started up Compressor and I'm going to go ahead here and just take my starting point. Really, this should be your video, and not the starting point, especially for this, because this is more of a little promo than it is an instructional video. I'm going to open up my Apple settings here, and under Audio Formats, I have a number of formats. I just want to give a short explanation of a couple of their uses, and then I'll end up picking MP3, and I'll explain why.

When you buy something from the iTunes store, it's in AAC format. This is an MPEG-4 audio file. It probably has some of the best compression. You can actually go fairly small with audio with it for this. AC3 is predominantly used in Dolby Digital. It'll be on a DVD. AIFF and WAV, these are both uncompressed audio types, although you can compress them. And this CAF file format, CAF, it's suitable for looping. It's mostly used by Soundtrack Pro and GarageBand.

MP3 is where I'm going to want to live here, and I'm going to just show you how to really make this even a little bit smaller than it is. This is only going to be a tiny little audio file, something that's almost inconsequential. But again, I want to hammer that idea, if you're doing any instructional work, it's worth possibly distributing just the audio of it. So I have it selected and I'm going to go to the Encoder tab, the same way I've been going pretty much in every setting I've been adjusting. And there's only a couple of things I want to do here. Now I could leave this as is.

I don't know how big this file is going to be when it's done. This is only 30 seconds. You can see its estimated size in unknown here. But an MP3 file plays everywhere. I mean, pretty much anything can play an MP3. If this was just people talking and I really didn't care about its full quality-- this Stereo Bit Rate is a little high-- I could probably, the original MP3s we used to listen to, were done at 128, and this would be a file half the size of 256.

And I'm going to leave the rest of this alone. I'm pretty happy with it. The only other thing you could consider is if you really want to make this file as small as possible, you could go Mono. Why make it Stereo? And if you're not going to go Stereo, you can cut this number in half as well. So this number started at 256 in Stereo. I was pointing out that the original MP3s we used to listen to were 128, and because I only have really one audio file that's not Stereo, it's Mono, I can take it as low as 64 kilobits per second.

This will be a tiny, tiny, tiny file. I'm pretty much happy with everything else. I'm going to go ahead and save this. Again, I'm saving this mostly so we can use it again in the future. I'm going to call this a Tiny MP3 mono 64 kilobits per second, or 0.0064 megabits per second. The alternative, if you want to do a lot of distribution, AAC is another excellent format. This is, again, what Apple uses for their iTunes store.

There is my setting down here in under Custom. There it is, my Tiny MP3. I'm just going to delete my original, drag the one I saved up. I'm going to hit Submit. This should compress very quickly. Done. I'm going to come out here to the Finder. This is so small, it's not even worth talking about. This is about 30 seconds, so a minute would be about half a megabyte, and ten minutes would be about 5 megabytes. 16 minutes would be about 30 megabytes.

I mean this is really small, and this is a great way to take material you want to listen to after the fact, particularly instruction material, and make it distributable online, or even just onto your iPad or iPhone or Android phone directly. It's a great way to distribute audio of the video you do.

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Compressor 4 Essential Training

32 video lessons · 8643 viewers

Jeff I. Greenberg
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