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16bit vs 24bit, Rubbish or Truth?
Bourne
post Mar 27 2007, 04:02
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This post has been edited by Bourne: Apr 2 2008, 19:26
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AndyH-ha
post Jul 7 2008, 05:55
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Aside from the fact that it is almost always easy to tell live from a recording, no matter how good the recording, comparison of live vs recording of any particular bit depth is not only unnecessary, it is completely irrelevant to the question of whether there is any audible difference between a 24 bit recording and the same properly converted to 16 bits.

The question is simply can anyone actually tell the difference, merely by listening -- when they have no information except what they hear to tell them which is which. We are not talking about difference in equipment or listening environment, these have to be identical while listening to both versions. We can certainly consider the question of how good the equipment and environment need to be to allow a difference to be perceived, if such perception is possible, but that is not the issue itself.

The claim that only raw 24 bit recordings are clearly different is an interesting one. Just why a difference, audible when recorded at 24 bits, would disappear once the tracks are mixed, etc. (still at 24 bit) is unclear, unless you are talking about the mistreatment most pop and rock music is subjected to on it way from recording to distribution. Quite a few people have pointed out that SACD and DVD-A releases sometimes receive mastering that makes them better, and clearly distinguishable from, the CD version of the same recording. However, as the tests in the paper demonstrated, those differences are not lost or altered when that SACD/DVD-A recording is converted to CD specs.

For five years or so, whenever this subject comes up, in this and a number of other audio oriented forums, I have issued the challenge for anyone championing >16 bits and/or >44.1kHz, to provide a sample: something I can convert or resample (properly) and then identify in a correctly done blind ABX test. Only a real music recording is applicable; it isnít as hard to make up a sample with test tones.

I donít say that such recordings do not exist, only that I, and at least most of the other people on the planet, have yet to hear one. So far, every time Iíve made this request, the people arguing in favor of greater bit depth and/or sample rate have just gone away. (There is one thread, in this forum, where a poster claimed to be able to ABX just about any change whatsoever to some 24/96 samples, but I donít believe anyone else heard what he claimed to hear. (There were also some questions raised about his equipment) The thread got so convoluted that I stopped following it, but I donít think he convinced anyone.) (Also, that was just about sample rates, not bit depths).

Now I acknowledge that my inability to hear a difference, should a test file become available, does not mean no audible difference exists. The sample has to be available for wide ABX testing, to find out if everyone is as deaf as me. Many people who visit this forum are experienced in doing ABX testing.

Three to ten seconds should be adequate, I see no need for an entire track, but will consider any reasoned argument as to why a greater duration might be necessary to reveal a difference. My preference is for 24/44.1 since even a few seconds of audio is tedious to download over my dial-up line, but a restriction to CD spec sampling rate isnít a requirement. I, and probably most people, can handle 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz.

