There are a lot of fundamental sound recording formats ranging from .mp3 to .mp4 to .mov and even .wmv
Sound recording formats are for storing audio digitally on a computer. Just as we have JPEG, GIF and others for images, we have a bunch of them for audio as well. Some of these sound recording formats such as .mp3 or .aif are more popular than others and there’s a reason for this:
Sound recording format CAN affect the quality of your voiceover.
Next time you step out of a recording booth or studio and after processing and editing, you aren’t satisfied with your audio, don’t just look at the equipment or software used, you should also check the audio format which you saved it in.
Sometimes, clients may choose their preferred format but in cases where you’re not given a specific format, you’d need to choose for yourself and you want to make sure you give the best.
Types of Sound Recording Formats
Uncompressed audio formats are very popular and common. It records the highest quality possible which means its files are usually large. It is used mainly in audio recording and video editing.
Examples of uncompressed audio formats include WAV, AIFF, AU etc.
These are also quite popular just like the uncompressed format. But in terms of size and quality, there’s a notable difference. As the name implies, this format is “compressed” which means it’s smaller in size and the quality isn’t as crisp as uncompressed.
Examples of compressed audio formats include Opus, mp3, AAC etc.
- Lossless Compression
Lossless compression reduces the size of your file while still keeping data and quality as crisp as an uncompressed file. This is possible because uncompressed files keep ALL data, including redundant parts, while lossless compression identifies redundant data and excludes it thus keeping quality and reducing size.
Examples of Lossless audio compression format include FLAC, ALAC, WavPack etc.
NOTE: You can always reduce uncompressed audio formats into compressed and lossless compressed formats and still retain quality but increasing compressed formats into uncompressed formats only makes the size of the file bigger.
For example, after recording a voiceover in .aif (uncompressed) you can convert it into .mp3 or .flac (compressed and lossless compressed respectively) and retain a lot of quality while reducing size.
But recording originally in .mp3 or .flac to convert to .aif will only increase the size of your file but do nothing to the quality of the audio.
How Sound Recording Formats affect the Quality of Voiceovers
The different types of sound recording formats matter when you aim to produce great voiceovers but each format has its pros and cons and can work for you depending on your goal.
Uncompressed audio format
PRO: Keeps your audio in top-notch quality.
Because the audio hasn’t been altered in any way, it preserves the highest amount of qualify that audio has.
CON: Consumes storage and causes slow transfer of files
Because the file isn’t altered and preserves top quality, files tend to take a lot of space and can be slow when transferring over the internet.
Compressed audio format
PRO: Saves spaces and is faster when transferring over the internet
Because data is removed in compression, the file becomes smaller thus causing quick transfers.
CON: Quality is still great but isn’t as great when compared to an uncompressed file although nobody really notices the difference.
For example, Spotify uses compressed file format.
Lossless compression format
PRO: Preserves quality
Lossless compression uses a system to remove redundant data and preserve file quality.
CON: Files are relatively smaller than the uncompressed formats but still larger than the compressed audio format
When recording voiceovers, take into consideration the pros and cons of each sound recording format and see which works best for you.
iVoiceafrica, a voiceover and translation company produces remarkable voiceovers for clients and asides from our cutting-edge equipment and software, we also consider our sound recording type. This is why we can satisfy our clients with the best voiceovers.