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flac files sound distorted when burned
spectacle
post Mar 20 2006, 22:08
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Hi,

I'm new here.
I have sought for some time now and I can't seem to find an answer to my question. I'm sorry if I have overlooked something.

I have traded some flac files with a friend of mine. I've burned different files (using nero with the flac plugin) but I keep getting the same problem: in some parts there is quite some distortion sounding like static. I haven't altered any gain or volume settings and I can't figure out what is causing this. headbang.gif

Does anybody know what could be the problem?

Thank you in advance!

Andries van der Leij
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dpaint4
post Mar 20 2006, 22:11
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QUOTE (spectacle @ Mar 20 2006, 03:08 PM)
Hi,

I'm new here.
I have sought for some time now and I can't seem to find an answer to my question. I'm sorry if I have overlooked something.

I have traded some flac files with a friend of mine. I've burned different files (using nero with the flac plugin) but I keep getting the same problem: in some parts there is quite some distortion sounding like static. I haven't altered any gain or volume settings and I can't figure out what is causing this.  headbang.gif

Does anybody know what could be the problem?

Thank you in advance!

Andries van der Leij
*


They sound good to you when you play them on your PC with a good set of cans? I think it's most likely that the source was bad, or that the encode was bad.
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spectacle
post Mar 20 2006, 23:17
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QUOTE (dpaint4 @ Mar 20 2006, 10:11 PM)
They sound good to you when you play them on your PC with a good set of cans? I think it's most likely that the source was bad, or that the encode was bad.
*


Yeah exactly. Before burning they sound great, but when i burn them and play them on my (overall very good) stereo, it's crap. I described it as static but it's more like distortion (like a tape recorded too loud).

You think it's the encoding? I must say that I experience the problem with a lot of files. Moreover, they are not all encoded by my friend but by friends of his also. So, is this definately no decoding/burning-related problem?

Thanks,

Andries
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Wombat
post Mar 21 2006, 00:32
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QUOTE (spectacle @ Mar 20 2006, 11:17 PM)
QUOTE (dpaint4 @ Mar 20 2006, 10:11 PM)
They sound good to you when you play them on your PC with a good set of cans? I think it's most likely that the source was bad, or that the encode was bad.
*


Yeah exactly. Before burning they sound great, but when i burn them and play them on my (overall very good) stereo, it's crap. I described it as static but it's more like distortion (like a tape recorded too loud).

You think it's the encoding? I must say that I experience the problem with a lot of files. Moreover, they are not all encoded by my friend but by friends of his also. So, is this definately no decoding/burning-related problem?

Thanks,

Andries
*



Try to copy them back from the CDs you burned and compare them to the flacs. This would be a good starting point. Maybe your CD Player doesnīt like your burned CDs. I had this with a cheap compact system.
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fluffy
post Mar 21 2006, 00:44
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It could be a problem with your burn, try lowering the burn speed. I have friends who get the same problem when they burn at the max speed. But, it probabl won't be neccessary to go down to 1x, a midrange speed would be good.


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dreamliner77
post Mar 21 2006, 00:47
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Are you playing back the flacs using replaygain? If so, the burned files could be clipping


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spectacle
post Mar 21 2006, 15:19
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Thank you all for your responses!

QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 21 2006, 12:32 AM)
Try to copy them back from the CDs you burned and compare them to the flacs. This would be a good starting point. Maybe your CD Player doesnīt like your burned CDs. I had this with a cheap compact system.
*


Well, I don't have a true high end player, but a Marantz CD4000 player, which is not a bad player at all. But perhaps he doesn't swallow these particular CD's. This 'reverse engineering' would indeed be a good idea.


QUOTE (fluffy @ Mar 21 2006, 12:44 AM)
It could be a problem with your burn, try lowering the burn speed.  I have friends who get the same problem when they burn at the max speed.  But, it probabl won't be neccessary to go down to 1x, a midrange speed would be good.
*


I thought of this. I burned at 20 and 16 speed instead of 52, without a difference. But maybe it's a general problem of my burner (a cheap Samsung model). However, direct-copied CD's are perfect, so this could only indicate some specific FLAC-Samsung problem. Hmm unlikely I think, but I can check this by burning with my DVD burner instead.


QUOTE (dreamliner77 @ Mar 21 2006, 12:47 AM)
Are you playing back the flacs using replaygain?  If so, the burned files could be clipping
*


No I don't use a gain correction on my PC. They just sound OK.

I think I have too many degrees of freedom here. I think I'll start off with a the reverse thingie. I will also encode some things myself to FLAC and burn them the same way. Maybe I can figure out whether I'm doing something wrong or if indeed a lot of FLACS are corrupt due to bad source quality. Now that I think of it, I also have the EAC logs which do not mention any errors. Since FLAC is lossless, this would mean that the original CD's would have to have the same problem, right?


