D/A I/O & A/D I/O w/ 16bit(redbook) & 24bit

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by anonymous, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Can someone help me understand....Which matters most?
    The digital to analog converters or the bit resolution?
    Mainly, going to CD or even CD-R.
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Can you elaborate on that a little?
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    i/o 24 bit

    Maybe say pertaining to CD redbook. Why do we use 16 bit redbook, instead of 24 bit redbook? Or even better just redbook that can read a disc at any bit resolution?
    Like if I were to send a disc off to get mastered, I would idealistically want to send the highest bit resolution I have avail. at the time. This being 24 bit
    But if I print at 16 bit, how much does this affect the sound quality?
    My point is that obviously the higher end (better quality) DAC & ADC would be the quality of the analog to digital conversion (and vise versa) but, why is it known that 16 bit is not as good as 20 bit, and 20 bit is not as good as 24 bit, but we never talk about rated D to A converters in this practicle way?
  4. soundfreely

    soundfreely Guest

    Bit depth can be equated to amplitude or dynamics. Higher bit depth signals can more accurately describe amplitude changes and can also describe a greater dynamic range.

    If you had only a one bit signal, when working with PCM and not DSD, you would only be able to describe on or off. As you increase that bit depth, you could begin to describe volume as well.

    Dynamic resolution becomes very important when any DSP is applied to a signal (a plugin, digital FX, or digital summing). For example, if you add 2 and 5 and 3 you get 10. Then lets say that signal needs to be evenly split three ways to determine the average signal, but your bit depth is not high enough to descibe the decimal point needed for 10 divided by three. Now your signal is not as accurate as it should be. If you increase your bit depth, your system would be able to more accurately describe the result of 10 divided by three. This can be complicated further with fixed and floating point calculations.

    I hope this answers your bit depth question.

  5. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    Consumer CD players only play 16bit/ 44.1 kHz. So we have to get "down" to that format. After all they pay the bills.

    The later we do the "down-quality" treatment the better.

    So if you send stuff away for mastering, send it at whatever resolution you are using (as high as possible).

    Personally I record everything at 24bit, sometimes keeps files at 32 bit floats to gain some more control. Down to 16bit as last step in burning CD and using dithering only there.


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