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Author Topic: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?  (Read 613 times)

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Offline heathen

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Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« on: August 18, 2018, 05:10:51 PM »
I've got some cassette masters that were very graciously transferred to flac by Terry Watts.  When I do the final editing of those, should I convert them back to wav first?  Does anyone know if it will make any difference whether I work directly from the flacs or whether I convert to wav and then edit the wavs?
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Offline ScoobieKW

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2018, 07:05:17 PM »
No difference. Both are of equal quality one just packs the bits tighter.
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Offline morst

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2018, 08:45:32 PM »
No difference. Both are of equal quality one just packs the bits tighter.
I agree with this but your software might not. For instance, Protools does not like FLAC files. Audacity likes FLAC just fine. Sound Forge Pro seems fine with them.
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Offline rigpimp

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 12:31:42 PM »
I discovered Wavelab 9.5 plays well with FLAC.  I can even tell it how hard I want to compress the end file.  I say that it depends on your DAW software.
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Offline morst

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 12:38:40 PM »
I can even tell it how hard I want to compress the end file.
Unless you are on a really really old machine from the early 2000's, choose the smallest FLAC size. You won't notice much of a processing time difference, and the result file will be more compact (with all the same info encoded.)
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Offline daspyknows

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2018, 12:24:17 AM »
I can even tell it how hard I want to compress the end file.
Unless you are on a really really old machine from the early 2000's, choose the smallest FLAC size. You won't notice much of a processing time difference, and the result file will be more compact (with all the same info encoded.)

There is one "taper" on here who insisted his recordings sounded better because he used lower FLAC compression.

My experiece with Soundforge is when I save a FLAC file it converts to WAV.  It must be a setting I haven't found.  I always use the highest FLAC compression.  I notice that the time difference in processing is noticeable on cheap travel laptop but virtually no different when I run it using my server with a fast quad core processor, 32gb of RAM and a fast drive. 


Offline djphrayz

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2018, 08:51:54 PM »
I tried resampling a very large, 2 hr long, flac recently with Sound Forge.  It was unbearably slow, so I converted it to wave and the process was several times faster.  I didn't quantify it, but it seemed more than twice as fast to process.


If your concern is quality, then I think you should take the term 'lossless' at face value.  I believe the primary reason that lossless formats are the only ones adopted by this community is that it doesn't matter how many times you you convert between lossless format and wav format, you won't lose any information, providing no data corruption occurs.


I think the guy that thinks his lower compression level flacs sounded better than higher compression level flacs needs to take the pepsi challenge in a controlled environment.  I think his opinion was colored by his pre-conceived notion.
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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2018, 10:33:28 PM »
You have to remember that your NLE software does not natively edit FLAC files.  It converts FLAC to WAV and that is what it edits.  So extra time it takes to "edit" FLAC includes the time for the NLE to uncompress and recompress the file.
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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2018, 11:12:28 PM »
I tried resampling a very large, 2 hr long, flac recently with Sound Forge.  It was unbearably slow, so I converted it to wave and the process was several times faster.  I didn't quantify it, but it seemed more than twice as fast to process.


If your concern is quality, then I think you should take the term 'lossless' at face value.  I believe the primary reason that lossless formats are the only ones adopted by this community is that it doesn't matter how many times you you convert between lossless format and wav format, you won't lose any information, providing no data corruption occurs.


I think the guy that thinks his lower compression level flacs sounded better than higher compression level flacs needs to take the pepsi challenge in a controlled environment.  I think his opinion was colored by his pre-conceived notion.

well, he also believes Sonics sound better than Schoeps so he needs more than Pepsi.

Offline morst

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2018, 03:00:37 PM »
You have to remember that your NLE software does not natively edit FLAC files.  It converts FLAC to WAV and that is what it edits.  So extra time it takes to "edit" FLAC includes the time for the NLE to uncompress and recompress the file.
Yes, and also it will most likely allocate temporary (or not?) storage space in order to keep the uncompressed version available.


Myself, I mostly use FLAC compression for final tracked versions of file sets, or when I want to send a large file out over the internet.
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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2018, 12:19:24 PM »
I save both the raw files and final files as FLACs to save space and for file management consistency.  My editor (Samplitiude) will import FLAC directly, but I typically decompress to WAV first to ease the processing load.
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Offline DATBoy

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2018, 03:58:08 PM »
I just FLAC it at Level 8.

Fuck it, I hardly listen to all that stuff all over again. I think it is better to maintain the space this way. Also, I never notice a processing difference too.

Offline down2earthlandscaper

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Re: Edit flac directly or convert to wav?
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2018, 02:47:15 PM »
In Adobe Audition (2017) there is an "estimated file size" for instance, when saving to wav it will say "estimated file size 2.08GB" but when I select to save as FLAC the "estimated file size" doesn't change from 2.08GB. Seems that a compressed version would be smaller but am I missing a setting or something?
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