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Cubase 32bit or 24bit ?

Discussion in 'Cubase' started by markgo, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. markgo

    markgo Guest

    Hi,
    I have bought an M-Audio Delta44 to use with cubase to increase recording clarity/headroom etc. I assumed the best setting then was to record at 96k/24 bit as per the spec of the card.
    To maximise quality in clean tracks and resolution of reverb plugins (which still sound muddy) should I be using 32bit float?

    thanks
    Mark.
     
  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    Hi Mark,
    from what you write I expect you to be more or less a beginner in the audio world. I will write this from that point. As time goes and you learn more and find out about these things you will use your own ears and experience to change things.

    So my suggestion is that you use 44.1kHz and 24 bit. There is rarely any really big difference going above 44.1kHz as sampling frequency. As for 24 bits of resolution I find that it saves a lot of trouble, not necessarily that it sounds very different from 16bits. The trouble you save is not having to be quite as exact with setting up levels.

    Inside Cubase (at least the modern versions) are all 32 bit, but there is not much to think about there as that is done inside the program.

    From the point of 44.1 / 24 you can start on making your recordings better. Positioning the mic and sound proofing your room is one of the things to work on.

    Gunnar
     
  3. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    Hi Mark,
    from what you write I expect you to be more or less a beginner in the audio world. I will write this from that point. As time goes and you learn more and find out about these things you will use your own ears and experience to change things.

    So my suggestion is that you use 44.1kHz and 24 bit. There is rarely any really big difference going above 44.1kHz as sampling frequency. As for 24 bits of resolution I find that it saves a lot of trouble, not necessarily that it sounds very different from 16bits. The trouble you save is not having to be quite as exact with setting up levels.

    Inside Cubase (at least the modern versions) are all 32 bit, but there is not much to think about there as that is done inside the program.

    From the point of 44.1 / 24 you can start on making your recordings better. Positioning the mic and sound proofing your room is one of the things to work on.

    Gunnar
     
  4. markgo

    markgo Guest

    No, just new to Cubase and 96/24 technology.
    Done some tracks at 24 and wondered for example if recording in 32 would brighten the Cubase reverb plugins.

    ta
     
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I am an old-timer and record everything in 16-bit, 44.1kHz. 24 and 32-bit is fine if you think eating 2 quarter pounders is better than eating 1 quarter pounder. Bit levels will not brighten the sound. It only means that you have more dots in the connect the dots picture. 32-bits means greater resolution and that's all. Good technique and equalization in your mix can brighten the sound, besides, CDs are still 16-bit 44.1kHz.
     
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    ?? :-? ??

    More dots? Huh?

    Now, if we were talking sampling rates - maybe (but even still, it's not more dots, just more frequencies to plot with dots).

    As for 24 bit or 32 bit, it simply means more volume resolution and headroom. When effects (specifically computer-based effects) work their voodoo on your audio, they perform mathematical computations. Considering the fact that these computations often take the numbers representing your digital music and lengthen them (multiply a number with lots of decimal places by another number with lots of decimal places) and you now see that the volume/signal has changed a tad (this is VERY oversimplified.)

    Do this a few times, even at 24 or 32 bit and you'll start to hear these changes. Do it at 16 bit and you'll definitely hear these effects. Think about it, how do you remain at 16 bit when the number you are now working with doesn't fit into a 16 bit string???

    Yep, you guessed it - truncate it. (Or round it off and cut it off).


    BTW - the argument
    holds no value here.

    With many of the dithering algorithms currently available, there are many CDs which have noise signals on par with 20 bit or even greater bit depths.

    :cool: J.
     
  7. 3dchris

    3dchris Active Member

    If your converters are 24 bit then setting nuendo/cubase to 32bit float is just a waste of space with no sonic adwantage. Please understand that this IS NOT an INTERNAL BIT RESOLUTION setting. It's a recording setting.

    just my 2 cents

    chris
     
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Umm... Nope.

    You're right that you're not recording at 32 bit from the converters, so therefore, you're recording 8 '0's at the end of the bit stream. (At least that's what I think you meant...)

