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24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded! - Page 67

post #991 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor76 View Post

I doubt if it was a question of level. The ADC's used have no input level control. Basic plug and play. Many ADC's, especially high end ones, have soft or even hard limiters at 0db, so it dosen't go into digital distortion territory.

 

That's why I think it's a level issue. A 4 track puts out a slightly hotter signal than a digital one. The reason is because a 4 track can go into the red safely and digital can't. It's standard practice when dubbing from an analogue master to digital to lower the volume slightly so the stuff that goes into the red safely on tape doesn't clip in digital.

 

The difference in resolution between 16 and 24 at low volume levels is so far down, it's not going to be audible at normal listening levels.


Edited by bigshot - 12/18/12 at 3:27pm
post #992 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor76 View Post

You are talking Nyquist here, understood. However, there is still so many samples per complicated part in quieter passages.

 

Those complicated and quieter passages should be reproduced accurately through a properly implemented digital system.

 

The bandwidth limitations of the pick-up, record head, pre-emphasis eq, bias, etc. are all imposed by the very nature, not forced through filters just because. I am not worried about anything above 20k. I doubt I can hear anything above 15k. But how accurate is that high end? How fast is it? If RMAA says it can go to 30k, then to me at lower frequencies, it is more accurate. Not always the case, but most likely. And yes, system noise from background or thermal noise can be higher than quantization or dither noise. Even our own listening environments have high noise floors. However, the noise is encoded in the file and always there to mask the distortions.

 

The pick-up head limitation is not part of any particular instrument limitation. Filters are not there just because, they prevent aliasing and cut-off noise. Digital can go much higher than 30kHz.

 

I can see that frequency response can affect dimension, space, detail, impact and bandwidth. However, with two different speakers with the same measured frequency responses, might sound worlds different in these areas, but be actually representing the full frequency spectrum. One might sound flat, dead, and honky, and the other deep and infinite. Or one could sound in your face and full, but have no depth. Certain gear can do this as well, not just speakers.

 

Two speakers than measure the same at any one location, may measure completely different at another, even the same model and brand. I'm not even including non-linear differences. Regardless of whether these speakers are "full-range" or not, they will sound different because they will have different frequency response. If you are more familiar with the term tonal balance, tonal balance is a characteristic of frequency response.


Edited by ultrabike - 12/18/12 at 3:38pm
post #993 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor76 View Post

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

 

I doubt if it was a question of level. The ADC's used have no input level control. Basic plug and play. Many ADC's, especially high end ones, have soft or even hard limiters at 0db, so it dosen't go into digital distortion territory.

 

And there was no EQ. Nothing plugged up between tape machine and ADC. Only XLR cables. Tape machine -> ADC -> console to stereo input. For the 1/2", the XLR cables going into the converter were then plugged straight into the cables going to the console, bypassing the converter. What I meant by EQ was tonal balance.

 

One thing I will will bring up that you can feel free to discuss is the theory I have of resolution, detail, and volume level. We all know that digital is "stair steps," and that condition gets worse as the volume level is lower. So technically a 24-bit file could possibly have the same resolution of 16-bit because it is too low, and not taking advantage of the extra dynamic range. In this case, imagine the 24-bit file being just a tad quieter on the recording, but then level matched during playback. The 24-bit file in this case could also take advantage of that extra dynamic range in the peaks, but really it almost the same resolution of the 24-bit file. Make sense?

 

Now on this same concept, detail is in the quieter parts. This is the area that gets more "stair steppy" and thus distorted, but then masked by dither. I have always thought that digital to me loses it in the finer details. Not because of sampling rate, nyquist theories, filtering, 20Hz cut-off, but more due to the details, the quieter parts, have less resolution. Now the same can be argued against any analog medium, say tape, that it also has noise and loses resolution in quieter passages. And I would say that is true, but it does not introduce distortion and masking the way digital does.

 

Now back to 24 vs 16 bit per the OP - my question is, does it matter? In stereo files that are congested, maybe not to the extent that we think. Maybe we can't always tell and spot the difference. I do know that almost every recording done today is at 24 bit, but they are tracking everything and need as much detail to fit down to two stereo tracks. Does that track need to be 24 bits? Do we have the system to tell? Do we have the ears to hear it? All questions we must ask ourselves. I know I have several recordings I love that would not benefit me at all in higher resolution. It takes true talent to get and demonstrate something more out of a particular recording. And it is not just one thing, either the medium, format, tracking engineer, producer, mixing, mastering, talent, but all of it. Just as there are many more recordings I would love to hear in a higher resolution format. To me it is not just a comfort thing.

 

I know I am new here, but as someone involved in audio for awhile, I find it hard to think many break things down to just audio spectrum or high frequencies. It is much more than that. Dimension, space, detail, impact, bandwidth, all come well before say any such high frequency information is there. A good recording should sound 3D and have depth for days. And not just wide, like deep space.

24 bits is not an increase in detail over 16 bit, it is an increase in dynamic range. The extra 8 bits are useful when recording and producing but 16 bits is more than adequate for playback. The "stair steps" analogy as used by so many people is completely wrong as it comes from a misunderstanding of signal theory.

post #994 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupitreas View Post

24 bits is not an increase in detail over 16 bit, it is an increase in dynamic range. The extra 8 bits are useful when recording and producing but 16 bits is more than adequate for playback. The "stair steps" analogy as used by so many people is completely wrong as it comes from a misunderstanding of signal theory.


