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24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded! - Page 121

post #1801 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by headdict View Post


In my book the right headphones also have to be at least open, closed, comfortable and portable, all at the same time. BTW, based on your previous posts I take it you are not that much into headphones, are you? And yet, you are dedicating so much of your time to this site. How come? Anyway, by all means keep it up! Can't imagine what this place would look like without your relentness pursuit of sound (as opposed to pseudo) science.


I see what bigshot is getting at, and yet agree with you on the multiple purposes one may have meaning different equipment for different uses.  It is no different whether in headphones or speakers.  Monitoring in the field calls for accurate small monitors.  You give up some things to keep what is most needed.  Mainly no deep bass because they need to be small.  Car speakers vs home speakers have different needs.  There are no perfect for every purpose transducers.  Meaning all involve trade offs.  Those trades offs that make sense vary with location and use in mind. 

 

So I have one pretty darn nice set of over the ear phones for use walking about driven by mobile phone or tablet.  Another full coverage open phone for non-portable use.  Another good enough, sturdy, closed, not terribly expensive set of phones for music recording on the go. In a pinch any could be used for any purposes, and only one is the most balanced, neutral and good sounding of the three I have.  I have owned a couple phones better than any I have, but for various reasons did not keep them.  I am a bit more uncompromising on my serious home speakers as I can decide the room and other aspects and adapt closer to an optimum level.  Even those are a compromise however. 

 

I believe in time with more research and expertise thrown at the issue, headphones will be able to provide the most accurate of possible reproductions.  My issue with them over speakers is one of comfort.  I haven't had phones that were put them on and feel comfortable for hours and hours good.  Some were close enough that I could use them a couple hours when needed.  The other thing is really low powerful bass.  One can fix that with a subwoofer and phones for non-mobile use. 

post #1802 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post


I see what bigshot is getting at, and yet agree with you on the multiple purposes one may have meaning different equipment for different uses.  It is no different whether in headphones or speakers.  Monitoring in the field calls for accurate small monitors.  You give up some things to keep what is most needed.  Mainly no deep bass because they need to be small.  Car speakers vs home speakers have different needs.  There are no perfect for every purpose transducers.  Meaning all involve trade offs.  Those trades offs that make sense vary with location and use in mind. 

So I have one pretty darn nice set of over the ear phones for use walking about driven by mobile phone or tablet.  Another full coverage open phone for non-portable use.  Another good enough, sturdy, closed, not terribly expensive set of phones for music recording on the go. In a pinch any could be used for any purposes, and only one is the most balanced, neutral and good sounding of the three I have.  I have owned a couple phones better than any I have, but for various reasons did not keep them.  I am a bit more uncompromising on my serious home speakers as I can decide the room and other aspects and adapt closer to an optimum level.  Even those are a compromise however. 

I believe in time with more research and expertise thrown at the issue, headphones will be able to provide the most accurate of possible reproductions.  My issue with them over speakers is one of comfort.  I haven't had phones that were put them on and feel comfortable for hours and hours good.  Some were close enough that I could use them a couple hours when needed.  The other thing is really low powerful bass.  One can fix that with a subwoofer and phones for non-mobile use. 
Exactly what I meant, but was too lazy to elaborate. English being my second language might also work as an excuse.
post #1803 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 

I see what bigshot is getting at, and yet agree with you on the multiple purposes one may have meaning different equipment for different uses.  It is no different whether in headphones or speakers.

 

You're talking about different functionality. He was talking about different frequency responses for different genres of music.

post #1804 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

You're talking about different functionality. He was talking about different frequency responses for different genres of music.
Me? No, I wasn't talking about frequency responses at all. Different FR for different genres? What a strange concept!
post #1805 of 1923

I was, but not only FR. in my case my headphones don't all respond to EQ as well as I would like. and for example my hd650 has some funky low freq distortions that can nicely mask some slight clipping, pretty convenient for rap. a neutral clean headphone wouldn't do the trick.

but overall I would mostly be happy with one real neutral headphone that responds well to EQ. I didn't go that way because what I found almost neutral usually was heavy or not comfy ^_^. it has nothing to do with sound.

 

and about playing with FR for different genres, I was thinking about some poorly recorded rock or punk with some harsh frequencies. EQing out those frequencies is one way to make it bearable. but well it's a special case, we're talking about ways to listen to bad records. it doesn't represent a lot of what I really enjoy.

post #1806 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

Expand your musical tastes into classical and jazz. All those problems will go away, because those genres are generally well recorded, mixed and mastered.


I have some of that too :D

 

If it wasn't for classical and jazz, I wouldn't have as much basis to "bash" my beautiful-horrible pop recordings.

post #1807 of 1923

Also I'd like to know how many albums coming out are actually mastered by Professionals using high-buck equipment.

 

I've heard some claim that a lot of CDs sound bad because bands basically don't spend big bucks getting top-notch production done. Or, even cheaper, they do it themselves on a Macbook.