    But, what happens when you do anything to manipulate the sound? Ahh, that's where those 8 remaining bits come in. If you make a volume change, compression, or pretty much ANY thing else, you now perform a computation on your bit stream. The stream now becomes longer. 32 bit float allows you to take it all the way out to the point of insanity. It makes dealing with tons of effects a lot easier on the ears and the music.

    J.
     
  9. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    True... but like Cucco said with the right software you can get that 16bit/44.1k CD sounding like its 20bits or better.
     
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Good performers and good recording techniques always sound like they are 32-bit! With bad performances and bad technique it all sounds like crap! So what are you beginners talking about? It's not the gear, it's the people. The equipment is truly secondary.
     
  11. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    from the cubase manual:

     
  12. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    ^^ I bet the majority of the people dont take the time to actually read any manuals.

    That is one of the first things I do when I get something, is read the manual briefly so I have an idea of what the f*ck I am looking at! :)

    P.S. This applies to putting together furniture or any other thing that requires some assembly.
     
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    uhh, excuse me...

    First, it's interesting that you call us beginners when you've provided absolutely no information about who the hell you are!

    second - your post is proposterous. true, a good recording and good musicians and agood engineer should sound good in almost any case. but, there are factors - such as digital resolution, which have a drect impact on the sound.

    a native 16 bit recording that stays 16 bit from cradle to grave is easily identifiable.

    j.
     
  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    who the hell am I?

    Dear Jeremy et al.,

    I'm sorry that you feel that some of my answers are preposterous. They're not. I guess you think that your 10-year tenure outweighs my over 35 year tenure professionally just because you had some money to buy some nice esoteric equipment? Just "who the hell am I and what are my
    qualifications?" Really.... I'll try to be brief, it's difficult to be with as much experience as I have, so I won't be brief.

    It appears that in this forum there are many newbies that really don't know what's going on. I am not trying to show you up, our moderator, just trying to help further competent, practical, perhaps even inexpensive, engineering. I realize that some simplified answers are necessary here (hear) for our beginners in this forum, in our audio community. Equipment junk is not the answers. I have done maintenance and construction from Fort Lauderdale, to Wally Cleaver's in Fredericksburg to Media Sound in New York City, which also includes Paul Wolff, from API/ToneLux to Bruce Kane at Sterling Productions Ltd.. I have been known to have an exceptional pair of H-EARS. I have done numerous recordings through the years of orchestral/choral music all over town and at the Kennedy Center, to operatic recording with the New Zealand symphony orchestra and Alessandra Marc (all with that low end equipment like API).

    I grew up in Motown as a little kid, quite literally. How did I do that? My father used to play violin string tracks for Motown at United sound systems. He would take me down there from the time I was seven years of age. I knew then I would be working in this business the rest of my life.

    He was a fairly accomplished violinist having been concertmaster for the New Orleans Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Syracuse New York Symphony and until his death with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.

    My mother was also no slouch, a former Metropolitan opera star, a voice teacher from Michigan State University to Peabody Conservatory to the Catholic University currently, at 81.

    I grew up listening to everything with a passion for all those knobs and dials. I entered the broadcast industry with my third class license, in only four days of study,at age 15. I had built my own radio station production facility, at home, from equipment my father had removed from his advertising agency production studio, at age 13. My console, was a Western Electric 23c, from 1948. My recorder was a Magnacord, from the 1950s. That was my first production facility I built without even knowing how to read schematics well.

