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I often get asked about the best way to export an MP3 out of your DAW. In particular, Cubase. In this video I’ll show you how easy it is if your DAW supports it and what to do if it does not.

Creating MP3s In Cubase

Transcript »

Hello again! Dezz Asante here from TechMuzeAcademy with another video quick tip. This is a nice, short and sweet one today that I got from…a question by an academy member named Marcus. And Marcus was asking how to make mp3 files in Cubase – How to export as an mp3 in Cubase.

So, I want to take a second and walk you through that right now. It’s pretty simple. So, I’ve got on the screen here a session that I’ve been working on. It’s a mix from a band called The Divided Line. The track is called When 30 Days Became 30 Nights and I’ll just play a little bit for you now. So, they got sort of a tool kind a vibe you should say. Good music! I had a good time mixing this.

And I want to show you now right now how to get this out as an mp3. So, the first thing you’re going to want to do is a regular export. So, you’ll set your locators to the begining and the end of the piece like so. Another way to do that by the way is if you do control or command A to select everything. Hit the P Button, the Cubase will automatically adjust the locators to the begining and ends of the selection. So, that’s the simple way to do it.

Next, we’re go up to the File Menu which is on my other screen so you can’t see it and I’m going to choose export audio mix now. And when I do, this dialog comes up and you’re probably familiar with this already. At the top here is where you give it a name. Here is where you want to save it and I’m just going to save this on my desktop. And then here File Format, is where you choose if you want it to be a wave file or anything else. So, Mpeg layer 3 is an mp3. I can adjust the quality here. I like a nice high-quality 320 kilobits, 44 sample rate and I’m going to…that’s really all that you need to do. I’m going to do an export. Make sure you do the stereo bus. In my case it’s +1. That’s where all of the tracks are landing. And you’re going to hit export and that’s all there is to it.

Now, one thing I will say, see this error message that just popped up. Cubase, not just Cubase but the mp3 codec, the technology that is the mp3 is licensed. There’s a patent holder who owns the rights to that technology. So, a company like Steinburg who makes Cubase or Avid who makes Protools or anything like that, they actually have to pay a royalty in order to use the mp3 codec in their product. So, some of the lighter versions of these applications do not have direct mp3 exporting because they’re a lighter, free or inexpensive version of the software where the company could not justify paying the royalty on every single copy that they sold. So, typically the higher end versions will allow you that functionality. So, if you’re using Cubase Ali or Ai or one of the lighter versions…I think The Elements is one of them, you’re not going to find this feature.

So, I’m just going to say, okay Im just going to cancel out of that. What you can do instead is after you’ve exported as a wave file in full lossless quality, you could open that file. I’m just going to see if I can find one here in Itunes. And once that file is imported into Itunes and I’m just going to my song view here and we’ll just take any one of these tunes. I don’t know what they are. I think this is a tune by my good buddy Emerson Ireland here. I could right click on that song and I can say, Create an mp3 version. Now, if you don’t see this option, the thing you need to do is go into your preferences and go under CD Import and click the Import Settings button and here is where you choose…when I import a cd what I want to turn it into..choose mp3 and hit okay. And you’ll notice if I change that to something else for example AAC, now when I right click on this track, you know Itunes, it says Create AAC version. So, we want mp3s again, just open up your preferences. Import cd options change that to mp3. Hit okay! And now, I can right click on anything in Itunes and say Create MP3 version. And boom! I’ve got an mp3 version now of that song. From there, I can just right click and say…where did it go? Oh…there’s normally a show in Finder..there it is. I can say, Show in the Finder and it opens up my Finder or it’ll say Show In Explorer in you’re in Windows. And there’s the track – MP3 version of the track right there.

Okay, so that is how you can get MP3s out of Cubase and if you can’t get an MP3 out, this is how you can then. One extra step to turn your wave file into an mp3 to reduce its file size and so you could send it in an email or anything like that. Hopefully, that helps and we’ll see you on the next quick tip.

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