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24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz (final round)

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by seti, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. seti

    seti Guest

    I have heard a lot of guys say the music being recorded today punk, rap, pop etc will not take advantage of 96 kHz sample rate.
    I tried a few projects at 96k and things sounded better to me
    but my machine was overloading.

    Makes me want to build a super computer!

    What do you guys think, is 96 khz worth it?
     
  2. Mercuri

    Mercuri Member

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    24/96 is awesome... I can easily tell the difference. Recording at 44.1 or 48 tends to kill a lot of the presence due to phase shifting caused by frequencies above 20kHz. If you're mixing one or two sources, 48 is fine. But when it comes down to 20+ digital audio tracks being mixed into one stream, the double sample bandwidth allows for more harmonics and more accurate sample values. It's a step closer to analog. 192 is even better, but it's another one of those this that's is heavily affected by how and what you are mixing.
     
  3. Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Most of the studio owners say it's not worth it for them at this time.

    I find it makes the difference between digital recordings I can stand and digital recordings that thrill me :) , at least with the work I'm doing and the converters I can afford (RME ADI-8 DS).
    I record lots of bells, chimes, pianos, vibraphones, fine cymbals, woodblocks, etc., with nice mics and pres, and the difference I'm hearing is tremendous. At 48khz I like my Manley pres, at 96khz I love them.

    Although the high end is perhaps the most radical difference, I hear an increase in articulation and texture at all frequencies.
    BTW, really I am working at 32:96 in Cubase ;)

    If you have really really choice super spendy A/D converters, you may find 48 khz to be more desirable than I find it to be.

    The trick is finding quality downsampling if mixing in digital. This can be a problem.
    If you're mixing to analog, a good mastering engineer will be able to sample the analog at 44.1 with some amazing converters, and things can sound great.
    I'll be sending my analog tape or 24:96 files to Bob Katz, who can handle either with aplomb. :p
    Ted
     
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Present session storage technology makes running 96k a no-no for me, add to that, much higher back up costs and I am off the "96k fence" and wandering round a free man again, on the 44.1/48 side. For the time being..

    :)
     
  5. Ed Kinsella

    Ed Kinsella Guest

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Hi guys,

    I am a bit of a newbie, so please be gentle!
    I am about to aquire a tascam Mx-2424, very exciting, and I was just wondering, given that I will end up on 44.1 anyway (CD) then is there really any overall benefit to 96khz recording except for the engineer mixing down :cool:
    I ask because I will be recording a jazz group soon, and could do it at 96Khz, but don't want to tie up the extra space if it the improvement does not translate though to the final product

    Thanks guys!
     
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    How will it be mixed is the important question..

    On an analog desk or a digital one?

    Only some digital desks can handle 96k.

    Let us know...

    :w:
     
  7. Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    If you're mixing it on an analog board I would try a test recording at 48k and 96k and decided which I prefer. If you're mixing on digital you may not have much choice but if given the opportunity, I'd do as above but comparing 44.1k and 88.2 instead.

    Have fun! :w:
     
  8. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    No it doesn't. There is nothing within the range of human hearing that can be captured at 96kS/s that can't be captured just as accurately at 48kS/s.

    I defy anyone to tell the difference between 96kS/s and 48kS/s. Can you hear a difference? Probably, but this isn't because of the difference in sample frequency. It's because of the filters. Brickwall anti-alias filters are very difficult and expensive to impliment at 48kS/s or lower, whereas it's much cheaper to create good filters @ 96kS/s. So at the cheaper end of the market expect to hear a significant improvement running at 96kS/s over 48kS/s. The high end of the market, Prism or DB Tech converters for example, have quality filters @ 48kS/s so don't expect to hear much if any difference between 96kS/s and 48kS/s.

