What good is 128k?

Hey, there!

In a recent 60 SECONDS, I described what 128 kbps actually means when describing an MP3 file.

So what is 128k (or 128 kBPS) audio good for? And what are other bitrates good for?

You have a choice when creating your final MP3 files. And the bit rate is just one of them.

Let’s assume, for the moment, that you’ve recorded a mono track in your favorite sound software.

And now, you want to export it to an MP3 file.

If you’re auditioning for a VO part, 128kbps mono is a great choice. It’s good, but not excellent.

If you’re creating a final file for ACX, you’re going to have to go with something better. ACX wants 192 kbps mono MP3s.

Let’s change the assumption about that track you’ve created and go with stereo instead of mono. 2 channels instead of one.

You probably do this when you’re mastering a demo, or creating a final mix of a client’s multitrack project.

Now, you want to go with 256 kbps. You need that amount of data to reproduce your work faithfully.

And you can make these choices in the export dialog of any worthy sound software.

Be aware that the higher the bitrate, the bigger the file.

Do you have a question about bitrates? Ask me in the comments below.


2 Responses to What good is 128k?

  1. Karl April 10, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    It seems that you have indicated that stereo may be used for a demo file. Is stereo preferred for demo purposes, for example when mixing in atmosphere and background sounds and music, or would mono on some occasions be preferred?

    • David H. Lawrence XVII April 16, 2013 at 12:41 am #

      Yes, in the case of multi-track demos, with music and effects, stereo is preferred.


Leave a Reply