What make the bits?

Discussions about anything related to samplers and sampling techniques.
Post Reply
Userfriend
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:54 am

What make the bits?

Post by Userfriend » Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:30 pm

Hi. I wonder if it´s the AD and DA converters that alone settle how many bits a sampler has.

User avatar
Pilot352
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Darien, Il.

Re: What make the bits?

Post by Pilot352 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:38 pm

It is possible to feed 16 bit samples into a 24 bit DAC without loosing information. However, feeding 24 bit samples into a 16 bit DAC would loose information. My guess though, the samples would be recorded at the bit level of the hardware. Also, it would be safe to say that the playback would be the same. It wouldn't make much sense feeding a lower bit rate sample into a higher bit DAC. You wouldn't gain anything.
Analog: Mono/Poly, Prophet '08, Juno 106
Digital: Kurzweil SP88, Yamaha DX11, Kawai K4, MS2K, AN1x
Modules: Triton (loaded), Motif ES, MS2KR, E-Mu Proteus 2K, TR626 DM, Roland U220
New Addition: Fender Rhodes 73 Mark I
So much gear... So little time!!!

User avatar
Synthaholic
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1206
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:43 pm
Gear: Motif XS6, TX802, D-550, A6
Location: NH

Re: What make the bits?

Post by Synthaholic » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:20 pm

It's primarily the design of the A/D converter and the word size of the sample memory that determines the bit size of the sampler.

Some A/D converters oversample; that is, they sample more bits than are needed, then the result is rounded off. So, a 16 bit sampler may use a 18-20 bit A/D and D/A. The bits are rounded down to 16-bits when recording and upsampled back to the D/A's bit depth on playback. This results in better accuracy and less noise on the old "parallel" type D/A converters. You might remember CD players in the late 80s advertising "4X oversampling", that's basically just converting 16-bit samples to 18-bits, quadrupling the sample rate, to improve quality by moving quantization noise into higher frequencies where they're easier to filter.
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: What make the bits?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:30 am

Actually, it's the sampler's design team that decide how many bits the sampler has. The AD and DA convertors determine the upper limit of the input/output bit depth, the sample engine determines where it'll sit within those parameters, but the design team works out how it all fits together.

A sampler could use a 24 bit engine internally and then dither down to 16 bits on the output and go through a 16 bit DA convertor. Or it could run everything at 24 bits but have the ability to import 8 bit samples and play them back with all their crunchiness. It really depends on what the people who designed the sampler decided what they'd do and how they'd implement it.

User avatar
sacredcow
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:33 pm
Location: Memphis, TN
Contact:

Re: What make the bits?

Post by sacredcow » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:24 pm

As high as possible. Everything under 96 is substandard and unacceptable in the modern world.
Listening to 16 bit samples is like having one's ears grated by the not italian people who work at olive garden and consider themselves qualified to dump parmesean cheese on your overly large salad if they were to decide to apply their skills to the torture of electronic musicians instead of relatively expensive dairy products. A thoroughly unpleasant experience by any means.
[-X

Though it would be economically beneficial for me to sit back watch your attempts to make music fail utterly as a result of the terrible decision you would be making by buying a device of such inferior quality, I will be nice you and offer my advice as you call yourself both "user" and "friend".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_rate
PowerMac G4 dual, DSI MoPho, E-MU XL-7, Korg ES-1mkii, Korg EA-1, Novation Nova, Kawai K4, Casio vz10m, Casio ht700, Yamaha PSS-480

(5 good trader references and counting)

User avatar
waveterm
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:07 am
Gear: A lot more than you
Location: Arctic

Re: What make the bits?

Post by waveterm » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:43 pm

Huh ?

WT
Just a guy with a bunch of blue things.......now, move on !

Userfriend
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:54 am

Re: What make the bits?

Post by Userfriend » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:15 am

Thanks for answers.

But Sacredcow, it seems that you´re trying to say something else than this subject is about. There´s other threads for your subject. Your attitude did´nt provide anything positive.

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1387
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dan Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: What make the bits?

Post by HideawayStudio » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:04 pm

sacredcow wrote:As high as possible. Everything under 96 is substandard and unacceptable in the modern world.
Listening to 16 bit samples is like having one's ears grated by the not italian people who work at olive garden and consider themselves qualified to dump parmesean cheese on your overly large salad if they were to decide to apply their skills to the torture of electronic musicians instead of relatively expensive dairy products. A thoroughly unpleasant experience by any means.
[-X

Though it would be economically beneficial for me to sit back watch your attempts to make music fail utterly as a result of the terrible decision you would be making by buying a device of such inferior quality, I will be nice you and offer my advice as you call yourself both "user" and "friend".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_rate

Errr... say that again?.... you either have the ears of a well trained bat or some overpaid rep from SSL has hoodwinked you - you're not.... heaven forbid... an audiophile?? Personally I prefer washing all my recordings through a back to back 8 bit converter running at 128KHz... far more precious! Fairlight eat your heart out :)

User avatar
HideawayStudio
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1387
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm
Real name: Dan Wilson
Gear: 163 tubes in a large wooden box!
Band: Shortwave
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: What make the bits?

Post by HideawayStudio » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:16 pm

waveterm wrote:Huh ?

WT
Hmmm.... PPG Wave.... I'm in heaven.... now there is a good example of 8 bit sampling at it's best into analog filters - simple really, one makes the lovely music related harmonics and one removes some of them again :)

When will these modern synth designers get it clear in there minds that better DAC specs do not equal more musical results.... yes 24 bits+ have their place in recording orchestral instruments but synths?? Seriously - sample a synth pad on a 12 bit EMAX and then sample the same pad on an EIV or your latest soft sampler - then tell me which one sounds more alive...

Post Reply