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View Full Version : Analog transfer in 24 bit? Is it needed or worth it?


Dubwise12
2007-10-01, 07:00 PM
Question about transfers/digitizing of cassette tapes.

Is it worth it to transfer in 24 bit or not?

Does the human ear even hear the difference between 16 and 24 bit?

Is it worth the massive size of the files? (almost double)

I am just curious about this issue and hope some folks here have some knowlegdge or experience as I just want to preserve and share my stuff in the best way possible. Thanks.

dude87
2007-10-01, 11:31 PM
It depends on the cassette - if it's not a master it's probably not worth doing a 24 bit transfer. If it is a master, how does it sound? When I rolled cassette (seemingly years ago) we eventually went with outboard dbx noise reduction units (as well as custom mic pre-amps), I think there's some real benefit in going 24 bit with most of those masters, some of the early cassette masters I did (when we didn't use the best mics, etc.) aren't worth the effort.

Even for cassettes that I think are worthy of 24 bit transfers I generally leave the sample rate at 48K rather than 96K - there's not enough high end on a cassette to make the extra samples worthwhile.

All just IMO, of course. And since a lot of people play back stuff on iPods, computer speakers, etc. it's really about whether you hear a difference or not.

69mako
2007-10-01, 11:50 PM
It has been my experience that when working with true analog cassettes that 24 bit does make a difference versus 16 bit. I've don't a few transfers for a friend and he was able to hear the difference between a 16-44.1 transfer and a 24-96 downsampled & dithered to 16-44.1 transfer.

Mako

SundayDriver
2007-10-02, 12:23 AM
It depends on the cassette - if it's not a master it's probably not worth doing a 24 bit transfer. If it is a master, how does it sound? When I rolled cassette (seemingly years ago) we eventually went with outboard dbx noise reduction units (as well as custom mic pre-amps), I think there's some real benefit in going 24 bit with most of those masters, some of the early cassette masters I did (when we didn't use the best mics, etc.) aren't worth the effort.

Even for cassettes that I think are worthy of 24 bit transfers I generally leave the sample rate at 48K rather than 96K - there's not enough high end on a cassette to make the extra samples worthwhile.

All just IMO, of course. And since a lot of people play back stuff on iPods, computer speakers, etc. it's really about whether you hear a difference or not.

I definitely agree with you re: some tapes not worthy of the high end formats. I had a cassette tape someone lent to me that was walkman recorded back in 1996. The thing had to be taped with the internal mics, as it didn't sound that great. In fact, it sounded awful, but this guy wanted it in digital format. So I did a transfer on my deck, but I also sent it to a friend who ran it through his nak rx-505 > apogee mini-me. My transfer equipment is good, but the nak/apgoee is a better combo. And you definitely couldn't hear a difference between the two transfers. There was no way the nak with it's excellent 20kHz range caught anymore high end than my deck did. So I think the same thing goes for bit rates...depending on the quality of your tape, 16 bit may be just fine.

Audioarchivist
2007-10-02, 12:53 AM
I would say it is definitely worth doing 24 bit, but only if you properly calibrate the tapedeck (azimuth re-alignment to the tape you're playing)...
I've made some tape to tape dubs back 'in the day' that actually turned out as good as the original. Of course I've been re-aligning tape heads for 30 years now. So if they were properly done, 1gens can sound nice and be worthy of higher bitrates / sample rates.

Dubwise12
2007-10-02, 03:04 AM
This is great info and thanks for the input. I have many low gen soundboards, and audience recordings (a few masters myself) that sound like a 24 bit rate transfer would make a difference. And guess as far a documentation of shows, it is best to achieve it in the highest quality possible.

GRC
2007-10-03, 04:41 PM
Put it this way; if you dubbed them to digital in 16-bit, and the HiFi and Music industries eventually adopt 24-bit as THE standard, and at some time your master cassettes get damaged, won't you wish you'd done them in 24-bit?

