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Thread: Is YouTube audio good enough for DJing

  1. #1

    Is YouTube audio good enough for DJing

    ok, before you stomp on my head, please hear me out....

    Ordinarily, i would never use YT, always buy the track or go through the relevant pools and so on. this is my preferred way to go

    but occasionally you do find a band who releases their stuff exclusively through youtube, and there is literally no other way to get their music. this is getting more common, particularly so with Latin music
    For example there are no DJ pools that I know of that deal with Brazilian funk videos, its all released exclusively through youtube. but it sounds fine, and looks fine.
    and lots of different bands are doing the same with their videos in particular.

    what i have always done up until now, if i want to use the video in these cases, is rip the video off youtube, the buy the track wherever i can (google play or iTunes) and then edit it with the youtube video, so i have the best quality audio. but to be honest i hear no difference. (and that is if you can buy it at all)

    to add to it, in ethical terms i dont think it matters to the artists, if they are releasing on youtube, then it seems to me that youtube hits and spotify plays are what their business model is centred on anyways.


    what are your thoughts?
    Last edited by DJ Matt; 09-23-2021 at 02:55 PM.

  2. #2
    BanHammer™ Manu's Avatar
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    The sound quality everlasting discussion? Buy lossless, avoid compressed whenever possible. As a heavy metal listener, mp3 does not cut it for instrument reproduction. I can tell a little difference when listening to EDM, but to me the difference is painful to my ears whenever listening to music that uses real instruments recorded through analogue mics.


    rip the video off youtube
    Aaah, ummm.

    http://www.djforums.com/forums/faq.p...sandguidelines

    #11 - Piracy is not tolerated at DJF. Posts that request or suggest use of pirated content (i.e. music or software) will be removed and any users participating in the discussion will be at risk of disciplinary action
    Aka any post below in this thread talking about piracy gets deleted

    I'm afraid thou shall be allowed to talk only about legally acquired content as per forum rules. In the past when I could not grab a copy, I emailed the artist and you would be surprised like I was to have many people replying no problem and here's a copy enjoy.

    it seems to me that youtube hits and spotify plays are what their business model is centred on anyways.
    Spotify is the modern equivalent of music label sharks, paying 0.0000something to the artist per play. You are mistaken to believe that, because these days artists will get more money by touring and selling merch. The music business model of selling hard copies slowed down after the emergence of online access to music.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/a...-payments.html

    Musicians Say Streaming Doesn’t Pay. Can the Industry Change?
    Services like Spotify and Apple Music pulled the business back from the brink. But artists say they can’t make a living. And their complaints are getting louder.
    My SoundCloud ______ My MixCloud
    "Wrong speed, we've got it on the wrong speed. For those of you who are recovering from a hangover, that's gonna sound just right. " - Robin Williams

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Manu View Post
    The sound quality everlasting discussion? Buy lossless, avoid compressed whenever possible. As a heavy metal listener, mp3 does not cut it for instrument reproduction. I can tell a little difference when listening to EDM, but to me the difference is painful to my ears whenever listening to music that uses real instruments recorded through analogue mics.
    Aaah, Ummm.
    http://www.djforums.com/forums/faq.p...sandguidelines
    Aka any post below in this thread talking about piracy gets deleted

    I'm afraid thou shall be allowed to talk only about legally acquired content as per forum rules. In the past when I could not grab a copy, I emailed the artist and you would be surprised like I was to have many people replying no problem and here's a copy enjoy.

    Spotify is the modern equivalent of music label sharks, paying 0.0000something to the artist per play. You are mistaken to believe that, because these days artists will get more money by touring and selling merch. The music business model of selling hard copies slowed down after the emergence of online access to music.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/a...-payments.html
    ok to be clear here, im not advocating piracy, but there are some instances now where youtube IS the business model. that is just the reality. Or in some cases where the band no longer expects to make any money selling the music, so they dont bother making it available to buy at all.
    if there was a way that the music could be played by a DJ, and they would get monetized for plays, id be up for that.

    it has happened to me before where i have emailed a band about a music video and they said to me why dont you just download it from youtube...

    I emailed another band just yesterday, who told me their music is not available to buy anywhere ,but they can email me the music.
    of course im delighted with that, and if its in WAV format , even better.

    but my question was not ethical, it was technical. like, is there some compression that means that the YT music is in fact inferior, or is it now pretty much on par with your average Mp3
    I know its a dicey subject, so maybe i shouldn't have said anything... lock away, if needed
    Last edited by DJ Matt; 09-24-2021 at 07:16 AM.

  4. #4
    BanHammer™ Manu's Avatar
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    Yes indeed it is a technicality that borderlines on piracy, I just don't want more people below posting stuff such as, ''oh this is how you rip this and that and get maximum free quality blahblah''. I have banned people registering in here because posting some online links that may give you some free viruses as well... Anyway, carry on.

    Legalities aside and to answer your question, yes youtube does compress anything below 4K with mpeg-4 AVC. Sound quality may vary depending on the source too. So in essence, yes compressed is always inferior to non-compressed.

    Here's a simple test that I have done before to see if I could notice the different levels of sound quality. Try playing a music video first at 240p, then 360, then 420 etc. It will be fairly easy to notice the increase in sound quality as you go up. For honesty's sake, let's just say that I ripped a newly out single last week, as I am waiting for the album to come out in October. I can actually hear and feel the sound quality being much below par, there's a low cut in the bass that just does not hit that low sub feeling, kind of muddy instead of low, and the highs don't sound like they should, it's just missing that crispiness and detail. Honestly if you're lucky enough to get in touch with the artist(s) and they send you a good quality copy, the better.
    Last edited by Manu; 09-24-2021 at 09:03 AM.
    My SoundCloud ______ My MixCloud
    "Wrong speed, we've got it on the wrong speed. For those of you who are recovering from a hangover, that's gonna sound just right. " - Robin Williams

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post
    is there some compression that means that the YT music is in fact inferior
    Yes. Standard YouTube audio quality is 100-200kb/s AAC, not very good even by compressed audio standard, a 320kb/s mp3 (which is what you will get from pretty much any online DJ music store) sounds much better, and of course WAV/FLAC/AIFF sound even better than that.

