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Cubase audio export inserts silence at beginning of file!?
Old 19th July 2018
  #1
Cubase audio export inserts silence at beginning of file!?

I'm preparing for live performance (gulp...). So I started to export clips from my Cubase songs "en masse" by setting up stems and using Export Cycle Markers. But when importing into Ableton timing always seemed weird so I started looking at the waveforms.

It seems like Cubase "invisibly" inserts 20 or so ms of silence at the start of the files!? To double check I loaded them into Audacity, and sure enough - silence in the beginning there too. Silence that doesn't show up in Cubase.

Here are screen shots of a 1/4 note audio Click, generated from Cubase 9.5 with the default click sound. No plugins, no external processing.

I could of course edit that out in Ableton but there are hundreds of clips. And there's a big risk of user error. So does anybody have a clue??
Attached Thumbnails
Cubase audio export inserts silence at beginning of file!?-click-cubase-9.5.png   Cubase audio export inserts silence at beginning of file!?-click-audacity.png  
Old 20th July 2018
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
I'm preparing for live performance (gulp...). So I started to export clips from my Cubase songs "en masse" by setting up stems and using Export Cycle Markers. But when importing into Ableton timing always seemed weird so I started looking at the waveforms.

It seems like Cubase "invisibly" inserts 20 or so ms of silence at the start of the files!? To double check I loaded them into Audacity, and sure enough - silence in the beginning there too. Silence that doesn't show up in Cubase.

Here are screen shots of a 1/4 note audio Click, generated from Cubase 9.5 with the default click sound. No plugins, no external processing.

I could of course edit that out in Ableton but there are hundreds of clips. And there's a big risk of user error. So does anybody have a clue??
Are you exporting to WAV?
I tried reproducing your problem and it adds those 20/30 ms at the start, but only when exporting to MP3
Old 20th July 2018
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradovic View Post
Are you exporting to WAV?
I tried reproducing your problem and it adds those 20/30 ms at the start, but only when exporting to MP3
Oh, very interesting. I only tried mp3 - wanted to make it easy on my laptop. I'll surely test!

Thanks!

For anyone following this thread:
I suspected this to be a question that relatively few people had answers to or interest in. Therefore I also posted on the Steiny forum. Got an interesting response there.
Old 20th July 2018
  #4
Addendum:
Just read up on how Ableton Live works. It seems that it plays back files as wav anyway so might as well just skip mp3. Really good to know!

Sometimes the Internet is a wonderful place
Old 20th July 2018
  #5
Problem fixed then!
Glad i could help out , good luck with the live set man
Old 20th July 2018
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradovic View Post
Problem fixed then!
Glad i could help out , good luck with the live set man
Bingo!

I rendered an audio click and exported two quarters. Default click sound, no processing.

Screen capture shows an mp3 on top and wav below. The mp3 has silence in the beginning and as a consequence is too long. No wonder that Ableton couldn't make out what to do with it; it's warping behaved really weirdly.

In addition, there are other visual artifacts in the mp3-file. I have no idea if they have any significance. Does anyone else have a clue?

A gold medal to @ Bradovic !

Have submited a bug report to Steinberg.
Attached Thumbnails
Cubase audio export inserts silence at beginning of file!?-click-export-mp3-wav.jpg  
Old 20th July 2018
  #7
Update with clarifying info from Grim at the Steinberg forum. So it's no bug, just the way of the world.

Quote:
Don't think this is a bug as such....All mp3 encoders will add some silence.
http://lame.sourceforge.net/tech-FAQ.txt

Also, I suspect that Ableton will convert mp3 to lossless on import, so could be all you're achieving by exporting mp3 from Cubase is quality loss.

Good luck with your gigging!
Old 20th July 2018
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
Bingo!

I rendered an audio click and exported two quarters. Default click sound, no processing.

Screen capture shows an mp3 on top and wav below. The mp3 has silence in the beginning and as a consequence is too long. No wonder that Ableton couldn't make out what to do with it; it's warping behaved really weirdly.

In addition, there are other visual artifacts in the mp3-file. I have no idea if they have any significance. Does anyone else have a clue?

A gold medal to @ Bradovic !

Have submited a bug report to Steinberg.
Excellent !Noticed that as well when zooming in that it's not actually silence.
I reckon that it's the encoded metadeta with the album info etc
Old 21st July 2018
  #9
Gear Guru
 

I actually had a nightmare scenario years ago where a client wanted to set up a new website for a brand of alcohol. On the website the user could make their own virtual drinks by mixing ingredients. Each ingredient was basically a part of a groove. So there was a base of for example four-on-the-floor kick/snare. Adding "lime" would be adding a shaker loop and adding seltzer added strumming guitar for example.

The web designers said "Has to be mp3 files". We tried to do it in the studio after having created all loops in Pro Tools and told the client; "no go. mp3 won't work." Web developers said: "Has to be mp3. Just give us mp3". Back and forth a few times and the ad agency refused to listen to the audio professionals (that'd be us).

I'll let you imagine what happens when you have 6 tracks of instruments looping 8 bars where each track has a different length. Imagine what it sounds like after a couple of minutes.....

…. pure genius.... music was good though when it was in sync (which was never).
Old 1st August 2018
  #10
kdf
Gear Nut
 

I think this is an MP3 issue. I have always had this with exporting mp3 files for many years with other workstations even before I moved to Cubase.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdf View Post
I think this is an MP3 issue. I have always had this with exporting mp3 files for many years with other workstations even before I moved to Cubase.
Yep. That’s what the link in post #7 says. The silence is part of the standard. Explained my problem perfectly.
Old 17th August 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I found out about the MP3 problem years ago when I was doing audio for an interactive book. Had to switch from MP3s because they wouldn't loop, due to the extra bits at the beginning.
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