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How to make a FLAC sound like a WAV? Studio Headphones
Old 26th October 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

How to make a FLAC sound like a WAV?

Hey people,
So my digital distribution company is telling me that Spotify is asking for a FLAC file of my master.

Whether it's exported directly from the mastering source (Adobe Audition) or converting the already exported master WAV version with a converter, the FLAC file sounds SO different than the WAV! It losses the tightness that I have been working so hard to achieve. I have read a vast number of threads about "FLAC vs WAV" but no one seems to just answer my question as a solution to this issue:

I need my FLAC to <sound> like the WAV file. I don't really care about having the most pure and lossless of the files, as long as it mostly doesn't sound like so. I've tried a couple of different converters and there are some differences but they all take away the tightness of the sound. I was also thinking that maybe whatever codec I use can be part of the issue.

Is there any settings or anything that can keep the sound of the FLAC as similar to the WAV file? Even an MP3 conversion from the WAV file sounds way much better and more similar than this!!
Old 26th October 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by semur01 View Post
Hey people,
So my digital distribution company is telling me that Spotify is asking for a FLAC file of my master.

Whether it's exported directly from the mastering source (Adobe Audition) or converting the already exported master WAV version with a converter, the FLAC file sounds SO different than the WAV! It losses the tightness that I have been working so hard to achieve. I have read a vast number of threads about "FLAC vs WAV" but no one seems to just answer my question as a solution to this issue:

I need my FLAC to <sound> like the WAV file. I don't really care about having the most pure and lossless of the files, as long as it mostly doesn't sound like so. I've tried a couple of different converters and there are some differences but they all take away the tightness of the sound. I was also thinking that maybe whatever codec I use can be part of the issue.

Is there any settings or anything that can keep the sound of the FLAC as similar to the WAV file? Even an MP3 conversion from the WAV file sounds way much better and more similar than this!!
FLAC and WAV have the same sound.

If it's not the case there are a big problem in your process.

and

"but no one seems to just answer my question as a solution to this issue" Nobody can help you on an irrelevant issue
Old 26th October 2017
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by semur01 View Post
Hey people,
the FLAC file sounds SO different than the WAV! It losses the tightness that I have been working so hard to achieve.
I've had this before.. The two are the same, but it's our minds thinking that's it's not, its an audio illusion, I only submit wav though.
Old 27th October 2017
  #4
Gear Head
 
Schematic_Sound's Avatar
 

Run a null test to confirm whether or not there are in fact any differences. But there shouldn't be any, FLAC is a lossless format.
Old 27th October 2017
  #5
During playback FLAC is being converted and played in the same process (FLAC is compressed like a ZIP file). The WAV file is just being played as is. Some players do not handle FLAC playback properly. Listen through a different software such as VLC player or foobar2000.
Old 28th October 2017
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bisszerk View Post
During playback FLAC is being converted and played in the same process (FLAC is compressed like a ZIP file). The WAV file is just being played as is. Some players do not handle FLAC playback properly. Listen through a different software such as VLC player or foobar2000.
Exactly! Every FLAC player sucks and destroys the original sound. Check your track by opening it in a pro software like Sound Forge, Wavelab, etc. editing program. For real time playing try VUPlayer.
Old 29th October 2017
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schematic_Sound View Post
Run a null test to confirm whether or not there are in fact any differences. But there shouldn't be any, FLAC is a lossless format.
Hey, once more! Thanks for your responses.

A Null Test was definitely the way to test this out and see what's going on, and I found a very interesting issue.

I have got 2 FLAC versions of the track and tested both out against the master WAV file. One was exported directly from the same source where the WAV came from --Adobe Audition. And the other one by converting the master WAV file with Super (C) Converter. This is what happened in each case:


a) Master WAV vs Original Source's (AA) FLAC:
-Once inverting one track, there was a successful total cancellation of the music at 0 dB vs 0 dB.
-However, there is clipping found on the peaks of the song. Also, I can totally hear the clipping by listening to the FLAC alone.
-Nevertheless, this clipping cannot be heard on the WAV file, at all. And the WAV file still sounds more solid and tight, like I said before.
*Does a FLAC Conversion make clipping more noticeable or something? Or better said, do WAV files make clipping LESS noticeable?

b) Master WAV vs Converted (Super (C)) into FLAC:
-In order to achieve as much phase cancellation as possible, I had to turn the volume of the FLAC down to around -3.15dB. Which means that the FLAC file is 3.15 dB LOUDER or over-gained than the WAV of which it was converted from.
-Because of this over-gain, predictably, the found clipping is even worse (if not, about three times more severe) when listening to the canceled mix.
-However, when listening to the FLAC alone, for some mysterious reason or illusion, the clipping can be heard but not as noticeable as the Original Source's FLAC. This doesn't make sense to me.


