Creating 24bit CDs, Masterlink, only option??

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Drumlea, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    Hi all,

    I have a knowledge problem.

    I have been recording in a Boss BR900CD and it records in 24 bit. I've done 2 tracks for a friend of mine and she is going to put them on her forthcoming debut album. Obviously I'm relatively new to recording.

    She recorded most of the album at a commercial studio here in Ireland. The studio wants to mix the tracks and needs them as 24bit. I'm not sure how to give them a cd of 24bit tracks.

    I've been trawling the forums and have read about the Alesis Masterlink. An experienced friend of mine also loves this product. I can get one, new from a local distributor for 500 euro.

    I'm in the process of upgrading my gear to a Yamaha N12, Adam P11a pair, TL Audio 5052. I'm wondering:

    1. How do I get a 24bit cd to the studio.
    2. Would it be worth my while investing in a Masterlink in the long run as I hope to do a lot of tracking, mixing for local artists.

    Sorry for the long post, all advice will be greatly appreciated,

  2. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    New York
    I don't really know anything about the machine you have, but I do see in the description that it has a USB port for syncing to a PC. You could transfer the WAV files that way, organize them, and burn them as a data disc. That's one way to do it, but sorting out the undo's, punch-in's, and time code/track placement issues is a completely different story. Hopefully there's a song maximize feature on the Boss that could help with this, or maybe even a software that came with it to make things easier. Just a suggestion, like I said, I don't know anything about that recorder. Someone else here may be able to give you a better solution. Maybe the Boss can burn direct data CD's?
  3. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    I quickly googled your product, found and downloaded your manual. On page 150, it explains how to do what you want.

    The studio is going to want to mix your raw recorded tracks. That means, they don't want a mixed down stereo track on CD. They want the original files.

    So, open your manual to page 150, and read how do burn the raw wav files on to CD-R. I did not read further, but I'm sure that you could transfer the wav files to your computer, and probably send them to the studio via the internet. Most studios will do this.

    It would be best to give them the tracks without any effects or processing. Just the raw recording. Nothing else.

    You could include a mixed down stereo CD to show them your mixing chops and vision. If you can, ask your friend if you can sit in on some of the mixing sessions.
  4. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "1. How do I get a 24bit cd to the studio."

    Easy as pie, don't burn it as an audio cd burn it as a data cd. Just drag and drop the files onto a data cd.

    Your best bet is to go and get a usb key, you can get a few gb for only a few dollars and use that as a portable data solution.

    If you have larger data requirements get a portable hdd.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    You know this is really one of those stupid things??!!

    Standard audio CD's are only 16 bit. Nothing else is compatible as a Redbook standard CD than 16 bit. The request is idiotic. Greener is absolutely correct. If the studio needs a 24 bit CD it's not a studio. It's a beginner. You deliver on CD (under 700MB ROM data only) DVD, under 4.3GB, data only, hard disk drive (your choice of sizes) data only, commercial downloads servers such as Pando, real-time data transfers through AOL instant messenger & others, data only. Plus, you don't remix a CD. You remix from multitrack sources. So like I said earlier, beginners, clueless, recording school, beginners.

    Sure. You can dither a 24-bit recording to 16 and a hide those additional eight bits in the noise floor. Big Deal. WTF ?? Like I said, beginners.

    Get with the program.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    Thanks guys. And thanks VonRock. Yeah the guys want the individual tracks in 24bit. I really don't understand why. I'm presuming the sound detail of 24 bit is better, fuller.

    But to be honest the BR900cd isn't exactly an amazing machine but I learned a lot on it. So now I'm stepping up a gear. You can check out some of my tunes on if you like.

    So do you think that Alesis Masterlink would be of any use considering the set up I mentioned in my post. I have a new MBP and was going to get an external hard drive 7200rpm.
  7. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    Hi all. I tried burning the files as data and when I look at the properties in iTunes it says they are 16bit.

    Any suggestions??? Please!!
  8. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    What method did you use? Did you transfer them to your PC first via USB, or just use the built in CD burner? You should be able to drag and drop them if connected via USB. Maybe you can get a card reader and read directly from the card.

    Try burning an AIFF file, and see what that comes out as.

    If the file is sitting there in 24 bit, you should be able to access it somehow. Experiment. Read the manual. Ask Roland.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    That sounds like a logica solution to me. If it works with an SD card, get a card reader and you could either transfer them to pc or just burn directly from the card.
  10. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    Yeah I have a card reader but the br900 stores the tracks kinda weird. They're .bro files. So some kind of conversion is necessary I think. And the bro900, lo and behold converts them to 16bit.

    I have a card reader and will try what you suggested guys.

    The only fast solution I have come up with is using garageband to convert them to 24bit. Does that make any sense?

    And thanks so much for the effort. I can't wait to get my Yamaha N12 with Cubase.
  11. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    It looks like there is something called "BR Wav Converter v2.0" that should do what you need.

    It's in the download section here

    How are you getting the file from the BR to Garage Band?
  12. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    At the moment I'm burning it as data to a cd and dragging it to garageband so that's probably what's going wrong.

    I've downloaded the BR Converter and will read it from the compactflash card with my reader.

