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Does IDM Music sound better in WAV/FLAC quality?


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A friend of mine told me he was going to download Polymer in FLAC quality the other night since he was amazed with how FLAC quality sounded with one of metal act Dream Theater’s albums, and it made me wonder if IDM, which has a lot of touches put into it, changes the quality of the track a bit.

I hear everything either with crappy bluetooth headphones from target or apple headphones, and I’m 100% sure all the digital releases on steaming services is the regular 320 kbps format, so sometimes if I hear something complex like Autechre’s Untilted and now I think to myself would I be able to appreciate more of the touches to the composition in a higher def audio quality like WAV or FLAC, or does it not matter at the end?

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Feels like were back in the early naughties. Nostalgia thread!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

lmao as someone who doesn't even know what these are since I'm not knowledgeable in any music thing i'm scared i unintentionally caused a disturbance ? 

Edited by President Squidward
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You did. Sit back, grab a drink and watch this play out.

Maybe throw in a bit about the lowest bit rate mp3s that still sound ok if you feel things don't heat up enough.

?

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I hear everything either with crappy bluetooth headphones from target or apple headphones


you need the highest bitrate possible to balance the low dynamic range of your headphones and ensure you actually hear all the bass frequencies, not to mention the nulls lol.
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1 hour ago, darreichungsform said:

Nobody ever heard a difference between a 320MP3 and a FLAC file, ever.

Not true! Pai mei can hear a diff

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Also, FLAC is still compressed so not as good as WAV.

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Does IDM Music sound better in WAV/FLAC quality?

the actual definition of idm is "music that sounds better in flac than mp3"

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2 hours ago, darreichungsform said:

Nobody ever heard a difference between a 320MP3 and a FLAC file, ever.

i did once (yes i'm pretty proud of that and yes it was only once and yes i know it is totally stupid and doesn't actually matter)

 

2 hours ago, President Squidward said:

A friend of mine told me he was going to download Polymer in FLAC quality the other night since he was amazed with how FLAC quality sounded with one of metal act Dream Theater’s albums, and it made me wonder if IDM, which has a lot of touches put into it, changes the quality of the track a bit.

I hear everything either with crappy bluetooth headphones from target or apple headphones, and I’m 100% sure all the digital releases on steaming services is the regular 320 kbps format, so sometimes if I hear something complex like Autechre’s Untilted and now I think to myself would I be able to appreciate more of the touches to the composition in a higher def audio quality like WAV or FLAC, or does it not matter at the end?

so yeah like everyone's saying basically, WAV>FLAC>mp3, but unless you're listening via speakers/headphones that are of some decent quality then you may not be able to tell much, if any, difference... and even if you CAN tell a difference, it won't likely truly change the track and how it touches you of course....just opens up some details and maybe gives you a different perspective on it. lowering the quality can do basically the same as upping the quality in regards to that (listening to a track on shitty speakers or in mono emphasizes different things, etc) which is basically why vinyl/cassettes are a thing (beyond the collectible aspects of them being physical, art, etc)...those formats alter the sound quality slightly, and the playback methods also color the sound, and there's definitely more to it but we don't need to get into that too deep :)

if you're listening via relatively cheap headphones and such, you likely won't be blown away by the differences between mp3/FLAC/WAV, but if you're paying attention you may be able to notice some small things. your friend who listened to DT via FLAC might've just been having a 'deep listen' bias because he was paying closer attention, not even necessarily because of the quality of the audio files. there's definitely lots of stuff there for 'deep listens' in albums like Untilted, and if you can listen to them in high quality, via good quality speakers/headphones? awesome, go for it! but it's not necessary to enjoy the composition, anyone who says differently is a fuckin snob. just listen to what you like and enjoy it however you can. 

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34 minutes ago, MIXL2 said:

the actual definition of idm is "music that sounds better in flac than mp3"

Years ago when 128kbps mp3s still served a purpose I was dismayed to discover the encoding algorithm replaced most of the carefully crafted dissonants in an “experimental” track I made with silence. Apparently it was considered to be noise or something like that.

