16 bit as good as 24 in mixing pop dance music ! ? oh no!!

Discussion in 'Mixing' started by CREATIVEBLUE, May 11, 2004.



    Hello everybody.

    I think, 24 bit is in anyway better than 16, and i think you would hear a difference betwen

    a.) recording 30 tracks with 16 bit, mixing it in 16 bit mode with protools, bounce the whole mix again 16bit and than master the 16bit bounce


    b.) recording 30 tracks with 24 bit and mixing it with 24 bit per channel in protools, bouncing it in 24bit, and master the 24bit bounce, and than bounce with dither to 16bit audio-cd.

    I think b.) in any case is better and worth it.

    I always work in 24 bit, after mastering i do the convertion with dithering for cd-audio.
    I think everybody will hear the difference betwen the resultat on the audio-cd of a.) and b.).

    So does anyone agree with me?
  2. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Unconditionally. Even if I'm doing a lyrics-and-acoustic scratch track for demo purposes, I'm doing it 24-bit. Better to have too much and downsize later than to have too little and suffer.
  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Silicon Valley
    I don't fully agree. 24-bit has the potential to being better than 16-bits. But it is far more important in how you are using the bits that you have than to think you are getting better quality simply because you are using 24-bits over someone else that is only using 16-bits.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have made great sounding recordings in both 16 and 24 bit. However in 16, I pay more attention to make the levels as hot as possible to keep the resolution up... this means I rely more on having great compression on the front end.

    In theory, 24 bit should sound better not only because of the increase in bit rate but also due to better digital clock resolution. Often this is not the case because of poorly designed converters.. Really great 16 or 20 bit converters can sound way better than crappy 24 bit ones..

    I personally hear much more "bang for the buck difference" by using good mics, pres and compressors in the front end rather that using cheap mics and pres and great converters. That's a case of "the cart in front of the horse" IMO. An added bonus is that mics, pres and comps never go obsolete while todays "state of the art" converters will be at some point.

    What really matters more than anything is what you are recording, not what you are recording it with..

    All things to consider ...

    Kurt Foster
  5. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I agree with you up to a point. You can never go wrong with great mics and pres but when I upgraded to an apogee rosetta converter the difference was inmediately noticeable. Maybe in 5 years my rosetta won't be worth much but right now my recordings are a lot better than they were with just the motu converters. :D
  6. svart

    svart Active Member

    I'm not so sure i agree with Creativeblue either. I'm more on the track Audiogaff is on(pun not intended...) I have tried a few different bitrates with many different devices but find that final dithering and mixdown on any product can have very subjective results to different people in the same room. People hear differently and there are too many combinations of recorders/mixers/soundcards/speakers/media/music styles/ and environments to say that YES this abolutely sounds better on everything. I know that everyone will agree that you have/will find a stereo unit of some sort that your mix will sound bad on or at least not how you expected regardless of how many hours you spent tweaking it. this is why i keep a set of decent house speakers setup alongside the monitors and find myself A/Bing all the time to keep the mix more suited for a broad audience.

    I suppose it boils down to being anal and psychologically we can hear and pick out the flaws in our music that no one else even pays attention to(and vice versa). This leads to many other rants like asking a person how the guitar sounds and they give you a thesis on how the guitarist needs lessons.. when all you really wanted was "yes the treble is a little high.. blah"

    oh well another time.



    The main reason why i always use 24 bit in protools is cause the resolution of the plugins, it depends also of the session wordhlenght you use. When i'm in 24bit mode and master a 16 or a 24 bit file with for example the waves plugins, i wouldnt hear a difference really. but there is a big difference between having a 16 bit session with lots of plugins running or doing so with 24 bits! and thats what i mean!
  8. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    I was just about to mention extensive processing as well. To me, working with 16 bit audio clips extensively is similar to multiplying an integer by 1.01 repeatedly. It might not make much difference at first, but when the repetitions stack up, the actual value and the resultant values start drifting from each other.

    In my opinion, it's a free lunch. Of course, mic pres, recording technique, etc are far more important in getting a good sound, but choosing to work in 24 bits (even with a 16-bit source tracks) is something that doesn't require any additional expenditure or effort. Again, it's a free lunch.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    77 Sunset Lane.
    Picture two water glasses ... one is absolutely clear and one has a very slight tint to it (let's say it's a very light shade of gray). This is a good converter and a cheap converter.

    Next we will run some audio through them. One of the audio streams is recorded using quality mics and pres (clear clean water) and the other is recorded on cheap mics and pres (sewage from a septic tank).

    Does it matter which glass you pour the sewage into? Does the absolutely clear glass make the septic tanks sewage any more attractive as opposed to the slightly gray tinted one ???

    I agree that good converters can make a significant improvment in quality but the quality needs to be there in the first place ... Cheap front end into great converters will not sound as good as good front end into cheap converters, IMO.

    Another point to consider is that almost any converter that has an ADAT light pipe input / output (almost all of them these days), uses chips that are manufactured by Alesis ... so in reality there isn't that much difference between many of the converters on the market no matter what they cost, other than how they are clocked and how much they are sold for ...

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