So yes. FLAC Conversion, even when it comes from the master DAW source, brings distortion on the peaks. Maybe it kind of brings to light the peaks that don't really sound like clipping when played in WAV and turn them into clear and annoying clipping in FLAC. Something I don't understand, however, is how this type of distortion is heard as a loss of "tightness" in the overall sound --especially in the low frequencies.
Old 30th October 2017
  #8
Gear Nut
 

The best convertor soft with no issues is dBpoweramp.
Old 8th November 2017
  #9
well, NuGen just introduced a a new feature in their latest update of MastercheckPRO, FLAC codec auditioning. it should be useless if wav and FLAC is always identical. it turns out there are situations when FLAC is not and exact recreation of the source.
more here https://www.nugenaudio.com/newsitem....0-001ddbb725b0
Old 9th November 2017
  #10
Gear Head
 
Schematic_Sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastervargas View Post
well, NuGen just introduced a a new feature in their latest update of MastercheckPRO, FLAC codec auditioning. it should be useless if wav and FLAC is always identical. it turns out there are situations when FLAC is not and exact recreation of the source.
more here https://www.nugenaudio.com/newsitem....0-001ddbb725b0
It's because FLAC encodes at 16-bit, so if you haven't already dithered and reduced bit depth to 16-bit prior to the FLAC conversion then you're monitoring the truncation.
Old 9th November 2017
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schematic_Sound View Post
It's because FLAC encodes at 16-bit, so if you haven't already dithered and reduced bit depth to 16-bit prior to the FLAC conversion then you're monitoring the truncation.
according to this https://xiph.org/flac/faq.html (General --> the one before the last question) it encodes everything between 4 and 32 bit, but not float.
Old 6th September 2018
  #12
Here for the gear
 

So I know that last post was almost a year ago but this is a rather unusual topic and couldn't find much googling, so thought would add my most bizarre circumstance with flac and wav file difference here.

Backstory: Ask a friend to do some ozone mastering for one of my DJ mixes. Send him a file with 0dbfs peaks, which I should have thought about before sending. I think I presumed he would turn it down a little before processing.
Get a flac back and there are some audible clips - some are immediate in the intro but easiest to hear early on is at 3:04-3:05. But it's mostly decent sounding apart from a couple of sporadic clips. The flac is 24bit 44kHz.

I convert that flac to mp3 directly with lamedropxp and the mp3 sounds exactly the same.

I convert that flac file to wav with Foobar2K (as well as decoding in Wavelab 9 to listen there) and the resulting wav files have clipping most of the time. It's unbearable.

Now, this would be ok for online use but I wanted to burn this to CDR/CD audio. I know I can try to burn flac to CDA with some burners but I am only aware of ones which decode wav first then burn that, so presume it will end being clipped CD.

NO idea how this is happening. I figure there are a few options now:
1) use my original source/non mastered file again instead - would prefer not to as the 'mastered' sounds better, apart from the odd clips
2) process the flac file somehow, or the resulting wav, to deal with the clips with restoration tools - not something I'd like to do, further degrading when have the source still
3) redo the entire mastering again - convincing my friend to do it
4) give up and not burn it to CD
5) figure out what is going on and somehow get a better flac to wav decode.

Flac file:
Code:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ipgle3vfn7aat3v/Ninja%20Gaijin%20-%20Turdsday%20%28BREAKCORE%2008%20Aug%202018%29%20%5B1644%20Flac%5D.flac
I'm not sure how long this file wil be up, but I can mirror if required.

Mixcloud transcode of 320 mp3 version: Ninja Gaijin - Turdsday (Breakcore 9 Aug 2018) by Ninja Gaijin | Mixcloud

I might end up making a new thread if see no action here, but hoping this is the right place to put it.
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