• QuadraphonicQuad welcomes you and encourages your participation! Treat all members with respect. Please keep all discussions civil, even when you have a strong opinion on a particular topic.

    Do not offer for free, offer for sale, offer for trade, or request copies or files of copyrighted material - no matter how rare or unavailable to the public they might be. We do not condone the illegal sharing of music. There are many places on the internet where you can participate in such transactions, but QuadraphonicQuad is not one of them. We are here to encourage and support new multichannel releases from those companies that still provide them and as such the distribution of illegal copies of recordings is counter-productive to that effort. Any posts of this sort will be deleted without notification.

    Please try to avoid discussions that pit one format against another. Hint for new users: make liberal use of the search facilities here at QuadraphonicQuad. Our message base is an incredibly rich resource of detailed information on virtually all topics pertaining to surround-sound. You will be surprised at what you can find with a little digging!

Converting DSD Files to FLAC

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Ninecats

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
761
Location
Sweden
[Ops, this was a comment I originally did in another thread - I never started this thread on purpose, a bug maybe - anyway, give away your tips!]

I convert my ISOs directly to FLAC, to me the DSF files are way too big and no difference what so ever in sound.
 
Last edited:

J. PUPSTER

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
4,251
Location
CALIFORNIA (CENTRAL)
I convert the ISOs to DSD 64 Stereo and DSD 64 Surround Sound.
Sounds great here. Preferable to FLAC on my system.
I've been ripping my SACDs to dsf and then converted a file (song) to flac via Foobar2000, just to see how easy it would be (it was simple and fast.) I noticed (as been mentioned) that the file size is much smaller. More than likely, I won't be able to tell the difference in sound quality; but that brings up a question I was hoping some of you gentlemen here could address. On various conversion and ripping software I notice when going to flac that a number (usually 5) is selectable; which I'm assuming is some sort of compression algorithm. In the case of going from dsf to flac I believe it reduced the file size down to 1/3-1/4 of the original dsf. This could be a large savings given the prices are high for USB 3 - Solid State Drives. So the question is; has anyone here played with these flac numbers to see what effect they have on file size and sound quality? Also, is a number 2 more compressed than a 5 or vice versa?
Thanks for any help on this:)
 

sukothai

701 Club - QQ All-Star
QQ Supporter
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Aug 25, 2003
Messages
755
Location
Utah
There's no sound quality penalty, it just takes longer to crunch the flac file with higher numbers. I haven't done a size comparison, but usually go with 5 or 6.
 

bluelightning

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
506
Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
I've been ripping my SACDs to dsf and then converted a file (song) to flac via Foobar2000, just to see how easy it would be (it was simple and fast.) I noticed (as been mentioned) that the file size is much smaller. More than likely, I won't be able to tell the difference in sound quality; but that brings up a question I was hoping some of you gentlemen here could address. On various conversion and ripping software I notice when going to flac that a number (usually 5) is selectable; which I'm assuming is some sort of compression algorithm. In the case of going from dsf to flac I believe it reduced the file size down to 1/3-1/4 of the original dsf. This could be a large savings given the prices are high for USB 3 - Solid State Drives. So the question is; has anyone here played with these flac numbers to see what effect they have on file size and sound quality? Also, is a number 2 more compressed than a 5 or vice versa?
Thanks for any help on this:)
Do realize that converting to flac will provide a 6 -8 dB drop in SPL versus playing the dsf/dsd files, unless you use the +6dB setting in Foobar. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.
 

quicksrt

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Jul 5, 2002
Messages
2,277
Location
Surf City, CA
Do realize that converting to flac will provide a 6 -8 dB drop in SPL versus playing the dsf/dsd files, unless you use the +6dB setting in Foobar. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.
Flac is totally lossless, what are you talking about?
 

boondocks

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
1,256
Location
boondocks of NC Florida
I've been ripping my SACDs to dsf and then converted a file (song) to flac via Foobar2000, just to see how easy it would be (it was simple and fast.) I noticed (as been mentioned) that the file size is much smaller. More than likely, I won't be able to tell the difference in sound quality; but that brings up a question I was hoping some of you gentlemen here could address. On various conversion and ripping software I notice when going to flac that a number (usually 5) is selectable; which I'm assuming is some sort of compression algorithm. In the case of going from dsf to flac I believe it reduced the file size down to 1/3-1/4 of the original dsf. This could be a large savings given the prices are high for USB 3 - Solid State Drives. So the question is; has anyone here played with these flac numbers to see what effect they have on file size and sound quality? Also, is a number 2 more compressed than a 5 or vice versa?
Thanks for any help on this:)
From the WIKI:
libFLAC uses a compression level parameter that varies from 0 (fastest) to 8 (slowest). The compressed files are always perfect, lossless representations of the original data. Although the compression process involves a tradeoff between speed and size, the decoding process is always quite fast and not dependent on the level of compression.[11][12]
According to a .WAV benchmark,[13] using higher rates above default level -5, takes considerably more time to encode without real gains in space savings.

 

JediJoker

800 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
858
Location
Portland, OR, USA
What is that +6db thing in the first place?
Flac is totally lossless, what are you talking about?
It has to do with a difference in reference level. For PCM audio—most digital audio like CDs, DVDs of all stripes, Blu-rays, FLAC, MP3, etc.—program amplitude level is measured against a maximum limit of 0dBFS ("zero decibels full scale"). Anything below that is expressed as a negative value below full scale. Violating full scale (i.e. positive values) results in distortion known as "clipping."

