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Old 2008-02-23, 04:39 PM
FalloutBoy FalloutBoy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Originally Posted by Five View Post
I think he's saying 24/44.1 > dither down/dither down with noise shaping > 16/44.1 sounds about the same as stright to 16/44.1.
I wasn't referring to any particular bit depths. The point was that how it will sound depends on several factors, and the bit depth (noise limit) is just one of them.
I do believe it is a good idea to record at higher resolution as it gives you more headroom, and thus makes it easier to keep noise added while processing the signal from entering the final product.

Originally Posted by Five
Now how about 24/96 dithered down to 16/44.1 vs straight to 16/44.1? Yes the sampling rate has a tremendous effect on improving the sound quality but if your destination is back to 44.1 then there's an extra resampling phase there.
The sampling rate determines the bandwidth (frequency range) of the recording. The practical reason for increasing the sample rate in digital systems is because it makes it easier (and cheaper) to implement low-pass filters.

But how does extending the frequency range outside the limits of the human ear improve the sound quality?
CD and vinyl records are usually cut at around 20kHz.

Originally Posted by Five
but overall the diff between choosing 24/44.1 vs 16/44.1 is there but not really earth-shattering imo (I guess I kind of agree then). But it is natural for a craftsman to take every available advantage so there's no harm in it.
It really depends on what you are recording, and what you're going to do with it. But it's always good to have room for error.

Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
lol, I don't wanna break yer balls, but I think he was meaning that something captured 24/44.1 > dithered to 16/44.1 sounds about the same as something captured 24/44.1 with no dithering applied. The dithering really improves the sound a lot I guess vs. capturing in straight 16/44.1.
As I stated above: It really depends on what you are recording, and what you're doing with it.

If you record at 24/44.1, you can keep noise added during processing out of the final 16/44.1 version.
If on the other hand you record at 16/44.1, you have minimal room for error.

Originally Posted by Tubular
I thought the bit depth had a bigger effect than increasing the sampling rate.
Effect on what?
Bit depth determines the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range.
Sample rate determines the frequency range.

Originally Posted by Tubular
What I find hard to believe is that a great recording with a great reel to reel recorder > played back analog with no digital stages, will sound about the same as a great digital recording (16 or 24 bit capture).
I don't believe anyone has claimed they will sound the same.

Reel-to-reel recorders represent the best analog equipment available, and it is possible to make fantastic sounding recordings with them.
But even if they are reasonably accurate, they do add a little warmth to the sound due to slight third harmonic distortion, head bumps, and tape compression.
They also add the less desirable effects: tape hiss, frequency-response errors, wow and flutter, print-through, and modulation noise (which varies with the signal).

Digital recording systems don't have these problems (and in addition have a wider dynamic range), so they will more accurately capture the sound.

Does that mean digital recordings sound better than analog recordings?
Not necessarily. The warmth added by analog recording (similar effects are added by tube amps and vinyl playback) is generally very pleasing to the human ear.
It is in fact not uncommon for artists to run their digital recording through an analog tape recorder just to achieve this effect.

That's why it's important to differentiate between what sounds best (subjectively) and what sounds closer to the original.

Originally Posted by Five
If you only believe what's technically sound on paper then solid state is clearly better than tube!
Solid state is technically superior to tube in most ways, but that doesn't really matter as it is the flaws (and the distortion caused by them) that give tube gear its appeal.
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