 

Anyone know anything about this?

 

I know from some experience publishing that color, long-lasting paper and bindings add up. Its a better product, but sure as heck not needed for most "throw-away" texts that we get. Anyway.

post #1808 of 1923

the few bands I've talked to about that(nobody worldwide famous) were all pretty much saying something like this: "if you want to have our best performance come see us on tour". most where whining that it was stupid to force them into making a record as soon as they have the songs, often they actually make the songs while recording, so of course they think they will do better later, and don't put too much love into the albums.

 

also I guess most are under contract with a record company and might not have the last word when it comes to the mastering.

post #1809 of 1923

Having made some recordings with a laptop, couple okay condenser mics, and a usb/mic pre, that isn't the bottleneck.  They sound pretty darn good, especially if you don't mess with them.  You can mess with them with a little DSP, and some things are better though some worse.  Either way it is better than probably half of the pop recordings.  I am not doing much because I don't know how.  I don't have equipment equal to the pros.  And much of it has pretty nice sound quality.  I also don't imagine I do a better job than the pros.  My guess is pro guys long in the biz can give you good to great sound.  They can give you what you or maybe the record company manager says to give.  So I don't think in most cases the pro recording guys are to blame.  Either company execs or band members are.  Remember band members don't know what they sound like.  They are all in the middle of playing their own part. 

post #1810 of 1923

I am wondering if any of you all think bootlegged recordings can be a very high quality? I think I remember reading that some bands allow fans to plug into this soundboard if I remember that correctly and I am thinking soundboard must mean the sound system for the concert. So do you think you can fine band fan bootleged recordings which are the equal of the best?

post #1811 of 1923
Live recording, bootleg or official, is probably one hell of a tough job. I'm trying to remember which one of my Bob Dylan's boots is a great example of it being possible to achieve good quality...
post #1812 of 1923

Most good sounding bootlegs are recordings of live radio broadcasts that weren't meant for release other than as a one time broadcast.

post #1813 of 1923
Ha, those are well above the quality in some punk rock boots I used to collect, those were recorded with a cheap mic positioned in front of a PA.
post #1814 of 1923

Read your 16 vs 24 article.  I think you misunderstand sound and "real life."

The whole 16 vs 24 debate is similar to "is 24 bit color better than 16 bit?"  in photos.  It is fairly obvious that 24 bit is better.  It is not as easy to manipulate someone into believing they can't see something as it is to convince them they can't hear something.

 

Here is real life.  Take two colors of blue, very similar in shade, but not the same.  There are an INFINITE number of gradations in the transition of color from the first blue to the second.  And every one of those transition colors exists.  

 

It is the same in sound. 24 bit is better, not because it can get something at the two ends of the spectrum, but because it can better get what is in between.  24 bit can capture far more of those real life gradations of the many tones that make up even one instrument sound.  Therefore, 24 bit is more true to actual life in the same way a 24 bit color photo is much more true to life than a 16 bit photo, even though you can see the image very well with 16 bit.  

 

There are also many emotional nuances put into the music by the players. These can also be more fully described because there are also an infinite number of gradations in pressure, pluck, etc. from one to another.

 

So, measuring the frequencies and the dynamic range etc.  completely misses the point.

 

ON the practical side, I have both the 16 bit remastered Beatles CD's and the 24 bit "Apple" usb version.  When I play tunes randomly,  while working, etc.,  and it is a mix of Beatles stuff, other artists,  I can always tell when a 24 bit Beatles tune comes up.  When I occasionally check it on the device, sure enough, it is the 24 bit version.  Every time.

 

And, even without comparison, I know listening to a 24 bit 192k orchestral recording,  it is not even close to the same 16 bit 44k.  It is obvious.  Not subtle.

 

Just this very odd thing that gets pushed in sound--24 bit is better than 16 bit in every use of bits (machine running, CPU, photography, robotics, cars sensing the road and on and on)  except just this ONE area,  sound. Very strange.

post #1815 of 1923
Quote:
Originally Posted by cregster View Post
 

24 bit is better, not because it can get something at the two ends of the spectrum, but because it can better get what is in between.  24 bit can capture far more of those real life gradations of the many tones that make up even one instrument sound.

 

You might want to read up a bit on how digital audio works. There is absolutely no difference between 16 bit audio and 24 bit audio in the audible spectrum. They are identical. No more resolution than in one than the other. No more "gradations". The only difference between redbook and high bitrate / high sampling rate is OUTSIDE the range of human hearing... specifically, sound that is too quiet for you to hear at normal listening volumes and frequencies that are too high for human ears to hear.

 

The way you think things work isn't necessarily the way they actually work. The differences you hear are likely mastering differences, not improvement in audio quality due to the format of the file.


Edited by bigshot - 7/18/14 at 10:18am
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