If you're going to digitise them, do so at the best quality you can. If you do the low quality transfer first, you may not get the chance to do the high-quality one. Accidents happen, tapes shed their oxide, etc, etc.

Do them in 24-bit. You can always down-sample them to 16-bit for burning as redbook CDs at the moment.

Regards, Graham

Marmar
2012-03-04, 09:26 AM
Ok...lemme get this straight....

I provided you the master 24/48 audio of this......direct from the master tapes.....

And now here it is on a DVD with this lineage: FLAC > REAPER > WAV > iZotope RX2 > FCP7 > MOV > DVDR NTSC, 128 AC3 2/0, 48 kHz, 192 kbps

WTH? Why is it transcoded to a LOSSY FORMAT? Why not just use the 24/48 LPCM I provided? That was the entire point of providing you the Cass/0>FLAC24...to provide you the best possible audio for it, and then it gets butchered into AC3.....

Was it correctly syncd? The previous effort was WAAAAYYYYY off....it made it unwatchable.

I hate to be a jerk, but I take this kinda stuff VERY seriously.....

Unidecker
2012-03-04, 08:10 PM
MarMar don't get me wrong but there is no 24/48k source Masters in 1990 ok so again you are WRONG. you are coming off as a douche to clinton for his hard work if you have the master video files and the supposed master audio files in 24/48 why don't you do something then and show us " what you have" or have not in this case...

Anyone can get files and claim to be the masters but as i know you ... you have never TAPED and actual show nor do you own a RIG to tape actual shows LIVE as we the tapers have done.

now me on the other hand have owned and run and seeded hundreds if not thousands of recordings i made with MY GEAR not that i downloaded and remuxed into 24/48 files and claim as masters.

i have owned nak cm100's nak cm300's with cp4 caps
akg 460/480 1000's
microtech gefell m300's
schoeps mk21 + mk4 + mk8 +++
as well as sony bit mapper and apogee ad1000 and apogee mini me
and many many other gear i have the actual masters to if you'de like to hear them or see them look around or "ask somebody" my work is out there.


as well as many of my good buds work that is the actual masters not remixed crap said to be 24/48 master files from a 1990 show that we know is not the case.


now again clinton has done all he can do with this if you want an mkv or something else of it ask nicely im sure he will supply but to call him out and talk smack is just wrong.
he's done what he could with what he was given from the actual taper.

not via youtube rips and shit clips so cut the guy a break and have a great day and take your masters and bullshit and toss it in the back and call it a day.


thanks for your time and space


unidecker.

cleantone
2012-03-04, 08:29 PM
Just to be clear for anyone who didn't pick up on it. I should state, or reiterate that Marmar did an analog to digital transfer of the master soundboard cassette in 2003. The 24bit 48khz files we are talking about were created by Marmar in 2003. At that time he did master and seed the circulating 16bit 44.1khz file set that make up the db.etree source for this show.

Also I am pretty sure there are many cassette transfers in circulation that were done by Marmar. I wouldn't want to "take that away from him".

I don't really want to bash or discourage anyone for that matter. I guess I just needed to clarify and also vent a little. I'm on to new projects and am not planning to dwell on this event. Though I can't deny my memory of this will be tainted.

Marmar
2012-03-05, 07:29 AM
MarMar don't get me wrong but there is no 24/48k source Masters in 1990 ok so again you are WRONG. you are coming off as a douche to clinton for his hard work if you have the master video files and the supposed master audio files in 24/48 why don't you do something then and show us " what you have" or have not in this case...

