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Author Topic: 16 bit still relevant?  (Read 4115 times)

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Offline willndmb

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 04:41:10 PM »
I record 24 and release 16
Tapers are the onlY ones I know who even know what 24 is. Most I encounter don't even know that 16 is cd standard. It's just much easier for the masses to enjoy at 16
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 04:43:52 PM by willndmb »
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Offline aaronji

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Re: 16 bit still relevant
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2017, 06:06:40 PM »
This isn’t really how discretization of audio signals (or any signal, for that matter) works.

I think I have a pretty decent (layman's) understanding of the process in audio (and deal with discretization in different environments in my work); I probably should have been a little more careful with my phrasing. Maybe, "In effect, extra bits of noise." I guess I also should have mentioned that the extra dynamic range (extra bit, halving of quantization error, 6 dB reduction in digital noise floor with commensurate 6 dB increase in dynamic range) contains noise that is almost certainly inaudible with most playback systems (and at non-deleterious volumes). In any event, I don't think playback at 24 bit is an improvement over 16 bit, particularly given the dynamic range of most music. Maybe I am missing something here, but I have also read many papers that see no benefit in higher bit rate playback. YMMV and whatnot...

With respect to upsampling for post work, that was something posted by ~Jon Stoppable and involved bandwidth limiting to a final target rate. I will try to find the posts when I have some time.

I record 24 and release 16
Tapers are the onlY ones I know who even know what 24 is. Most I encounter don't even know that 16 is cd standard. It's just much easier for the masses to enjoy at 16

Me too. I archive the 24 bit raw stuff, but, even for myself, I listen at 16...

Offline Ben Turnbull

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 12:58:44 AM »
When your target consumer/artist ::) doesn't even own a DAP/Smart phone, yeah, 16bit > CDr is still necessary.
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Offline tim in jersey

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2017, 02:03:27 AM »
24 bit for mastering. 16 bit for distribution.

Love being able to set levels conservatively @ festivals with multiple stages and just let the rigs run. Boost 'em in post. And long as I'm at/near 16 bit resolution my ears are happy. Love having head-room for the "unexpected-drum-thwack" or the "bass bomb". 

I'm running quality gear. Mics, pres, recorders. Noise floor from the gear is of little concern to me. 

Esepecially true when I go .007... I record music, not audiences... I can always correct/squash audience applause after the fact in post. It's a pain in the ass, but I can do it....

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Offline noahbickart

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2017, 08:20:42 PM »
I record at 24bit, 48kHz. But not because I can of any quality difference between 48 and 96, but because and the files are so much smaller at 48 kHz. They copy to the computer fast. They render much faster.

I record at 24 bit for added headroom, But not because of any musical content with over 16bits of dynamic range, but becauseI can run levels a little lower for safety, and know that I'm not going to clip- and that I'll normalize in post.

I release two versions, one at 24bit / 48kHz and one at 16bit / 44.1kHz.

The former is a stereo-balanced and normalized version of the raw data, for Audiophiles, purists, and people doing MTX with released SBD versions. The latter is a Redbook compatible, SBE fixed source. This gets EQ, Dynamics work, Stereo processing, and some **very** subtle "analog" saturation like one might get from transformers or tubes. It sounds better to most people without fancy stereos or headphones. That's also the version that goes on my phone for the subway or the car.

This strikes me as the best of both worlds, an "audiophile," hi-fi version, to make me feel good about myself and my gear; and a version which should sound really good, even to people who grew up in loudness wartime, and who are listening over earbuds or computer speakers.

Could I pick out the difference between the 24/48 and a straight 16/44.1 conversion in a ABX test? I doubt it.
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2017, 08:34:30 PM »

I release two versions, one at 24bit / 48kHz and one at 16bit / 44.1kHz.

The former is a stereo-balanced and normalized version of the raw data, for Audiophiles, purists, and people doing MTX with released SBD versions. The latter is a Redbook compatible, SBE fixed source. This gets EQ, Dynamics work, Stereo processing, and some **very** subtle "analog" saturation like one might get from transformers or tubes. It sounds better to most people without fancy stereos or headphones. That's also the version that goes on my phone for the subway or the car.


Useful to know.  I don't necessarily think I'd realized that distinction but had picked up your classical ones when I see them (in 16bit).  Those probably benefit a lot from.some careful work to even things out. 

Given a choice of 16 or 24 as a listener I usually take the 16 unless I'm getting someone's raw files or think I might work on them myself at some point.   

When I post it is almost always 16bit and edited.  A lot of musicians just want MP3.  Many don't know what a flac is and I'm not sure any want to edit their own stuff.  They trust me to put a good polish on things. 

