Originally Posted by grawk
bit depth doesn't provide nuance. It provides dynamic range. 16bit vs 24 bit on most things (assuming the mastering engineer isn't aiming for FM) won't make any difference at all. 16bits provides 96db of signal to noise. Very few things in the signal chain can handle that, let alone more than that. 24 bits is handy when recording, because you can set your levels lower, and then set the loudest peak at 0db in post. 16 bits covers greater than the difference between normal conversation and the concord taking off.
you've pretty much convinced me to drop this whole 24bit thing...you're argument makes sense because bit effects the length not detail of the source.
It's still interesting that people write stuff like this:
"Not at all. They simply need to turn it up! Seriously though, low-level listening will not allow you to easily hear the benefits of additional resolution of low level signals. The best way to perceive all of the benefits of a 24-bit recording is to listen as loud as possible without damaging your hearing. For concert recordings, this would be considered concert level (about 100-105dB maximum). When most people say it is hard to hear the difference between 16 and 24-bit recordings, they are referring to one of three things. One possibility is they either they don’t know what to listen for or how to listen for it. Another possibility is the fact that a high quality playback system is essential, and your average car stereo or boombox just won’t cut it. Finally, difficulty in perceiving the difference has also been said in reference to 24-bit recordings that are cut down to 16 bits for CD’s before listening, and this is only partially true, as performing processes at 24-bits before converting to 16 bits as a last step before listening does yield a more accurate recording.
The differences to expect are greater realism and more accurate portrayal of the source event. Not so ironically, it may take several listenings, and even a variety of source material before the differences are recognized. We have had the enjoyable opportunity to sit with many listeners and observe their reactions. Sometimes the recording of a rock ‘n’ roll event, a well-defined bass line, a stunning cymbal shot followed by persistent chimes, or the feeling of being back in the venue that is the kicker that turns them on. For others, it is the dog barking, the door bell ringing or the car we have recorded that really moves them. Either way, with a few listenings, everyone soon hears the impact that 24-bit recording delivers over its 16-bit counterpart."
^from The 24-bit Field Recording FAQ - November 3, 2001
what are people's thoughts?