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is fading in/out a lossy process?, [moved from FLAC]
post Feb 19 2013, 18:09
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hey all you audio experts of the forum.
i've been interested in lossless music for a long time and i got almost all of my knowledge about it from this forum.
i have an issue that i'm trying to figure out, and i've searched everywhere possible for info about it but i couldn't find any.
so you guys are my last resort, i hope you can help...
here's the issue :

i download many lossless albums all the time (WAV,APE,ALAC,FLAC), but i only keep to myself those few songs (if any) from each album, those songs that i liked the most.
most albums are ripped with gap detection so they begin with silence and end with silence, but there are some albums that don't, albums such as :

mixed albums (where the songs dissolve into each other)
live albums (where the tracks begin and end with the audience clapping or shouting)
one track albums (where there are no gaps or pauses between tracks)

i find it very annoying to listen to songs that comes from albums like the above, so i fix it using audacity, i fade in, and fade out, add some silence if necessary (using the "generate - silence" option), the thing is i can't help thinking maybe i am turning this perfect lossless file into a lossy one, and by doing so actually creating a fake lossless (since i'm always exporting as flac), my ears can't hear any difference, but still, you know way more than i do about these things.

so please tell me, does the "fade in / fade out / add silence" processes make a lossless file lossy?

sorry if my english is bad, i hope it's understandable, and if you find any mistakes please correct me.

thanks smile.gif

This post has been edited by unicorn20: Feb 19 2013, 18:10
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post Feb 20 2013, 21:47
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i'd like to begin by saying ***THANK YOU SO MUCH*** to each and every one of you for helping me and teaching me so many new things i had no idea about, i seriously love this forum and you guys are the best, so honestly... THANK YOU, i appreciate it smile.gif smile.gif

QUOTE (andrew_berge @ Feb 19 2013, 23:29) *
I'm not so good at explaining this, so i'll just link you to Audacity's Wiki page on the subject.

thanks for the info about dithering smile.gif

QUOTE (halb27 @ Feb 19 2013, 23:32) *
Dithering adds some noise to the least significant bits in the music signal. It is meant to 'smooth' the music after heavy manipulation of the music when simple rounding to 16 bit can have a negative effect.
So if you use Audacity for fading in or out: switch dithering off.

you say rounding to 16bit can have a negative effect, what kind of negative effect?
i switched the dithering thing off, it seems weird to me that audacity will do the dithering by default and not by user request, since the whole point of lossless music is to be the same as the original, and the dithering modifies the file, but who am i to judge.

QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 20 2013, 00:09) *
Oh, you should have said! Definitely upsample your files to 192 kHz and 32-bit floating-point, then encode them with Blade. Happy sharing!

i'm sure it's a nooby question, but why should i upsample? will it benefit the sound quality in any way?
also, i've so far encoded using the latest LAME, is this blade a better encoder? and as i asked above, will it benefit the sound quality in any way?

QUOTE (yourlord @ Feb 20 2013, 00:21) *
Let me just say that this forum is not the place to make such confessions..

you're absolutely right, it was a moment of foolishness... wacko.gif

QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Feb 20 2013, 09:22) *
unicorn20, in your original post, you mentioned gap detection. You seem to misunderstand what it is.

Now consider what happens when you're using a real CD player, and you reach the end of a song. As the gap/index 00 (if any) at the start of the next track plays, you see the track number go up by 1, and the time display switches to negative numbers, counting up to 0:00, at which point index 01 plays. You don't see this when playing files or even CDs in a computer; the gap is normally just at the end of the previous track's file.

For example, if there's a 5-second gap at the end of a song 3 minutes, 30 seconds long, in a computer you'll just see the counter go 3:29, 3:30, 3:31, 3:32, 3:33, 3:34, 0:00 (track number increments here). On a real CD player you would see 3:29, -0:05 (track number increments here), -0:04, -0:03, -0:02, -0:01, 0:00. The audio would be the same in either case.

Gap & other index info isn't always possible or reliable (it's in the "subcode" alongside the audio data, harder to read). It all depends on the software, the drive, and the CD. When gap detection isn't done, the ripper just treats each track as if it only has one section, index 01. No audio is left out.

you're right. i did misunderstand the entire concept of what these gaps are, but you've done a really good job of explaining it.
i haven't used an actual CD player in more than 10 years so i had to dig in my memory a little, but you're right, i do remember the countdown to the next song (-0:05, -0:04...), you just made me do a little time travel in my mind smile.gif .
and i never really realized why there is that index 00 in the cue files, but now i do, so thanks, i just got a little smarter.
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post Feb 20 2013, 23:03
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QUOTE (unicorn20 @ Feb 20 2013, 13:47) *
you say rounding to 16bit can have a negative effect, what kind of negative effect?