Thank you very much and I'll keep you posted

This post has been edited by spectacle: Mar 21 2006, 15:22
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Wombat
post Mar 21 2006, 15:40
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QUOTE (spectacle @ Mar 21 2006, 03:19 PM)
Thank you all for your responses!

QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 21 2006, 12:32 AM)
Try to copy them back from the CDs you burned and compare them to the flacs. This would be a good starting point. Maybe your CD Player doesnīt like your burned CDs. I had this with a cheap compact system.
*


Well, I don't have a true high end player, but a Marantz CD4000 player, which is not a bad player at all. But perhaps he doesn't swallow these particular CD's. This 'reverse engineering' would indeed be a good idea.


Marantz? Well my CD6000OSE didnīt play CDRs at all before the tech support changed the circuit board of the transport.
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spectacle
post Mar 21 2006, 16:17
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QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 21 2006, 03:40 PM)
Marantz? Well my CD6000OSE didnīt play CDRs at all before the tech support changed the circuit board of the transport.
*


Yeah, I heard some stories like this before. http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=5358


It appears that there were some problems with the 4000 to 6000 line. I don't have any problems though, except for the FLAC thing.
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probedb
post Mar 21 2006, 17:24
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Are you listening to your computer through the same hi-fi setup as the CD? Just wondering if it's just the fact it's not noticable on your computer setup?

As others have said, if you re-rip from the CD and compare you should find out whether the burn was ok or not.
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Cosmo
post Mar 21 2006, 18:19
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QUOTE (spectacle)
...so this could only indicate some specific FLAC-Samsung problem...

I doubt it, because if you're making a true Audio CD (vs. a data cd), Nero is not burning FLAC encoded audio files to the CD-R. Its converting them first to PCM, per Red Book CDDA specifications.

QUOTE
I don't have any problems though, except for the FLAC thing.

Maybe Nero's FLAC plugin is borking the audio. Try decoding the files to WAV before burning. (listen to the WAVs first) If the WAVs are 16 bit, 44,100 Hz, 2 channel Stereo, 1411.2 kbps files, then in theory your player shouldn't have trouble playing them.
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spectacle
post Mar 22 2006, 14:35
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QUOTE (Cosmo @ Mar 21 2006, 06:19 PM)
QUOTE (spectacle)
...so this could only indicate some specific FLAC-Samsung problem...

I doubt it, because if you're making a true Audio CD (vs. a data cd), Nero is not burning FLAC encoded audio files to the CD-R. Its converting them first to PCM, per Red Book CDDA specifications.


Off course... This can't be the case. If there is a problem it can't be flac/samsung

QUOTE (Cosmo @ Mar 21 2006, 06:19 PM)
QUOTE
I don't have any problems though, except for the FLAC thing.

Maybe Nero's FLAC plugin is borking the audio. Try decoding the files to WAV before burning. (listen to the WAVs first) If the WAVs are 16 bit, 44,100 Hz, 2 channel Stereo, 1411.2 kbps files, then in theory your player shouldn't have trouble playing them.
*




QUOTE (spectacle)
Yeah, I heard some stories like this before.
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=5358


It appears that there were some problems with the 4000 to 6000 line. I don't have any problems though, except for the FLAC thing.


I'm quoting myself being too optimistic here. I haven't tried out the reripping yet, but yesterday night I critically compared various CD's that show these effects. These are all CD's burned from flac, while my direct copies are OK in my marantz CD4000 player. last week I did an experiment burning some chamber music from flac to CD. because I wanted to have maximum comparability I did the following:

Flac 2 Audio CD image in Nero > image burned at 20*
Flac 2 Wav in Flac frontend > Wav 2 Audio CD image in Nero > image burned at 20*

I listened to the files first throuh my computer (no equaliser, Good Sony MDR-EX71SL earbuds). I detected no difference. Even the breathing of the musicians sounded exactly the same. I will hook my computer up with my stereo to test this under the same conditions.

Next I compared the burned CD's in my Marantz. Some tracts were fine, but both had the rithmical static sound I had experienced earlier. The wav CD was worse!

I inserted the same CD's in my ancient chinese-brand mp3 discman I bought in 99, which I hooked up with my amplifier. The overall quality was much worse, but neither of the CDs showed the effect.

I'll do some additional testing including the reripping, but it indeed seems to be my CD player, like Wombat experienced. And I was so happy with it... mad.gif

The issue why these effects only show when I burn flac CD's remain. My guess would be that I systematically burn different when I burn Flac. I should check this (I really don't know). I tend to relie on default settings. Maybe it's burning speeds, finalization....

I'll still do some testing and post my results. If it's indeed a personal configuration issue, I've complained too much about this beautiful lossless codec!

Thank you all!

Spectacle
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