Let’s quickly learn what determines the quality of sound before we can know how to make low-quality audio.
Mainly, three factors affect the sound quality most - bitrate, sample rate (frequency), and the encoding method (codec). Generally, the higher the bitrate and sample rate, the better the audio quality. And lossless encoders such as WAV and FLAC represent higher quality than lossy MP3, AAC, etc. Therefore, we have three ways to lower audio quality on purpose:
1. Reduce the audio bitrate.
2. Reduce the audio sample rate.
3. Convert audio to lossy formats/Re-compress audio with lossy codec.
Of course, we can do more to make audio quality as bad as possible, such as decreasing or boosting the audio volume to denormalize the audio. And the good news is that we can use a simple audio editor/converter to realize the job. Follow the next part to learn how to make audio bad quality with a handy low-quality audio maker.
WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is an all-around program with abilities to decrease audio quality in easy steps. It provides customizable output settings that you can readily change the audio bitrate, sample rate, codec, as well as other parameters like channel and volume to make terrible sound quality. All audio formats are supported, and you can even cut and join audio files within the program. Besides, you can make a video bad quality as well, or make the sound quality of a video worse.
Open HD Video Converter Factory Pro and select the “Converter” module. Then, drag your audio file into the blank interface or click the center + button to import the file from your local folder (Batch mode is supported).
Next, at the bottom area of the converter, click the triangle button to set an output folder in advance.
Go to the right side of the program and hit on the format image. The full output format list will appear. Navigate to the “Audio” section and find a lossy format such as MP3, AAC, M4A, etc.
Now, open the “Parameter settings” and find the audio settings. Change the channels to mono, customize the bitrate as 8kbps, and select the lowest sample rate.
Tips. If you want a “blown out” effect, first decrease the audio volume to 50% and follow the next two steps.
Click the “Run” button to export the audio. The converted file should sound pretty low quality now.
If you want to further change the quality of sound, you can import the file to the program again and repeat the first two steps. Then, in the “Parameter settings,” keep the bitrate, channel, and sample rate the same as before and increase the volume to 200%.
Now, output the file and you should have really bad quality audio.
Tip: Repeated conversion between lossy formats can also hugely downgrade the audio quality.
The audio bitrate determines the audio fidelity. If a high-bitrate audio file is reduced to a lower bitrate, more information will be lost, and hence a lower audio quality. The sample rate is how many samples are recorded per second. The more samples taken, the more detail preserved, and the better the audio quality. And to make audio quality worse, you can reduce the sample rate. As for the encoding method, there are lossless and lossy ones. The lossless audio codec like WAV, FLAC, and ALAC represent audio with the highest quality, while the lossy MP3, AAC, etc. usually have inferior quality. Transcoding the audio with a lossy encoder can also help make the audio sound worse.
“I really like the sound that old or low quality mics make. I've seen plenty of tutorials on how to make audio sound better, but what I want is to make my current high quality audio low quality and noisy. I was wondering if it's possible to turn it into something like that?”
The “bad” quality music could sometimes bring back the nostalgic feeling of the music in the late 90s’ and early 00s’. Lots of people also use low quality audio to add more fun to the video memes. It is possible, and to be fair, simple to make audio sound low quality as we’ve already told you what would directly affect the quality of sound and the whole process of how to make audio low quality in the contents above.
By the way, if you are on your phone, you can try making audio quality worse online. Some online audio converters allow you to edit the audio parameters including the codec, sample rate, and codec to get personalized result. That’s all we want to share. Hopefully, you’ve gotten the wanted low audio quality.
Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!
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