My friend records jams at 96kHz using Cakewalk Sonar on a PC, and the audio is saved as .w64 (Sony format). I offered to mix the tracks but my Mac's Logic Pro X DAW can't read the files.

There are converters online, but some are limited to 1GB whereas my files are as big as 7GB. I am reluctant to invest in an expensive converter only to find it either doesn't work, or I lose a lot of information in the conversion (after all a WAV file can't hold 7GB since it's limited to 4GB).

My friend wants to keep working at 96kHz and won't go back to provide smaller formats.

Suggestions?

  • Will your friend not save them as broadcast wave or AIFF? Then you don't have to convert and both formats support 96 kHz. – Todd Wilcox Aug 9 at 20:53
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    The reason Sonar uses.w64 format is because the file is too big to store in .wav. The obvious solution would be to chop the files into shorter audio segments so they can be filed as .WAV. you can do that and rejoin them end-to-end in a different DAW with no data loss. – user19146 Aug 9 at 22:07
  • @alephzero Broadcast wave definitely supports files larger than 4 GB - up into Exabytes. Not sure about AIFF. – Todd Wilcox Aug 9 at 23:07
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    There's also the rather obvious fact that he's wasting bandwidth recording at miles (well, kilometers) above the Nyquist for human auditory capability. Tell him if he wants free mixing work done, he needs to compromise. – Carl Witthoft Aug 10 at 11:10
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    @CarlWitthoft actually, with suitable dithering could could achieve a not-completely-rubbish fidelity in a 2-bit 96kHz file... – leftaroundabout Aug 10 at 16:17

I believe that VideoLan aka VLC media player can read .w64 files and it is also capable of transcoding. You might also be able to split the files leaving the sample rate untouched. As CarlWitthoft pointed out, 96k is probably excessive and may actually be a problem for some track effects etc.

VLC is free open source software and there is an OSX binary available.

You might also check the docs for ffmpeg/libavcodec which may support w64.

  • Yes, ffmpeg supports w64 (as does VLC, which is entirely based on ffmpeg). – leftaroundabout Aug 10 at 15:50
  • Downloaded VLC and it accepts my 7GB .w64 file, but shows duration as 0:00 and nothing plays. – Eric O Aug 11 at 4:45

Sony's Sound Forge application is able to read 96KHz 24-bit .w64 files and convert them to 48KHz 24bit files I can use. But it is very cumbersome (read file, wait for peaks to be gathered, then save and convert). It took me several hours to convert about 20 6GB files.

This worked but is not a good long-term solution. I would prefer a batch processing app, or I will try to talk my friend into producing smaller files.

I would like to know why 96KHz is overkill.

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