For DSD audio as found on SACD, Sony decided to set the 0dBFS reference level at the equivalent to -6dBFS in PCM. Because of this, it is possible to exceed "full scale" in DSD (not truly full scale) by nearly 6dB without clipping. Therefore, when converting DSD to PCM, you may find that the resulting audio peaks well below what you might expect from native PCM. I don't, however, recommend applying a blanket +6dB of gain to all PCM conversions, as many SACDs peak above 0dBFS, or -6dBFS In PCM terms. Instead, I would convert to PCM and then normalize to a sensible level on a per-album basis (to preserve inter-track dynamic relationships). I find -1dBFS to be a fairly safe normalization target.
 

boondocks

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
1,256
Location
boondocks of NC Florida
If Wiki says it, it must be true.... :)
Well, maybe.lol. But I followed Josh Coalman's progress at Hydrogen Audio when he first introduced FLAC to the public.
I sure am glad he made it free, otherwise who knows what crap we'd end up with from elsewhere....and for a price most likely.
 

bluelightning

500 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
506
Location
Aliso Viejo, CA
It has to do with a difference in reference level. For PCM audio—most digital audio like CDs, DVDs of all stripes, Blu-rays, FLAC, MP3, etc.—program amplitude level is measured against a maximum limit of 0dBFS ("zero decibels full scale"). Anything below that is expressed as a negative value below full scale. Violating full scale (i.e. positive values) results in distortion known as "clipping."

For DSD audio as found on SACD, Sony decided to set the 0dBFS reference level at the equivalent to -6dBFS in PCM. Because of this, it is possible to exceed "full scale" in DSD (not truly full scale) by nearly 6dB without clipping. Therefore, when converting DSD to PCM, you may find that the resulting audio peaks well below what you might expect from native PCM. I don't, however, recommend applying a blanket +6dB of gain to all PCM conversions, as many SACDs peak above 0dBFS, or -6dBFS In PCM terms. Instead, I would convert to PCM and then normalize to a sensible level on a per-album basis (to preserve inter-track dynamic relationships). I find -1dBFS to be a fairly safe normalization target.
I agree. I find +6dB works just fine with most classical music I have, which typically have wider dynamic ranges and are generally encoded at lower levels.
 

quattroatl

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
295
My ears tell me this......original sacd=sacd-r>dsf>flac when it comes to sacd conversions. The convenience of flac cannot be questioned in terms of being able to play multi-channel music, especially over LAN. However, I find that playing DSF files connected to Oppo20X via USB to be the perfect option.
 

bmoura

Super Moderator
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
9,472
Location
Redwood City, CA
In this case it is true. Resistance is futile my friend.
Actually, there is a lot of discussion in the audio world about whether it is true or not.
Some listeners prefer their PCM files in the originally recorded WAV format vs. converted to FLAC.

And then there are differences in FLAC files created by different conversion software and hardware solutions.
Plenty of mastering engineer discussions out there that debate which product creates the best FLAC files. (Foobar isn't mentioned as one of the top solutions in that world).
 
Last edited:

boondocks

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
1,256
Location
boondocks of NC Florida
Actually, there is a lot of discussion in the audio world about whether it is true or not.
Some listeners prefer their PCM files in the originally recorded WAV format vs. converted to FLAC.

And then there are differences in FLAC files created by different conversion software and hardware solutions.
Plenty of mastering engineer discussions out there that debate which product creates the best FLAC files. (Foobar isn't mentioned as one of the top solutions in that world).
I don't know how FLAC is implemented in Foobar. But I believe the codecs can be substituted. There are codec packs for Foobar that among others, has FLAC included.
As for which is the best, I have no idea of the differences from Coalson's original release.
...and I'll just throw this in here; to me the difference would be like a $15000 or $20000 speaker comparison. I might discern a difference but not necessarily better or worse. But my hearing isn't good anymore anyway. lol.
 

steelydave

Moderator
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Apr 21, 2002
Messages
1,815
Location
Toronto, ON
I hate to get mired in any of these discussions, but anyone who says that different FLAC encoders produce different sounding files is selling you audiophile snake oil. It's a lossless 1:1 codec, so what you put in is exactly what you get out, bit for bit. It's like suggesting if you compressed and uncompressed some pictures with WinRAR that the people in them would be better looking than if you did the same thing with WinZIP or something.

Don't be fooled by the analog mindset that better or more expensive components mean better digital transport. Bits are bits, 1's and 0's, they either get transmitted to their destination or they don't - running them through an expensive cable, or storing them on a disc made out of magical "super" materials, or (presuming they're doing a proper 1:1 encode) using different lossless encoders isn't going to make those 1's or 0's any more or less robust than they were before the process started.
 

bmoura

Super Moderator
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
9,472
Location
Redwood City, CA
As always the best way to decide is to compare the various files (WAV and FLAC).
Along with the different software and hardware approaches to converting the files from their original format to FLAC.
 

J. PUPSTER

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
4,251
Location
CALIFORNIA (CENTRAL)
As always the best way to decide is to compare the various files (WAV and FLAC).
Along with the different software and hardware approaches to converting the files from their original format to FLAC.
I'm contemplating doing a test on this (and on myself.) Utilizing several styles of music from SACDs; each with DSD64 dsf file, one converted dsf to flac, and finally one converted to a middle of the road mp3. I'll do it blind folded; and have someone randomly play each file for me to rate. I can put them all on a SSD to go through the front of my Oppo 205. I'll report back here as to what I think. I realize this won't mean squat to anyone else, but what the hell, maybe others can do something similar.
 
2
Top