So ... yes.

15 minutes ago, auxien said:

so yeah like everyone's saying basically, WAV>FLAC>mp3

I was joking, actually.

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4 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

I was joking, actually.

okay. it's still factually correct, even though i'm pretty sure at gunpoint i couldn't tell the difference between a flac and a wav.

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what? the difference between wav and flac is filesize. what are you smoking?

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When I was a teenager I could hear the difference between a CD and a CD-R copy if it was burned faster than 4x or so but not anymore.

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7 minutes ago, goDel said:

what? the difference between wav and flac is filesize. what are you smoking?

Yes, FLAC is lossless, so no loss of information there. But on a slow computer the decoding process could potentially cause micro pauses or the fan could become louder because the computer has more work to do. Which is just a theoretical scenario that doesn't really happen anymore or at all and if it did it wouldn't make much difference if at all. 
?

But, and here is the main difference, if you slow down the sound file you need a high sample rate so the highs won't disappear so fast. A slowed down 320MP3 sounds worse slowed down than a 96kb WAV.

Let's talk about bitrate. 16 or 24 bit (or as new DAWs allow, 64 bit). Bitrate is the resolution of volume differences. It makes no audible difference at all if you use 16 or 24 bit. It only theoretically does if you play the music ultra loudly, like in a club or something. But only theoretically

?

 

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1 hour ago, goDel said:

what? the difference between wav and flac is filesize. what are you smoking?

did you stop reading? i said there's no difference in how they sound.

that said, when you convert a WAV to a FLAC, something is changed between the WAV to the FLAC. likely nothing anyone could ever possibly hear, but something is changed. technically. hence, WAV>FLAC. TECHNICALLY.

:)

 

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5 minutes ago, auxien said:

likely nothing anyone could ever possibly hear

:rolleyes:

 

also: technically, the difference between wav and flac is .... 

filesize!

 

whehey!

Edited by goDel
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4 minutes ago, auxien said:

did you stop reading? i said there's no difference in how they sound.

that said, when you convert a WAV to a FLAC, something is changed between the WAV to the FLAC. likely nothing anyone could ever possibly hear, but something is changed. technically. hence, WAV>FLAC. TECHNICALLY.

?

 

Yes but the change doesn't result in a loss of information. E.g. all redundancy in da file is removed ackchuyally but no information no matter if audible or not when converted to sound cumming outta yo speaker is lost motherfucker

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36 minutes ago, auxien said:

did you stop reading? i said there's no difference in how they sound.

that said, when you convert a WAV to a FLAC, something is changed between the WAV to the FLAC. likely nothing anyone could ever possibly hear, but something is changed. technically. hence, WAV>FLAC. TECHNICALLY.

?

 

Uhm, no, from an information point of view, nothing is changed at all. Let’s say we have a WAV file consisting of, say, a sequence of ten ones. The corresponding FLAC file consists of three symbols that mean “10”, “times” and “one”. Because of the way files work, the second takes up less disk space than the first.

BUT the second means nothing to our ears. Before we can perceive it as music it has to be converted back into the original sequence of ten ones. Meaning, the audio that gets played is the exact same for a WAV file as it is for the corresponding FLAC file.

 

edit ... which is what darreichungsform said right when I was typing this ?

Edited by rhmilo
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IMO lossless or high bitrate lossy doesn't really have much difference if you're just listening to the files. But if you're going to be doing transcoding from lossy format to lossy format you're going to be losing quality each time so it can add up. A bit similar to the tape-to-tape-to-tape-to-tape copies of yesteryear. Let's say you record a lossy stream that is from a lossy source, encode it lossy, then rebroadcast it in another lossy format and so on it might start to have noticeable artifacts.

Just making copies of the files of course doesn't have this problem.

Edited by zkom
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