Christian Accompaniment Tracks on CD
Christian Soundtracks on CD vs Downloading Tracks
Christian Accompaniment Tracks Music Magazine Tech Notes
If quality matters, you will find this article of great value.
Do Christian Accompaniment tracks that I download provide the same quality that Christian Tracks do on manufactured CDs?
The short answer is NO.
Like the difference in a sit-down restaurant and fast food burger joint, you pay more for less to get it quick. Just because something is easy and quick to get doesn’t mean it’s worth the price.
Buying downloadable Christian accompaniment tracks and music isn’t the same as buying a manufactured product. When you download a Christian Track you are only getting about 1/10th the quality and performance. Even if it is the same Christian track on a manufactured audio CD.
It is not just paying more for convenience to download, the quality is inferior and the extra hassle in the long run makes for more cost and time consumed.
Downloaded music is a compromise to be “good enough” on home computer speakers or earphones. On a better audio system such as a home stereo, in your church sanctuary or a performance PA system, the difference becomes painfully obvious.
- Let’s consider a real world example -
Think of a two liter cola drink at the corner minute market. The same bottle will cost a dollar at the grocery store but the minute market price is double – or more. Why is this? It is the “convenience factor”. While the price is much different, the cola bottle still the same product. You are paying more for the same product for the sake of convenience.
For downloadable music, you are not getting the same quality
However, for downloadable music, you are not getting the same quality of product than the manufactured CD. Even if it is the “same” song. The song is in a different format and is of an inferior quality.
Downloadable music as compared to the music on a CD is very different.
It may be the same song, but it is the QUALITY OF THE SOUND that is very different. Especially if you intend to use your Christian accompaniment track, Christian karaoke or Christian backing track on a sound system no matter what size or situation.
Downloads are more expensive than quality CD accompaniment tracks and a big hassle after you download the track.
- Downloadable music is in a compressed format.Music and Christian tracks on a manufactured CD is at full studio quality. Even if the downloaded Christian backing track is set at the lowest possible compression, it is still over 10 times less qualityand only deteriorates from there.
When comparing a compressed, downloaded song to the same song on a CD played through your computer is built in speakers, you may not notice much difference because of the limited capabilities of the computer speakers themselves. However, if you compare with your church sound system or even a basic home stereo the quality of the CD audio from a Christian soundtrack will be well noticed over the downloaded Christian track which is an MP3 or other compressed format.
What you are really buying when you download Christian music is only instant gratification, and perhaps instant dissatisfaction! It is not really convenient although the ability to receive a song you need at the last minute may seem so. The only factor you gain is saving time. You do give up quality and for the most part convenience. Even the perception of saving time when downloading Christian soundtracks does not necessarily save time or effort.
What you are really buying when you download music
is only instant gratification… lower quality at a higher price.
- How am I giving up convenience when I can get it immediately?
Your downloaded Christian track costs more. It is of much less quality than on CD. What you have upon downloading the Christian accompaniment track of your choice is a computer file. It is a media file, but it is still just a computer file. It is in a compressed format. It is an MP3. This is a compressed computer file format. The manufactured audio CD with Christian accompaniment tracks is at full studio quality.
Your downloaded Christian track costs more.
It is of much less quality than on CD.
- You must ask yourself these questions:
Do you intend on playing the file back only on the computer you downloaded it to ?
Do you want it on a CD ?
To make the Christian track to use, you must now burn the computer file to a CD. You must then label that CD. You must put it in a protective case of some type. You now have taken several steps that would have been unnecessary if you would have bought that Christian accompaniment track on an original manufactured disc. And what about the cost for the blank CD, the label, the ink for the label and the protective case?
Along with the extra hassle, you now have a Christian backing track on a CD which has inferior audio quality as compared to a manufactured CD with the Christian tracks.
Get an original manufactured name brand studio CD to be sure of original studio quality.
You cannot count on a third party “burn service” who merely copies the MP3 to an audio CD format. The stripped down audio of an MP3 is converted to an uncompressed file to be able to do this, which means the missing bits must be filled back in with the “best guess” the software used has to perform.
Remember the old saying about you get what you pay for? Free downloads of Christian Tracks and Christian Accompaniment Music on MP3 are not going to give you the quality you desire. Anyone who promises that you will get free cds, free shipping or free anything will deliver a product free of quality also. And there are always royalty fees that are paid to the writer of the song. Also, the professional musicians and producers who work to give you the quality you deserve.
