24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded!
Oct 18, 2020 at 4:12 PM Post #5,986 of 6,480

bigshot

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Phrases like "possibly not even audible" are weasel words. There isn't a chance in hell that any human being is going to hear something down that low no matter how well they're trained. Human hearing has limits and -120dB is so far beyond them, it's pitiful.

I've found that people use vague phrases like this for one of two reasons... 1) they want to protect themselves from someone speaking up with a crazy unlikely exception like "if you were in the atmosphere of Venus and the sound was inside your ear canal you could hear it!" or 2) they want to instill doubt so you say to yourself, "If he says I *probably* don't hear it unless I'm trained, then I believe I can hear it because I try really really hard!"

Audiophiles spend more time talking about inaudible sound than they do things they can actually hear... and that makes sense... Digital audio and modern electronics have solved the problems of fidelity to the level of human hearing. The only think left to sell you is equipment that improves things beyond your ability to hear.

The truth is that plain vanilla CD sound with dithering is already far into the range of overkill. Even without dithering it's more than you need.
 
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Oct 18, 2020 at 9:45 PM Post #5,987 of 6,480

Brahmsian

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Phrases like "possibly not even audible" are weasel words.
To be fair to the person who wrote what I quoted from, I think the ”possibly not even audible” is in relation to the rare instances where the high resolution master was tampered with when dithered/downsampled to CD specs. He provides the following example:

”If you’re able to get the exact data that’s released by the artist, you can be certain that you’re hearing that music as-intended. This really started to become a well known problem when a few artists, including Metallica, released ridiculously overcompressed albums… and then those same tracks showed up on video game and sounded so much better.”
 
Oct 19, 2020 at 12:24 AM Post #5,988 of 6,480

bigshot

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Iit didn’t sound bad because of the technical specs, but because of lousy engineering. You can add that as a third reason if you want.
 
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Oct 19, 2020 at 5:13 PM Post #5,989 of 6,480

Brahmsian

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Iit didn’t sound bad because of the technical specs, but because of lousy engineering. You can add that as a third reason if you want.
Correct but in the end it makes no difference if, for whatever reason, they're going to degrade the sound on the redbook compared with the master as recorded. I don't imagine it happens very often though.
 
Oct 19, 2020 at 6:21 PM Post #5,990 of 6,480

71 dB

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Maybe someone can react to this:

”when a musician is being mixed in, say, 96kHz and and 24-bit, the output of that mixing session, the master tape or file that’s released for mastering to CD, tape, vinyl, etc. is very likely going to be 96kHz, 24-bit. So anything that’s done in mastering, including dithering down from 24-bit to 16-bit, downsampling from 96kHz to 44.1kHz, that’s all going to affect sound. These days, the changes are minor, possibly not even audible unless you’re really trained in critical listening. But there’s also the presumption that’s being done right. That there’s not record company mandate for crazy compression levels to make the music sound louder on the radio, etc.”
https://www.quora.com/Can-you-hear-...ty-between-24bit-and-32bit-192khz-music-files

Reacting to the bolded part: For human ear the sound is not affected unless the dithering and downsampling is somehow done completely wrong, but if they are done half-decently there is no affect on sound for human ears (bat ears perhaps?).
 
Oct 19, 2020 at 6:27 PM Post #5,991 of 6,480

bigshot

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"Possibly not even audible..." You're right. Whenever I've supervised a mix and we monitor the bounce down, it hasn't been audible. It shouldn't be audible.
 
Oct 20, 2020 at 9:35 PM Post #5,992 of 6,480

Brahmsian

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Here is the sort of thing I expect from truly audiophile-grade music download services. I don't care if it's PCM or DSD or what the resolution is as long as a) it's a good recording and b) it's an exact copy of the master in whatever resolution it was recorded in. This way, I know I'm getting the best version possible. Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 9.34.39 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 9.25.26 PM.png
 
Oct 20, 2020 at 9:47 PM Post #5,993 of 6,480

bigshot

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The first paragraph just says they add a data fork to tag the music. That is nothing special at all. You can do that with iTunes. I don't know what that second paragraph means. It sounds like sales pitch. First of all, there is no such thing as a "native DSD" master. You can't mix in "native DSD". It has to be bumped to PCM to do that, and each song is a separate project file. Until an album is mastered, the songs aren't in sequential order and the levels and EQ aren't all matched to play through as an album. There is absolutely no audible difference between a 24/96 mastered album and a 16/44.1 bounce down to a CD, so the file on the optical CD is audibly identical to the mastered file. If music is poorly mastered, that has nothing to do with how early in the process it is. Digital has no generation loss. This whole paragraph is made up.

