Getting my audio “nerd” on.

In a class exercise for my Developing Sound Design course, I was unable to export out of Adobe Audition (2017) MAC, a 44100/16 Audio Interchange File (.aif) audio file into Dolby Digital ac3 format without it changing the sample rate to 48KHz, let alone exporting it to 22050 Hz or 11025 Hz.

A rudimentary search on Google brought up a Wikipedia reference to Dolby Digital supporting rates up to 48KHz. Hardly “sciencey” I know! but I thought it might give me a general idea of why it wasn’t working, or at least direct me to where I might go to next.

I took a long shot by trying to re-export via the PC version of Adobe Audition in the 2015 and the 2017 versions, but no success.

GarageBand could only offer exports of aac, aif and mp3.

My next attempt to solve this dilemma was to try exporting out of Pro Tools First (“PTF”). Being a free version for students, PTF didn’t offer the variety of export formats beyond WAV and AIF.

So as far as this class exercise goes, I couldn’t find my way through it.

On the bright side, it was an opportunity to learn how to troubleshoot common installation problems with PTF, and be thoroughly entertained reading an expletive filled but incredibly helpful article Pro Tools First error 6117.

UPDATE: Wow! Dolby Digital is a really amazing format to work with: the ability to reduce its audio file size without sacrificing too much of the quality lies in reducing the bit rate, rather than the sample rate.  The most exciting discovery for me is realising that with each reduction of bit rate, not much of the quality was sacrificed.  I’ve never used Dolby Digital format before but my eyes are open and my ears are happy!

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