Blog - Unity Behind Diversity

Searching for beauty in the dissonance

Tagged: audio

Wings – version 0.2

I’ve recorded and uploaded a new song – Wings.

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This is the first original tune I’ve recorded using Ardour in Ubuntu Studio (GNU/Linux)! I’m excited (in the geekiest way possible).

I’ve decided that I have no interest in recording albums or EPs or whatever at the moment, so I’m adopting a versioning system for my recordings. This is wings-0.2 (don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything with 0.1). Over the next few months, I hope to share new versions of this (and other songs) as I add more instruments, improve the mix, etc… I think this approach will be faster and more flexible. Expect acoustic recordings first, then full band recordings for most songs, and maybe I’ll “branch” some into remixes (Hydrogen is so cool).

One thing frustrates me though: Why do Amie Street and insist that tracks must belong to albums?

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Encoding to Ogg Vorbis using a GStreamer pipeline – vorbisenc plugin quality property

I’ve been eager to transition my music library from the proprietary patent-ridden MP3 format to Ogg Vorbis, and since my iPod died a few months back, I’ve decided to make the move. I’ve read up on Ogg Vorbis and learned that it’s best to re-rip my CDs, since converting from one compressed audio format to another is a bad idea.

In Ubuntu 8.04, I tried using Rhythmbox and Sound Juicer to rip my CDs. They both use the same settings, making use of a GStreamer pipeline, and I encountered a problem with the quality setting. The Vorbis format uses a quality setting of -1 to 10, instead of measuring quality by bitrate. I wanted to use a Vorbis quality setting of 6. I went to Edit -> Preferences and clicked “Edit” under the “Format” heading. I selected “CD Quality, Lossy” (Ogg Vorbis) and the GStreamer pipeline read:
audio/x-raw-float,rate=44100,channels=2 ! vorbisenc name=enc quality=0.5 ! oggmux

0.5 seemed ridiculously low, so I changed it to 6. Which didn’t work. I googled around, sifted through man pages, baffled at what this quality setting should be set at… didn’t it use the standard Vorbis quality scale? It did, but in a stupid way.

Eventually, I went in search of the Gstreamer documentation, and found this description of the quality property for the vorbisenc plugin:

Specify quality instead of specifying a particular bitrate.

Allowed values: [-0.1,1]

Default value: 0.3

Who decided to make the scale one tenth of the actual standard? *sigh* Ah well, now I know how to use it and it’s working wonderfully! Here’s my new pipeline:
audio/x-raw-float,rate=44100,channels=2 ! vorbisenc name=enc quality=0.6 ! oggmux

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