    At age 15, my parents divorced and we moved to Baltimore. I almost immediately went to work for WBJC as an on the air operator, 2 days a week, for jazz extravaganza with Vernon Welch and the Thursday night Opera theater with Duke Baugh. I also was able to take over the audio responsibilities of the Maryland ballet company from, Thomas Bray, my mentor and the father of vertical hold as we know it (from Bell Labs). I even designed and built a custom console for my Pikesville high school radio station from an old, salvaged, Presto tape recorder that had a 3 microphone input mixer, that I expanded to 5 inputs, with cueing, having removed all of the preemphasis and demphasis equalization circuits for a flat response. You know, all of this stuff had those nasty sounding vacuum tube things. By the time I was 17, I was a high school dropout but was in the business working for Flite 3 recordings in Baltimore. Craig Kenney, vice president, offered me a job as chief engineer but I told him that that position had too much responsibility for a 17-year-old. So I turned on my mentor to the job, who'd been let go from University of Maryland
    after 23 years. I ended up being a production and young music engineer there. By the time I was 19, I ended up as a disc jockey for the number one progressive rocker in Baltimore, WKTK. By the time I was 21, I went to work as a production, on air and maintenance engineer for WFBR/WBKZ. That didn't last long as I got a phone call from my best high school friend, his father in the industrial film business, about making that recording studio we had always dreamed about in their new warehouse, Hallmark films and recordings. We didn't have much money but we did buy a brand-new MM 1200, 16 track off of the AES floor in New York. We
    couldn't afford an API, like Flite3 had, so I custom designed and built a console, built around Op-Amp Labs modules. It sounded better than the factory built units as it was around all of my own gain staging. This, all in 1978, before you were born, remember? After that, I found myself designing building, maintaining and operating a studio for an international, syndicated advertising agency. Soon after that, I was awarded with a position, as a maintenance and design engineer, which also included on
    air operations with the NBC radio and television stations in Washington DC where I spent over 20 years. In 1990, halfway through my over 20 years there, I built a mobile production studio the Audio Oasis through my smaller company Reel People recording services and consultants. It included an Ampex MM 1200 that had been left for dead as a parts machine. After procuring 8 more channels of electronics, building a new wiring harness for the transport (the schematic had numerous typographical errors that of course kept the machine from running properly. Ampex thought this was quite funny when they told me " you caught the typos!" This machine was quite a challenge to repair). My console was a used Sphere eclipse C. 40 mostly all discrete electronics (the important stuff like microphone preamplifiers, summing amplifiers
    and output amplifies). I got real lucky, when NBC decided to get rid of their 2 custom, completely discrete (not a personality trait), Neve Consoles, beginning in 1996. These consoles, were so terribly intermittent in their pots and switches, that squirting stuff in them wasn't going to cut it. I believe I helped pioneer the use of sonic cleaners to bring these modules back to like new condition and they work reliably to this day, in this terrible environment called, a remote truck. This also included a great catch of vintage equipment like, LA 3A's, 1176s, nasty Neumann U67s, 87s, KM56s, 86s, etc. etc.. And the hits go on!

    Why am I wasting my time here?? I am at home, recovering from serious brain surgery (not from rock-and-roll recording, sexual reassignment surgery or, my motorcycling, but it could have been).

    I am a hopelessly practical engineer trying to help some of you newbies, with lots of passion and small budgets. I'm generally not impressed by recording school or university graduates. George Massenburg was a Hopkins dropout . You can read off numbers and specifications to me but they mean absolutely nothing.

    Through all of this I have garnered, Grammy, Emmy and Soul Train music awards nominations. (I would've never even known about my Soul Train nomination, if I hadn't turned on the television, after coming home from from work at NBC and going into the kitchen to get something to eat. When I heard my live recording for
    Yolanda Adams announced. I honestly thought somebody was in my house playing a joke on me! No joke! Incredible timing!)

    I make beautiful recordings on broken 20-year-old, noisy, $300 Peavy PA boards, 'cause it's not what you got, it's what to do with it. Anymore questions?

    Ms. Remy Ann David
    703-532 -REEL (7335)
    if anybody would like to call me to talk, you are certainly welcome to.
     
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well, Remy, I'm glad you think you have me figured out by visiting my website.

    First let me correct some of your errors:
    1. I was born prior to 1978
    2. I personally have been recording for over 20 years.
    3. Wally Cleaver's place is by no means a great studio. I wouldn't even rank it as nice.
    4. If you spent as much time reviewing my previous posts as you did surfing my web-page - you would see that I am the champion of the "little guy " on this site. I'm constantly the advocate for "enough equipment to get the job done "

    5. you profess to advocate cheaper gear but you constantly Name-drop (APl, Neumann, etc.)