    Fingers crossed.
  13. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    It reads this unit has 24 bit ad/da conversion and 24 bit internal processing.

    Everything else (import, export, backup, etc.) is either 8 bit or 16 bit.
  14. Drumlea

    Drumlea Guest

    Yeah that's what I was afraid of. Why does the studio need the files in 24 bit? Does it actually make that much of a difference to the sound?

    As you can tell I'm not very well versed...
  15. Greener

    Greener Guest

    It's up to you.
    The studio could be doing processing that could be benefited by having 24bits... Ask them.

    If it's paramount to winning, send them your recorder.
  16. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    16-bit isn't going to kill you, but 24-bit has an awful lot higher resolution (16-bit having around 65,000 points of resolution, 24-bit have 16.7 million) and 48dB more dynamic range, no dither noise, etc., etc., etc.
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    24 bits does not provide greater resolution. It provides greater dynamic range for inexperienced hands and incompetent postprocessing. They could & should take your 16-bit 44.1kHz material which they could up convert to 24-bit to suit their needs. The noise floor of your microphone preamps is greater than the noise floor of 16-bit digital processing. So none of this really makes any sense. Beginners, all of them. Clueless beginners. But if you have cut quality sounding tracks, that's all that should be necessary. Nobody can tell the difference between 16-bit & 24-bit when listing to playbacks. Inherent electronic signal to noise prevents any noise for from being lower than -105 DB generally speaking. It doesn't matter that 24-bit provides for 140 DB dynamic range when electronics can only deliver less than 110 DB and rock-and-roll typically isn't included in such specifications. Tell them to get off of their high horse and that you're delivering quality tracks. Let them play with it as they need to.

    Silly silly silly boys
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  18. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    No matter what the bit depth or the sampling rate it still goes back to garbage in garbage out.

    I get people who want to master at 196 kHZ and 24 or 32 bit. There stuff could well fit into 44.1/16 but they want this nirvana of audio perfection. Most times the song writing, the playing, the recording and the mixing is problematic at best and down right BAD at the worst so the quality of the audio DOES NOT REALLY MATTER ALL THAT MUCH.

    Musicians and budding recording engineers would be better served by worrying about things like playing in tune and writing and recording GREAT music than chasing something that in the end really does not matter all that much to the overall "sound" of their recording.

    196 kHZ and 32 bit is JUST a way for the manufactures to sell more equipment. DVD-A, SACD never caught on because basically people want to listen to their music when and where they chose and don't want to sit in a room with a calibrated multichannel monitoring system to listen to their IPOD with headphones. They are listening in their cars, in their bedrooms and out walking to classes.

    If it were me I would keep it at 24 bit up until the final mastering and let the mastering engineer dither it down to 16 bits

  19. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    These posts of yours are embarassing Remy. Your bad advice to use 16 bit resolution is made even worse by the fact that your posts are otherwise very knowledgable and informative...

    Your claim that 16 bit audio has plenty of dynamic range is misleading: the bottom end of that dynamic range is crunchy as hell.

    Here's my standard dither test: I take a snare sample, run it through a long reverb impulse, then drop the gain by 40 or 50 dB (ie: only half way down the dynamic range that Remy claims for 16 bit audio). I then export a control version at 24 bit, another at 16 bit with no dither, and then further 16 bit files with the dither I wish to evaluate. The resulting files can then be normalised to hear the results at sensible listening levels:

    1. 24 bit file. This sounds just like the original version with a nice smooth reverb tail that decays to silence.

    2. 16 bit file with no dither. Note the horrible crunchy distortion, and the dead stop when the signal drops below the LSB.

    3. 16 bit file dithered with the free MDA dither plug. Note that the reverb tail no longer sounds distorted, and that it continues for longer than the undithered version. But, the dither noise itself is quite obnoxious.

    4. 16 bit file dithered with the MegaBitMax Ultra algorithm included in the Izotope Ozone mastering plug. Note that the dither noise is now much less audible (despite actually having higher peak levels) because the noise has been pushed towards the ultra low and high frequencies to which we are less sensitive. (Encoding this file as an MP3 may have added some artifacts: hard to tell as I am currently using my built-in laptop speakers in a hotel lobby!)

    Remember, all this is happening at -50dB. In other words, if you work at 16 bit resolution you are at best burying your low level detail in dither noise, and at worst turning it into a crunchy distorted mess. This will be compromising the subtle differences between left and right channels that provide good stereo imaging as well as the subtle details that provide the depth and space around a good acoustic recording.

    Think back to your math lessons: you have to perform a series of calculations, and you need the final answer to 2 decimal places. If you round down to two decimal places after each calculation your errors accumulate each time, so the correct way to do it is to preserve as many decimal places as possible throughout each calculation and only round down once when you have the final answer.

    I have no doubt that your 16 bit recordings sound good Remy. But I also have no doubt that they would sound better if you worked at a higher resolution up to the final stage, because this is a basic law of mathematics. Working at 16 bit means rounding down after each calculation and in these days of 24 bit converters and cheap data storage it is totally unneccesary.
  20. Greener

    Greener Guest

    All those samples prove is you know how to screw audio up.

    If I record my snare in 16bit then in 24bit. Both at 44.1khz. Will it sound mental either time?

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