4.5 Exporting a Song

There are many factors to consider when exporting a finished song, such as computer processor, amount of memory and the quality level desired. Then matching those up to each and every option given for the export, the more processor power and memory the computer has the smoother the process will be and the more options can be chosen at higher levels, but will increase the time it takes to export the song. There will be no fast easy rule for exporting, but to take the best guess and try it. If it does not come out sounding the way it was intended, then delete the finished export, change the settings and try again. The export does not alter or damage the original .mmpz file, it is only reading as in the case of say ripping from a CD to computer. So keep adjusting the settings until it comes out the way it was intended to sound during the creation. The good news is that it will only take a few trial and error exports to figure out what any particular computer build can handle. Not taking the time on the export and winging it is like missing a note in a song or when playing an instrument, it just does not sound right. The same holds true for the export, take the time here and the outcome will be what it needs to be, as it sounded during playback, but better.

It is highly recommended that you upgrade your LMMS installation to the newest release.

4.5.1 Exporting a Song

There are two ways to get to the export utility. You could either click on the export button (), or go to Project > Export (Ctrl+E). After this choose the name for the song and a location to save to.

Following this there will be the Export Project window. This window displays all the export options that can be used to adjust the quality and precision of the exported song file.

4.5.2 File Format

There are two options:

  • WAV or waveform audio format is usually the best choice for newer users because it can be read on most computers and media devices without conversion

  • OGG vorbis format is a preferred choice for those who are particular about sound quality, however this format is limited in what devices it can be played on

4.5.3 Sample Rate

This option allows you to adjust how many times the song will be sampled per second. The more times the song is sampled per second the more sensitive the exporter will be to changes in the song. In other words, if you have a lot of changes over a short amount of time you will want a higher sample rate. In general this should be left as it is. 44.1kHz is what normal CD's use. If the sample rate is turned down too much, the song will not sound properly and you might get aliasing. On the other hand, high sample rates will make the song file become extremely large and take much longer when being processed by the exporting tool.

4.5.4 Bit Rate

Bit rate refers to the amount (speed) at which the song is processed by the device reading it. Number of bits per second. This option is important because it allows choosing both quality and size of the song file. The higher the bit rate the better the quality of the music. However, it also means a larger file. The following list gives comparable examples of bit rates:

Bit rate

Application example

64 kbps

AM radio

128 kbps

FM radio

160 kbps

Compressed MP3

192 kbps

Digital audio broadcast

256 kbps

High quality MP3

320 kbps

CD quality

4.5.5 Bit Depth

Bit depth = 3 graph example

4.5.5.1 Musical Approach

Bit depth is the number of different volumes a sound in the song can have. If the song is 3 bits, it has 2^3=8 volume levels in total. We say it has a bit depth resolution of eight. It is well known that a wave must go both up and down - have both crests and troughs - and is symmetrical around the X axis, therefore you must divide 8 by 2 to actually get the volume levels of the sound waves you hear. So the total calculated levels must be divided by 2 to get the levels you can hear. As you can see from the graph, there are only four volume levels above or below the X axis. The weakest sound possible with bit depth equal to 3 would be therefore a wave with amplitude of 1. The loudest possible sound is represented in the image with an amplitude of 4. Dynamic range is connected to bit depth.

4.5.5.2 Computer Science Approach

A way the processor in the computer interacts with the program in terms of scientific notation or integer format while the song is being encoded. Choosing the 32 bit float will allow the computer to do a more accurate compilation of the song, however it requires more processing power to achieve this. Using the 16 bit integer will allow for faster processing, especially on older or under-powered computers. In general to achieve a better sounding song, this setting should be set to 32 bit float.

4.5.6 Interpolation

Interpolation means the same as regression. Draw the sound waves smoothly. When LMMS gets the sample points it can choose to draw a line between two points, or it could try to draw smooth curves with smart algorithms. Analog sounds have smooth curves, and thus logically present the best sound. If you want the best result, always use the "sinc best" option. The audio file size is not affected by this option.

4.5.7 Useful resources