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Benefits / Features of 32 bit AD/DA

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by kmetal, May 9, 2017.

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  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I've noticed a couple of the new interface units employing 32 bit adda comverters (RME Adi-2 pro, sound devices mix-6).

    Just wondering if there were any benefits of any kind, and what the 32 vs 24 bit depths means in an adda context in general.

    From what little I could find it seems to be one of those things not directly audible. Either I'm curious since it seems the bit rates aren't going to go lower anytime soon.
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    the benefits will echo the change from 16 to 20 and then finally 24 bit. maybe a sign that the market is saturated and sales are down. perhaps someone thinks 192@48 still sucks? it means more memory and a whole new computer, DAW and plugs and a sh*tload of work updating and archiving legacy files and shut the door on legacy systems. how many 16 bit multitrack projects are still on peoples drives?
     
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  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    kmetal likes this.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the RME ADI-2 Pro has 32-bit AD or DA conversion, just 32-bit internal processing, which these days is pretty standard in high-end units. The Sound Devices unit does advertise 32-bit AD and DA.

    As you would expect, there should be some advantages in using equipment that has converters offering 32-bit conversion, but the advantages may not be where you might imagine.

    Firstly, if the equipment designers have done a good job to respect the 32-bit nature of the converters, it means they will have applied even greater attention to things like the linearity of conditioning amplifiers, clock stability, amplifier and resistor noise and PSU quality than would have been done in a box employing only 24-bit converters. Secondly, 32-bit D-A converter devices have the capability of giving better linearity and noise performance than native 24-bit converters when reproducing 24-bit data, especially at low audio levels. This is similar effect to the use of 24-bit converters in CD players.

    My feeling is that it's these two areas where the improvements in listening experience will come from nominal 32-bit designs, at least for the next few years.
     
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Classic response Kurt. Love it.

    Your point about having old projects currently is so spot on. It's exactly why I've put so much into archiving and file storage lately. I'm lucky to have a fair amount of my old mixes at least, by first 10 years of multiracks are gone. With A few projects I can recall, that i don't even have mixes of.

    I think basically what t comes down to is leaving active 'legacy' drives that are old projects and OS ect that are running or acessable at least, today.

    It takes planning and time to keep it all happy, but it's probably less time money and aggro in the long run. It's certainly a good reason to keep computers all racked up neat, and keep the old klunkers in operational condition.

    Ive got a box full of store bought CDs in the other room, yet I'm listening to the thing on YouTube some random person uploaded, with adds. The worst just line crossing, insulting, was an add in the Middle, of a sublime song. Yes like vs chorus vs Snapple vs ch. way beyond buzzkill. Funny thing is I bought several copies of several sublime albums and at least one t shirt and sticker. lol I a patronizing fan. I don't need some 'big xyz' company buying there way into the bridge. For once the bridge far sale was real. Exploitation if you ask me. That's why these new personal clouds kick butt. Listen to your collection anywhere in full quality.

    I know that's not really what you meant but just thinking aloud.

    Gotta re read that link when my head isn't pounding. I do feel higher BR/SR are inevitable regardless of their audible practically or not. If for no other reason than pure marketing or product line continuation. The science and tech behind it is really facinating because it almost comes down to whether or not we perceive things we can't hear or can't distinguish we hear. We feel sound vibration below audible frequencies, it's not necessarily out of the realm of reasonable probability we can sense out above audibility.

    I'm more interested in this from a science or academic perspective than from a 'must have' for ultimate fidelity stance. I like things that push boundaries, even if it's just to see if it can be done. Long as no animals are harmed in the process.


    Thank you for clearing that up.

    Linearity and noise floor are areas I'm looking for good performance in as far as using the interface for transfers. With the other design considerations it seems like any noticeable results are going to be reserved for stuff that can have the proper psu and clocking ect along with adda chip spec.

    I feel like just having that in mind can help navigate through marketing angles.

    Not that it's overly critical to my specific case but just for general yapping, it's phrased somewhat vaguely about the adi -2 pro adda in the manual.

    From the manual-

    "The ADI-2 Pro is a 2-channel analog input to digital and 4-channel digital to analog output con- verter in a half-rack (9.5") enclosure of 1 U height. Latest 32 bit / 768 kHz converters offer up to 124 dBA signal to noise ratio. This value is not only printed in the brochure – it is what the unit achieves in real-world operation"


    --


    I was under the impression that it was internal at first myself. It seems from a comprehensive list on GS of which converter chips are in which interfaces (digi 002, apogee, RME, ect ect) that RME uses Akm chips.

    The new chips seem to be 32bit according to the akm site, but I don't know what chip is actually in the adi-pro 2.

    http://www.akm.com/akm/en/product/detail/0054/

    Overall if I can get any sort of performance improvement I'll welcome it, especially if it doesn't change price a whole lot relatively speaking. I can also see where on the more inexpensive side of things may not allow for the the other things necessary for 32bit to make a practical difference for a while. I also understand I may not even hear it due to the acoustics and monitoring, and it could be a small improvement even on proper systems. I'll welcome any improvements.


    Does 32 bit internal processing of a 24 bit signal give similar improvements in noise floor or linearity, just to a lesser degree than 32 bit conversion, or.?
     
  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    One aspect that hasn't been discussed is oversampling and floting points in DAWs.
    Most daws are using 32bit floating point nowaday and some 64bit (Sonar does).
    Also, many plugins offer oversampling options.

    What I'm first afraid of is with all those bit exchanges and conversions processes ; What happen to the audio ? Is it Worth it or just a gimmick to impress customers?
    Would having a 32bit interface with a 32bit floating point software be better or just unrelated ?
    I wish a DAW maker will have the guts to tell the truth one day...

    Things for sure, recording in 32 bit will impare more work for the computer and more storage space.
    If it's gonna sound better or not is to be seen or heard... ;)
     
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  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering the exact same thing about the convert chips themselves. Do some of them upsample to 32 bit internally, or do they record 32 bit and dither down, ?

    I'm not sure what having a higher internal sample rate does. I remember 20bit digital processors had their brief time on the shelfs, back before e commerce.

    It's certainly worth considering the computer tax these things take when planning your computer types and budget for the now and future.
     
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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