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Split FLAC file -- cut out hidden track
Pure_BY
post Nov 12 2013, 15:04
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Hello there, dear community!

I know that there are many topics about splitting flac files, but all point out at CueTools and ask the same question: "I have a whole album in a single FLAC file + a CUE sheet, how do I split the big Flac to individual tracks?".

What I want to do is something different. I want to split a single physical track in 2. Let me explain: all the albums in my collection already are track-releases. But some albums have a last track that includes a hidden track, and I want to cut that last hidden track out, and make it an independent track.

For example: I have the album Arular by M.I.A. It lists a total of 13 tracks. The last track, "Galang" (#13), is 7:22 long and consists of 3 parts:

a. a song titled "Galang" at the start (3:35)
b. silence (~00:20)
c. a song titled "M.I.A." at the end (3:27)

Now, what I want to do is split track #13 in two seperate tracks (13 and 14), #13 containing Galang+silence (3:35 + 0:20 = 3:55), and #14 containing the hidden song "M.I.A." (3:27).

I want a computer program to decide where the silence ends, and cut the track EXACTLY at that point. What software do I need?

Thanks in advance!

This post has been edited by Pure_BY: Nov 12 2013, 15:15
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2Bdecided
post Nov 12 2013, 15:51
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I split single tracks manually in an audio editor.

I split many tracks automatically using CDwav.

I don't know of a flac/cue focussed automatic solution, though CDwav can work with cue sheets and save FLAC.

The biggest pain is putting the metadata right afterwards. You can use mp3tag to copy some of it semi-automatically.

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Nov 12 2013, 16:15
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Wombat
post Nov 12 2013, 16:25
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No idea what software does it all but what about making a single file + cue out of the seperate files with Cuetools, edit the CUE with data you gather with a wav editor and resplit with Cuetools? This way at least metadata will be kept in most cases.

This post has been edited by Wombat: Nov 12 2013, 16:28
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Pure_BY
post Nov 12 2013, 17:24
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Thanks for the replies, but I do not really follow either of you. What I need to do is simply split a single FLAC file in 2, exactly at the point where silence stops (="apend gaps to the previous track" in EAC-terminology).

"Where the silence stops" must be determined automatically by a program, no human factor of any kind (like calculation, listening, etc.) should be involved. This is demanded for authencity of audio tracks, not because I want to automate the process/speed the things up.

So, once again: the process DOES NOT have to be simple or automated. The SILENCE-CALCULATION should be automated, that's all.
If I manually have to convert FLAC to WAV, make a CUE file, do whatever, rewrite ID3tags, do 50 push-ups, convert back to FLAC -> then the hell with it, I will do it. Manually. I do not care for anything.

The only 2 things I care about are:
1) Calculating the point where silence stops in a track
2) Cutting the damn track on that point
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Wombat
post Nov 12 2013, 17:31
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This won't come easy because even silence before the hidden track somtimes have dithernoise of different shapes.
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andrew_berge
post Nov 12 2013, 17:44
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Use Audacity.
Install it, open it.
Go to preferences -> Quality and set all 'Dither' options to 'None'.
This is important. If you don't do it the waveform will be modified and your output files won't be a true lossless copy of the original.

Open your track in Audacity (it can open FLAC directly), switch the view to Waveform (dB).
Click approximately where the silence ends and zoom in. And just keep zooming until you can see each individual sample.
If it is true silence, the sample where the music starts should be easy to see.
If not, then there's static or some other background noise, and you're just going to have to do the best you can (see bottom of my post).
Set the cursor to where you want to split, then select from there to the beginning of the track. Go to File -> Export selection. Save using desired options.
After you've saved the first part, just delete the still selected section, and export the rest of the file the same way.

As long as you don't overwrite it on purpose, your original file will be untouched.


Regarding "Authenticity":
There is no authenticity at this point. If you want to stay authentic, leave the track as it is, as the artist intended.
But don't worry about that. I hate changing things around too, just keep a backup of the original file for peace of mind and move on smile.gif

This post has been edited by andrew_berge: Nov 12 2013, 17:47
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Pure_BY
post Nov 12 2013, 18:07
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@andrew_berge: thanks a lot for detailed reply! Exactly what I needed to know. I was hoping that there would be an easier option, though, but this is absolutely OK, like I have said above tongue.gif

Regarding "there is no authenticity at this point" remark: primarily I must agree on that, yes. However, from my point of view, if I cut a hidden track out exactly at the point where it starts, I still keep the "authenticity", even though it's 'oficially gone' at that point :-P What I actually do (from my point of view) is just "add a bookmark" to a long track so I can start playback of hidden song without seeking first. It also gives me ability to give a hidden song it's own rating. Please note, that my file numbering scheme for the cut-out track would also look like: "14/13" (track #14 of total 13) in this case.

