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16 bit / 44.1 khz - is it all we need ?

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Cno. 

The modern digital recording process will be 24 bits or better, only converting to Red Book Cd standard at the final stage of mastering.

Every stage of the recording is important from microphone selection and positioning through to the final mix. Professional studios will normally do this to a very high standard indeed and usually with little fuss or recourse to fancy audiophile technology.

It is what happens next that is the make or break stage as far as what we, the punters, get to hear. This determines what is finally released and in some cases involves massive amounts of compression, 'brick wall' limiting, 'enhanced' (read bass heavy) eq and sometimes some remixing.

This process is often out of the hands of the professionals who made the recording with the record companies, producer and sometimes even the musicians all having their say. This is usually with the intent of producing a commercially successful sound that sells, the quality from an audiophile perspective being largely irrelevant.

Fortunately for us there are many releases, often from smaller independent musician/producers, that do not follow the above, which is pretty standard for mainstream pop and rock material, so we have some good things to listen too.

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Recording. Mastering. No need for anything more than red book.  Listening to my ripped Jennifer Warner’s Famous Blue Raincoat.  Great cd, even greater remaster on a Tidal.  Stunning. 

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Posted (edited)

I used to write and produce Jazz fusion music back in the day. Played on Jazz FM. Music was still fun, and you were actually recognized for making good music and not loud compressed music which seems to be the norm these days.

I got ill went off work for a while, in the process decided to get my gear out of basement. All software updated, rite back in the thick of things. I have to say going back to a lot of studios these days Audiophiles could teach music producers and mastering engineers a thing or two.. 

Mixing at higher bit rate (or as high as processing power would allow) always gives the music producer much more dynamic headroom. 

Capturing the raw sound from a DAW (live) always sounds best as suppose to making a mixed dwn copy. A 24bit raw capture from a DAW will, with all things being equal sound better than the 16bit version due to more dynamic headroom.

Edited by Nativebon
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3 minutes ago, Nativebon said:

I used to write and produce Jazz fusion music back in the day. Played on Jazz FM. Music was still fun, and you were actually recognized for making good music and not loud compressed music which seems to be the norm these day.

I got ill went off work for a while, in the process decided to get my gear out of basement. All software updated, rite back in the thick of things. I have to say going back to a lot of studios these days Audiophiles could teach music producers and mastering engineers a thing or two.. 

Mixing at higher bit rate (or as high as processing power would allow) always gives the music producer much more dynamic headroom. 

Capturing the raw sound from a DAW (live) always sounds best as suppose to making a mixed dwn copy. A 24bit raw capture from a DAW will, with all things being equal sound better than the 16bit version due to more dynamic headroom.

Mmmm...

I might take issue with that. The output from a DAW is not live, it is already digitised, usually at pretty high resolution. If it sounds inferior as a 16bit red book file then something has gone wrong, but I can not see how any recorded music would need more dynamic headroom than the 96dB (plus) available from a 16 bit system.

Not trying to be argumentative, my understanding may well be faulty here as it is some years since I spent time in the studio. If you have the time to explain and expand on your original post it would be genuinely appreciated.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, MGTOW said:

Would be much appreciated.

I have a real interest in the recording process going back many years.

Sorry took long to reply long day at work yesterday. When implying raw I mean capturing  direct from your audio interface, for example your sound card as suppose to mixing down with your DAW.

I don't want to make this complicated so will simplify as much as possible. More music produced these days are a good mixture of samples, VST instruments and real instruments. Apart from say classical music which on rare occasions may still use VST instruments. 

Most DAWS these days use a 32bit float engine if not all. A sample rate of a VST instrument is really vital to how realistic it sounds to the real thing. Take for example Addictive drums 2. They use some of the highest simple rates for their drum sounds, hardly distinguishable from the real thing. Also Traillian bass VST is another example.

It's always advisable to use 24bit samples  when mixing and producing music due to signal to noise ratio. Gives much more dynamic headroom.  In one music project as much as 30 effects are used. It's always better to mix in 24bits but for play back and listening 16bits should do fine.

When mixing dwn your 16bit project with your DAW it applies Dithering to eliminate errors. 

Edited by Nativebon
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The main problem today is not the digital  technology itself...it's  the decisions made by the engineers using it .

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1 hour ago, Nativebon said:

Apart from say classical music which on rare occasions may still use VST instruments.

I hope not. :sick:

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On ‎11‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 23:10, MGTOW said:

I have listened to a lot of music, live and played back by simply moving from the studio floor to the control room, always interesting.

From a hi-fi perspective I have been able to listen to small scale recordings recorded and played back in the same room, analogue mixer, 2 track digital and an exceptional playback system.

These and a myriad of similar experiences have convinced me that the technology barely matters, it is the skill of the producers, recording and mastering engineers that makes all the difference.

Quite agree .    

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Moderator
23 minutes ago, ogie said:

Me thinks Audio Note gets it right on this subject.

Controversial but true.....😉

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2 hours ago, Nativebon said:

highest sample rates for their drum sounds,

Would you care to put a number on that. I feel that is important, it would be nice to have some news from the coal face. 

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Nativebon...

Thanks for the earlier post, modern recording of the kind you describe is something of a mystery to me, I never really got beyond early versions of Cubase back in the '90s.

These days I tend to limit myself to trying to understand how recording technology of this type relate to what we finally get to hear as consumers, and there is something in what you said that intrigues me. 

What I am trying to get my head around is to work out what is actually lost when you convert your final mix on your DAW, in whatever hi resolution standard it might be, into a Redbook Standard file. I have in the past taken hi resolution commercial files from reputable producers (like Linn) and downsampled them to 16/44, I think I have a reasonable understanding of what happens there, but I am interested in the differences involved when working with RAW data, not so much the processing but the final production of the 'master' file.

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