FLAC for lossless audio?

I’m glad to see that FLAC has been added as a writable file format: the only thing sub-optimal about this is that FLAC supports a maximum of eight channels and doesn’t support 32 bit float.

WavPack, on the other hand, supports up to 256 channels (Nuendo can now record 14 channels files) and is 32 bit float compatible.

I vote for WavPack!

What for, if you don’t mind me asking?

If you’re going to use a lossless format, why not use one that is completely compatible with the DAW (number of channels, bit depth). WavPack is a better fit, spec-wise, with Nuendo than FLAC: I say keep FLAC, add WavPack.

My recordings and post-productions consist mostly of few tracks and are done on laptops: I could trade a few CPU cycles for less disc space.

Reaper, for example, has a very good lineup of writable file formats.

  • Writable Formats: AIFF, APE, BWF, CD ISO (CUE/BIN), FLAC, MIDI, MOGG, MP3, OGG, W64, WAV, WAVPACK.

  • Writable Bit Depths:
    WAV/BWF/W64: 8/16/24 PCM, 32/64 FP, 2/4 ADPCM
    AIFF: 8/16/24/32 PCM
    WAVPACK: 16/24 PCM, 32 FP
    FLAC, APE: 16/24 PCM

Or why not stick with the one that is completely compatible with the rest of the world and that the rest of the world is using?

After 30+ years in broadcast and media - I do not ever recall receiving, discussing or ever even opening a wavpack file. I wouldn’t know what to do with it if it arrived. And neither would anyone else…

Just sayin’…


Wow, really? So also not a big fan of DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD?

As I said, if now I can use lossless compression within Nuendo, I think WavPack is a better fit. When I deliver to client, I deliver in the format they want, whatever that format is.

I am a fan of both DTS-HD MA and True HD - but I still do not understand how that relates to using wavpack VS FLAC.


  • Nuendo can record multichannel files up to 14 channels: FLAC only supports up to eight channels, WavPack can go up to 256 and beyond.

  • Nuendo can record files in 32 bit float: FLAC does not support 32 bit float, WavPack does.

For only these two reason, WavPack is a better lossless format to work within Nuendo. I’m not asking to throw away FLAC support, I’m asking to add WavPack support.

No problem asking I suppose. But FLAC usage far outstrips any wavpack usage anywhere.

Then again - regardless of what Nuendo can record etc…anyone out there doing serious multichannel sound for the formats you mentioned won’t care about disc space, CPU cycles or compressing anything. Why would you need to?


As a delivery format, yes.

anyone out there doing serious multichannel sound for the formats you mentioned won’t care about disc space, CPU cycles or compressing anything. Why would you need to?

I don’t agree with you. As FLAC, lossless DTS and Dolby are delivery format, not production format. I consider that I do “serious” (for me, not equal to money) multichannel work, and I would enjoy the disc space saving from the get go, rather than only at the end when I archive the project. Maybe it’s because I work on a laptop…

Probably easier (and less time consuming) to just get a bigger hard drive than waiting for this obscure format to be given consideration.

FLAC is an excellent archive format for projects and it’s great for music playback - but for real work - I would rather just stay uncompressed (wav).

Drives are way too cheap to worry about using compressed lossless “anything” during production.


Althogh WavPack is technically seen the better solution, I would prefer FLAC because it is widely recognized. Not for daily work, but for archive and transport purposes.

That’s what people said about FLAC five years ago.

FLAC is an excellent archive format for projects and it’s great for music playback - but for real work - I would rather just stay uncompressed (wav).

Yes, the point is to have the choice. And I would like to able to choose between Wave64 and WavPack: because of the file size limit, Wave doesn’t cut it for me.

Drives are way too cheap

No, if you can save space and money, it’s better.

Again, the point is to have the choice. But if you decide to use FLAC in multichannel production, it’s quite possible you will meet its channel number or bit depth limitations, just like the file size limitation for Wave so that you have to switch to Wave64.

I guess we will see ya back here for an upgrade in 2018 :slight_smile:

FLAC is a perfect logical choice for the masses. Oddly - outside of this specific thread - I do not recall anyone ever complaining that FLAC “doesn’t cut it”. I am thinking that’s directly related to the fact that no one would ever work in Nuendo (Or any recording app for that matter) in compressed format for actual production.

If your biggest concerns are saving “space” and “money” - neither of those is possible in the recording game - it is what it is. Maybe time to move over to Reaper - it sounds like it has what you need?


And for delivery …




My experience in post production in the US has been that people requested AIFF files back in the day (i.e. early 2000’s), then stopped doing that. Now the only request, if I even get one, is for WAV files (or “Broadcast Waves”).

I have never had a request for any other file format. I’d even guess that 95-99% of my customers and their customers are completely unaware of FLAC.

And any other time I’ve been asked to deliver anything other than AIFF or WAV it’s been Pro Tools sessions, DA88 (doesn’t happen any longer), Beta or DigiBeta (doesn’t happen much any longer really) or new HD optical drives.

I’m all for options, but my industry in my geographic location doesn’t seem to care about FLAC.

Same. Every single customer of mine has only ever wanted the actual wav files.

Then again - the OP - the way I interpret this thread - is wanting to actually “work” in Nuendo using a compressed file format for nothing but to save disc space…which I think is a waste of CPU.

Why would anyone want to instantly compromise their workflow by adding in all the overhead of a compressed format when an uncompressed one has none?

As suggested - the OP should just get a 2013 size hard disk and get on with Nueudo as intended - using wav for everything. It’s a no-brainer.


I’ve been experimenting with FLAC delivery lately from my readers for audiobook production, and it has a lot of potential-- sure saves upload time, and space in the DropBox.

Have no use for it in audio post or music composition-- aside from the above application (just trying to find ways to make available resources work!), FLAC is a non-presence in my professional life, and I don’t know anybody who’s even thinking about messing with it the way I am. I guess I have too much free time.

As far as music composition, editing and post-p are concerned, I have absolutely no desire nor need to work with FLACs however “natively” as might be possible with a compressed format like that-- am with previous posters in regards to keeping the production end simple. But importing and exporting, yes!

Other formats, i.e. WavePak? If they were relevant in the production world. Otherwise, focus on the stuff we need.