There is a lot of confusion regarding the mp3 file format and DaVinci Resolve.
Especially questions keep popping on issues related to importing, playing back and exporting mp3 audio files in Resolve.
I have to admit I faced issues with mp3 file formats while working in DaVinci Resolve, which has frustrated me a lot.
So today, we’ll see if DaVinci Resolve can import, edit and export mp3 file format.
Plus, some quick tips to get you started in the right direction.
Without wasting time…
Let’s dive right in!
Does DaVinci Resolve Support Mp3?
DaVinci Resolve supports mp3 file format. You can import an mp3 audio file, drop it onto a timeline, edit it, and add sound effects on top of it, like any other audio file such as .wav format. However, Resolve requires a constant bit rate mp3 file for it to process successfully.
Can DaVinci Resolve Export Mp3?
DaVinci Resolve can’t export an mp3 file. It can export audio formats like wav, aac/m4a, and embedded audio in video files like mp4, mov, etc., but not mp3. The “Supported Codec Manual” says Resolve can’t encode mp3 (or export), whereas it can decode mp3 (or importing and editing).
(For more information on the “Supported Codecs” manual, head over to the BlackMagic Support and scroll down under “Latest Support Notes” to download the pdf.)
Since DaVinci Resolve can not export your audio tracks into mp3, you’ll have first to export your audio tracks in a different format (like wav) and then convert it into an mp3 file.
Always keep in mind that DaVinci Resolve works very well with wav formats which are considered high-quality ones. So if you could avoid mp3 in the first place, you can have a pretty smooth workflow.
If you are stuck with mp3 and there is no other option, then read on.
How to Import Mp3 Audio in DaVinci Resolve?
- Launch Resolve and click on the “Media” or “Edit” page.
- Press the shortcut “Ctrl + i” (or “Cmd +i”) to import your mp3 file.
- Choose the location of your mp3 and click on ok.
- Your mp3 file is now imported into DaVinci Resolve.
- Drag the mp3 file onto a timeline for editing and further processing.
Issues Related to Mp3 Inside DaVinci Resolve
Sometimes you won’t be able to import certain mp3 files, or even if you import, they might not playback as expected.
Keep in mind that BlackMagic requires a constant bit rate mp3 file as per the codecs manual.
Sometimes recording mp3 through smartphones could result in variable bit rate audio files, which could be one of the issues.
In those cases, you need to make sure the variable bit rate mp3 is converted to a constant bit rate mp3.
Here’s is how you go about it.
How to Find If your Mp3 is Constant or Variable Bit Rate File?
To check if your mp3 has a constant or variable bit rate, you have to download and install MediaInfo app. This is how you do – step by step.
#1. Navigate to Mediainfo.
#2. Click on the dropdown to select your OS.
#3. Download the “Universal Installer” and install it.
#4. Launch the application.
#5. Go to “File” -> “Open” -> “File” -> Select your mp3 audio.
#6. Click on “View” -> “Tree”. Check under “Audio” section.
#7. The “Bit Rate Mode” should display “Variable” or “Constant”.
How to Convert Your Variable Bit Rate Mp3 into a Constant One for Resolve?
To convert a variable bit rate file into a constant one, you can either use FFMPEG or Audacity. You’ll have to download and install them. (Both are free).
We will look at how to convert a variable into a constant bit rate using Audacity.
- Head over to Audacity official website.
- Download the installer based on your OS.
- Then install it – a straightforward installation.
- Launch the application and drag and drop your mp3 file (or “File” > “Open” and locate your mp3 file).
- Now export = go to the menu and “Export” > “Export as Mp3”.
- In the “Export Audio” pop-up, under “Format Options“, select “Constant” against “Bit Rate Mode”.
- Under “Quality“, choose high-quality ones like 320 kbps (if required).
- Choose your location and click on “Save“.
- If you get another window titled “Edit Metadata Tags”, simply click on “Ok” and the file will be exported.
- Your mp3 is now a constant bit rate one which DaVinci Resolve should recognize and import successfully.
You can double check the constant bit rate using MediaInfo app as discussed above.
After importing, you will be able to edit it with no playback issues in DaVinci Resolve.
After you’ve finished working with your audio track, now you will have to export audio in the form of “.wav” – which is the best one for our purpose.
