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Article explaining the lack of need for high sample rates and 24 bit playback

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  • Article explaining the lack of need for high sample rates and 24 bit playback

    Some people here have commented that drum modules or VST's sound better at 24bit .This article expalins why higher sample rates such as 192k can actually sound worse , and 24 bit is no advantage for playback,only recording.

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

    Peter
    Last edited by scd; 04-03-12, 11:37 PM.

  • #2
    Interesting read..thanks Peter!
    TD9+6v module, KD-8, custom Diamond Electronic 12" snare + 2x8" + 2x10" toms, PD-85, 4xPD8, 2xCY8, CY-5, CY-12r/c, Pearl P902 double pedals, Diamond Electronic COWBELL!
    HPD-10 ATH-50M phones and 4 Vex Packs for the TD-9

    Gibson Les Paul. + pod xtl, Norman acoustic, Fender J-Bass + gt10b

    Clavia Nord Stage 2 Synth/Stage Piano Samson SR850 'phones

    cubase, garritan personal orchestra, JABB, symphonic choirs, Sibelius, reason 6.5, IPAD 2 with lots of soft synths...

    three shelter cats

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    • #3
      No point to go higher than 44100Hz, we can't hear it and also most stuff is recorded at 44100 anyway. The only advantage to 24 bit I can think of would be to get rid of the conversion to 16 bits. Everything is recorded at 24 bits so you have to convert it, use dither etc. I don't know how audible that conversion is though.

      Higher sample rates will be inaudible but it will affect the sound in the audible spectrum. This was mentioned in the article as a bad thing. I've heard audiophiles use that as a positive thing.

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      • #4
        That was interesting that he discovered 192k actually made the sound worse. I understand the bit depth much better now. Recording and mixing at 24 bit makes sense for the headroom but playback doesn't. The designer's at fxpansion told me they cannot hear the difference playing BFD in 16 bit vs 24. This article expains why.
        Peter

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        • #5
          It was enlightening to read about audio in relatively the same context I'm used thinking about images (I'm a designer by trade).
          Very similar traits to digital imaging, really, in terms of bit depth and file format (compression).
          But more importantly, now it's easier to understand why Roland SPDs use 16bit and not 24bit samples.
          And it never fails to blow my mind how utterly stupid certain audiophiles can be about this stuff... clearly science can't convince them.
          Triggers: Roland TD-30; PD-125s, PD-105s; KD-120, VH-11, CY-15R, CY-14Cs, CY-12C, BT-1, Hart Dynamics Hammer
          Hardware: Gibraltar 9600 Series (SN/HH/Pedal), Short Booms, Tube Clamps, Grabbers, Road Series Chrome Clamps on 2 x MDS-9 Rack Tube sets
          Other: Roland SPD-S, Korg WaveDrum, Superior Drummer (all SDXs and 3 EZXs), Roland DP-2 Pedals

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          • #6
            Audiophiles are very gullable. i would always tell them that it made no sense that they would buy cables more expensive than what the studio used when making the recording in the first place.
            Peter

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            • #7
              I just recently finished a double blind placebo controlled study with some friends. We found that a six pack of beer makes any recording sound absolutely amazing!! It works great on my own recordings too.

              Jokes aside, good read. Thanks for posting.


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
              TD-4 module, Gretsch Catalina Stage A to E 5 piece, Paiste Alpha and 201 stealth cymbals, Sonar 8.5 PE, Steven Slate Drums, Andromeda A6, Ibanez JS1000, Fender Jazz Bass MM signature, various VST's ,REDDI, Roland audio interfaces, Sonic Cell, Adam A7 monitors

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              • #8
                Too much smoke and mirrors in that article. Too many unsupported statements. Too much confusing digital storage with analog sound. Next.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tdubl26 View Post
                  I just recently finished a double blind placebo controlled study with some friends. We found that a six pack of beer makes any recording sound absolutely amazing!! It works great on my own recordings too.

                  Jokes aside, good read. Thanks for posting.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  You and your mates got double blind on a 6 pack of beer?
                  And that's (low alcohol) US beer?
                  Couldn't happen here in Oz...


                  Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                  Too much smoke and mirrors in that article. Too many unsupported statements. Too much confusing digital storage with analog sound. Next.
                  C'mon Herc, you can't leave us hanging like that.
                  Not looking for an argument, looking to hear why you thought that.
                  A bunch of it went over my head, but the gist of it seemed to make sense and the case as presented didn't seem to fail in its logic.
                  At the end of the day, once things move outside of human audible spectrum, then it is academic, no?
                  Triggers: Roland TD-30; PD-125s, PD-105s; KD-120, VH-11, CY-15R, CY-14Cs, CY-12C, BT-1, Hart Dynamics Hammer
                  Hardware: Gibraltar 9600 Series (SN/HH/Pedal), Short Booms, Tube Clamps, Grabbers, Road Series Chrome Clamps on 2 x MDS-9 Rack Tube sets
                  Other: Roland SPD-S, Korg WaveDrum, Superior Drummer (all SDXs and 3 EZXs), Roland DP-2 Pedals

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                    Too much smoke and mirrors in that article. Too many unsupported statements. Too much confusing digital storage with analog sound. Next.
                    What do you find to be smoke and mirrors?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Likening audio to light - not a relevant comparison. States that infrared can't be seen because we don't have the sensory hardware - this doesn't mean that infrared can't be sensed and cause subsequent damage. e.g. they make you wear goggles when having infrared treatment.