Uni....umm....

http://db.etree.org/shn/20964

Taper: John Redmond
SOURCE SBD > D5 (deck was possibly a Nak CR-3A)

SBD MCass (Maxell XLII-S 90 min)> Sony TC-WE805S >
Art DI/O (48Khz, Input gain +12dB, No "Tube Warmth")>
Delta DIO 2496> WaveLab v4.0c> WAV (@<hidden>/48)> FLAC (24-bit, v1.1.0) >
mastering (see notes) > SHNv3

You can remove your foot from your mouth now. As you see, there ya go...a 24/48 digital master from a cassette. I recall getting roughly oh, 100 or so of these shows from the master cassettes....so how are those NOT the master digitals?....go ahead and ask somebody if they have the raw, untouched 24/48 masters of ANY of the Redmond shows that circulate....I'll bet they don't have em because I am the only one (besides one other person who worked on the project with me) who has those copies besides the band. Go ahead and ask Clinton, he got em from me, complette with the stub and the jcards of the tapes you see in the credits.....what kind of files were they? 24/48kHz digital masters of the tapes.

but in your world because I didn't tape them they don't exist right?lmao.

Unidecker
2012-03-05, 10:11 AM
MarMar i know john redmond personally but w.e

as schmoe has requested i will end it now... you are a scammer.

good day.


24 bit from a cassette recorded at 16 bit loooooooooooooooooooool n00bski

point proven once again.

just because you up'd the bits doesnt make it better then it was orig. recorded
and you are still a scammer. thanks for nothing buh bye

Unidecker
2012-03-05, 11:44 AM
except the truth ... that's why i posted it.

and the truth shall set you free... i dont care how many times you up sample a recording

you cant make it any better then the original recording and all you add is more noise and hiss to it. from the ground up..

all good here i don't up sample recordings andcall them masters in 24/48k when they were originally recorded on cassette at 16bits 44.1 khzs .

that was my point and i will stick with it until MarMar realizes what the FACTS are.

thanks sorry to cleantone but he did what he could with what he was given

have a great day

-uni

twatts
2012-03-05, 01:46 PM
you cant make it any better then the original recording and all you add is more noise and hiss to it. from the ground up..


Actually, it adds nothing. No hiss, no noise, no nothing. Its just silence...


all good here i don't up sample recordings andcall them masters in 24/48k when they were originally recorded on cassette at 16bits 44.1 khzs .


And 16/44 is a Redboook CD standard, not an analog standard.


that was my point and i will stick with it until MarMar realizes what the FACTS are.


Not to get in the middle... Re-recording a cass(m) to either 16/44 or 24/48 makes no real difference. Both will record all the audio information stored in the analog recording. I think re-recording a cass(m) to 24/48 is overkill, but that's my opinion. There are plenty of others out there that would argue differently...

I think Marmar's point is that there is a 48k Master file out there that can be used for the audio portion of the Video in question, but rather the 44k version was made into an AC3. You yourself have made the statement that AC3 should be avoided.

Back to years and years of lurking...

Terry



To Mods: delete this post as needed...

Unidecker
2012-03-06, 05:28 AM
terry the master was recorded in 16/44 again not 48k... so it was upsampled so again that is not the original master recording.

from a purist perspective.

if it were seeded as 16 bit 44.1 khzs that would be " the masters" not an upsampled recording labeled as master ... and is not really the case.

twatts
2012-03-06, 08:06 AM
OK, I'm not going to get into a discussion of how analog is NOT "16/44" and how "16/44" is a digital standard, nor am I willing to discuss the in-and-outs of Transferring from analog to digital. It's fruitless, there are a zillion thesis' on the subject, and besides the point.

The point is there is in existance a 24/48 "master" WAV file, as well as a 16/44 WAV file. While I agree it is probably dumb to upsample the 44 to 48 for use on the video, using the 24/48 would have been preferable to the AC3 which is used now - which was exactly Marmar's point of contention.

Like I said, I don't want to get into the middle of this. Whether or not you think 24/48 is appropriate for Transferring analog is your own opinion. Marmar thinks its just fine. I have other issues with his Transferring Process, but I'm not going to complain because he does so much for the community. In other words, we all have our own preferences. I do believe that we all would prefer to have lossless audio and not AC3, or are you arguing that AC3 is acceptable???