Every download service has the same kind of boilerplate saying they have the best master. But the fact is, they get what the distribution network of the record company sends them. In many cases, that is taken from CD rips. (Even a lot of the ones that claim to be HD audio.) There's nothing wrong with that at all if the CD has been well mastered. If you then take that rip and put it in a DSD file, it's just going to be a massively large file that sounds exactly the same as the CD and the 24/96 master. It doesn't matter what file format it is.
 
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Oct 21, 2020 at 10:28 AM Post #5,994 of 6,480

reginalb

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Here is the sort of thing I expect from truly audiophile-grade music download services. I don't care if it's PCM or DSD or what the resolution is as long as a) it's a good recording and b) it's an exact copy of the master in whatever resolution it was recorded in. This way, I know I'm getting the best version possible.

Uh, I don't believe for one moment that the source for most music for download or streaming today is optical media. They aren't ripping CDs, unless they're for some reason caught up in some dinosaur of a process.


...But the fact is, they get what the distribution network of the record company sends them. In many cases, that is taken from CD rips...

I mean, seriously? How can that be? I work in tech, so maybe the recording industry is about 2 decades behind, but I just can't believe that would be the case. What the hell would be the point of writing it to optical media just to remove it from that optical media and send it out that way? That makes zero sense from a cost perspective.
 
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Oct 21, 2020 at 11:40 AM Post #5,995 of 6,480

colonelkernel8

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Uh, I don't believe for one moment that the source for most music for download or streaming today is optical media. They aren't ripping CDs, unless they're for some reason caught up in some dinosaur of a process.




I mean, seriously? How can that be? I work in tech, so maybe the recording industry is about 2 decades behind, but I just can't believe that would be the case. What the hell would be the point of writing it to optical media just to remove it from that optical media and send it out that way? That makes zero sense from a cost perspective.
Maybe not an actual CD rip, but the raw image for a CD.
 
Oct 21, 2020 at 12:46 PM Post #5,996 of 6,480

KeithPhantom

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Maybe not an actual CD rip, but the raw image for a CD.
Or master tapes. I haven't found many direct-to-DSD 1-bit PCM (or PDM/PWM if you prefer or decimation D/S) ADCs. Usually, these companies have "audiophile-standard" equipment, it wouldn't be weird of them using tapes at this point and mixing/mastering in analog equipment.
 
Oct 21, 2020 at 1:08 PM Post #5,998 of 6,480

colonelkernel8

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The first paragraph just says they add a data fork to tag the music. That is nothing special at all. You can do that with iTunes. I don't know what that second paragraph means. It sounds like sales pitch. First of all, there is no such thing as a "native DSD" master. You can't mix in "native DSD". It has to be bumped to PCM to do that, and each song is a separate project file. Until an album is mastered, the songs aren't in sequential order and the levels and EQ aren't all matched to play through as an album. There is absolutely no audible difference between a 24/96 mastered album and a 16/44.1 bounce down to a CD, so the file on the optical CD is audibly identical to the mastered file. If music is poorly mastered, that has nothing to do with how early in the process it is. Digital has no generation loss. This whole paragraph is made up.

Every download service has the same kind of boilerplate saying they have the best master. But the fact is, they get what the distribution network of the record company sends them. In many cases, that is taken from CD rips. (Even a lot of the ones that claim to be HD audio.) There's nothing wrong with that at all if the CD has been well mastered. If you then take that rip and put it in a DSD file, it's just going to be a massively large file that sounds exactly the same as the CD and the 24/96 master. It doesn't matter what file format it is.
Doesn't Pyramix keep everything in DSD when mixing?
 
Oct 21, 2020 at 3:57 PM Post #5,999 of 6,480

bigshot

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Maybe not an actual CD rip, but the raw image for a CD.

I have a friend who works in music licensing. He worked on building the library for the company of the files that would be licensed out. For legacy titles on analog recordings, it can be a royal pain to pull the masters and make a transfer. A CD is all signed off on and approved by definition. I remember hearing him saying that they were ripping CDs to PCM for a lot of older material. Stuff that was produced digitally probably does exist as a mastered digital file, but the older stuff wasn't always archived in that form. Also, just because a company has the rights to license a recording, it doesn't mean that they possess the physical master for it.

It doesn't really matter though because you can take a mastered 16/44.1 PCM file used in CD replication and rip a 16/44.1 PCM file ripped off the CD and they will be identical. The format doesn't matter.
 
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Oct 21, 2020 at 4:01 PM Post #6,000 of 6,480

bigshot

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Doesn't Pyramix keep everything in DSD when mixing?

I went looking for a "direct DSD" recording back when I was doing my tests on SACD vs CD. I found a few on the Pentatone label. There aren't many of them because all the recording and mixing has to be done live on the fly since the DSD stream isn't able to be modified without converting to PCM. It doesn't matter though, because direct DSD doesn't sound any different to human ears than 16/44.1 PCM.
 
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