    Greg
     
  9. Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Greg, wouldn't you happen to be a disciple of that hairy weirdo named John Watkinson??? :D

    His articles in Studio Sound issues of yore used to be really enjoyables! ;) :w:
     
  10. Ed Kinsella

    Ed Kinsella Guest

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Hi guys, thanks for the replies,

    I will be mixing down throungh an analog desk (probably a Midas). But my main question is really more fundamental, surely it does not make any difference what sample rate you take the recording at if it is going to end up at 44.1
    :confused:
     
  11. Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    "There is nothing within the range of human hearing that can be captured at 96kS/s that can't be captured just as accurately at 48kS/s.
    I defy anyone to tell the difference between 96kS/s and 48kS/s. Can you hear a difference? Probably, but this isn't because of the difference in sample frequency. It's because of the filters. Brickwall anti-alias filters are very difficult and expensive to impliment at 48kS/s or lower, whereas it's much cheaper to create good filters @ 96kS/s. So at the cheaper end of the market expect to hear a significant improvement running at 96kS/s over 48kS/s. The high end of the market, Prism or DB Tech converters for example, have quality filters @ 48kS/s so don't expect to hear much if any difference between 96kS/s and 48kS/s."

    Hey Greg.
    This is what I've been hearing from Nika Aldrich and others as well, but of course not what I've been hearing from my humble RME box.
    I'm hit a ceiling with my PowerBook system where I can only get 10 simultaneous tracks of playback at 32/96 (Cubase 5.1/32). Any less on the bit rate or the sample rate ( I guess I could do 88.2) and the sound suffers quite a bit. This on all those lovely percussion beasties, cymbals gongs pianos vibes especially.
    It's the disc that's getting overwhelmed first. I use a PowerBook for reasons of the low power draw (I'm on solar/hydro) and secondarily portability. Doesn't seem like I can gain significantly by doing anything but going to a desktop, and in my situation, that would use as much juice as everything else combined, and not portable.

    So I really have to wonder, what kind of money does a person have to spend on converters to get ones that sound at 44.1 better than the RME ones sound at 96? When you mention dB do you just mean the Gold ones or also the modular dealies?
    I really need at least 6 A/D converters minimum to be able to deal at all. $9000 a stereo pair is out of the question, for me.
    $5000 for 6 or 8 channels of A/D would just about bust the budget, for a few other things as well... but maybe within the realm of possiblity.

    Is something like a Mytek still in that maligned category of converters that don't sound as good at 48 as they do at 96?

    This is all still so far from the sound of the instruments in the room, it's pitiful. Still I am getting the first really sonically enjoyable digital recordings of my life, but only at 32:96.
    Thanks!
    Ted
     
  12. soulconnect

    soulconnect Guest

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Ted,

    Are you really recording 32 bit sound files with Cuebase 5.1? Or are you just referring to the internal processing depth that then comes out your converters as 24 bit sound? You keep talking about this awsome 32/96 set-up and I don't have a clue what you're talking about.

    Steve
     
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    I know minimizing rounding errors are one of the biggest reasons for maximizing bit depth when mixing digitally. (Which would answer the corresponding question: Why mix at 24 bit when it is going to end up at 16?) Wouldn't maximizing sample rate also diminish the effect of rounding errors, or is this non-tech person misunderstanding the process? If it is true, it would certainly be a compelling reason to go with the doubled sample rate while mixing.
     
  14. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Greg, I can easily tell the difference between 48k and 96k on my PSX-100SE. How much more money do I have to spend to get "better" filters?

    Whatever. I've already decided that as soon as I can afford to, I'll be going 96k. The difference is worth it.
     
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    If mixing on analog, I would do the live jazz session at 96k.

    :w:
     
  16. Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    "Are you really recording 32 bit sound files with Cuebase 5.1? Or are you just referring to the internal processing depth that then comes out your converters as 24 bit sound? You keep talking about this awsome 32/96 set-up and I don't have a clue what you're talking about."

    Yes Cubase VST/32 5.1, Nuendo, and the just-announced Cubase SX will record 32bit wordlengths, if desired, rather than truncating to 24 bit. This sounds quite a bit better, even when processing is minimal.

    I just finished a 29 page thread on 96 from the Massenberg forum archives, and found this from Hutch at Manley Labs:

    "we can push the 48K button, and store at 48K rates, if and only if we have great filters, until then, use what sounds best with your gear."

    So where are the great filters?
    Other than the very spendiest boxes?
    Ted
     
  17. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    OK, a little explanation. At 48kS/s the anti-alias filters have to cram in a complete removal (-120dB) of all frequencies above the Nyquist point and it has to do it within a very small frequency range. IE. The filter starts filtering above the range of human hearing but below the Nyquist point. Obviously there's not a great deal of room to impliment these filters and to do it without bandpass ripple, phase and other problems is next to impossible without shed loads of processing power and a lot of latency. I believe Bob Katz created a perfect filter for 48kS/s on his computer just for the hell of it, but it took about a day to process 1 min of audio. Now that's what I call latency!

