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What is the rational behind FLAC rips from vinyl ?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I don't get it. Even if the vinyl copy is better than CD/SACD recording, wouldn't it be lost in converting to FLAC ?


I have seen recently that converting vinyl to 24/96 flac has become popular.

post #2 of 34
Originally Posted by dayamax View Post

I don't get it. Even if the vinyl copy is better than CD/SACD recording, wouldn't it be lost in converting to FLAC ?


I have seen recently that converting vinyl to 24/96 flac has become popular.

I also have this question. I was told that CD rips are preffered due to the popping that can occur on vinyl, but some people want to preserve those artifacts. I am just not sure how converting it to FLAC will preserve those.

post #3 of 34

It's all about the preferred sound.  Some will say vinyl has inferior physical specs than any other medium.  Who knows when that study was done and on what kind of playback equipment.  Going from analog to digital is always a loss, but once it's digital, and if you record in PCM, then going to FLAC isn't going to be any loss, hence a lossless codec.  I never cared about the clicks or pops, it's just called wiping the damn dust off the record.  I made a bunch of recordings at 24/96 and they sounded great.  Some albums would peak in the 10 khz+ range whenever the artists would use a strong "S" sound or "F".  Anything that uses a lot of air to pronounce would peak out and distort, and I'd imagine it would be my cartridge, but I wasn't going to spend a crapload of money on it.  Playing them strictly analog would remove the problem, though.  So I just downloaded the FLAC CD rips instead (which I don't consider illegal because I already paid for the vinyl) and I'm more pleased with the sound.

post #4 of 34

I do it for 2 reasons: One, I find that vinyl is often mastered differently that CDs. Vinyl typically is less compressed and more dynamic than the loud and overly compressed contemporary digital media (for rock and roll anyway).  I'll record at 24-bit directly through my Duet.  I tolerate the pops and clicks and enjoy the dynamics of my new and old vinyl. 


Two, I record to vinyl mostly for convenience.  My records are stored in another part of the house from my TT.  My ALAC files are on my main listening rig and Ipod & iphone (at 24 bit ALAC).


Also, I rarely split the tracks to different files.  I usually end up with 2 files: side a, side b.  It forces me to listen digitally the way I used to listen to records, the whole side at a time.


It's not superior to me, just different.

post #5 of 34

I've found that yes, even contemporary stuff SEEMS mastered differently than the CDs, but I think it's what's in the playback chain.  On a CD you are going to get the exact same thing every time you rip it (granted a perfect rip) no matter what drive you use.  Change one thing in a vinyl setup and the sound will change.  Other things have to be changed before directly recording the vinyl to make it different than the CD version, but I still think it's the same loud version that gets sent to the vinyl maker.

post #6 of 34

Right now I'm listening to The Human League's Dare album from  a wav file in iTunes. I digitized the vinyl using a Roxio Easy CD creator. I've gotta tell ya, I can't discern any difference in sound quality betweeen this album or any other I've digitized and placed into myu iTunes library, vinyl, CD, and downloads all sound the same. By far, playing back this stuff from iTunes is the most immediate, as well as convenient listening experience. The only problem with computer audio is the syncing process of getting all of the software and hardware to work.

post #7 of 34

I have 24/96 vinyl FLAC rips and FLAC rips from CD of a few albums, and I'll be damned if I can tell the difference...well, if it wasn't for the occasional pop or whoosh.  As mentioned sometimes there's a difference in the mastering that makes it worth having a vinyl album as a FLAC rip just for having "different versions", but 24/96 vinyl rips is just undiscernable overkill.  Who needs files that size?  Compare Tool's Lateralus:


FLAC / 24bit Lossless / Vinyl  1.61 GB 


FLAC / Lossless / Vinyl   443.94 MB 


FLAC / Lossless / Log (100%) / Cue / CD   453.22 MB 


MP3 / 320 / CD   182.13 MB 


MP3 / V0 (VBR) / CD   143.42 MB 


MP3 / V0 (VBR) / Vinyl   139.50 MB 


I'll take the 100% CD FLAC rip any day...cleaner than the vinyl rip, and also over 3x smaller than 24 bit.  People that hoard 24/96 vinyl rips are just obsessives that want their cake and eat it too.  A nice lossless rip from pristine vinyl should more than suffice...unless you really like filling up hard drives with a lot of zeroes.  It's just diminishing returns, lol.

Edited by Golden Monkey - 12/16/10 at 7:13pm
post #8 of 34

Wouldn't a flac rip give you the best of both worlds? The better mastering when it exists and the never wear out of digital.


post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 

I believe better mastering (more dynamic range etc) is not the only reason folks listen to vinyl. I've never heard vinyl.. though I've read that vinyl sounds better compared to CDs because its analog, it eliminates the intermediate sampling, quantization, encoding, decoding, DAC etc.

e.g. here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-20024387-47.html?tag=mncol;txt


Which is why I asked originally that all of these supposedly "analog" qualities will disappear once you rip it to FLAC/APE etc (whether its 24/192 or 16/44.1). Better mastering will obviously carry through.


btw.. is posting torrent links here a good idea ? We can always find them if we want to.

Edited by dayamax - 12/16/10 at 4:57pm
post #10 of 34

Posting torrent links are likely frowned upon considering unscrupulous users often upload copyrighted material facilitating unlawful distribution of protected works.

post #11 of 34

They aren't "real" torrent links...they link right back to this page, lol.  But in the interests of not sowing chaos and perceived filesharing they are now "un-links".  Discuss without fear...


(and no, even if those were real torrents you wouldn't find them...private trackers...strictly hypothetically speaking of course...)

Edited by Golden Monkey - 12/16/10 at 8:01pm
post #12 of 34

There are very many "legal" torrents, jeez

Some software is even distributed solely by bittorrent because it's efficient

post #13 of 34

As said before some vinyl rips are just the same exact master as the CD, which could be said for just about any mainstream music in the past decade or so.  Some things deserve to be in 24/96 from vinyl, like masters that don't get released on CD.  There are some nicely crafted vinyl out there that goes beyond the numbers people will quote to make vinyl look bad compared to CD, but you can't reach these people in any way.

post #14 of 34

The problem with vinyl rips is that, is it optimized to do an analog to digital conversion?


Everything matters the vinyl itself, the TT to the phono to the ADC - its very hard to standardized unless you have very good analog gear for the conversion, if not everything else will me mediocre.

If a good setup is used for the conversion and doing a 24/192 rip.. i believe it'll sound as good as having a TT but the biggest difference is that you can segment your fav vinyls into a playlist and skip like 10 songs without trying to find the spot to put the needle on it.


Plus you get consistent play back without worrying about vinyl rot plus its portable/archived.. 

post #15 of 34

I think a vinyl rip with one of the laser turntables would be badass and I would like to hear that.

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