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Author: Subject: 24 bit FLAC - some help please!

Zen Peach





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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 01:37 PM
I tried a really short Google on the subject, but didn't get much info.

Anyone able to point me to a resource, or at least explain whether there's a way to play these files without a "special" DVD player, or what programs will decode them (and if so, can you hear the difference in audio format?)

Thanks....

 
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Peach Master



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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 02:57 PM
Hey Jim

Here is a link to a basic faq...

http://24bit.turtleside.com/

Not a lot of info, fairly straight forward.
I listen to 24 bit flac straight from the computer to the stereo. Very simple.
I do have a sound card in the PC that handles 24 bit 96 khz, so that is easy.

Can I hear a noticeable difference in quality: YES!

The 24 bit sources are much more detailed. So that's great if the original recording was a good one. I do have a couple 24 bit shows where the original recording was some what "marginal." Then you just get to hear the "flatness" and other "faults" in that much more detail.

But with a really good recording, the 24 bit sources absolutely ROCK!
Gary Comley circulated some of his 24 bit ABB shows last year and they are great.
Scott Brown's recordings from this year's Beacon run are outstanding.
Steve Kimock has released a couple of his shows in 24 bit versions of SOUNDBOARDS ... those suckers are truely amazing!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 04:04 PM
I have a couple of Gary's shows from last year. I've tried converting thewm with DiscWelder Bronze but I can't get the dvd's to close. proally a hardware or software limitaion on my external drive.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 04:06 PM
Well, 'monk now I'm inclined to want to hear some of those 24 bit shows you mentioned... Particularly the Scott Brown recordings from this year's Beacon... From my perspective, sounds like a lot of talk, I wanna hear proof!

 

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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 06:35 PM
I am unable to listen to the 24-bit FLAC directly on my PC (I have to purchase and install a new soundcard for that).

But what I do is decode the 24-bit FLAC using FLAC Frontend. Then I burn DVD-Audio discs using the Discwelder Steel software package. It can handle 24bit 96khz as well as 24bit 48Khz. Only problem is the Discwelder is not very reliable. Sometimes it works properly, sometimes it doesn't. Last night I was able to spin 3/13/06 24-bit DVD-A discs with no problem at all. But in the past, I often have to spin a disc 2 or 3 times before it runs all the way through and completes the burn. It doesn't sound like a big deal. But it is. The Discwelder takes a long time to burn a disc. For instance with 3/13/06 I burned the first set, plus Mountain Jam onto the first disc, and that burn (with preparation time) took over an hour to complete. So it basically took about 2 hours to burn the whole show to DVD-A.

But it is worth it! Good GOD!!! When you get a HOT recording, and you are playing from a good stereo system OH YEAH! the difference is definitely noticeable. This one which is a tremendous Scott Brown recording sounds like Heaven on Earth. Amazing!!

But if the original recording is poor or boomy or something, than 24-bit won't make much of a difference. If anything, with a poor recording you would just hear even more of it's limitations.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 08:36 PM
...since I'm never concerned about showing my ignorance....

1. what is a DVD-A disc?

2. If that gets answered, what do I need to play one?
We have a DVD player, a few years old, and the cheapest one I could find at Best Buy....

3. FLAC Frontend and 24bit - I don't remember ever trying to decode one of these files, but if I did, would it play like any other wave file?

Oops...I prolly should check out the link John gave me before i ask all those questions...

 
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Peach Master



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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 09:00 PM
Hey Jim

DVD-A is "DVD-AUDIO," which is a "standard" in its own right.

A wav file can be either 16 bit or 24 bit. Simply, the greater the "bit depth" of the recording, the more "audio data" is captured in the recording.

The "standard" for CD audio limits it to 16 bit only. One cannot record 24 bit wav files to a CD disc.

The "standard" for DVD-AUDIO (DVD-A) does allow for 24 bit wav files.

However, DVD-AUDIO discs will NOT play on "standard" DVD players. One must have a DVD player that is compliant to the DVD-A standard.

DVD-AUDIO is considered the next "big" thing in audiophile quality playback.

