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24bit vs 16bit: How big is the difference? - Page 3  

post #31 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordXenu View Post
So you need to be a 12 year old with thousands of dollars in equipment?

Because, as we all know, our hearing degrades as we age...A lot.
You just need experience with your ears and various gear to formulate your own definition of good.

$ says nothing about the quality of a component and certainly says nothing of system setup.

Hearing (the tool) doesn't say anything about it's ability (the use of).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFat View Post
@OP: be wary of the advice of people who can't get the basic facts straight.
It doesn't matter what anybody else says. It's up to the original poster to determine things for themselves.
post #32 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan View Post
It doesn't matter what anybody else says. It's up to the original poster to determine things for themselves.
So we should all shut up? Or copy&paste from Alice in wonderland?
post #33 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFat View Post
I don't understand what you mean... ASIO is a software thing that sits between your apps and your soundcard.
EDIT: you may be misreading the panel or it may be misreporting... or the drivers might indeed be ASIOing everything (why?)

But yeah, depending on your card/drivers, DS is going to do a good job for the most part.
Sorry, this is what I mean, the card uses ASIO by default if you install it with an advanced driver dipswitch set, but you can switch it out. My query was if it is using ASIO anyway is a plug-in required for the app ? - certainly when I installed the asio plug-in for winamp it really knackered the output, when I took it out it is back to working perfectly.


post #34 of 773
It isn't reporting anything then: this is just a setting.
My understanding is that this controls whether the analog inputs are routed directly to the outputs and that this can be controlled in some software as well. There may even be a switch on your card... there's one on mine and I've always used that instead of the control panel so I'm not absolutely sure I got it right.

I never bothered to use ASIO from winamp, only from foobar and it works well for me except for the odd buffering issue (see one of the few threads I started).

EDIT: for clarity, it's not the card that uses ASIO... it (and its "advanced" driver) only support it. A plugin will be necessary if the application doesn't have ASIO support out of the box.
post #35 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFat View Post
It isn't reporting anything then: this is just a setting.
My understanding is that this controls whether the analog inputs are routed directly to the outputs and that this can be controlled in some software as well. There may even be a switch on your card... there's one on mine and I've always used that instead of the control panel so I'm not absolutely sure I got it right.

I never bothered to use ASIO from winamp, only from foobar and it works well for me except for the odd buffering issue (see one of the few threads I started).

EDIT: for clarity, it's not the card that uses ASIO... it (and its "advanced" driver) only support it. A plugin will be necessary if the application doesn't have ASIO support out of the box.

Thanks for the clarification. I installed the FooBar ASIO plug-in and it works fine - no drop-outs, the Winamp ASIO plug-in was seriously problematical with my set-up.

Is yours the UA-1EX ?
post #36 of 773
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
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?
post #37 of 773
24 bits makes a huge difference in recording. It lets you avoid the use of a limiter or compressor, and lets you get the maximum SNR possible.

Higher resolution (44/48/88/96/176/192) is a subtle and potentially significant improvement in playback. I have no comment as to whether or not you'll hear a benefit there, that's a LOT more dependent on playback signal chain and your own hearing. But given a competent engineer and a 24 bit master, a 16 bit file for playback (cd, etc) is so far beyond adequate as to be moot.
post #38 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFat View Post
So we should all shut up? Or copy&paste from Alice in wonderland?
Everybody can talk about whatever they wish but at the end of the day, your own ears and experiences will dictate what direction you'll be going in. Unless you are just convinced by words.
post #39 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian loves music View Post
"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?
Well, if you need to play stuff at 100db to notice the difference - count me out, even 100db is loud and here is a quote from the NIH Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the time period before NIHL can occur. Sounds of less than 75 decibels, even after long exposure, are unlikely to cause hearing loss.

Before you argue about one sound being better than another you can ask, is there actually a difference, so far the best experimental evidence

Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran, 2007

is that when you properly downsample High res audio to 16/44.1 that the difference is inaudible except at really high volume levels where the noise floor comes into play.

The downsampling step seems to be the key. I downsampled a few 24/96 files and 16/44.1 files and if you dont do it right you get differences that should not be there. For instance when I converted a 24 bit wav to 16/44.1 with dither it altered the high frequency response, it smoothed it out so it rolled off gently , taking dither off kept the same response which had a sharp drop-off on the original 16/44.1 wav.
post #40 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by hciman77 View Post
Well, if you need to play stuff at 100db to notice the difference - count me out, even 100db is loud and here is a quote from the NIH Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the time period before NIHL can occur. Sounds of less than 75 decibels, even after long exposure, are unlikely to cause hearing loss.
My SPL meter shows that well-recorded orchestral music played back with peaks in the 100 to 105 dB SPL range probably averages 75 to 80 dB SPL. Note that the post above referred to "max" levels, and I take that to mean peak SPL's.
post #41 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian loves music View Post
"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).
If you have to turn the volume up to the edge of hearing damage to hear a difference, perhaps the difference doesn't matter.

See ya
Steve
post #42 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
24 bits makes a huge difference in recording. It lets you avoid the use of a limiter or compressor, and lets you get the maximum SNR possible.
Actually it doesn't eliminate the need for compression, it makes it easier to compress, because the stuff you're pulling up is cleaner. Compression isn't a bad thing necessarily... it's a tool that can be applied well, or abused. It all depends on how it's used.

24 bit recording is great for mixing. It gives you a lot of flexibility. But at normal listening volumes, it makes no difference at all.

See ya
Steve
post #43 of 773
Thread Starter 
hey, i posted this in the music section i didn't get any responses.

where do you guys get your 24 bit music (if you get any at all). Does music giants provide 24 bit or just uncompressed 16 bit flacs? That's the only website i've found that has indie rock. ANyone know where i can get a 24bit download of sigur ros (I'll pay of course).

thanks
post #44 of 773
The format by itself makes no difference at all. It is the whole recording and mastering process that really matters. Some 24/96 files sound no different than their 16/44 counterparts because they were not done very well to begin with. Some SACDs actually use a 16/48 master. Garbage in to a 24 bit / 192 recording won't sound good.

As far as an ABX test with a 16 and a 24 song it is really tough because often it is music you are unfamiliar with. If you are able to use the music you know extremely well and listen to it over time, then a personal conclusion could be made. Everyone is of course different.
post #45 of 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by hciman77 View Post
Is yours the UA-1EX ?
No, I've got a UA-25 (bling bling).
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