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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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cabbagerat
post Jul 7 2008, 08:05
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QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 14:19) *
a) in practice, the average person (and sadly enough, many audio engineers) these days has far more hearing damage than they did 10 years ago, due to noise pollution, poorly mixed/mastered recordings, intentionally distorted musical content, excessive compression, improper EQ (can you say "Smiley face"), and high volume volume listening.
Interesting. Do you have any evidence for this? I would have thought that improved standards on noise in the workplace would have decreased hearing loss among the general population. It is well understood that loud sounds can damage hearing, but I am not aware of any evidence that excessive compression (for example) can have the same effect.

It would be great if you could present your evidence.

QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 14:19) *
These are the things greater dynamic range bring to the table. The loss of detail due to poor representation afforded by shorter word lengths occurs in the smoothness of the dynamic changes (waveform amplitude changes) in lower level signals/components of the recording.
No. It is well understood that, for properly dithered quantization the quantization error is not correlated with the original signal (see Oppenheim and Schafer, "Discrete Time Signal Processing" or for a good modern treatment, or W. R. Bennet, "Spectra of Quantized Signals", Bell Systems Technical Journal, vol. 27, 1948 for the foundations of the theory). Stating this mathematically, we define the error samples e[n]:

e[n] = Q(x[n]) - x[n]

where Q() is the quantization process and x[n] is the samples of the signal under test. When dither is used (or for self dithering signals, where the analog SNR is below is the quantization SNR) the signal e[n] is not correlated with the signals x[n] and Q(x[n]). So what does this mean in practice? It means that the properly dithered quantization process is an additive noise process - it is equivalent to adding independent noise with a particular spectrum to the original signal.

Another thing is this belief that more quantization causes "roughness" in the output signal. As you are well aware, the reconstruction process does not produced a stepped output - it produces a bandlimited (and hence fairly smooth) analogue output. The output of a good sampling/reconstruction process is not "rough" or "stepped" in any way - if anything it will be less "rough" because of the strict bandlimiting imposed on the process.

This doesn't mean that recording, mixing, mastering an processing at high bit depths are without merit. There are plenty of good technical reasons to argue for this, though, so using audiophile terms like "roughness" and resorting to incorrect interpretations of the process are not necessary.

QUOTE (ccryder @ Jul 6 2008, 14:19) *
When you start with more significant bits, you have the ability to end up with more significant bits in the final product. Merely playing back a PCM stream that uses 24-bit words doesn't imply that the extra bits are significant by itself. Many listening tests involve a normalized 24 bit recording and a normalized 16 bit recording that has been dithered and noise shaped from the same 24 bit source. There is far less audible difference between those two sources, assuming a good dither/noise shaping algorithm is used. However, that test is not the test that validates the value of recording, mixing, and mastering in the 24 bit domain.
Of course. Mastering, mixing and recording in high bit depths (24 or more) is a good idea.


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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   “properly noise shaped dither” (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 “bit 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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