How to Convert Pro Tools Audio WAV Files to MP3 Format

If you've exported your mixes from Pro Tools before, you know most of what you need to export directly to MP3 format, provided you have a version of the digital audio workstation software that includes or supports MP3 format. Compared to WAV files, MP3 compression reduces file size substantially, while retaining much of the audio quality offered by uncompressed formats.

Export Your Mix to MP3

Step

Use the Selector tool to choose the length of audio to mix down. Usually this is the entire song, but you can remove count-ins or other unwanted audio by selecting a section that excludes audio before and after.

Step

Click File on the menu bar and click Bounce to and Disk. The Bounce dialog box opens.

Bounce Source Dialog
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Step

Select the source for your mix using the Bounce Source drop-down boxes. Include your main audio output and select the + button to the right. You can optionally remove tracks or effects by using an additional drop-down box to identify these and selecting the - button to subtract it from the mix. Click the Add MP3 box to create both a WAV and MP3 simultaneously. If your version of Pro Tools supports MP3 format alone, you can select it from the File Type drop-down box.

Offline Bounce Check Box
credit: Image courtesy of Avid

Step

Name your mix and select a directory. Pro Tools can perform the bounce in real time or offline. A real time bounce takes as long as the audio you're bouncing, so a three-minute song will take about three minutes to bounce. Checking the Offline box enables a faster bounce while retaining audio quality. Versions of Pro Tools prior to 11 do not have this feature, however, and will only bounce in real time. Click Bounce to start your mix export.

MP3 Encoder Window
credit: Image courtesy of Avid

Step

The MP3 encoder window opens and you may select your encoding speed and bit rate using the drop-down boxes or accept the default settings. Optionally, you can set ID3 tag information for your mix. Though this isn't required, it can provide artist and song information for various hardware or software MP3 players. Click OK to begin the MP3 export.