Recording should always be 24bit though mostly for safety and the better starting point for processing. 
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Offline DATBoy

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2017, 01:09:10 PM »
maybe my ears are shot after listening to so much loud music for so many years, but to be honest I have never heard the improvement over 24 bit audio vs 16 bit audio. So I do 16 bit 44.1 khz nearly all of the time - with exception to DVD videos, where I go for the DVD PCM specs of 16 bit 48 khz. On occasion, I ask my friends what sample rates they want - if they know what all that is. So pretty much the bare minimum whenever possible for CD audio and DVDs. Reasons why I record 16 bit is because it is smaller in file size, sounds good enough for me, and I don't do a whole bunch of "remastering" to my audio after I'm done. Less is more IMO.

Offline goodcooker

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2017, 05:23:26 PM »

All 24 for me. My several year old Samsung phone will play 24 bit FLACs in the native player.
You can burn a CD from 24 bit FLACs it just takes a few minutes longer so I guess I don't see the point in dithering...
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Online nak700s

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2017, 03:33:03 PM »
For me, I will always download the 24bit files.  That is also how I record, of course.  If I know I want to burn the show to a CD, I will grab the 24bit and the 16bit, or just let the burning program knock the 24bit down to 16bit on its own.  I don't do mp3, and do my best to prevent people from converting my recordings to mp3 and circulating them that way.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2017, 05:01:55 PM »
I like Noah's general approach as a way to balance quality, economy, and file management.

Although I'm not an uploader, I've long planned to do something similar in making the move from focusing almost exclusively on recording towards doing the processing I've intended and making eventual wider sharing possible of formats which make sense.  Caveat- I personally record everything in multichannel (usually some format which I can manipulate for surround-reproduction) even when the eventual release target is probably only going to be 2-channel stereo.  I want to have both available without a major file management hassle or massive storage burden.  The outline below is also informed by my own listening tests, preserving quality where necessary without excess.

Generally, I plan to produce and store 3 to 4 variants-
>The raw archival files, perhaps with non-destructive corrections applied (the things which can't be done better later as Moore's Law, my skills and available software advance - sync, trimming, major glitch repairs, normalization, inter-channel balance)
>The feast (the no holds-barred full-resolution multichannel surround mix version)
>The standard fare (two-channel down-mix of the above, preferably matrix surround encoded to provide for straight 2ch or matrix-decode surround playback, probably 16/44.1 SBE fixed Redbook compatible to remain CD burnable and to optimize file storage size)
>The snack (lossy-compressed version of the same, probably MP3)

Most of the effort go into assembling the feast.  I can derive the standard fare and snack from the full feast without too much additional effort.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2017, 08:27:16 AM »
^ that sounds like way too much work  ;D

I generally record and distribute my AUD tapes in 16/44.1. Occasionally 24/48 is necessary, but I do it on a situational basis. On average I probably spend 20 minutes 'mastering' the recording (EQ and light limiting.)

That being said, in my studio work I never track in 16/44.1. Always 24/48 or higher, although I usually reserve 96k for acoustic music. Never worked at 192. File size is prohibitive 
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2017, 12:40:28 PM »
I approach it similar to Noah, but simpler still:
  • Record 24-bit / 44.1kHz.  I can't tell the difference between 16 v 24, or 44.1 / 48 / 96.  But I can set my levels a bit more conservatively with 24-bit.
  • Track, edit, and use for myself and share (if appropriate) a single version in 16/44.
That's it.  Still relevant, and if I still had to record at 16-bit it wouldn't have much, if any, impact on my recordings -- I'd just sweat the levels more.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 12:44:42 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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Offline live2cd

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2017, 04:12:09 PM »
Recorded in 16bit/48kHz from 2003 through 2011. (1998>2002 I recorded exclusively on MD).
I had friends that filmed shows on mini-DV and always offered them up the 16bit 48kHz files for DVD authoring purposes. I then dithered to 44.1kHz for myself, dime and the archive. In late 2011 when I realized hard drives were coming down in price, I decided to dip my toe in the 24bit pool. I now record everything in 24bit 48kHz. I end up creating 2 filesets, 16bit for mass distribution and the 24bit for me personally. I always upload the 24bit to the archive as there is the space, why not and offer 24bit in the source text via email contact on dime and other torrent sites. I also post every show I record on my personal Facebook and offer it there, as well. Its rare I get a request for the 24bit files, but Im happy to oblige if someone loves the tape.

I never listen in 16bit anymore. I upgraded my home computer audio with the Audioengine A2's and the Audioengine D1 DAC and the sound is out of this world. I realize most people stream, but I record these shows for myself first and the public 2nd. I want to make sure it sounds the best on my system and whatever anyone wants to do with the files after I upload is up to them.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 04:17:14 PM by live2cd »
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Offline furburger

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2017, 06:35:15 PM »
24 bit is the "Betamax" of taping.

wait for 32.
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Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: 16 bit still relevant?
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2017, 09:12:14 AM »
24 bit is the "Betamax" of taping.

wait for 32.

 :facepalm:
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