MP3 was the first successful audio-compression format that provided acceptable quality at about one tenth the size of a WAV or AIF file. It employs lossy compression, which permanently discards data that it deems audibly indiscernible to human ears. Unlike Zip compression, which restores a file to its original uncompressed state, data that undergoes lossy compression is irretrievably lost. But the sound quality in the MP3 compression scheme is quite good, and the savings in disk space and download time have made it a hit with the Web crowd.
In Cubase SX, converting your work to MP3, WMA, or RealAudio (QuickTime requires a separate encoder) is a simple process of exporting your audio from the File menu. I'll show the steps for converting to the MP3 format, but the process is similar for WMA and RealAudio.
To convert your stereo mixdown file (currently in WAV format) to MP3, perform the following steps:
1. With your desired mixdown file in a project window track, choose Open File | Export | Audio Mixdown, and you'll be presented with the screen shown in the below figure. Click the Files of Type pull-down menu to see your available options.
2. Select MP3, and a new screen appears with parameters specific to the MP3 file format. Change the radio burton in the Channels field to Stereo. Leave the Quality setting at Highest, and leave Automation and Effects checked in the Include field. Keep the setting of 44.100 kHz in the Sample Rate pull-down menu. Click the Attributes pull-down menu to reveal the options.
3. Choose the option „128 kBit/s; 44.100 kHz; Stereo.“
4. Click the Options button and give your file some text attributes, if you like (this is optional).
5. Name the file and navigate to the location where you'd like your new files stored. Click Save and you're done. Well, almost (see step 6).
6. To test your newly created MP3 file, open it up on your favorite MP3 jukebox program or offload it to your favorite MP3 player and go for a jog while listening!