For those who DJ with Flacs.. is it worth it?
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default For those who DJ with Flacs.. is it worth it?

    I've seen some DJs on this forum that either exclusively use Flacs for their sets or include them in their sets, and I was just wondering if it makes a notable difference compared to mp3s. I just got myself a S4, (thanks to those who recommended me to get it. I'm really happy with it) and I'm about to start organizing my music collection for DJing, and was trying to decide between mp3s and flacs.

    For those who DJ with flacs, 1. do you notice a significant difference when playing your set with flacs? Is it worth the extra step? 2. How do you go about tagging/organizing your music (with Traktor) and 3. what are your main sources of new music? - what do you do if you can only find mp3 version of a certain remix?

    I'd really appreciate any input, Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I gotta admit, I don't really hear that much of a difference between a FLAC and a good encoded 320kbps MP3, but whenever I rip stuff from CDs I turn them into FLACs anyway. And that's pretty much it for me. Some download portals let you buy their tracks as FLACs too, but I'm a cheapskate and usually don't spend the extra € I have to pay for that.

  3. #3
    Schreiberie Meister Afterhour Ali's Avatar
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    Although I can barely notice anything I've got a better subjective feeling playing FLACs.
    Maybe its just the Placebo-effect, but everything is allowed which makes you feel better.

    I even spend the last week some extra bucks on Beatport for some Wave-files.

    As more storage becomes available we DJs should embrace FLACs and shift towards it.
    I myself will offer my songs in the FLAC-format starting today.
    DJDiscourse.com the new DJ community

  4. #4

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    The average untrained ear probably cannot distinguish any difference. Most people claiming to are probably experiencing a placebo effect.

    To be honest, you could probably even DJ with MP3s encoded with LAME at the V0 setting. The difference in quality is nil, but the V0 file size is much smaller.
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    I can't really hear a difference in my monitors, so there's not going to be a difference on club systems.

    But, anything I get on CD I still rip as flac. I don't use iTunes, and the media player I do use will read them just as well as anything else…so, why not?

  6. #6
    Schreiberie Meister Afterhour Ali's Avatar
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    Yeah thats what I mean. If you have the choice, go for it.
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  7. #7

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    The only reason I would ever use FLAC is for archival/backup purposes. That way if your 'portable' copies got destroyed somehow you would still have the true originals.
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru space monkey's Avatar
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    I buy mp3 and after processing in PN/MiK I import into Audacity for flac export. The only reason I use flac so I don't re-encode the songs as mp3 and lose even more data. It's a bit of a PITA to go through all that but wtv and I also don't recognize any difference because i'm starting out with mp3 anyway.

    Tagging the files from Audacity is pretty easy if you drag and drop the original mp3 into the app's window the close the mp3 before exporting the processed track. The tags from the mp3 auto-populate into the flac file when you export. You also need to add .5-1 sec of silence at the beginning of the track. Like I said PITA.

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    Space Monkey and kami have the right idea in making sure that you won't lose any more data.
    But for those of you who don't already know, if you're buying mp3's and converting them to FLAC, it will definitely NOT make anything sound better. A song can only ever sound as good as the source where you got it from, or worse depending on how many times it's been compressed down.

    As an example: If one downloads an mp3 that's 192kbps 44100, and converts it to a 320kbps 192000 FLAC (why?!), it will sound EXACTLY THE SAME.
    However if you compress it down to a lower bit rate, sample rate, or even more compressed audio file type, you can definitely make it sound worse.

    The best source for a high quality song will either have to be bought for a lot more than your average mp3, or come from the producer him/her/themselve(s).

    My personal opinion, if you really feel that you want to DJ with high quality sound, wav would be the best compromise of both quality and price worlds. Even then, you'd have to have your soundcard spitting that stuff out at a higher sample rate (depending on which sample rate it is), which wouldn't be very likely unless you were DJing with a decked out desktop computer.

    However to be perfectly honest, on a big sound system (even your general house party stuff), the only person who is going to actually hear the difference would be the audiophile in the corner listening to your mix through headphones from a "record out" on your mixer (and even the you'd have to consider the quality of the mixer).
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  10. #10
    Tech Guru space monkey's Avatar
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    Good point about the mixer. i love the way my Xone:92 treats the audio signal

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