P.S. I just discovered an album in my collection with 4 (four) tracks hidden within the last track.
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greynol
post Nov 12 2013, 18:18
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QUOTE (Pure_BY @ Nov 12 2013, 09:24) *
What I need to do is simply split a single FLAC file in 2, exactly at the point where silence stops (="apend gaps to the previous track" in EAC-terminology).

To clear up a commonly held misconception, index locations do not necessarily (and qute often don't!) correlate with silence.




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Pure_BY
post Nov 12 2013, 19:47
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QUOTE (greynol @ Nov 12 2013, 19:18) *
To clear up a commonly held misconception, index locations do not necessarily (and qute often don't!) correlate with silence.

I know that. But since we're talking about silence inbetween a track and a hidden track, it seems right to me to 'start' the hidden track exactly from the point where that silence breaks.
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greynol
post Nov 12 2013, 20:23
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With the words you chose, it didn't sound to me like you knew that at all. To elaborate further, indices are cut on frame boundaries, so to use "exactly" was also a poor choice, but whatever.

This post has been edited by greynol: Nov 12 2013, 21:02


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2Bdecided
post Nov 13 2013, 13:03
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It's totally OCD, but I'd keep the split on CD frame boundaries, and I'd keep the location-of-the-hidden-track's-start-point relative to the start-of-the-hidden-track's-audio vaguely the same as it is for all other tracks on the CD.

e.q. on many CDs, the track boundaries are a fraction of a second before the actual start of the song (except track 1, which often has an even larger gap between track start and actual music start). The new hidden track might as well match.


I rip my CDs to make them more useful. If I don't like the original track boundaries, I change them. If I think there are faults in the audio, I fix them. If I think I might regret it, I keep a back-up (e.g. the original cue sheet from a single wav + cue rip). The only use I can see for the "authentic" original is after-the-fact AccurateRip checking, or reverting your changes if you regret them. Given that you're just splitting the last track of lossless audio and maintaining an original track count, re-joining is trivial so I don't see why you'd need to back-up anything.

Cheers,
David.
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greynol
post Nov 13 2013, 14:29
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I've seen enough baked-in problems not to hold a disc's contents sacrosanct.


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Pure_BY
post Nov 13 2013, 21:58
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QUOTE (greynol @ Nov 12 2013, 21:23) *
To elaborate further, indices are cut on frame boundaries, so to use "exactly" was also a poor choice, but whatever.

This is very good of you to bring forward! Since we were talking about CD's here, I thought it would speak for itself that the word "exactly" referred to a specific timecode-frame on the CD (being a 'smallest part' the laser can be 'aimed at' on a disc surface). This was so obvious to me that I totally forgot to mention that in my inital post, while this small detail is of a significant importance to me!

So let me rephrase my question: what software can I use to cut physical CD track containing 2 songs with silence inbetween in half exactly at the point where the last frame of silence ends and the first frame of a sound of the second song begins?

Does Audacity display the frame boundaries (in case I have a CUE sheet that came with the rip)? Adobe Audition? Something else?

P.S. I am not familiar with any audio-editor (yet), but I know a thing or two about ripping CD's and encoding to FLAC/LAME.

This post has been edited by Pure_BY: Nov 13 2013, 22:11
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greynol
post Nov 13 2013, 22:56
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QUOTE (Pure_BY @ Nov 13 2013, 13:58) *
I thought it would speak for itself that the word "exactly" referred to a specific timecode-frame on the CD (being a 'smallest part' the laser can be 'aimed at' on a disc surface).

Since we're paying such close attention to detail, data is not stored on a disc in the way that you suggest; rather, it is spread out as an attempt to guard against physical damage.

QUOTE (Pure_BY @ Nov 13 2013, 13:58) *
what software can I use to cut physical CD track containing 2 songs with silence inbetween in half exactly at the point where the last frame of silence ends and the first frame of a sound of the second song begins?

I use Adobe Audition. It has the ability to snap to CD frames. Its UI is the best I've used, especially for zooming.

This post has been edited by greynol: Nov 13 2013, 23:29
Reason for edit: apostrophe abuse


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andrew_berge
post Nov 13 2013, 23:24
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According to Wikipedia, with Redbook audio, one frame is 1/75th of a second.
At 44.1kHz, that's 588 samples. So couldn't you just split at a sample that's divisible by that number?

