24 bit vs 16 bit recording

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
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supermel74
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24 bit vs 16 bit recording

Post by supermel74 » Mon May 21, 2007 6:36 am

How much of a difference are we talking? Is this a dog whistle type thing or is there a noticeable difference? The interface of the Korg D888 seems pretty ideal but it's only 16 bit

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Post by Architecture » Mon May 21, 2007 7:26 am

Personally, From what i have heard from my 24bit recording, there is virtually no difference between 16 bit and 24 bit. The only time I can say it matters is when your processing it, otherwise, 16 bits is enough.

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Post by Analog Freak » Mon May 21, 2007 7:39 am

To my ears, the sample rate has a lot more to do with audio fidelity than sample depth does. I can't hear any difference between 16 bit and 24 bit recordings at the same sample rate.
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Post by i_watch_stars » Mon May 21, 2007 9:18 am

I consider myself to have pretty good ears, and I can't tell the difference between 16 and 24 bit. Perhaps in certain specific situations, like having a huge hall reverb at 24 bit, and another at 16, I might, but realistically, no.

But I don't think thats the point; its more of a mastering issue isn't it guys? When I was getting my stuff mastered, the engineer told me that highest bitrate is preferable because it leaves more "digital headroom" for the mastering engineer to mess with the track before he dithers it down to redbook format. Right?

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Post by Jexus » Mon May 21, 2007 10:32 am

i_watch_stars wrote: Right?
I guess right.
We hear only up to 16 bit and 44.100 Hz.
Everything that goes beyond is just for the sake of easier work of the professionals.

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Post by tallowwaters » Mon May 21, 2007 11:41 am

i think you can perceive the difference, but you cant hear it, per se.
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon May 21, 2007 1:07 pm

If you've got your gain structure set up right and record at the optimum level all the time without going over 0dB, and you don't add any digital gain, eq or compression when you're mixing you won't hear a difference between 16 bit and 24 bit.

If you're recording in the real world though and you don't want to be pushing 0dB all the time, or if you want to use plugin compression or EQ then you really can tell the difference between 16 bit and 24.

Contrary to what someone else here said, increasing sample rate doesn't really change. Most studios still record at 44k even though they've got convertors that can go up to 192k and the reason is that your file sizes quadruple but you can't really hear the difference. Maybe Michael Jackson would record at 192, but not many others do.

Interestingly, a lot of people think recording at 44.1k sounds better than 96k, because you don't have to interpolate sample values when you sample rate convert it to 44.1k for cd. If you're going to DVD 96k is worth it, but for music 88.2k is better.

Anyway, I'm going on a bit now. Bottom line is 16 bit is pretty good for most things, 24 bit is noticably better if you're going to be doing any processing to the signal. I'd have thought that only having 8 tracks on the 888 would be more of a limitation than being limited to 16 bit. Then again the user interface seems pretty good to work with.

I'd prefer the 888 to something that could only record 4 tracks at a time and had a crappy user interface, even if it was at 24 bit.

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Post by Soundwave » Mon May 21, 2007 2:22 pm

I can tell the difference with softsynths in 24bit 44.1khz and its very noticable in 96khz on Sonar especially in the high end but this also depends on what you’re listening with.
There’s lots of technical jive about the real world deficiency’s of 16bit sound like being slightley flat in the lower dynamixc ranges but the common conscientious is that degradation in sound is greatly reduced when converting down from 24 to 16bit and it all most likely gets reduced again for Mp3 anyway. I’ll always use 24bit/44.1khz audio on Sonar as its not much more hassle for my audio PC so I guess its nice if you have it but not too essential, great albums have been done on a lot less.

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Post by OriginalJambo » Tue May 22, 2007 1:31 am

Can I tell the difference? Not really.

Is there good reason not to use 24-bit? Not really.

Does it give you a better signal to noise ratio when you aren't pushing for 0 dB? h**l yes!

My advice - if ya got it ya may as well use it. If you don't I wouldn't worry about too much. Chances are it'll either end up 16-bit dithered on a CD or worse...an MP3. ;)

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Post by REwire » Tue May 22, 2007 3:21 am

Sure, you can't tell the difference in the same file at 16 or 24 bits but that's not what matters. If you are in a DAW, adding effects and then mixing down, you want to be at the highest bit depth possible to keep the quality of the data as it goes through all these processes. If you're a Windows user all should be recorded at 32bit, 24 for Macs.
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Post by jasedee » Tue May 22, 2007 3:43 am

Jexus wrote:We hear only up to 16 bit and 44.100 Hz.
What?????

The human hearing range extends to 20kHz, most people probably cant hear past 16kHz.

We cant hear bits either.... but they are important for dynamic range in the digital realm.

This is a prime example why people shouldnt listen to just anyone on internet forums, cos most of the time, they have no idea what they are talking about.
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Post by Wiglaf » Tue May 22, 2007 4:19 am

jasedee wrote:This is a prime example why people shouldnt listen to just anyone on internet forums, cos most of the time, they have no idea what they are talking about.
This is a prime example why people shouldn't take everything so bloody seriously.
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Post by wiss » Tue May 22, 2007 4:20 am

bottom line when you play it from a cd its 16bit......in theory you will get a more detailed recording
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Post by jasedee » Tue May 22, 2007 4:39 am

When you have an amazing playback system, incuding acoustically treated surroundings, you can hear the difference.

Also, starting with amazing pre's, converters etc helps.

But for the average home/project studio, I would say it doesnt matter terribly what bit depth you choose. 16 would be fine in most circumstances
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Post by Twiddler » Tue May 22, 2007 8:11 am

when bitcrushing, I often find myself smiling at 11 bits... (and about 71% of the original samplerate 44.1)

is this wrong?

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