  6. #6
    BanHammer™ Manu's Avatar
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    Honestly, I can hear it in my car, that's my primary reason to download and try out, as I don't use youtube for streaming in there. Again, I can't wait until the album comes out (12 Foot Ninja, check it out) because I know the sound quality is going to be outstanding. As I have tried it a few times, the bass response is muddy and there are barely any definition in the highs, drums cymbals for example just don't cut it. The threshold between bass guitar and other guitars sounds like the ugly side of muddy, then the drums don't cut it, instead making it more muddy and compressed. If you consider that you may generate an mp3 out of that, then trying in a live stream or mix where it gets compressed some more when broadcasting it or rendering a mix as an mp3, it going to sound like some serious doo doo at some point. Your sound quality is only as good as your weakest link in the chain, and if that the sound source itself, then it only goes downhill in terms of sound quality. Copies of copies of lossy formats will generate more loss, it's in the name

    That said, good luck fishing, I understand the frustration of not being able to get hold of a precise track for love nor money. On the plus side, very chuffed up to have been sending some emails here and there and getting some love and a track in return. As an example, props to C2C (DMC champions) for sending me a wav and some kind words, or Vincent Brunello from SIN (French Prog industrial metal band, did the soundtrack for V-Rally 2 + loads of movie soundtracks) for giving me a copy of an exclusive remix not available anywhere, had a few other kind words with Mark Moore (S-Express) one day, etc, etc...

    Now using that for DJing, just do some tryouts sandwiching the track between two good quality sourced tracks. Prepare to be shocked

    Is YouTube audio good enough for DJing
    So, in a nutshell TLDR: not really.
    Last edited by Manu; 09-24-2021 at 01:34 PM.
    My SoundCloud ______ My MixCloud
    "Wrong speed, we've got it on the wrong speed. For those of you who are recovering from a hangover, that's gonna sound just right. " - Robin Williams

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    Yes. Standard YouTube audio quality is 100-200kb/s AAC, not very good even by compressed audio standard, a 320kb/s mp3 (which is what you will get from pretty much any online DJ music store) sounds much better, and of course WAV/FLAC/AIFF sound even better than that.
    right, but iTunes is not a lot better at only 256kbps, or have they improved now?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post
    right, but iTunes is not a lot better at only 256kbps, or have they improved now?
    Last time I checked, 256k AAC was NOT "not a lot" better than 126k AAC (the long time Youtube standard and probably still what much of their videos are encoded at).. it was just "a lot" better. A LOT.

    But frankly, it's been many years since I've played anything other than lossless for a serious gig, and when I did play mp3, they were almost all 320K. Even 20 years ago I wouldn't play anything less than 192K for a gig.

    Sooooooo... you wanna play bad sounding files for your customers.. I guess it's your business. I won't.

  9. #9
    Moderator pete's Avatar
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    Even before Spotify and Youtube, artists made little money from music. Most, hardly enough to call a "salary", unless they we big, consistent stars.

    As for your latin funk, I know Brazilian psychedelic funk artists (...even more obscure and difficult to find), and you can reach out to them personally and ask how they want to be paid, thanks to the power of the internets. So there is really very little stopping you from doing things legitimately in a way that helps the industry or artists directly.
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Even before Spotify and Youtube, artists made little money from music. Most, hardly enough to call a "salary", unless they we big, consistent stars.

    As for your latin funk, I know Brazilian psychedelic funk artists (...even more obscure and difficult to find), and you can reach out to them personally and ask how they want to be paid, thanks to the power of the internets. So there is really very little stopping you from doing things legitimately in a way that helps the industry or artists directly.
    Im talking about 'Baile Funk' not 'Funk'
    Its sort of electronic music from the favelas

    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    Last time I checked, 256k AAC was NOT "not a lot" better than 126k AAC (the long time Youtube standard and probably still what much of their videos are encoded at).. it was just "a lot" better. A LOT.
    But frankly, it's been many years since I've played anything other than lossless for a serious gig, and when I did play mp3, they were almost all 320K. Even 20 years ago I wouldn't play anything less than 192K for a gig.
    Sooooooo... you wanna play bad sounding files for your customers.. I guess it's your business. I won't.
    The legit method, whatever that is, or best audio quality method is always my preferred method.
    if it wasn't i really wouldn't have thought to ask the question in the first place :-)
    believe me there are 1000s out there who dont

    I have a fairly large DVD collection here, because i started out DJing in video format (going on 12 years ago now) and its safe enough to say that the video quality on YT has surpassed that of the standard DVD now, so i really was just wondering where we stand with the audio, that gap may close too at some point... so we might aswell talk about it, if only to educate one another on it, and make good choices when collecting music.
    as i pointed out above, i always buy the song (from google play until they closed this year), now iTunes seems to be the only show in town, and not ideal, because they dont even do 320k

    EDIT: i did a quick test there and downloaded some videos from a number of youtube sources, brand new videos, from the artists own channels. and they do all seem to come up at 128kbps, so, comparing that off some downloads from DJ pools, the pools are at 320kbps. so that kind of answers the question, I suppose there is no real rush for youtube material to go higher than 128 as its more than enough for your average person listening to music on a laptop or phone
    Last edited by DJ Matt; 09-26-2021 at 08:32 PM.

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