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Old May 24th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #1
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16bit vs 24bit

I see the old thread had not been posted on in 2 years, and wondering if its pretty standard to try and record in 24bit when possible now.

I am talking about when recording to the Sony PCM-D50 or Zoom h4n.

When space is not a problem what is the best option for recording, thinking larger is better but not sure if thats the case.

There are also choices like 22.05khz, 44.10khz, 48khz, and 96khz, each in 16bit and 24bit.

I use Premier Pro CS4 if that matters.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #2
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Generally most people(including myself) record at 48/24. 48khz is industry standard for film. The higher the better but recording at 48/24 would be fine. 44/16 is standard for CD.


Nicole

p.s. I'll let the pro guys with 20+ years of experience chip in as well.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #3
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Thanks, I am glad I asked I was recording 44/16 but only because I did not know any better :)
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Old May 24th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #4
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Definitely 48K sample rate for video because that most likely drops into the timeline without any conversion. As Nicole said, 48K is the standard for video sound.

OTOH, very little audio equipment (even high-end equipment) really has 24 bits (144 dB) of usable dynamic range. And no place we shoot, even on a quiet sound-stage is silent enough to warrant 24-bit word size. But having more than 16 bit (96 dB) dynamic range is sometimes valuable, especially when recording unpredictable things like live performances, etc.

So we aren't really getting 24-bits of dynamic range out in the real world, but having that extra range can save your bacon when recording real-world sounds.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #5
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I have to agree with Richard. A lot also depends on where you run your levels. For those who generally record with excessive amounts of headroom (by desire or necessity) I would recommend twenty-four bit. Otherwise with proper gain-staging, sixteen bits is adequate. In addition, turning over a 24bit file to a video editor without proper bitrate conversion tools or knowledge could do more harm than good than a few dB of noise audible on very quiet segments, many times masked by ambient BG noise or music.
I also find sample rates above 48kHz.unnecessary for dialog and interview recording and similar conversion issues can arise in post.
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