24-bit sound

the_psychologist

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Heya

I'm not the most educated audio student, and I'm wondering what you all think of 24-bit sound in DJing.

I took a ProTools class this quarter, and the difference between 16 and 24 bit files was quite obvious to me.

It all got me thinking..... Producers are losing so much fidelity when they distribute their music on audio CDs. I imagine many people produce the tunes in 24 bit, then compromise them for the consumer market.

Imagine Posford's stuff with radically improved sound quality. Or (the old) Infected. Or any studio wizard.

I would love to play out higher resolution tracks, as my Traktor DJ rig now supports them. I can play 24-bit FLAC files, which are huge but sound great.

Anyway, when will we outgrow CDs? When is it time to explore new mediums and restore the missing bits to psytrance?
 

psyfi

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Goran

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Never. As each bit of precision gives you ~6 dB of dynamic range, 24 bits is good enough for ~144 dB, which is already over the pain barrier - 300+ dB would liquify internal organs and generally kill people :Smile3:

Extra bits are only useful during production, eg long samples, oscillator & filter stability, that kind of thing. 24/96 is good enough as delivery format :Smile3:
 

Night'S-Kool

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Did you know you can spend £40 on just a shielded kettle lead......Apparently the electricity we use is littered with noise, and from what audiophiles swear to me, if you set up a hi fi that justifies spending a grand alone on the cables.......You'll hear your CD's clearer and deeper than you thought possible. So if you're after the real audiophile experience, you better be ready to put your money where your mouth is...........
 

Geoff3

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miszt said:
i think if your concentrating that hard on the hidden parts of the music, your missing the point of muzik... :irolleyes:

surely the point is if you are listening through proper hi fidelity, then you don't have to concentrate to hear the hidden parts of the music...

A friend recently bought a £3000 hi fi, and all I can say is WoW, I definetly heard little bits I've never heard before, in CDs I know well...
 

mafkaroo

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I was always under the impression that 16bit 44khz was pretty much the optimal format for listening experience. Higer frequencies you can't hear, and with the hot-pressing of modern cds, the dynamic range is at its most optimal. Other bit depths/frequencies are used in production because of the treatment/summation of sounds, ie its just down to accuracy in mathematical algorithms used by effects and reducing noise.
 

dukas

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I think I'll use 24-bit where I can but considering most players don't support it I guess it will take some time. I havn't seen any download sites in other than 16-bit to buy and if they change there's the storage factor and dowload times.
 

Gibbonflux

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The main reason for having sample rates more than 44kHz is so that you don't have to use such a steep anti-aliasing filter, and can position the filter cutoff further away from the audio band. Apparently this makes a difference to the sound quality but I'm hard pressed to hear the difference tbh (and I'm a sound engineer)

24 bit has more dynamic range than the human ear, whereas 16bit does not...so there;s definitely a point in having 24bit...but dance music generally doesn't have much dynamic range once mastered so i highly doubt you'd hear the difference with trance.
 

Sturdy Pete

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Night'S-Kool said:
Did you know you can spend £40 on just a shielded kettle lead......Apparently the electricity we use is littered with noise, and from what audiophiles swear to me, if you set up a hi fi that justifies spending a grand alone on the cables.......You'll hear your CD's clearer and deeper than you thought possible. So if you're after the real audiophile experience, you better be ready to put your money where your mouth is...........

audiophiles will tell you anything to make you part with your money for useless crap. :imad:
So long as your earthing is sorted out and you use balanced audio (or ideally digital, duh) up to the input of your amp/monitors, all is good.
if you want to be silly about it, have mains cables as far away from the audio cables, and if they must cross paths, do so at right angles. and put your PC in another room :irazz:

as for the bit depth/sample rate, the more the better (more bits = less quantisation noise) and although we can't actually hear individual frequencies much above 15-20kHz, i have read a few papers which suggest that the perception of sound is influenced by the presence of harmonics well above 20kHz, although i cant remember how they demonstrated this to be the case.. if i come across it again i'll post a link.
 

Gibbonflux

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Yeah...some "HI-FI" speaker cables have arrows which tell you which end of the cable connects to the speaker and which to the amp. How the hell can that possibly make a difference to the sound?
 

Faction

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Also, bear in mind that a 24-bit D/A converter with a full 144dB S/N ratio does not yet exist. 5 minutes googling gives this:

Prism ADA-8XR: Dynamic range 105dB
Pro Tools 96 I/O: Dynamic range max 114 dB
Apogee Rosetta 200: Dynamic range 114 dB

ALL 24-bit D/A converters "self-dither" (to put it tactfully) well before the 24th bit.
 

silky

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Sturdy Pete said:
as for the bit depth/sample rate, the more the better (more bits = less quantisation noise) and although we can't actually hear individual frequencies much above 15-20kHz, i have read a few papers which suggest that the perception of sound is influenced by the presence of harmonics well above 20kHz, although i cant remember how they demonstrated this to be the case.. if i come across it again i'll post a link.

24 bit/96khz is definitly gonna be standard in the future everything just takes a long time to catch up, specially the dj side of it. there is a difference, but as someone said, its not so obvious with dance music if most of the sounds are being generated by an oscillator that has a relativly simple wave form, however many FX u chuck on them.

put it this way, a lot of the recordings for classical music are 32 bit Float, then dithered down to 16bit for cd's when sold, this would result in a recording that sounds better than if recorded @ 16bit.

from what i remember the reason 44.1khz is the standard is because its just over twice the maximum frequency that a human can hear because 2 waveforms can overlap and create a new (higher) waveform, so you would miss out on the detail of these 2 combined sounds...or something like that...bah
 

Goran

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Silky:

there is a difference, but as someone said, its not so obvious with dance music if most of the sounds are being generated by an oscillator that has a relativly simple wave form, however many FX u chuck on them
Wrong, and no one here said that.

from what i remember the reason 44.1khz is the standard is because its just over twice the maximum frequency that a human can hear because 2 waveforms can overlap and create a new (higher) waveform, so you would miss out on the detail of these 2 combined sounds
Wrong again. Read up on quantisation noise and nyquist :Smile3:
 

Faction

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silky said:
put it this way, a lot of the recordings for classical music are 32 bit Float, then dithered down to 16bit for cd's when sold, this would result in a recording that sounds better than if recorded @ 16bit.

Recorded at 32-bit float? I didn't realise they'd rewritten the laws of physics to allow A/D converters with over 1000 dB of headroom. :P

There are no 32-bit float A/D converters, and there never will be; in fact one of the only times I can recall when a google search has returned only one significant result was when I fed it "32-bit float A/D".
 
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