And again, I am not dissing CleanTone and his work. I actually praise him for it. Props and many thanks. I don't DL many vids, but I did DL this one. Again thanks for the hard work.

Have a nice day!

Terry

schmoe75
2012-03-06, 01:41 PM
Posts moved since the torrent got pulled via request of the seeder and they were directly related to Analog > Digital captures.

As terry pointed out, 16/44 is a redbook cd standard the industry came up with when cd's came on the scene. My understanding of analog is, unlike digital, there are NO bit rates on the recording. So yes, it's pointless to upsample a DAT recorded 16/48 to 24/anything...however, if there is no bitrae limiting with analog, then it's all on the method of capture and settings.

I hear a tremendous difference between 24bit & 16bit analog captures of the same cassette tapes & reels. I believe the guys who did the work on the Dead Europe 71 box set, captured all the reels at 24 bit. I know for a fact that Duke University captured all 1700+ reels of Eugene Smith's archive in 24 bit.

I will defer to what my ears tell me VS what anyone on the intardnet says.

spidergawd
2012-03-06, 02:50 PM
True, there are no "bits" or "sample rates" on analog recording. I may be mistaken, but I believe that the level of magnetization of the particles on the tape are analogous to the amplitude of the sound waves they represent, as opposed to being represented by truncated binary values in digital recordings. Due to the truncation it is therefore mathematically more accurate to do any digital editing in 24 bit even if the end result will be dithered to 16 bit. Downsampling may cause noticeable degradation, which is why I've often heard that it's best to record at the target sample rate of the end result, rather than downsampling later. It may be worthwhile to do a 44.1 kHz transfer for eventual CD burning and also do a transfer at a higher sample rate for higher quality target, but both would benefit from 24 bit capture.

Please feel free to bash my ignorance as required.

Rob Berger
2012-03-06, 04:01 PM
whether the tape is a sonic masterpiece or a mediocre, a 24 bit transfer will be better sounding than the 16 bit version. On a good stereo the difference is most certainly audible. my two cents...:)

rspencer
2012-03-06, 04:18 PM
Any analog recording's dynamic range falls well within the range afforded with 16/44.1
Using anything higher is unnecessary.
But if it makes you feel better to use 24/whatever, have at it.
Talkin' numbers & science, not subjective listening.
Lots of people think $1500 cables make a difference too. Yet no one can prove it so.

spidergawd
2012-03-08, 01:39 PM
Any analog recording's dynamic range falls well within the range afforded with 16/44.1
Using anything higher is unnecessary.
But if it makes you feel better to use 24/whatever, have at it.
Talkin' numbers & science, not subjective listening.
Lots of people think $1500 cables make a difference too. Yet no one can prove it so.

Did you mean "frequency range"?

Audioarchivist
2012-03-08, 02:27 PM
I like to think of it this way: imagine you're trying to draw a curve, or a circle, but you can only use straight lines and 90 degree angles. To at least give the illusion at a distance of that round edge you'd want to use the smallest length lines and as many tiny angles as possible to make your drawing appear round.

We're drawing sine waves with staircases. Wouldn't you want to use smaller steps? Why settle for great pyramid sized blocks if you can have smaller steps? The more samples per second and bits per sample, the more likely it will fool us humans into thinking we're really listening to round waves rather than square waves.

Go with the higher sample rates for archiving analog recordings. You never know when the master will disappear or be damaged, and when the next audio format comes along, you'll be ready for it.

Remember kids, Audioarchivist says:
"Bigger bit buckets begat better bootlegs!"

Top Hat Tapes
2012-03-08, 03:36 PM
whether the tape is a sonic masterpiece or a mediocre, a 24 bit transfer will be better sounding than the 16 bit version. On a good stereo the difference is most certainly audible. my two cents...:)

Agreed.