Flac Front End will convert 24 bit flac files to 24 bit wav files just fine. But if you want to listen to those via a DVD player hooked up to your stereo, you will need to:
1) burn the 24 bit wav files to a DVD disc using special software (not cheap)
2) play the disc in a DVD-AUDIO compatible player. I think the "better", newer DVD players have the ability, but many of the cheaper ones or older ones won't ... best to consult the owner manual.



[Edited on 4/11/2006 by abbmonk]

 

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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 09:04 PM
DVD-Audio (DVD-A) is basically 24bit WAV files. The DiscWelder Steel software formats them into DVD-Audio in a similar fashion to what a CD burner software does with regular WAV files. I wish I could be more specific on that process, but I really don't know any of the technical lingo. I just understand the results you know what I mean.

DVD-Audio is basically created using 24bit WAV files and formatting them in a certain way with software like the DiscWelder packages. DVD-Audio can be 24bit 48Khz or 24bit 96Khz.

A regular CD is 16bit WAV files, resulting in 16bit audio.

To playback DVD-audio, you need to have a DVD player that accepts the DVD-A format. Not all of them do. But I believe most of the new DVD players do.

There is also something known as SACD (Super Audio CD). This is NOT the same thing as DVD-A.

Also, like John said, you don't necessarily have to convert the 24bit FLAC files to 24bit WAV or DVD-A. You could choose just to simply play the 24bit FLAC files straight through your PC. But if you do this, you will need a high quality set of speakers (to get something "worthy" of the 24bit sound and performance) and you may have to purchase a new sound card for 24bit playback.

As far as the technicalities of it all, someone else would have to fill you in on that stuff. Not very techno-savy myself. I think this is the best I can do.

Good luck Jim.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 09:17 PM
Man, I wish I knew an electrical engineer....

Thanks folks, you all actually answered my basic questions...

 
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  posted on 4/10/2006 at 10:03 PM
If you are willing to buy new DVD player applied for DVD-Audio, you also have to buy authoring software to make DVD-Audio disc, just as mentioned in past post. DiscWelder Bronze is the cheepest one and I think it's enough for us.
Please refer to following URL.

http://www.discwelder.com/

But there are another way to listen to 24bit/96kHz WAV files.
By using wave edit software like as Audacity, you can not only listen to it but also convert files into 16bit/44.1kHz CD audio format. If you convert the files, of course you may burn them into CD-R.
I hope this may be a little help for you.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/11/2006 at 06:15 AM
OK, I think Rob cleared up my problem. I was mistakenly trying to directly convert the 24 bit flac file to my DVD through Disc Welder.....DOOOOH

I'll try converting the files to wave then burning them.

Another thing to thank you for Rob

 

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  posted on 4/11/2006 at 06:45 AM
Hi Ed - yea - Discwelder accepts 24bit WAV files (could be either 96 or 48khz). So you have to convert the FLAC to WAV and then bring it into DiscWelder.

Also you have DiscWelder Bronze which is probably slighty different than mine (DiscWelder Steel) but I have to set each track as "gapless"(G). If I don't set the tracks as "gapless" than there is a couple seconds of dead air between tracks (similar to the difference between Disc at Once and Track at Once burning with CDs). No big deal though really because I have never actually tried to trade a DVD-A disc. I've justed past along the 24-bit FLAC straight and then let folks do what they want.

Also, be very careful of the total space used on the disc. A DVD can handle up to 4.7GB, but in reality anything over 4.0GB has caused me problems in the past with Discwelder. For instance with 3/13/06 - the 24bit FLAC all fit on to 1 DVD disc (less than 4.7GB total). But once I decoded the FLAC to 24bit WAV files, the WAV's were much larger, so I had to split up the show and put it on to two DVDs. From experience, if you try to fit TOO MUCH on to one DVD - the DiscWelder Steel doesn't tell me right off, instead it attempts to burn it, and then it dies in the middle. So be real careful and keep an eye on how much space is being taken up on the disc. Good luck.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/11/2006 at 01:47 PM
Thanks Rob

 

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