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The Format Wars (Part1) -MP3 – Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec

Hey Labfans, today we are doing a very special series of threads that will  help us evaluate encoding/decoding lossy media formats.

  • We will use Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec to achieve this. The pluggin is one of a kind. It offers real-time streaming (and offline) of the most common lossy and lossless media formats.
  • For more information visit :
  • From A mixing/mastering perspective Fraunhofer is priceless, it can help us ‘bypass’ the format by mixing through it, at least to some degree that is.

Settings above


MP3 – 320 – High Quality Codec



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Well the gif image limits the modulation speed, its way faster in reality.

This is what mp3 does to your FR, the definition of destruction.




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Most extreme phase I’ve seen in my life.

What is important to understand is that the phase such as this is completely identical within the L/R, in order to work,. Since the format is a end-media format that won’t be introduced for further processing the phase will not matter in most cases.



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First let me note that my box readings above had a bug, none the less the plot is accurate.

What we see is a very unnatural  THD specially over the fundamental, we can also see that irregular harmonic orders are formed which is not a good thing.




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Yes, no compression unlike popular belief.

Anticipated roughness from frequency modulations …



What we see overall is the destructive properties of this media format.

It does not compress audio, it deforms its response and distorts it.


Q: Hey I’f I’m distorting I must be compressing right ?

A: Not always, in order for a drastic compression reading to be created, we need higher percentages.


Personal Quote: I wouldn’t want any of my work going through that.







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