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Author Topic: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?  (Read 1000 times)

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Offline ycoop

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Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« on: June 08, 2018, 12:26:07 AM »
My understanding is that as a lossless compression format FLAC files allow for the complete recovery of the WAV file. Is there any reason to maintain the larger WAV files?
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Offline vanark

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Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 05:11:30 AM »
No
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Online heathen

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 08:32:17 AM »
Is there any reason NOT to?  Storage space is dirt cheap.
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Offline vanark

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Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 10:29:42 AM »
FLAC files can be verified without a checksum.
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Offline morst

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 02:32:25 PM »
Great question.

I still keep original WAV files.

I tried using FLAC but it took extra time every time, and then extra time again to be sure that the FLAC was encoded perfectly. I should not do less before deleting original WAVs!?

But speaking of time, I have started to perform an MD5 checksum on the original file as it resides on the original storage medium, then I do a MD5 checksum on the file I have transferred to the hard drive. I compare these to make sure I have a good copy from the original to the drive which I'll be backing up.

Call me paranoid. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Offline ycoop

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 03:21:17 PM »
Saving ~30% of storage space seems like it could save some dough in the long run, but I’m more specifically asking as I’m awaiting delivery on 2 HDDs and want to free up some space on my laptop’s SDD to do some post.
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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 04:02:21 PM »
I don't keep them unless it is an accident.  I even break my master polywavs into pairs and FLAC those.

Once every several months I will go through my folder of masters and search for ".wav" just to go through and compress any stragglers
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 04:45:51 PM »
This is actually an excellent reminder that I should go through my old WAV masters and FLAC them — thanks!

Offline rigpimp

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2018, 06:37:04 PM »
But speaking of time, I have started to perform an MD5 checksum on the original file as it resides on the original storage medium, then I do a MD5 checksum on the file I have transferred to the hard drive. I compare these to make sure I have a good copy from the original to the drive which I'll be backing up.

Call me paranoid. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Nah, I used to use DVDs to backup by hard drives.  I used an MD5 checksum GUI to create and verify a MD5 and then save it to each disc. When I copied all the files off I would create another MD5 with the copied files and verify they matched. 
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Offline morst

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2018, 10:46:12 PM »
Saving ~30% of storage space seems like it could save some dough in the long run, but I’m more specifically asking as I’m awaiting delivery on 2 HDDs and want to free up some space on my laptop’s SDD to do some post.
Are you kidding me? How much music have you got? External 4TB drives cost like $80 now if you shop it right.


I ripped 800 DAT's and it's 1.2TB I think?


It would take a few days to FLAC that, in order to save less than $10 worth of space per copy?


OK sure, if you have nothing but [processor] time, it IS a potential for small cost savings... depending on how much power your machine draws and what you pay per kWH, now that we're actually thinking about the cost!?


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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2018, 11:36:17 PM »
Saving ~30% of storage space seems like it could save some dough in the long run, but I’m more specifically asking as I’m awaiting delivery on 2 HDDs and want to free up some space on my laptop’s SDD to do some post.
Are you kidding me? How much music have you got? External 4TB drives cost like $80 now if you shop it right.

I ripped 800 DAT's and it's 1.2TB I think?


You have a very good point.  Storage is cheap now... 

I've Transferred a lot of DATs too.  All of my Transfers average 1gb per DAT, but I keep the untracked Master FLAC and the tracked out FLAC files both... 

I think the WAV>FLAC is a hold-over from days when storage space was much more expensive...  I still have plenty of time though, so I still FLAC all my Transfers...

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Offline tim in jersey

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2018, 01:33:31 AM »
As storage is no longer a real economic concern (for now), I save the raw WAV masters and also post-processed, tracked and FLAC-ed files.

Every so often I have a breakthrough on my skills in post and how to improve the quality of a recording I made 10-15 years ago or even a year ago. Without the unaltered WAVs I'm screwed.

Example is when I ran 2 DAT decks back in the day, one AUD one SBD. Now that I know how to process time drift I'm kicking myself in the ass as to how many MTX recordings I could have made of some classic shows...

