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What bitrate do you record at?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page Previous  1, 2 [all]
Author What bitrate do you record at?
dogoftears
it is my opinion that if your converter sounds noticeably better in higher SR, then there is something wrong with the converter.

the digidesign 192 converters that were prevalent in the recording industry some time ago were notoriously bad, so much so that an entire market of external "converter clocks" was invented to try and solve the problem of the thing sounding like absolute shite. See this paper for more info--
http://pinknoisemag.com/pink-papers/pink-paper-002

felixer wrote:
as regards the difference in sound between different bitdepth and samplerates: imho it really depends on the quality of the a/d and d/a converters. i remember when a friend got the first dat-recorder that could do 96kHz and we did lots of tests to see if we could hear a difference with 44,1/48. turned out this mew machine sounded better with those lower rates then the old machine too Mr. Green i was just a better recorder/playbacker overall. so i can imagine 16/44,1 to sound better then 24/96 in some cases.
eg i never liked the sound of protools. but i came around when they started with 24/96. not because of the specs but because they went to a different make converters (and maybe better electronics overall).
so don't be hung up on specs!
leeski
24/44.1

do we still need to dither down for 16-bit seriously, i just don't get it
Shledge
I always export my music as WAVs as the same samplerate/bit depth as what I used. Never had to worry about changing to 16-bit.
dogoftears
leeski wrote:
24/44.1

do we still need to dither down for 16-bit seriously, i just don't get it


yes.

if you are converting to 16 bit you MUST apply dither or there is a very good chance you will get truncation distortion.
if you are mixing 16 bit files in a floating point environment (such as your DAW) and doing automation/fx changes etc, you must redither even when making a 24 bit export, or you will almost definitely get truncation distortion.

if you are bouncing a 24 bit file from a floating point environment such as your DAW, then and only then do you not "need" to dither. i have not ever heard truncation distortion from a 24 bit project bounced out to fixed PCM in 24 bit. doesn't mean it can't happen. technically when going to fixed from float one is supposed to dither.

truncation distortion is very obvious. your file will sound harsh and clippy, different from how it sounded in the DAW.
felixer
leeski wrote:
24/44.1

do we still need to dither down for 16-bit seriously, i just don't get it


yes. as soon as you go to a lower bitdepth you need to dither. obviously if you publish only in hires wav's there is no problem. but if you go to cd you will hear a nasty distortion. esp in the quieter parts/fadein or fadeout. esp decay of cymbals etc ...
now there are several ways to dither. prob a matter of taste which one you prefer ... dither is actually adding noise, so i like the ones that add that noise in the higher spectrum where you're not as likely to hear it.
davidh
44.1k/24 bits
PISS.EXE
My favorite A/D/A is 20 bits applause
felixer
PISS.EXE wrote:
My favorite A/D/A is 20 bits applause

that's a second gen adat, right?
groove
msmithsp wrote:
Curious to know the encoding and file parameters you guys use since a lot of modular is analogue and skies the limit for sound quality.


Converters are probably pretty good these days - the tech's come a long way. In the cheaper converters, you're losing something due to analog circuitry made to hit a price point and overall topology/design, probably less so than the converter chips themselves(I'm guessing).

Then again: who am I?

But I think the most salient point is: TRY IT. If you can't hear any difference, then what difference does it really make? If you're the one mixing your material and you can't hear a difference, I'd recommend going with what saves you the most disk space and avoids extra conversion cycles.

When it comes to bit depth, however, I record at 24 bits, always. The headroom is very forgiving, and you can dither down to 16 bits for export without any huge artifacts.
shreddoggie
My experience suggests that it takes time to appreciate the differences, and that this is also the case with machines with different quality converters etc.

I was doing the 88.1 thing for a while and convinced myself it was better but then reverted when I found my machine bogging on complex tracks + a mastering engineer told me it was the emperors new clothes re: the musical style (electronic).

Fast forward to the new machine and restoring a few old tracks... What the hell? These sound great... OH - I see... higher sample rate. Interesting ...

Personally I wouldn't trust anyone on this subject unless they spend all day long in treated rooms and are professionally familiar with all sorts of gear / frequency response / dynamic range. I am an excellent trained musician with decades of experience and I flop back and forth (like a fish on a dock) wondering if I can actually HEAR any difference at all or if its just my self-indulgent delusion at work.

You can certainly make great music at 44.1 / 16 or even a cassette 4-track.
MRoyce
The contrarian in me now wants to get sample rate and bit depth as low as will sound acceptable after reading through here. 12 bit 36k should be nicely warm and punchy, right?
hsosdrum
MRoyce wrote:
The contrarian in me now wants to get sample rate and bit depth as low as will sound acceptable after reading through here. 12 bit 36k should be nicely warm and punchy, right?


Try it and see for yourself. Whether or not it satisfies you is all that matters.
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