I imported some flac files into my project only to discover they turned into wav files and doubled the size of my project. Is there a way to import them and keep them as flac?
When files are copied into the session during import, they are always turned into the current native file format (typically WAV, but also mono).
You can choose to not copy them, and then they will remain outside the session in their original form (and location).
There’s no option to blend both of these.
So if I change the session file type to FLAC it will import as FLAC?
That’s correct, it will.
I don’t know if it’s smart enough to import it directly or if it will decode to WAV first and then re-encode to FLAC, but since it’s lossless all you’ll lose in that case is a bit of time.
Thanks, that’s good to know.
So if I use FLAC as the file type the sample format is limited to 24bit integer. Does this mean internal processing is also limited to the same or will that continue to be 32bit float?
In any application, the flac has to be decoded just to play or edit or whatever. Anytime something is edited or recorded it then has to be encoded before saving. So higher CPU and memory use.
24bit int = 32bit float… sort of. 24bit int converts to 32bit float very easy, 32bit float can handle levels higher than +/- 1.0 saving that to flac means either clipping or normalizing.
There are no audio data formats worth commenting on that exceed the range of a 24 bit integer. We use 32 bit float for processing to avoid clipping, but the “lossless” range even with 32 bit float is still 24 bits.
This doesn’t matter in any way, because there are essentially zero analog to digital converters that can generate 24 bits of meaningful data (even if they claim to in marketing materials). You’re already so close to, if not already in, the range of brownian motion noise at the point.