mp3DirectCut Version 1.14

Copyright 2000, 2001 Martin Pesch 
mp3DirectCut's homepage:
HTML manual by Hermen van den Herik


Basic settings Navigation Creating Selections Cutting Changing Volume, Fade-In/Out
Undoing Cuts/Gains Prelistening Saving To File Project files Command Line Parameters




mp3DirectCut is a frame based editor for MP3 files. You can set regions for cutting or changing the volume like in common audio editors. 
But the HUGE difference is that at ALL operations the MP3 will NOT be re-encoded! This saves time and disk space and prevents loss of audio quality. You can easily navigate through even large MP3s and mp3DirectCut gives you a visualisation of the MPEG data. The editor is non-destructive and changes nothing in the original file.

Note: To get information about the new features added in version 1.15 (cues, cue sheets, command line param) see the embedded manual.



For playing MP3 files mp3DirectCut needs either an installed Windows MP3 ACM Codec or the "mpglib.dll". 
You can get the mpglib.dll with the complete source at mp3DirectCut's homepage. It is based on the mpglib which is originally provided by Michael Hipp ( and is distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). Which decoder fits best to your needs depends on your machine. The mpglib.dll makes the editor independent (if you don't have an ACM). But on the other hand the current mpglib.dll is not optimized and uses more CPU power.

You can adjust the amount of frames decoded to each play buffer between 'fast' (1) and 'reliable' (8). On slower machines set a higher value, if you want to have a fast response of the graphics select a faster value.

For recording an MP3 directly to disk you also need either an ACM Codec or the Lame Encoder DLL (available through the homepage of the Lame project:

It is important to choose a base filename. Your recordings will be saved under this name. 
Note that there will be NO query for overwriting existing files! But if you select 'Add date & time'each recorded file has date and time of the start of the recording in its filename. With this extension every recording should be kept.



An elegant way to reach a position is by holding down the CTRL key and pressing the left mouse button over the position in the main view you want to jump to. You can even jump to any file position by clicking into the map area just below the MPEG graph.





Move along an opened MP3 file with the main navigation scrollbar. 
With the little arrow buttons on the left and right you can move a single frame back or forward. 

The keyboard 
Page up  and  Page dn  buttons scroll through audio data by +/- 100 frames (2-3 seconds).



Freely defineable skip buttons (100-5000 frames).

You can set the amount of frames to skip back/forward by these buttons in the Settings -> Configure menu:





Also skip buttons, but these ones skip 10% of the frames of the above buttons.


Jump to the beginning or end of selections (or cuts/gains)




The audio graph takes volume information directly from the MP3 frames and differs from the real decoded audio amplitude. Even the height which the frame bars can reach varies by different MP3 types.
The graph is for orientation and searching positions. For a more reliable audio level use the VU meter on the right.



There are two types of edit areas: the normal cuts, which contain data from the source MP3 NOT to be saved to the new MP3, and the gain regions, where the data WILL be saved, but has a modified volume. To create such a region you must first make a selection:


Cuts do NOT disappear from the graph, like in common audio editors. They only change of background color:


Gains (volume regions) change of color too; they are shown with the same background color but different data color:


In the Settings -> Configure dialog you can set the color scheme of the graphic elements to your own preferences.


There are 3 ways of CREATING A SELECTION:

    -Press the RIGHT mouse button in the graph at the point you want the selection to begin.
    -Scroll forward through the graph to the point where the selection should end.
    Press the
    LEFT mouse button there.
     (or vice versa)

    -Adjust the position of the pointer to the place you want the selection to begin, then press the  Set begin  button. 
    -Move along the file to the place you want the selection to end, then press the 
    Set end  button.

    -Press and hold the RIGHT mouse button on the place you want the selection to BEGIN 
    -Drag the cursor forward through the graph to the place where the selection should END
    -Release the mouse button there.
     (or vice versa, using the LEFT mouse button)


  1. Create a selection
  2. Press the  Cut  button.


To change the volume of the selection:

  1. Create a selection

  2. Press the  Gain  button. A dialog will open in wich you choose from 3 volume changements:

      -modify the volume of the selected frames relatively

      -fade in over the range of the selection

      -fade out over the range of the selection


  3. The two sliders represent the beginning and end of the present selection:
    - Leaving the first slider at it's default position & adjusting the second to it's lowest position (-48 dB) creates a Fade-OUT
    - Leaving the second slider at it's default position & adjusting the first to it's lowest position (-48 dB) creates a Fade-IN
    - Adjusting BOTH sliders up will increase the volume of the complete selection 
    - Adjusting BOTH sliders down will decrease the volume of the complete selection 



All volume changes are made in steps of 1.5 dB, which is the resolution of an MP3's 'Global Gain' value. Even for volume settings nothing of the MP3 will be re-encoded!




Since mp3DirectCut is a non-destructive project based editor (all edits you make will only become definite by saving them to a new MP3 file), cut or gain decisions you've made can easily be made undone.  

Every selection that has edited material (by means of cutting or volume changing) is automatically labeled (f.i. 1Cut, 2Gain, 3Gain, 4Cut etc.). 
If you want to change or undo it, you must first identify/select it. There are three possible ways to do so:

  1. Select it from the list in the Edit menu. Here's an example:

  2. Cycle through all cuts/gains in the project with the  |<  and  >|  buttons.

  3. A cut/gain touched from the cursor will be selected automatically after setting the Autoselect cuts option in the Edit menu.

You can easily identify a selected ("active") cut/gain, because it's highlighted in another color than the other cuts:




A and D are GAIN REGIONS, because they have the same background color but different data color

B and C are CUTS, because they have the same data color but different background color

B is the selected or "active" cut, because it has a different (orange) color than the other (brown) cuts/gain regions


After selecting the appropriate cut/gain region, press the Edit button. The cut/gain region will become the current selection, all editing decisions are made undone and the selection is no longer there. So all settings for the former cut/gain region are back to default now. 




There are two sets of buttons to prelisten the selection before cutting:



Plays the selection itself.
For example (where ABCDEFGHIJKLM represents the project's graph):

If selection is FG:    
ABCDEFGHIJKLM    this button plays FG  


...=>||=>... Plays as if selection was cut (out), so some seconds before and some seconds after the selection, but NOT the selection itself. Then returns to the last cursor position.

If selection is FG:    
ABCDEFGHIJKLM     this button plays EH  





You can save:

  1. The complete project with all the edits (t.i. the cuts and gains) with File -> Save to new file...

  2. Just the current selection with File -> Save selection...

Please note that you MUST save all of your files under a
new filename. mp3DirectCut will NOT let you overwrite the original file, because it is needed to copy data from. So do NOT delete any source MP3 files until mp3DirectCut has finished compiling the new MP3 file.



An mp3DirectCut project file contains the name and the location of a file and the whole cut list, including volume settings:

If you work with large MP3s and make a lot of cuts or gains you should frequently save your work to a project file (File -> Save Project...).




mp3DirectCut can load an MP3 via the command line. So you can open it directly from Explorer if you add it to your MP3 file type actions:


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