use flac instead of wav?

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jmmmp
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Hi,

I'm new to Ardour. I want to edit some audio files, which I'm going to archive later in flac format (after I've done the project bounce). Since I always use flac for archiving, is it also advisable to use flac to edit? I noticed no difference so far between flac and wav while editing a session, but does someone has anything against flac in a live context?
The project is a very simple cut+copy thing, with 10 tracks altogether. No plugins whatsoever are being used, so it's not cpu intensive.

Thanks,

jmmmp

paul
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@jmmmp: its a bit more work for the CPU to use flac, especially when editing. there's no difference in quality at all - flac is a lossless compression algorithm, so when its converted back to "pcm audio", which it is before any plugin or any part of Ardour can do anything with it, nothing is lost (or gained). most people will argue against working with flac as the actual session data format - just archive it in that format later. however, you won't lose any quality by using it, just a little CPU power.

Seb
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but FLAC doesn't do floating point formats, so befor flac'ing you'd have to re-sample all audio into an integer format, which isn't entirely lossless.
I've just looked it up: FLAC supports these bit depths: 8, 12, 16, 20 24.

paul
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@Seb: that's true. if any part of the mix goes outside the 24 bit dynamic range, FLAC will be lossy (but then, so is float at that point, just much, much less :)

macinnisrr
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How can you change the session to support flac? I don't see an option for that in the format menu, but would love to be able to do this for archiving.

anahata
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I don't think you currently can use FLAC while editing, but it makes some sense as an export option.

seablade
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Actually it makes sense as an edit option. For instance I am often editing down recording with long sections of silence, where the size of the audio session that gets archived could be reduced by more than half simply by using FLAC as the import/record format. In as far as it being lossy or not, in general even the conversion process mentioned would not be much of an issue, especially in my case where I would be importing from integer based formats anyways with a maximum bit depth of 24 bits.

As Paul mentioned, the largest issue would really be CPU usage, which FLAC is designed ot be light on CPU usage so for smaller sessions it could easily be an option. It is one of those things on the bottom of my personal TODO list, and since I haven't been able to even do things at the top of that todo list in some time, I would welcome someone else jumping in and implementing the feature;)

Seablade