.AIFF vs .WAV. What are the C7 differences?

Aloha guys,

While browsing thru the C7 ‘Project Setup’ d/log box
I noticed that C7 defaults to using .WAV files for audio

While this default setting can be changed quite easily to .AIFF it started
me wondering about any possible advantages/disadvantages using
one format over the other.

I realize that .WAV is usually used with PC 'puters while
.AIFF is usually a Mac thang but both formats
can also be used on either platform.

I also know from the manual that
1-.AIFF files ‘can contain embedded text strings’.
2-And that .WAV files have a 4GB limit.

Is there anymore that I am missing here?

As far as listening, my ears cannot tell a difference
between .AIFF and .WAV when recording at 44.1/24bit.

Any one with any ‘DAW based’ info on this?

TIA (thanks in advanced)


WAV and AIFF are very similar formats. Both of them are not compressed, what is very important. Sound quality should be very same.

There is 4GB limit of the WAV file, but you can solve this by using Wave 64 File.

Btw: FLAC file is quite interesting too. It is compressed, but it is not destructive compression (like MP3 or OGG is). So sound quality stays the same, but it needs less space on your HDD.

Just to add - WAV support is very consistent across all applications on any OS, while with AIFF you may find some of them not opening on some applications. You may or may not encounter such a problem, but I think WAV is a safer choice. I have stopped using AIFF a long time ago.

I’m on Mac, and I’m using WAV too.

Ableton uses AIFFs but they are in a proprietary format so they cannot be opened in any application other than Live. Fortunately, Rewire works well with Live so the AIFF files are accessable.

I also use only wave but I am wondering if anyone is using FLAC and if it gives same quality or any glitches. If it works as well as WAV it would be great to save Disk space. Thanks for any experiences you can share…

I decided not to use .flac after a bunch of research on it, unless I were going to use it as storage, only. Using .flac other than just storing, causes more strain on your computer.

My projects are .wav only. You cannot go wrong with .wav. .wav is one with all…

Aloha guys and WOW!!

Tanx for all the info and perspective.

So do I have this correct?

1-.AIFF and .WAV (uncompressed formats) sound the same.

2.-WAV files are more accessible on various platforms.

3- If I am recording audio that will be larger than 4Gb
(jazz, classical, chants, meditations etc) I should use
Wave 64 file format.

TIA and Mahalo guys.

does flac work at 24 bit and 32 bit, up to 96k? i thought FLAC was mainly for live bootleg recordings at 16 k 44.1…


…- FLAC can handle any PCM bit resolution from 4 to 32 bits per sample, any sampling rate from 1 Hz to 655,350 Hz in 1 Hz increments,[7] and any number of channels from 1 to 8.

When FLAC was introduced, I used it in a new project. I forgot about it and when I started hearing glitching, hangups in audio and stuff like that, I opened a topic here…

The problem was FLAC. It needs far more resources of your CPU and such to decode before playing. Not all computers have that kind of power. Especially with multi tracks in audio at the same time, it’s going to be hard.

I switched back to WAV and everything is fine now :slight_smile:

I held off FLAC a while as I had no not-so-important project to test it thoroughly. Meanwhile I’m starting many projects in FLAC, no glitches whatsoever. Haven’t realized more demands on CPU (40+ audio tracks, not yet tried on bigger ones). One thing I have not fully explored yet is that offline processing takes longer on flac vs. wav. Seems data is decoded > processed > encoded.

Flac is fixed point arithmetic (up to 24 bit in Cubase), that’s the only drawback I can see but that’s pointless unless you record with plugins.


correct. i wouldnt trust it for a multitrack session. but it is good that C7 can save a stereo mixdown as FLAC. for this purpose it is a useful implementation and i think ill be using it in that sense rather than for multitrack files.