This post has been edited by AndyH-ha: Jul 7 2008, 06:00
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Posts in this topic
- Bourne   16bit vs 24bit   Mar 27 2007, 04:02
- - DigitalMan   Hmm, very long article. Seems to be a collection ...   Mar 27 2007, 04:20
- - Bourne   the very topic of the link... he is claiming that...   Mar 27 2007, 04:25
- - greynol   This has been covered to death on this forum alrea...   Mar 27 2007, 09:56
- - 2Bdecided   It's a load of pseudo science. The guy has a h...   Mar 27 2007, 10:00
|- - ccryder   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 27 2007, 04:00) It...   Jul 5 2008, 07:31
|- - Canar   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 4 2008, 23:31) Belie...   Jul 5 2008, 19:11
- - Bourne   @greynol I'm not starting a topic on that sub...   Mar 27 2007, 23:31
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Bourne @ Mar 27 2007, 15:31) @grey...   Mar 28 2007, 20:45
|- - chelgrian   QUOTE (Bourne @ Mar 27 2007, 23:31) I...   Mar 28 2007, 21:23
- - benski   It appears the site (and the article) are oriented...   Mar 28 2007, 22:08
- - 2Bdecided   Hang on a second benski, There's no argument ...   Mar 29 2007, 11:48
- - Filburt   Hmm, I just skimmed the first part, but the argume...   Mar 29 2007, 20:51
- - AndyH-ha   Who, believing in the gods, and their work in the...   Mar 29 2007, 21:02
- - Pandabear   Bourne - everyone's ears develop at their own ...   Mar 30 2007, 03:12
|- - pdq   QUOTE (Pandabear @ Mar 29 2007, 22:12) No...   Mar 30 2007, 15:45
|- - Synthetic Soul   QUOTE (Pandabear @ Mar 30 2007, 02:12) No...   Mar 30 2007, 16:43
- - AndyH-ha   I suspect most of us who visit here are capable of...   Mar 30 2007, 05:49
- - pdq   Let's see, I could believe David Robinson, or ...   Jul 5 2008, 15:52
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (pdq @ Jul 5 2008, 10:52) Let's...   Jul 7 2008, 18:41
- - Mike Giacomelli   I was curious what got Dan Heend so upset after al...   Jul 5 2008, 16:07
- - pdq   "A passage that is 6dB louder than another pa...   Jul 5 2008, 16:22
|- - Mike Giacomelli   QUOTE (pdq @ Jul 5 2008, 11:22) "A p...   Jul 5 2008, 16:31
||- - pdq   QUOTE (Mike Giacomelli @ Jul 5 2008, 11:3...   Jul 5 2008, 16:35
|- - ccryder   QUOTE (pdq @ Jul 5 2008, 10:22) "A p...   Jul 6 2008, 09:04
|- - SebastianG   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 10:04) http:...   Jul 6 2008, 11:17
||- - MichaelW   Cursed are the peacemakers, for they shall be beat...   Jul 6 2008, 12:11
|- - pdq   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 04:04) QUOTE...   Jul 6 2008, 12:21
- - sld   So it IS possible for people who get their Theory ...   Jul 5 2008, 17:56
|- - [JAZ]   QUOTE (sld @ Jul 5 2008, 18:56) So it IS ...   Jul 5 2008, 19:12
|- - ccryder   QUOTE ' date='Jul 5 2008, 13:12' post=...   Jul 6 2008, 10:43
|- - MLXXX   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 19:43) Might...   Jul 6 2008, 12:50
||- - ccryder   QUOTE (MLXXX @ Jul 6 2008, 06:50) QUOTE (...   Jul 6 2008, 13:35
|- - Mike Giacomelli   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 05:43) Regar...   Jul 6 2008, 17:05
- - AndyH-ha   QUOTE One might get a greater appreciation for wha...   Jul 6 2008, 20:23
- - Roseval   The question of sampling rate and bit depth are a ...   Jul 6 2008, 21:11
|- - ccryder   QUOTE (Roseval @ Jul 6 2008, 15:11) The q...   Jul 6 2008, 23:19
|- - Dynamic   Edit: I started typing this before ccryder's r...   Jul 7 2008, 00:34
- - hellokeith   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 17:19) There...   Jul 7 2008, 01:49
- - AndyH-ha   Aside from the fact that it is almost always easy ...   Jul 7 2008, 05:55
|- - ccryder   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 6 2008, 23:55)...   Jul 7 2008, 08:13
|- - MichaelW   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 7 2008, 20:13) #2, t...   Jul 7 2008, 10:38
||- - ccryder   QUOTE (MichaelW @ Jul 7 2008, 04:38) QUOT...   Jul 7 2008, 11:58
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 7 2008, 03:13) The r...   Jul 7 2008, 18:51
|- - euphonic   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 7 2008, 00:13) #2, t...   Jul 7 2008, 23:56
|- - ccryder   OK, Gonna try once more to get some of you to unde...   Jul 8 2008, 05:31
||- - krabapple   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 8 2008, 00:31) Is my...   Jul 8 2008, 17:29
|- - ccryder   QUOTE (euphonic @ Jul 7 2008, 17:56) This...   Jul 8 2008, 05:46
|- - ccryder   The actual realized signal to noise ratio of the r...   Jul 8 2008, 06:27
|- - Nick.C   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 8 2008, 05:46) Reall...   Jul 8 2008, 07:54
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 8 2008, 06:46) QUOTE...   Jul 8 2008, 09:27
- - cabbagerat   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 14:19) a) ...   Jul 7 2008, 08:05
|- - ccryder   QUOTE (cabbagerat @ Jul 7 2008, 02:05) QU...   Jul 7 2008, 08:51
|- - SebastianG   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 7 2008, 09:51) That ...   Jul 7 2008, 10:14
|- - ccryder   I never said a word about dither in my last post. ...   Jul 7 2008, 11:47
|- - SebastianG   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 7 2008, 12:47) I nev...   Jul 7 2008, 13:15
- - AndyH-ha   Expectation and belief can, and have repeatedly be...   Jul 7 2008, 12:24
- - AndyH-ha   There is a lot of (mostly one-sided) talk about ra...   Jul 7 2008, 22:31
- - SebastianG   QUOTE Simply put, just about every noise shaping a...   Jul 8 2008, 09:49
- - MLXXX   QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 8 2008, 14:31) Botto...   Jul 8 2008, 13:50
- - AndyH-ha   ďproperly noise shaped ditherĒ (what I wrote) is n...   Jul 9 2008, 12:42
|- - SebastianG   Hi Andy! QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 9 20...   Jul 9 2008, 14:07
- - AndyH-ha   Here is my ignorance showing. How does one ďbit sh...   Jul 9 2008, 22:08
- - Nick.C   If a signal with an amplitude of less than or equa...   Jul 9 2008, 22:12
|- - MichaelW   QUOTE (Nick.C @ Jul 10 2008, 10:12) If a ...   Jul 10 2008, 07:16
|- - Nick.C   QUOTE (MichaelW @ Jul 10 2008, 07:16) Doe...   Jul 10 2008, 08:00
- - Chromatix   Let's inject some common sense in to this, sha...   Jul 10 2008, 13:52
|- - SebastianG   QUOTE (Chromatix @ Jul 10 2008, 14:52) .....   Jul 10 2008, 15:47
- - Axon   Just to throw another log on the fire: My phono pr...   Jul 10 2008, 16:52
|- - Canar   QUOTE (Axon @ Jul 10 2008, 08:52) Just to...   Jul 10 2008, 17:12
|- - pdq   QUOTE (Axon @ Jul 10 2008, 11:52) Just to...   Jul 10 2008, 17:28
- - Axon   About 10, but still.   Jul 10 2008, 17:33
- - hellokeith   QUOTE (Chromatix @ Jul 10 2008, 07:52) I ...   Jul 10 2008, 19:25
- - greynol   C'mon now. This can be handled via PM. Let...   Jul 10 2008, 19:30
- - cabbagerat   QUOTE (hellokeith @ Jul 10 2008, 10:25) H...   Jul 10 2008, 21:08
- - Chromatix   Those in-car numbers look vaguely sensible to me. ...   Jul 11 2008, 11:31
- - 2Bdecided   The very best psychoacoustic experiments aim for 2...   Jul 14 2008, 16:07


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