 :tomato:

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2018, 07:00:12 AM »
Storage is cheap, but you also have to factor in your backup storage, plus the time and bandwidth needed to back up the additional storage.

I agree that it's a marginal savings, but as it's easy enough to select a bunch of files and set them running to convert, I'll probably do it at some point.

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2018, 09:01:08 AM »
As storage is no longer a real economic concern (for now), I save the raw WAV masters and also post-processed, tracked and FLAC-ed files.

Every so often I have a breakthrough on my skills in post and how to improve the quality of a recording I made 10-15 years ago or even a year ago. Without the unaltered WAVs I'm screwed.

Example is when I ran 2 DAT decks back in the day, one AUD one SBD. Now that I know how to process time drift I'm kicking myself in the ass as to how many MTX recordings I could have made of some classic shows...

 :tomato:

That's why I keep raw .wav masters, too.

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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2018, 09:27:39 AM »
Raw master FLACs can be tagged with venue, source info, etc.
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Offline seethreepo

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2018, 11:05:33 AM »
Why spend lots of money and time effort etc and not keep the raw or purest possible source!  :shrug: keep em  as your post production skills improve or you get better speakers ,monitors etc you will be happy you can work from the original source.
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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2018, 11:51:08 AM »
Why spend lots of money and time effort etc and not keep the raw or purest possible source!  :shrug: keep em  as your post production skills improve or you get better speakers ,monitors etc you will be happy you can work from the original source.

I don't think the question is whether to keep the masters, but rather in WAV or FLAC format. A FLAC file converted back to WAV *is* the original source, so I'm not sure what you mean by "the raw or purest possible source." Are you implying that a FLAC of the original WAV file is somehow less pure than the WAV?
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Offline morst

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2018, 02:10:53 PM »
Why spend lots of money and time effort etc and not keep the raw or purest possible source!  :shrug: keep em  as your post production skills improve or you get better speakers ,monitors etc you will be happy you can work from the original source.
I don't think anyone is proposing the disposal of master recordings. FLAC does recreate the original WAV perfectly, and has additional features like metadata and the fingerprint. But it takes time and processor power to encode & decode in order to get the space savings.

As long as the FLAC encoding is done properly, the audio is not at risk, but it's an additional step that I don't feel is worthwhile for my purposes. In lieu of FLAC metadata, I leave the recordings in folders labeled by which recorder, inside dated folders, a year at a time.
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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2018, 10:42:03 AM »
Raw master FLACs can be tagged with venue, source info, etc.
^^^^ good point
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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2018, 03:49:45 PM »
My reasoning ,no matter how perfect it  is  (flac) I’d prefer the wav vs flac. Flac is compression ,and things *can go wrong*  would you rather have a dat master Or a dat clone? They are identical but most people would choose the master I think. Not trying to argue science or facts ,just my preferences. If storage isn’t a issue I’ll skip the time and processor work every time.
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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2018, 04:20:01 PM »
This is why I have started making MD5 checksums on the original files on the SD cards. If a FLAC operation could go wrong, so could a file transfer (copy).

You know, those files on your hard drive are COPIES of the masters, unless you are saving the SD cards or something!?

To be truly paranoid, I would want to run the checksum operation twice on the original to be sure that THOSE are the same.

My reasoning ,no matter how perfect it  is  (flac) I’d prefer the wav vs flac. Flac is compression ,and things *can go wrong*  would you rather have a dat master Or a dat clone? They are identical but most people would choose the master I think.
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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2018, 04:33:21 PM »
I use Teracopy which will verify the files after they are copied.
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Offline morst

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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2018, 05:16:25 PM »
I use Teracopy which will verify the files after they are copied.
Cool idea.

I'm on the mac so I should probably just pay for Carbon Copy Cloner, and turn on verification when I'm moving masters, or just go commando-line!?

But my MD5 thing works with what I have, and you can verify any time against it.
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Re: Is there any reason to keep masters as WAV files?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2018, 08:47:59 PM »
I use Teracopy which will verify the files after they are copied.

I have used Teracopy for years but find that Windows 10 does not always play nice with it.  I think that I used Robocopy before that but Teracopy is nice with the file verification step.
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