    6. I didn't stumble across money and buy esoteric gear. I built my business, dollar for dollar from the ground up. If I were a newbie, I must be doing something right.

    7. Everyone in this area has recorded at the Kennedy Center.

    Now, before you come in here and trash people and then dispense bad advice, I would advise you to do your homework.

    First: Modern CDs, though 16 bit, possess noise floors on par with 20 bit or greater recordings.

    Second: If you are going to be performing any digital edits or effects (and, since this guy's using Cubase, that's a safe assumption) you are better off recording at higher bit rates. (It's called quantization. Somewhere in your 35 years of experience you must have heard of it.)

    BTW... you'll notice that, to do higher bit rate recordings, this dude doesn't have to spend one more friggin cent.

    So your argument about us ''Newbie" ''gear heads" recommending new toys to buy is just wrong.

    I don't come in to your house and crap on your floor. Please don't do it in mine.

    Jeremy Cucco
    (And YOU may feel free to call me.
    540-429-2335)
     
  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    oh - BTW - Remy:

    1st - so you understand that I'm not THAT much of a jackass - i did miss your first several posts. So please accept my welcome. We don't have too many ladies here on the boards.

    2nd - I think we can get along now that our pissing contest is over. My only beef was that you had a low post count, didn't introduce yourself and then referred to a few of the seasoned guys here (including myself) as newbies. this is considered very bad etiquette on the boards.

    Your input is welcome here ( as is everyone's except jp22) but we do try to respect eachother.

    Welcome...
    Jeremy

    (Edited to fix typos while posting from my PDA...)
     
  17. 3dchris

    3dchris Active Member


    Cucco, with all due respect once again you're confusing 32 bit WAVE with 32 bit INTERNAL SOFTWARE OPERATION. They are not the same thing. Wave does not CHANGE or degrade when you make any eq, compression etc. in the software. Software resolution is FIXED at 32 bit regardless of the wave bit lenght recorded and it's the SOFTWARE OPERATION resolution that makes a difference.

    just my 2 cents

    chris
     
  18. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    let's clear this thing up a bit....

    32bit is useless UNLESS you want to bounce tracks internally and capture the full resolution of the signal represented in the (32bit) mixer... the mixer will ALWAYS run at 32bits....

    it's that simple....

    and guys.... be nice.... :cool:
     
  19. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member



    No, not true.

    Yes, if the software is a 32 bit engine, this is the case. The software/mixer will operate at 32 bits.

    However, if you record a file IN 32 bit (float or fixed) you ARE in fact recording a 32 bit wave file. However, since most converters out there aren't recording past 24 bit, the last 8 bits are not used. That is of course, until you process the WAV file.

    If you were correct, then answer me this one VERY important question.

    If I'm NOT in fact capturing 32 bits of information in a 32 bit WAV file, why then is it twice the size (exactly) of a 16 bit WAV file? Why? Cuz there ARE 32 bits there and you ARE using them.

    This is basic math and science folks.

    Yes, your mixer hopefully runs at 32 bits, regardless of your recording resolution.

    But, when you record a file at 32 bit, you ARE in fact recording a 32 bit wave file.

    I can't make this anymore clear.

    And Iznogood - I'm trying to be nice - :cool:


    J 8)
     
  20. 3dchris

    3dchris Active Member

    Cucco, I don't think I was clear enough in my previous post. I did not say that the wave file we record IS NOT 32 bit. Of course IT IS 32 bit. My point was totally different. What I was saying is that IT DOES NOT MATTER if the wave is 32 bit or 24 bit. It won't make any difference in the sound we're getting regardless of how many operations we do in the software (eqs, fx etc.). The only difference according to cubase manual is that recording in 32bit gives a bit more headroom. That's all to it. So if you don't care about the HD space then by all means us 32bit (as I do) but let's make it clear: 8 extra bits are totally WASTED and it won't make a difference during mixing.

    thx,

    chris
     

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