The selection toolbar in Audacity can display the cursor's position in samples.

This post has been edited by andrew_berge: Nov 13 2013, 23:25
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Pure_BY
post Nov 14 2013, 10:49
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Nov 13 2013, 14:03) *
I rip my CDs to make them more useful. If I don't like the original track boundaries, I change them. If I think there are faults in the audio, I fix them. If I think I might regret it, I keep a back-up (e.g. the original cue sheet from a single wav + cue rip).
This seems like a right philosophy to me. Can you please tell me what software you use for edits and why exactly that one?

@greynol, andrew_berge: thanks for replies and explanation. I will take a closer look at Adobe Audition and Audacity, and decide which one I like the most. If you have any arguments why I should choose one over another, or any other remarks regarding audio editing in general (from technical to ethical perspective) I will be very happy to read them.

This post has been edited by Pure_BY: Nov 14 2013, 11:01
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2Bdecided
post Nov 14 2013, 10:58
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QUOTE (andrew_berge @ Nov 13 2013, 22:24) *
According to Wikipedia, with Redbook audio, one frame is 1/75th of a second.
At 44.1kHz, that's 588 samples. So couldn't you just split at a sample that's divisible by that number?
Yes you can. cdwave already forces that by default.

I don't know if the Adobe Audition "cursor snapping" is better than in its predecessor Cool Edit Pro. I would hope so because in CEP, when you enable it, it only snaps the cursor to 1/75th second (588 samples) if you're already close-ish to the value, so it's quite easy to select values that aren't multiples of 588 samples. Useless for the intended task!


QUOTE (Pure_BY @ Nov 13 2013, 20:58) *
So let me rephrase my question: what software can I use to cut physical CD track containing 2 songs with silence inbetween in half exactly at the point where the last frame of silence ends and the first frame of a sound of the second song begins?
It's already been carefully explained that silence isn't usually digital silence (i.e. there's usually some signal there, rather than a string of zeros), so this decision is kind of arbitrary. What you can do is specify the threshold (say, -80dBFS) and cut at the point the signal level rises above this. CDwave does exactly that in its autosplit mode.

If you want to cut a physical CD track, use a Stanley knife. I don't think this is quite what you're after though. wink.gif

QUOTE
P.S. I am not familiar with any audio-editor (yet)
Give that people are suggesting free software, it would be quicker to go and try what's been suggested. wink.gif Seriously, if you'd tried any of the software suggested you'd have finished the job by now. EDIT: posted before you said that was exactly what you were going to do!

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Nov 14 2013, 10:59
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2Bdecided
post Nov 14 2013, 11:01
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QUOTE (Pure_BY @ Nov 14 2013, 09:49) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Nov 13 2013, 14:03) *
I rip my CDs to make them more useful. If I don't like the original track boundaries, I change them. If I think there are faults in the audio, I fix them. If I think I might regret it, I keep a back-up (e.g. the original cue sheet from a single wav + cue rip).
This seems like a right philosophy to me. Can you please tell me what software you use for edits and why exactly that one?
I've mentioned it three times now wink.gif CDwave because it's simple, has a useful auto mode, and cuts on CD frame boundaries. That's basically all it does.

For all other editing other than CD-targeted track splitting, I use Cool Edit Pro, because that what I've had for over a decade. Not sure what I'd choose if I was buying now.

Cheers,
David.
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Apesbrain
post Nov 14 2013, 13:08
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QUOTE (Pure_BY @ Nov 14 2013, 05:49) *
I will take a closer look at Adobe Audition and Audacity, and decide which one I like the most. If you have any arguments why I should choose one over another...

Audacity is free; Audition is not.
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Audacity's "Snap To" CD frame boundaries function works perfectly.
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greynol
post Nov 14 2013, 15:53
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...Audition's as well (despite possible problems with any version of its predecessor, Cool Edit Pro).

I've used Audacity; I can't stand it, but if one must settle for free... Nah, there has to be better free software out there.


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Kohlrabi
post Nov 14 2013, 16:12
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What about simply creating/editing a/the CUE sheet, loading the file into foobar2000, and then using foobar2000's Converter to "split" the track?


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greynol
post Nov 14 2013, 16:15
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He still wants to identify a specific frame on which to split by some mathmatical or visual means.


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a3aan
post Nov 14 2013, 19:48
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fwiw, i don't cut but use the skip silence plugin.
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