    With 96kS/s the Nyquist point is at 48kHz. So the anti-alias filter has (let's say) from about 23kHz to 48kHz to do it's business. The filter curve can be much, much smother than the extremely steep curve that must be used at 48kS/s (or 44.1kS/s) and so avoids a lot of the problems associated with steep EQ curves like ripple, phase, etc. And is therefore relatively cheap and easy to impliment.

    Bare in mind that to impliment really good filters at 48kS/s requires a great deal of R&D and really serious processing power to accomplish without latency. It's really only the very top of the market that gets close, that's why the dB Tech converters cost what they do. For just two channels of A/D the dB Tech probably has many times the processing power of say an 8 channel RME. Plus of course all the analog components, clocking etc., will also be of much higher quality.

    Having said all this I will be upgrading my PT Mix rig to HD and working @ 96kS/s. This is entirely due to cost considerations. If I had the money I would buy banks of dB Tech converters and perhaps a Prism and stay at 48kS/s.

    I'm wondering what the high end commercial studios are going to do. Are they going to jump on the 96kS/s just because that's where most of the industry is heading or are we going to see a split in the industry where those of us with a restrictive budget are all at 96kS/s but the major studios are all at 48kS/s? Or how weird would it be if in a few years processing power and filter algorithms become so good that the next upgrade from 96kS/s was going back to 48kS/s?

    The question about recording and mixing at 96kS/s (preferably 88.2kS/s) just to master back to 44.1kS/s is a good one. In theory it would be better to do this than to track and mix all at 44.1kS/s. The reason is simple: If you record all your tracks at 44.1kS/s you are applying your converter's filters to every track and then summing the artifacts those filters cause. Let's say 24 tracks of summed filter artifacts, nasty! If on the other hand you track and mix @ 88.2kS/s and then master down to 44.1kS/s you only have to apply the "nasty" filters once, at the final stage. So in theory at least, and assuming you don't own top of the range converters, you should get higher quality results from tracking and mixing @ 88.2kS/s and then mastering down to 44.1kS/s than simply doing it all at 44.1kS/s.

    Greg
     
  18. Ed Kinsella

    Ed Kinsella Guest

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Greg,

    Good answer man! that has set it straight for me.
    Trouble is, now I am tempted to go for the MOTU 1296 at considerable extra expense!

    cheers

    Ed
     
  19. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Great post, Greg!
    Explained in a way that even a knucklehead like me can understand! :w:
     
  20. Re: 24 bit 96khz vs 24 bit 48 khz final round

    Yes, thanks Greg.
    You confirm my understanding of this limited aspect of conversion, the filter issue.
    When you talk about dB Technologies are you also referring to the modular converters or just the "gold" line?
    I talked to a friend last night who uses one of the old Cranesong Hedd's and can hear no difference between 48 and 96 on those converters.
    Can anyone confirm or deny this with their own listening?

    If this is so, or even really close, the Spider again rears it's head on my horizon.

    The dB modular series also looks interesting from here, especially as you can get in the door with 2 channels for about $2500 for rack unit, clock unit, and a two channel A/D conversion module, and then add each 2 ch. module for about $1500 apiece. Also has both analog and digital soft limiting, which would save me springing for several channels of good limiting, something I could stand as well. But then these things are AES/EBU so I'd have to get a $600 RME converter to ADAT box (also does sample rate conversion.)

    Since I'm on a TiBook and firewire is my only drive hookup (cardbus slot has RME Digiface attached), I can only get 10 tracks playback at 32/96. I could double the number of quality tracks by going 48 with the dB, the Spider or ?.
    Compare expense (for me this means solar panels- basically would multiply my computer draw by >10 times) and inconvenience of going to a fat desktop system, and it makes sense.

    A thought for Greg:
    If I end up with 2 or 4 "A" channels of conversion and using a few lessthan great channels of what I got at 48k to pick up the slack, is it feasible to avoid the worse of the filter artifacts on the cheaper converters by rolling off high end before mixing? I'm thinking i could put bass, bass drum, and that (where I really don't need the basndwidth) through the RME's ("B" channels).

    Thanks!
    Ted
     

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