After you export wav, then it’s time to convert it into mp3 (more on that later).
How to Export Audio Only File from DaVinci Resolve?
- Click on the “Deliver” page inside Resolve.
- Under the “Video” tab, uncheck “Export Video“.
- Click on the “Audio” tab.
- Select “Wave” against “Format“.
- Let the codec be “Linear PCM”.
- Change the “Bit Depth” to “24” or “32”.
- Enter “File Name” and choose “Location” for saving.
- Click on the button “Add to Render Queue”.
- Click on the “Render All” button from the right side of the screen.
- Your audio file should now be exported to a wav file format.
Now let’s look at some of the ways to convert your wav file to an mp3 format. Either of the one below should get your job done.
- A quick but unreliable way.
- Converting the wav file into mp3 using Audacity – Most preferred.
- Using a command line interface to transcode your wav file into an mp3 – very efficient and can be used for transcoding any required formats.
How to Convert Wav File into an Mp3 File
1. Quick Way
Simply rename the extension to mp3 instead of wav. You’ll get a warning, give ok.
This is a quick fire method – consider this if you really are out of time. Just check if the file is playing in VLC or Window’s media player.
You should be good.
Take a copy before doing this.
But this is not reliable. If you try to import this file into Resolve, it might not import.
Below processes are the proper ways to convert a wav into mp3.
2. Using Audacity to Convert Your Wav to Mp3
- Open Audacity.
- Drag and drop your mp3 file (or “File” > “Open” and locate your mp3 file).
- Go to the menu and “Export” > “Export as Mp3”.
- In the “Export Audio” pop up, under “Format Options”, select “Constant” against “Bit Rate Mode”. (You can select variable )
- Under “Quality”, choose high-quality ones like 320 kbps (if required).
- Choose your location and click on “Save”.
- Your wav file is now converted to an mp3 file with a constant bit rate.
3. Using FFMPEG to Transcode your Wav into Mp3
FFMPEG is a utility that you need to download and install. It is one of the most robust ways to convert files to any format.
But it doesn’t have a UI (User Interface) like other desktop-based applications.
You will have to enter commands to execute your instruction. (Don’t be worried over commands. I will show you how to do it step by step).
First, read on how to download and install FFMPEG the right way. (This tutorial from Wikihow is a step-by-step one with a lot of pictures.)
After following the instructions, do the below to convert a variable bit rate file to a constant bit rate one using FFMPEG:
- Navigate to the folder where you have your wav file.
- In the address bar type ffmpeg -i <your wav filename>.wav -ar 48000 -ac 2 -b:a 320k <any name>.mp3
- For example, I type this in my address bar ffmpeg -I wave-to-mp3.wav -ar 48000 -ac 2 -b:a 320k converted-to-mp3.mp3
- Press Enter.
- A command prompt window will open, and your wav file will be converted to mp3 and saved in the same folder.
- The command prompt window will close automatically.
Things to note in the command line:
- -ar 48000 – indicates 48KHz audio frequency
- -ac 2 – indicates 2 audio channels
- -b:a 320k – indicates audio bit rate of 320kbps – highest quality
You can take the converted mp3 file and drop it on to MediaInfo to double-check the encoding information which you entered in the command line.
If you are facing problems in entering the instruction in the address bar, then you can do the same in the command prompt.
Here’s how you do:
- Press Windows key and r simultaneously, and you’ll get the “Run” pop-up.
- Enter “cmd” (without double quotes) and press Ok.
- Take a note of your path displayed in the command prompt. This is where FFMPEG will look for your wav file.
- Copy the wav file to this path shown on your command prompt.
- Copy this line ffmpeg -i <your wav filename>.wav -ar 48000 -ac 2 -b:a 320k <any unique name>.mp3
- Then in the command prompt, right-clicking will – will paste the above line of code.
- Press the “Enter” key.
- Your file will now be converted!
Keep in mind that your wav file should be copied to the path displayed in the command prompt, otherwise you might get a “No such directory exists” error.
There you go!
Experts recommend working with .wav file format inside DaVinci Resolve.
If you are forced to work with mp3, you might need to perform extra steps to get the desired output – as outlined above.
But if you are getting started and you have an option, then make sure your audio file format is wav! That will save you a ton of time and headache.
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