aiff vs wav

Can anyone tell me why Cubase exports in 32bit aiff are incompatible with importing into other apps and systems? RX, Revoice, and LANDR, are three that result in a flatline of digital noise on import.

32bit wavs and 24bit aifs from Cubase import fine. A little bit of research informed me that there are two types of aiffs, but I cannot understand why Cubase would export an incompatible 32bit aiff.

I have switched to wav, but all my previous exports are 32bit aiff. Quicktime Pro will convert 32bit aiff to 32bit wav a lot quicker than loading and re-exporting them in Cubase but I am unsure whether the conversion will degrade the quality.

I’m not a pro about file conversion but I’m pretty sure, there’s no loss from aif to wav. You can do such a conversion and easily check it with a phase flip test.

Good idea. Thanks, I’ll give that a try.

Still don’t understand what the issue is with 32bit aif exports, though. Makes it kind of a useless export option if Steinberg’s version is different than izotope, celemony, synchroarts etc…

I had a large batch of files to convert from aiff to wav and found a batch script to run with SoX encoder. Took a little bit of setting up and head scratching to get SoX working but then you can just drop this batch file into any folder and double click to process every file in that folder and it does it very quickly which would back up the assertion that it is a lossless process (no transcoding needed)
If you import/re-export in Cubase you are actually re-rendering so could get some theoretical loss though I’m sure even this would be negligible.

Post back if you want to try the sox method and I’ll attach the bat file and a basic guide. I think the complex bit was editing the batch file so you should even avoid the head scratching now I did that already.

Hi Grim,

That would be great. I tried the Quicktime conversion, but it didn’t null. Not even close.

Sorry…I just realised you’re on Mac so I don’t think this is going to help you much…but will post anyway in case you can use a PC or it helps point you in the right direction to get it working on Mac. I would guess the actual script for conversion in the bat file is the same for either os and Mac installer is downloadable on the same link.

Download and install SoX 14-4-2 installer from here SoX - Sound eXchange - Browse /sox/14.4.2 at
On Windows I would not suggest you change default location as the bat file is pointing to this location.

Download and unzip the bat file and put in the SoX folder for safekeeping.

To process your aiff simply copy the bat file to any folder with aiff inside and double click to run. It will create a new folder called converted wav with your processed files. You can edit the bat file in any text editor in case your files aren’t recognised because they have aif rather than aiff as extension for example. (341 Bytes)

Thanks Grim. Much appreciated.

Wish someone had an answer to my original question, but I guess most people are using wavs these days. I remembered that I still like aiffs because wavs don’t show cover art in iTunes.

Maybe it’s not this simple, but possibly big endian vs. little endian? If you have Wavelab you could try importing “unknown audio file”, and trying each. One should be audio and the other should be noise. Cubase aif 32 bit float on Windows is big endian, which is what it should be, and they play fine in iTunes and RX.

Hmm. Thanks bob99. I think you may have nailed it. iTunes has never had a problem importing Cubase 32bit aifs but this article sheds further light now that I have your clue, though it seems backwards. Makes me wonder if Cubase is exporting little endian on a mac, though big endian on windows.

Seems that the solution might be to convert aif to aif, rather than aif to wav, since the output is identical except for some kind of formatting byte order.

Apple uses this new little-endian AIFF type as its standard on Mac OS X. When a file is imported to or exported from iTunes in “AIFF” format, it is actually AIFF-C/sowt that is being used. When audio from an audio CD is imported by dragging to the Mac OS X Desktop, the resulting file is also an AIFF-C/sowt. In all cases, Apple refers to the files simply as “AIFF”, and uses the “.aiff” extension.

For the vast majority of users this technical situation is completely unnoticeable and irrelevant. The sound quality of standard AIFF and AIFF-C/sowt are identical, and the data can be converted back and forth without loss. Users of older audio applications, however, may find that an AIFF-C/sowt file will not play, or will prompt the user to convert the format on opening, or will play as static.

All traditional AIFF and AIFF-C files continue to work normally on Mac OS X (including on the new Intel-based hardware), and many third-party audio applications as well as hardware continue to use the standard AIFF big-endian byte order.

That seems really strange, if you’re just going from 32 bit float aiff to 32 bit float wav they should be identical I would think. You could also try 32 bit float aif to 32 bit float wav, and 32 bit float aif to 32 bit float aif in XLD or Audacity. I’m pretty sure they should be able to do that pretty easily.

But you really shouldn’t have to do any of this.

Yeah. (Actually, I was wrong RX does import Cubase 32bit exports, but Revoice and LANDR don’t.) Also now that I am at my computer, I used Quicktime to look at the file info. Cubase 32bitfp aif files are big endian in OSX too. Quicktime export includes a little endian option but it remains greyed out no matter what format and bit rate, and of course the Apple Help system was no help there. Also the wav export 32bit is greyed out for the floating point option, so I maybe my conversion was aif 32bit-fp to wav 32bit-nfp. I probably assumed if it was greyed out it was taken care of.

I am inclined now to think that Steinberg has it right and that I should probably approach it from the import side with those companies, rather than the export side. Or just stick to wav files when recording from now on. I grabbed XLD and Audacity to experiment further when I have some free time though.

Thanks again for the ideas.