Your Music Doesn’t Sound This Krispy.
When I first started recording, various terms and lingo where being used which sounded like a completely different language. The most frequent I came across initially were MP3 vs WAV files.
Every time I went to the studio the engineer would ask did you bring the WAV files, I would have a puzzled look on my face and say “No but I brought the beat tho”. Then instead of being a dummy one day I finally asked – what is a WAV file and why do you need it?
In the post I will be explaining the difference between a WAV file and MP3 and how to use both. I'm pretty sure that most people are aware of an MP3 is but if not here are the specs:
MP3 (Moving Pictures Experts Group Layer 3) ß This is the full name!
- A means of compressing a sound sequence into a very small file, to enable digital storage and transmission.
- MP3s usually contain music, but the format is also used for general audio files such as audiobooks as well as podcasts.
- WAV files are digitized music files that can be stored on computers, downloaded, or e-mailed.
*If you didn’t catch that last bullet point, an MP3 file is derived from WAV file – so what are WAV files and how come we do not use them?
WAV (Waveform Audio)
- This is a standard audio format seen mostly on Windows computers.
- Uncompressed WAV files are much larger than MP3 files, so they're typically not used as the preferred audio format when sharing music on various platforms.
So the reason why an engineer may ask you for the WAV files is because the digital files are uncompressed – in English – it means the sound if fuller/bigger which makes the quality better when compressing the song to the MP3 format after mixing and mastering.
What did we learn: if you want your song to sound optimal then record with WAV track out files.