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All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.

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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Matthias Krause View Post
Im sure I would not hear the difference. But I always thought the main advantage of recording at a higher bitrate is that you get more leeway or headroom if you will for postproduction before the signal gets distorted. No?
Absolutely, more bits...less margin for error. Of course, there is always that law of diminishing returns that puts a limiter on the process.

And I still would be curious to know what the difference would be if you record to a 300 bucks recorder to line-in opposed to a 1.800 bucks recorder to line-in at the same bit rate?
The main difference should be w/ the Analog to dig conversion.

I'm sure that Sound Devices could make a two track solid state unit that would be scaled down to work w/ their field mixers...that would cost under $800... And everyone would rave about it.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #17
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"I'm sure that Sound Devices could make a two track solid state unit that would be scaled down to work w/ their field mixers...that would cost under $800... And everyone would rave about it."

I sure wish they'd do that. I don't know why you need duplicate sets of limiters and preamps in both devices. It's worth noting that the high pass filter in their mixers is much better than those in their recorders, which are a combination of analog and digital techniques. I suspect the same is true for the limiter, but I'm not as sure about that. While we're at it, why is the output on their mixers on the right and the input on their recorders on the left? Sheesh. That is so annoying. I wish you could easily go from the tape out on the mixer to an impedance matched line in on the recorder with one simple cable.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 04:23 AM   #18
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Bit late to the game, but:

No need to worry about 20 Hz, you need really good microphones to get frequences below 40 Hz, and mostly only omnis go flat that low. All video shotguns, also professional ones, start to fall off at about 50-60 Hz anyway. And even then lowcut filter is used to cut everything out below 80 Hz or so.

24 bit recording on cheap (under $1000) recorders really does not work as the electronics are noisy, at most you get something like 17-18 bit dynamic range. On better recorders you get about 21 bits worth (like SD7XX series). No recorder is 24 "all the way". The only value with 24 bits is the better headroom; safety in setting levels.

44.1 is not a problem with video, just convert it to 48 kHz before importing to the editor. NOBODY is going to hear any difference.

The biggest difference between 300 and 1800 dollar recorders would be the noise floor level, better (more costly) recorders have cleaner analog front ends and better AD converters. $300 recorder would typically have 10-20 dB more noise.

My Mythbuster:

A 14+ minute 24/96 WAV test file with random 30 second 16/44.1 parts. Nobody has been able to tell where the lo-rez parts are, just by listening, so far.

If you download it, take also the explanation .txt file.

A truly 24/96 capable system is needed to play the file, not even all 24/96 audio cards can do it in reality (and computers are noisy). File size is 470 MB.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 10:56 AM   #19
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Yeah, cool as 96 kHz, I don't think it's actually used on even big budget feature films. I recall an informal poll on RAMPS sometime back in which the question was asked, and nobody was using it. It's all 24 bit, 48 kHz.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 04:33 AM   #20
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Great mics (DPA, Earthworks, Schoeps) + high quality mic pres and a/d converters + good placement and a great musician will expose the difference between higher sampling rates and bit depth. I do a lot of location recording for classical artists, and I have heard it myself. It is subtle, to be sure, but it is there. Once you reset your ceiling of listening expectation it isn't even really that subtle. Maybe I'm risking sounding elitist but I think you need incredibly good equipment in the recording chain to exploit these refinements of sonic possibility. The people who make and pay for these recordings, in my experience, can and do hear the difference. They have trained and practiced their whole lives listening for detail and refinements of interpretation that the huge majority of the population would not hear. Most people are perfectly content with the 10x compressed mp3 format. I am privileged to have worked with some people who's ears were so refined and descriminating that they demanded the very best. The blind tests to see who can tell the difference, IMO, aren't the way this question is answered. The book "Blink" had some fascinating studies about how bad humans are at blind tests. Plus, how was the test conducted? What equipment was used? With low to mid range mics and converters the difference probably isn't that great. Recording a great player with great gear (well chosen and executed) at 24/96 will result in a finer recording. I've heard it again and again for myself. I am always a little sad when it comes time to down sample to the antiquated redbook audio standard, but even then, the project usually benefits from the higher standard of acquisition. To give an example, I recorded a pianist a couple of months ago in a great acoustic on an amazing, fully restored and regulated 1923 Steinway. I used 5 matched DPA microphones mounted on a DPA surround bar. The power was provided by DPA amps into a Prism Sound ADA-8XR. I'm usually working as the producer/editor but I was doing this recording as a favor to my friend so this time was serving as the engineer. After the first piece of the session I realized that I hadn't changed the sample rate from 44.1 to 96. The schedule was tight so we just moved on. I didn't bother telling him, I just started a new project at 96 and recorded the rest of the project. At the end I mixed everything, bounced it down to stereo and burned him a cd at 16/44.1. The next day he called me puzzled. "Mark, the first piece is different somehow, not quite the same quality as the others." Subtle yes, but perceivable to his experienced ears. I'm as pragmatic and skeptical as they come but this has been a lesson I have learned over time and witnessing great engineers working with great musicians and using great gear.

These differences ARE subtle, but they are there. It's like eating one really good summer peach and then taking that first bite of another one that's just a little bit sweeter, a little bit juicier. They're both great (and aren't we blessed in an age when a $100 digital recorder can make an audible, clear reproduction) but you know your tasting something better.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:47 AM   #21
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Amen, Mark!!!!
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