Which DAWs support FLAC, and which DAWs "support" FLAC?

Discussion in 'DAW' started by junh1024, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    Based on this thread, I'm trying to find out how well each DAW supports FLAC importing. I haven't used many DAWs so please help me out.

    1st-class support for FLAC importing:
    • REAPER. It creates a peak file, & subsequent loads are fast. NO temp disk WAV is created. EVER.
    • I have been told S1 & mixcraft falls here. Is this right?
    • Is ACID similar?
    2nd class support for FLAC importing:
    • Adobe Audition 5 converts to WAV & stores it in a temporary cache.
    3rd class support for FLAC importing:
    • Sonar X2 converts to WAV & stores it in a PERSISTENT cache, which is worse than supporting it at all.
    Don't support FLAC:
    • PT & Logic
    How do other DAWs handle FLAC? AL, Cubendo, Bitwig, etc. And other major DAWs that don't support FLAC?
     
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  3. Smoove Grooves

    Smoove Grooves Audiosexual

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  4. Frantiac

    Frantiac Newbie

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  5. Legotron

    Legotron Audiosexual

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    Cubase play/record flacs natively, it can be set from prefs to do so
     
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  6. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    Just to mention that I am a little disappointed by such success of FLAC instead of WavPack, although FLAC is more open format [thank Crom for that]. Why? The main difference is that WavPack supports compressing 32-bit files and FLAC doesn't. FLAC goes up to 24-bit. Why is it so important to me? Because if you intend to further edit your losslessly compressed WAV files, it is a bit better to have it stored in 32-bit FP - native mixing and editing format for all of DAWs and editors.

    On the other hand, all of my recordings are 24-bit natively, and converting from 24 to 32 and back is more of a technical difference than the one you can notice. :wink: I'm not one of those who can hear a difference between the Monster and a Klotz cable... :)

    I'm really glad that Reaper has such a great support for FLAC, since I use a lot of 24-bit recordings. It works flawlessly. Reaper is an odd one here and that is a shame - all professional DAWs should be able to use FLAC natively.

    Cheers!
     
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  7. Olaf

    Olaf Producer

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    Since FLAC is compressed, every DAW has to decompress it first. It can cache the decompressed file in RAM (like REAPER you say) or store it somewhere on your disk. In the first case the file has to be decompressed every time you import it or open the project after an OS restart or if the cache is cleared for other reasons. In the second case, it would load the project with the same performance as projects with Wave files, but also would need the additional storage space on the hard disk.

    Some software give you both options to choose from (like Cakewalk/Sonar I believe).
     
  8. Talmi

    Talmi Audiosexual

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    samplitude does
     
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  9. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    I must admitt when it comes to this topic, I don't understand a lot of it and so I just pulled ~2GB flac files (all different, ofc) into Reaper and the free RAM wet down by ~ 200MB, according to the Task-Manager.
    For me this means that these files are not cached, right? :unsure:
     
  10. Olaf

    Olaf Producer

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    I don't really know about Reaper, I just went by what junh1024 wrote about it. But of course, if you import even a single 2GB FLAC file and it decompresses to 4GB or so, it might be a bad idea to cache the entire file at once (and use 4GB of RAM just for this one file!). Instead you can do it chunk-wise "just-in-time". This would cause higher CPU load, but also use less memory.
    FLAC is really fast. Even with a quite old Core 2 Duo T9600, the decoding speed is over 400x realtime. So yes, with today's CPU power it could be the most efficient way to solve this problem.
     
  11. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    iirc NO sensible DAW loads the whole file in RAM by default otherwise you wouldn't be able to load more than a few files. It's chunked & you can maybe set various buffers in preferences depending on DAW. This is why seeking takes time.1 time when it's sensible, is for DJ apps (some load the whole file into RAM) when instantaneous seeking is paramount for a good show.

    Would be nice to find out, since Audition 5 makes peak files for WAV, but not for FLAC (a bit purpose-defeating, really)

    Does it seek in the FLAC when you seek in logic?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  12. The Freq

    The Freq Producer

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  13. samp

    samp Newbie

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    Samplitude Support FLAC and OGG
     
  14. recycle

    recycle Audiosexual

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    In ableton, flac files are handled as any other audio file: at first opening it is created a peak file then, decoding is on the fly -no transcoding-
     
  15. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    Yep, native support for FLAC in Acid Pro.
     
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