                      States that 20Hz - 20KHz is all the human ear can hear therefore anything outside of this is unnecessary (paraphrasing for time sake here) - upper and lower harmonics beyond the threshold of hearing provide a great deal of the auditory information. How many times have you all "felt" a very high pitched sound that you aren't really hearing? Much of cymbal sound is above 20K but it is still critical to that sound.

                      States that amps waste energy etc to produce v. low and v. high freqs - this is why the amps installed in high end systems are over powered - so they can produce these important freqs without stressing the amp. These freqs provide depth and fullness to the sound. Studies on high qual. instruments e.g. Stradivarius show that the upper harmonics are one of the main differences between those and "cheaper" instruments.

                      Blanket statements e.g. "192kHz digital music files offer no benefits" appear as pyschological reinforcement to the reader where the statement has not been proven.

                      Confuses the issue of digital storage with analog sound reproduction.

                      Now, if the article had simply said that 192/24 was unnecessary for people who download and listen on crap quality systems like ipods or whatever that would be ok. High end systems are a different matter.

                      enough

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                        States that 20Hz - 20KHz is all the human ear can hear therefore anything outside of this is unnecessary (paraphrasing for time sake here) - upper and lower harmonics beyond the threshold of hearing provide a great deal of the auditory information.
                        Let's start with this for unsupported statements. Explain how harmonics which are beyond the human hearing range "provide a great deal of the auditory information". That's like saying that pages which an author wrote but never published have a great impact on your reading of a novel.


                        Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                        How many times have you all "felt" a very high pitched sound that you aren't really hearing? Much of cymbal sound is above 20K but it is still critical to that sound.
                        What do you mean by "aren't actually hearing"? Perhaps you're referring to the sensation of hearing a very high isolated tone (such as a 15.7 kHz tone from a CRT) which don't typically occur naturally. It's an odd sensation to be sure, but one that can be replicated in lab quite easily and which you are clearly hearing.
                        "NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency....Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....Our four...no...Amongst our weapons....Amongst our weaponry are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again."
                        www.dissidents.com
                        www.myspace.com/jimfiore

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                        • #13
                          I'm with Herc on this topic. and, with a little audio related rambling....

                          That same article came up in another recent thread and, as usual, that thread turned the math required to reproduce, (with electronic devices), what occurs naturally all around us. There is no arguing with the math. Among the many other things, Engineers use math every day to model, and to help us understand, visualize, and manipulate what is happening all around us. Some audiophiles and all speaker designers use math to model their designs, substantiate the theories behind their particular designs, and at the same time, prove the inferiority of a competitors design.

                          I've been building speakers since I was old enough to hold a screwdriver. Long before I understood the complexity of the mathematics required to build a GOOD speaker. I've played piano, trumpet, baritone, drums, sang in choirs, played live in marching, concert, rock and country bands, dabbled in guitar, worked as a live and studio sound engineer, and grew up in a family of 7 musicians. On that note, I think my ears are fairly well trained even if my abilities to manipulate what I hear on a mixing desk are not that great.

                          I've been delving into the design and construction of line/linear array speakers for the past few years. This is a very hottly debated topic in the forums because, if you were to mathematically model a line array speaker, nobody in their right mind would go anywhere near them. The design of a proper line array speaker, as we humans understand audio mathematically, is physically impossible. At the same time, the math that makes the line array look so bad on paper can also make a lot of conventional multi-way speaker designs look bad, but that point is never brought up by the designers of conventional speakers.

                          If I was to apply a truly mathematical simulation to the speakers reviewed in the following link, they would be CRAP. So I guess they are? I won't get deeper into the theory I'm talking about here but to me, what we each hear, (for some reason that hasn't been correctly modelled yet IMO), is not something that can be properly described on paper or a computer simulation.

                          http://www.stereomojo.com/Nola%20Bab...akerReview.htm

                          And another interesting little tidbit for the BBE crowd......
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LosL-gdHLpk

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                          • #14
                            Well, speaking as an electrical engineer who has been working on audio (analog and digital) for decades and who is not shy of math, I'd like you to expound on this statement: The design of a proper line array speaker, as we humans understand audio mathematically, is physically impossible. I don't understand what you mean by this. I am very aware of the problems entailed with lobing due to phase issues, but by "impossible" are you referring to "perfect" or "impractical"? And what does a line array have to do with the question at hand? It's not a very good analogy (unlike the analogy between light and sound, wherein we are at least talking about the physical sensing of waves over a limited range).
                            Last edited by JimFiore; 04-04-12, 03:43 PM. Reason: "not" typo
                            "NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency....Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....Our four...no...Amongst our weapons....Amongst our weaponry are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again."
                            www.dissidents.com
                            www.myspace.com/jimfiore

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                            • #15
                              Of course line arrays are not impossible. I have built many different versions and they sound great, to me and to others, but, that is a totally individual thing. On that note though, I recall I posted a picture here a year or so ago of some real crappy ones I had built simply as an experiment to see how the math corresponded to real life, and see if I wanted to persue it any furthur. In one of the replies I was of course lectured on all the downfalls of line arrays, comb filtering, blah, blah, blah and all the negative things that had sparked my curiosity in the first place.

                              My very vague analogy to the topic is, a lot of people, (not everyone of course), will outright dismiss certain things wrt audio production/reproduction based entirely on the mathmatical models we have available at this time.

                              What ever happend to our ears?

                              Call me wacked, I couldn't care less, but based on the direction that most audio based discussion take, I am absolutely convinced that some, (not all), of our currently available mathematical models do not accurately reflect what an individual will hear much better than a weather man can tell me what's going to happen next week.

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