The quality, name brand Christian accompaniment tracks on studio CD do not contain just one copy of the song you want. Depending on the title, There are different mixes of the song on several tracks to match your needs.
Generally, on each name brand studio CD title you will find one demonstration track with a studio singer or in the case of an original studio soundtrack, the original song is heard on the original album. There will be a track without the lead vocal for you to sing with. In most cases there will also be other tracks in different keys to match your vocal range.
Some CD titles also include these tracks with and without background vocals for vocal groups to perform. So you will receive not only full studio quality and sound on our Christian soundtracks and Gospel accompaniment CDs, you will have a variety of tracks to match your singing range and performance situation.
- Let’s take a look at the technical aspects:
We certainly do not wish to bore anyone with dry, technical information. But we are sure there are those who desire a deeper understanding of the differences between downloading Christian accompaniment tracks and Christian tracks on CD. Christian Music on CD and Christian accompaniment tracks on original, manufactured CDs are at full studio quality.
Just what is full studio quality?
A music CD is audio that is digitally played back at 44.1kHz. The kHz means kilohertz which is 1000 cycles per second or times every second. There is no compression on CD audio. What you hear is a perfect digital reproduction of the music as it was originally recorded.
- Why is the quality of sound from a CD at 44.1 thousand times a second?
This is based on what is known as the Nyquist Rate which states that to properly reproduce analog sound in a digital format the “sampling rate” or resolution must be twice the frequency being sampled. Perfect human hearing can detect frequencies of sound up to 20,000 Hz or 20 kilohertz. Double that number for the proper sampling rate.
The reason 44.1k was chosen is a deeper technical purpose which does not affect an explanation for our purposes of understanding.
A Christian accompaniment track that is downloaded is in a compressed computer file format. Technically, it is a MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, commonly referred to as an MP3.
There is a large misnomer in the MP3 world that an MP3 can be set to record at “CD quality”. This is deceptive at best and could be best illustrated as saying a high-powered, high cost sports car is the same as a compact economy car because each has four wheels and an engine. There is a vast difference in quality and performance.
An MP3 is known as a “lossy” compression algorithm and is designed to greatly reduce the file size of the song. MP3 is not considered high fidelity by audio professionals and audiophiles. When an MP3 is recorded the amount of compression can be selected depending on the quality desired for the output. However, even at the highest quality setting for MP3 a typical Christian accompaniment track will be 1/10 the size of the full studio quality file from a manufactured CD.
At least 90% of the original sound is thrown away in an MP3.
Digital compression formats such as MP3 “fools the ear” and is a “good enough” signal for the average, cheap home computer speaker. Originally a compromise for the slow transfer connections of the last century.
On a good audio system such as in your church sanctuary or a performance PA system, the difference becomes painfully obvious.
For example, you may not know how good food or bad food is cooked – but you can definitely tell the difference in the taste. It is the same with good and bad sound in your ear and the untrained ears of a listening audience.
With MP3 and other compressed digital formats, the sound becomes worse if the compression was set at a greater level which you can never be sure of depending on how the track was compressed for download. The result is “aliasing” in the signal.
Aliasing is introduced in MP3s which is inherent distortion in digital compression.
At the highest quality setting for MP3 a typical audio track will be 1/10 the size of the full studio quality file from a manufactured CD.
What happened to the 9/10 of the song in the MP3 Christian track? That sound information was discarded by the recording process. Accuracy is sacrificed in order for a Christian backing track to be efficient for downloading and storage on a computer. The result is much lower fidelity or quality in your Christian track.
Originally the MP3 was intended for digital video. However, in a Computer world it was realized the MP3 would work well as just audio. It works very well for tall radio or sermons where just the human voice is present as the human speaking voice does not have the dynamic range as music does.
Using compressed MP3 Christian tracks with a church sound system for a worship service will result in much lower quality of sound that using a real manufactured CD with your Christian accompaniment tracks.
Our Conclusion on the matter:
Simple to us –
Why pay more for inferior quality?
We always believe in using the best quality Christian accompaniment tracks available. Only the best name brand Gospel soundtracks.
We continue to choose to not use inferior Downloads of Christian accompaniment tracks. Our reason is due to the inferior quality and real cost and hassle in the long run. We will continue to promote the best quality, professional Christian backing tracks now and into the future.
Christian Accompaniment Tracks Music Magazine