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Redbook standards and WAV file lengths DAW Software
Old 7th December 2017
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maxlor314's Avatar

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Redbook standards and WAV file lengths

I have a question about WAV file length and whether you all factor this in when delivering the final files to your clients.

I do the bulk of my mastering work in Pro Tools, including everything up to dither and downsampling. Then I pull these 16-bit WAVs into DSP Quattro to create DDPs for clients. Because I've added CD-Text metadata in DSP Quattro, I'll typically re-export WAV files for the client here as well. This is a quick way of creating final files for the client which contain the song title.

But this week I decided to try out the new HOFA CD Burn DDP Master software for my DDP and final WAV exporting task. This software adheres strictly to Redbook standards, and I've noticed the WAV files it exported had slightly different start and end times compared to my original files. I assume this is because the WAV file start and end times have been changed to line up correctly with the frames used in the Redbook CD creation process.

I never considered that my DDPs and WAV files delivered to the client have had slightly different track start/end times all along. And I am wondering if any of you factor this in or feel strongly one way or the other.

I would like to continue using the HOFA software as it also conveniently embeds ISRCs into the WAV files and can create mp3s using the CD-text metadata. But this is one of the factors keeping me on the fence.
Old 7th December 2017
I would not worry at all !
Also you can do both ddp and wav from hofa and you'll get the exact same length.
Old 7th December 2017
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maxlor314's Avatar

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Thanks! Yeah if it wasn't clear - the HOFA software is adjusting the WAV files to line up with frames just like the DDP. Where as my old method, with DSP Quattro, would export the WAV files as-is, and only adjust start times / track markers inside the DDP itself.
Old 7th December 2017
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SmoothTone's Avatar

Try setting your Pro Tools template to CD frames or 281.25bpm and see if that gets things lined up.
Old 7th December 2017
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Justin P.'s Avatar


You are very observant. This is all part of the mastering process.

Even though I use REAPER for my initial mastering DAW similar to how you use Pro Tools, I use WaveLab to finalize things. Before I render any master files from WaveLab I quantize the CD track makers to the nearest CD frame.

This means that as you have noticed, the the track start and end times shift ever so slightly to the nearest CD frame.

To me this isn't a big deal. After the track markers are quantized to CD frames, this is when I render my DDP image and/or master WAV files. This way the DDP and WAV files are 100% in agreement and are completely in sync down to the sample.

When you have a project that has precise track transitions or overlapping audio, this can be extremely critical.

You can as mentioned set the tempo in Pro Tools to a certain value so that the grid lines mimic CD frames.

OR, you can just to the final track sequencing in HOFA so that your rendered WAVs and DDP are 100% the same. HOFA is different than WaveLab in that it automatically forces markers to be on a CD frame.

WaveLab will let you place a marker anywhere but if you render a DDP, it will place the marker on the nearest CD frame for you behind the scenes. I assume DSP Quattro is like this too.
Old 7th December 2017
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Apostolos Siopis's Avatar

Verified Member
Originally Posted by maxlor314 View Post
I. And I am wondering if any of you factor this in or feel strongly one way or the other.

Yes we always do

I suspect most of us have set up their timelines to CD frames.
Old 7th December 2017
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maxlor314's Avatar

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Thanks so much for your responses! I'm going to start using CD-frames in my Pro Tools sessions.
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