It adds a small amount of noise that almost certainly isn't audible. It would probably be quite audible if you were reducing to 8-bit. Some people like to add dither when reducing to 16-bit "just in case". It's kind of like the decision to use lossless or maximum-bitrate lossy, even though 99.9999% of the time, lossy encoding with modest settings yields transparency. When dither is used, the dither itself may be audible (like tape hiss), unless you use noise shaping to confine it to the higher frequency ranges. Personally I wouldn't worry about it; just leave the dither off unless you're going below 16-bit. Though I admit, I fall into the "just in case" trap a lot. smile.gif

QUOTE (unicorn20 @ Feb 20 2013, 13:47) *
it seems weird to me that audacity will do the dithering by default

Audacity is trying to accommodate more kinds of processing and merging of files than just the simple cut/copy/paste and volume-level adjustments that you're doing. However even for more complex processing, as long as you're working at 16-bit or higher, dither is still a "just in case" kind of thing for people who swear their golden ears can hear a difference, despite the failure of blind testing to show that anyone can. (someone correct me if I'm wrong)

QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 20 2013, 15:03) *
The benefit was to discourage people from engaging in illegal distribution of copyrighted material

Encouraging him to share degraded, pointlessly converted material doesn't seem to be a good way to discourage him from doing that. It's just hazing and well-poisoning that you seem to think would be funny. And he didn't actually admit to the material being copyrighted, though it does seem likely.

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Feb 20 2013, 23:22
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Posts in this topic
- unicorn20   is fading in/out a lossy process?   Feb 19 2013, 18:09
- - halb27   In a formal sense fading in/out is a lossy process...   Feb 19 2013, 18:16
- - Garf   Fade in and out is lossy. You cannot recover the o...   Feb 19 2013, 18:36
- - andrew_berge   Also, Audacity dithers everything by default, so i...   Feb 19 2013, 18:56
- - jensend   halb27, being different isn't what defines los...   Feb 19 2013, 18:57
- - extrabigmehdi   QUOTE (unicorn20 @ Feb 19 2013, 17:09) so...   Feb 19 2013, 19:32
|- - db1989   QUOTE (extrabigmehdi @ Feb 19 2013, 18:32...   Feb 19 2013, 20:01
- - halb27   As far as I can see the OP doesn't want to res...   Feb 19 2013, 19:34
- - dhromed   Andrew Berge's comment about dither is more im...   Feb 19 2013, 20:41
- - halb27   My problems with Audacity was when exporting to a ...   Feb 19 2013, 21:19
- - unicorn20   wow, you guys are quick hehehe well, thank you all...   Feb 19 2013, 23:11
|- - andrew_berge   I'm not so good at explaining this, so i'l...   Feb 19 2013, 23:29
|- - db1989   QUOTE (unicorn20 @ Feb 19 2013, 22:11) oh...   Feb 20 2013, 00:09
|- - yourlord   QUOTE (unicorn20 @ Feb 19 2013, 17:11) i ...   Feb 20 2013, 00:21
- - halb27   Dithering adds some noise to the least significant...   Feb 19 2013, 23:32
- - greynol   I think the world is better off to have them modif...   Feb 20 2013, 01:04
- - mjb2006   unicorn20, in your original post, you mentioned ga...   Feb 20 2013, 09:22
- - unicorn20   i'd like to begin by saying ***THANK YOU SO MU...   Feb 20 2013, 21:47
|- - pdq   QUOTE (unicorn20 @ Feb 20 2013, 15:47) QU...   Feb 20 2013, 22:01
||- - unicorn20   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 20 2013, 22:01) db1989 s...   Feb 20 2013, 22:54
||- - greynol   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 20 2013, 13:01) db1989 s...   Feb 20 2013, 23:03
|- - mjb2006   QUOTE (unicorn20 @ Feb 20 2013, 13:47) yo...   Feb 20 2013, 23:03
- - greynol   My point was not necessarily targeted exclusively ...   Feb 21 2013, 00:09
|- - mjb2006   QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 20 2013, 16:09) ther...   Feb 21 2013, 01:58
|- - greynol   QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Feb 20 2013, 16:58) The ...   Feb 21 2013, 02:10
- - db1989   If I make sure to include something like this in ...   Feb 21 2013, 00:46
- - greynol   You are too kind, db1989. I stopped aiding people...   Feb 21 2013, 00:49

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