Help with some FLAC files
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Help with some FLAC files

    So I've been trying to make most out of my sets with lossless files and some of my buddies have suggested FLAC. I understand that they're great in terms of quality, but my CDJs won't handle them. Either that or I'm doing it wrong. I tried to burn them on an audio disk, but it's not working the way I thought it would.

    How should I convert these without loosing any of the quality?
    2x CDJ900 - DJM800 - Xone XD2-53 - Ableton Akai APC40 Edition - Rekordbox - 2x HS80M - HS10W - 2x DXR12 - DSX12

  2. #2

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    Either conver them to .wav or 320 .mp3. You're not really losing any quality moving away from FLAC.

  3. #3

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    Wav, won't lose quality (lossless codec), MP3, will lose quality (lossy codec.)

  4. #4

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    Unless you're cueing with electrostatics, you're lying to yourself if you really think a high bitrate mp3 loses quality because it's in a lossy format. Even if you did notice a minute reduction in the depths of the cymbals, the average PA and venue acoustics bottlenecks the quality somewhere between YouTube and early iTunes fidelity.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shishdisma View Post
    Unless you're cueing with electrostatics, you're lying to yourself if you really think a high bitrate mp3 loses quality because it's in a lossy format. Even if you did notice a minute reduction in the depths of the cymbals, the average PA and venue acoustics bottlenecks the quality somewhere between YouTube and early iTunes fidelity.
    Here we go again. MP3 is a lossy codec, you lose bits, i.e. quality, WAV is lossless, you don't lose any bits, no loss of original quality. Some with good monitors could indeed hear MP3 compression artifacts such as phasing and lack of dynamic low end. It's a big debate if MP3 compression with the lower dynamics is an issue or not when playing over huge club systems. My take is that with crappy PAs and home use, no difference. If you are paid >1k for a gig, you better do the utmost to deliver best possibly quality for your audience. Cheaping it out with MP3 files is not exactly professional in my eyes for such high-venue gigs.

    All I could say is that Bassnectar most likely would never play MP3 files at his sets...

  6. #6
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    We had a big thread debating the quality of 320 mp3 vs. wav......Mostapha set up a double blind test, 10 tracks. For each track, first the wav was played 5 times, then the mp3 5 times...then the track was played 10 times at random mixing up the mp3 and the wav. The majority of people who took the test couldn't tell the difference, I think I got like 55% right. I was 1 of the poeple that said you couldn't hear a difference. Mostapha was the only person that was really able to hear a difference, I believe with like 80% right, I'm sure he still has all the figures. Mostapha himself did admit that it was a lot harder than he thought and that he may not have scored as high if it wasn't with music that he knew and he wouldn't have been able to pick out if it was an mp3 or a wav if someone were to just play a file and said what is it a wav or an mp3. The difference is so miniscule that even when really listening hard and concentrting it was nearly impossible to pick out.

    So you can stick with mp3 and be fine with it, its not going to make any discernible difference.
    Last edited by dj matt blaze; 07-12-2012 at 12:42 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksandvik View Post
    Here we go again. MP3 is a lossy codec, you lose bits, i.e. quality, WAV is lossless, you don't lose any bits, no loss of original quality. Some with good monitors could indeed hear MP3 compression artifacts such as phasing and lack of dynamic low end. It's a big debate if MP3 compression with the lower dynamics is an issue or not when playing over huge club systems. My take is that with crappy PAs and home use, no difference. If you are paid >1k for a gig, you better do the utmost to deliver best possibly quality for your audience. Cheaping it out with MP3 files is not exactly professional in my eyes for such high-venue gigs.

    All I could say is that Bassnectar most likely would never play MP3 files at his sets...
    Oh my God this is worse than I could have imagined. By that logic, you shouldn't be using those shitty CDJs, that only output in 44.1k... Get off of the useless specification circlejerk and admit the absolute fact that with anything less than reference grade equipment, you can't hear the difference between a high bitrate mp3 and FLAC. Saying that using a fidelity level professional equipment can't reproduce is unprofessional is like saying Bassnectar isn't delivering the best for his fans because he doesn't blow them individually.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shishdisma View Post
    Oh my God this is worse than I could have imagined. By that logic, you shouldn't be using those shitty CDJs, that only output in 44.1k... Get off of the useless specification circlejerk and admit the absolute fact that with anything less than reference grade equipment, you can't hear the difference between a high bitrate mp3 and FLAC. Saying that using a fidelity level professional equipment can't reproduce is unprofessional is like saying Bassnectar isn't delivering the best for his fans because he doesn't blow them individually.
    Digital CD audio streams are basically 16-bit 44.1kHz uncompressed data, most likely dithered from 24-bit mastered. Far better quality than most MP3 compressed files. As most masters today are also hyper-compressed due to the loudness wars, doing even more lossy compression on top of a compact bitstream of audio makes it even more harsh...

    FLACs are actually a good compromise as it's lossless but 50% compression; alas not all DJ technology vendors properly support this format.

    I could hear the difference between MP3 and 16-bit Wav with my studio reference monitors, even 320k MP3.

    If I would use a club/PA system like Bassnectar's I would never used compressed MP3 files. Same with any really good club system. Now, Behringer PAs and similar things, few would hear the difference, especially if there are no sub-woofers involved.

    As for using cheap earbuds for music listening, even 128k streams sound OK (or terrible) which such listening devices.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksandvik View Post
    I could hear the difference between MP3 and 16-bit Wav with my studio reference monitors, even 320k MP3.
    Did you take the double-blind-test for wav vs. mp3 mostapha created a while back? Or is it just one of those statements without an empirical basis?
    13,3" MacBookPro (Mid 2012) # 2x Technics 1210 # NI Audio 8 DJ # Ecler Nuo 2.0 # NI Traktor Kontrol X1 # Sennheiser HD-25
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3heads View Post
    Did you take the double-blind-test for wav vs. mp3 mostapha created a while back? Or is it just one of those statements without an empirical basis?
    It's based on A/B testing with final production masters versus MP3 material of my stuff sent to aggregators (some ask for MP3s). Even across the QuickTime MP3 codec and latest LAME ones including testing various LAME parameters to find best output. Guess it's as empirical as it gets as I know my productions inside out.

    Note you need good studio reference monitors, not KRK 6" or monitors like that...

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