Waveform Color Differences Between FLAC and WAV in Traktor 3?

Hey everyone! I've been using Traktor 3 and noticed something interesting. When I load a track in both FLAC and WAV format (I decompressed the FLAC to WAV using ffmpeg), the colors of their waveforms are different. Yet, when I do the same thing in Audacity, both the waveforms and the spectrograms look identical. Does anyone have an idea why there's this color difference in Traktor 3? I assumed that if the audio data is the same, the visual representation would be consistent across programs. Any insights would be much appreciated!

Thanks, gyoza


  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 431 Pro

    The only thing I can think of is whatever audio was lost in a lossey format is represented differently in Traktor waveform when a lossless format is being used.

    Audacity has a pretty simplistic waveform, unless you are using some view I haven't seen?

    I would bet that Traktor has a tighter range between frequency colors represented and more colors obviously shown. I assume you are looking at the spectrum view.

  • Oxy
    Oxy Member Posts: 85 Helper

    FLAC and WAV both are lossless. FLAC is just a little compressed without data loss, takes a little more CPU to play then a WAV, but the difference should be negligible. Why they're colored different, I'd like to know as well ;)

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 431 Pro

    Yes forgot to mention compression, maybe that is the difference somehow shown?

    There are quite a few debates over Flac vs. Wav. And especially when converting to Wav from Flac. I usually end my interest pretty quickly in these discussions lol.

    But maybe there is some truth to the difference if Traktor is representing the same file differently in the waveform after conversion?

  • lord-carlos
    lord-carlos Member Posts: 1,554 Expert

    There are quite a few debates over Flac vs. Wav. And especially when converting to Wav from Flac.

    There is?

    You can convert a .wav to .flac. and then the .flac back to .wav and it's the same file as you started with. Bit for bit. Checksum and everything.

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 431 Pro

    I also just remembered that Traktor can show when a kick has a strong percussion vs. more of a bass type kick.

    Most kicks in techno or house music have a pretty constant reddish orange color when represented in Traktor waveform.

    But then a punchy kick with more defined percussion at the beginning will show as a blue before the rest of the kick color.

    This is somewhat irrelevant to the original question. But my point is the compression might lessen the percussion parts of kick or other frequency and appear differently.

    Maybe I am way off lol. I am not in any way an expert, and I am totally guessing on all of this.

  • lord-carlos
    lord-carlos Member Posts: 1,554 Expert

    There is no sound difference between flac and wav. It's the same.

    It's like a .zip file. After opening it should be the same.

    Some time back I made a similar experiment with mp3, flac and wav and did not notice a difference in waveform. Maybe OP should double check that the files are the same sampling frequency. Maybe one is 44.1 and the other 48 or whatever.

    OP can also try to convert the .wav back to .flac just to see what the results are.

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 431 Pro

    Yep this is the same discussion I have said I keep seeing debated.

    But the waveform in Traktor seems to be different for this person. So there must be something changed?

    But yes, your comment is the most common and probably correct.

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