True. It has more to do with the encoding process than the playback or decoding process. You are absolutely correct.

 

Really, a higher sampling rate is more encoded resolution. Although, 24-bits does mean higher precision accuracy and dynamic range.

 

Two speakers than measure the same at any one location, may measure completely different at another, even the same model and brand. I'm not even including non-linear differences. Regardless of whether these speakers are "full-range" or not, they will sound different because they will have different frequency response. If you are more familiar with the term tonal balance, tonal balance is a characteristic of frequency response.

 

Okay. What I am trying to say is that how many bookshelf speakers measure 60-20k Hz? Nearly all of them. But we all know they sound different and some have more natural or pleasing sound. Now two speakers with the same frequency response curve, might also not sound the same. Same goes for amplifiers or any other type of equipment. That is all I am trying to say. Just because frequency response is the same means they will react in the same way.

post #995 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor76 View Post

 

Okay. What I am trying to say is that how many bookshelf speakers measure 60-20k Hz? Nearly all of them. But we all know they sound different and some have more natural or pleasing sound. Now two speakers with the same frequency response curve, might also not sound the same. Same goes for amplifiers or any other type of equipment. That is all I am trying to say. Just because frequency response is the same means they will react in the same way.

 

We can hear bellow 60Hz, and we can feel sub-bass which adds to the experience. Two speakers with the same frequency range will sound different still because they have different frequency response. Two same model and brand speakers might sound different because of manufacturing tolerances and variations. Even if we were talking about the same speaker, put it in one room and it will measure and sound different if you put it in another one.

 

Now lets say you have the same speaker in the same room, all conditions the same. It may still sound different because one day I decided to drink coffee vs. the other day when I decided to down a full six pack of beer. biggrin.gif


Edited by ultrabike - 12/18/12 at 4:10pm
post #996 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor76 View Post

What I am trying to say is that how many bookshelf speakers measure 60-20k Hz? Nearly all of them. But we all know they sound different and some have more natural or pleasing sound. Now two speakers with the same frequency response curve, might also not sound the same. Same goes for amplifiers or any other type of equipment. That is all I am trying to say. Just because frequency response is the same means they will react in the same way.

 

Frequency response isn't just a range. It's a balance level. The devil is in the +/- number that comes after the range. If two speakers have the same range +/- 5 dB they might not sound at all the same. If they have +/- .5 dB or less, they will sound very, very similar, if not identical.


Edited by bigshot - 12/18/12 at 4:15pm
post #997 of 1861

Cross thread post (did not see it referenced in this thread...apologies if I missed it), found a very enlightening article on both sample rate and bit depth:

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

This is worth the read and also worth listening to the files.  I'm in the 24bit matters camp because it seems to mitigate poor mastering/conversion to 16bit.   

 

thanks to phlashbios for posting it.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/626950/24-192-audio-pointless


Edited by GrindingThud - 12/18/12 at 4:26pm
post #998 of 1861

Bookmarked. thanks

post #999 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrindingThud View Post

Cross thread post (did not see it referenced in this thread...apologies if I missed it), found a very enlightening article on both sample rate and bit depth:
http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
This is worth the read and also worth listening to the files.  I'm in the 24bit matters camp because it seems to mitigate poor mastering/conversion to 16bit.   

thanks to phlashbios for posting it.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/626950/24-192-audio-pointless

That first link was good for a laugh.

Differences in speakers is a different thread, and a different forum. It is is nit all frequency response. There are many other factors to consider. Speaker specs are measured in anechoic chamber.
post #1000 of 1861

My confidence is waning.

post #1001 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtaylor76 View Post


That first link was good for a laugh.
Differences in speakers is a different thread, and a different forum. It is is nit all frequency response. There are many other factors to consider. Speaker specs are measured in anechoic chamber.

 

I believe you brought up speakers when you were claimed "two different speakers with the same measured frequency responses, might sound worlds different in these areas..." in regards to "dimension, space, detail, impact and bandwidth.When measuring speakers in an anechoic chamber vs a home theater guess what will be different? Yup, SPL frequency response... Seems room interactions do that to sound waves.

 

Now, what part(s) of that article made you laugh? TBH I though it was very well put together.


Edited by ultrabike - 12/18/12 at 10:05pm
post #1002 of 1861

Thank you very much, I guess that just because the number is higher doesn't mean the quality is gs1000.gif

post #1003 of 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

Now, what part(s) of that article made you laugh? TBH I though it was very well put together.

Seems like just another case of cognitive dissonance.

post #1004 of 1861

I guess, some folks strongly believe in "nothing can sound like analoge." However, I would love if some of these folks were a little more flexible and give other ideas, equipment, and parameters a chance. IMO there is fun in learning and understanding why things are the way they are.

post #1005 of 1861
The audio industry has pretty much decided on the issue. It isn't easy to find a studio that maintains a 24 track 2 inch tape machine for anything oter than dubbing.
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