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Old December 11th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #1
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Is there ever any real reason to record at 96/24?

...if our only destination is always Blu-Ray and DVD? We're using a Zoom H4n with the built-in mics to record stage shows and concerts. Sound is actually pretty decent, given the limitations of the hardware.

Premiere defaults to 48/24 as an editing preset, and our cams (Z5Us, from which we use some audio as well) record in 48/16. Isn't 96/24 overkill? Will we hear any difference, when all is said and done, given the aforementioned limitations of the hardware?

Thanks, audio experts!
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Old December 11th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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Most people are still delivering SD... isn't shooting HD overkill? By the same logic?

I shoot 16/48 in camera and 24/48 on the external recorder. I have shot 24/96 in-studio. Probably overkill for what I was doing, but didn't cause me any undue problems, and worked out just fine.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #3
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There's probably no benefit in recording 96/24 on your Zoom, as your device won't deliver that kind of real world quality. The professional standard for video and film is 48/24, but only when using high-end equipment. I'm told that 96/24 is used for professional audio recordings of symphonies and string instruments and things like that, but again only with high-end equipment.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 03:30 PM   #4
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I tend to record 96/24 on my zoom. The 96k may be a bit optimistic but the 24 bit has come in real handy. The more bits you get to work with the better if you have to do a bit of audio tweakage. I can see no reason to NOT record 96/24.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #5
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I would say a 24 bit depth can be useful as it will give you more dynamic range(range of loudest to softest signal) but 96k sampling rate in my experience is overkill most of the time. I'll put it this way, almost all of the record studious I have worked in Nashville typically record at 24 bit but only a few of them were typically recording at 96k.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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Burk, supposedly recording at 24 bits on inexpensive recorders doesn't really give you more information to work with. Sure, you are recording those extra bits, but since your recorder doesn't have a high enough signal to noise ratio to justify it, you aren't really getting the dynamic range that you are looking for. It's like those cheap cameras with lots of megapixels but with lenses that can't resolve all that detail. They just record a really big fuzzy image. The same idea applies here.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Most people are still delivering SD... isn't shooting HD overkill? By the same logic?
No, of course not, because a) I'm making Blu-Rays, and b) there are good, demonstrable and well-established reasons to shoot and edit in HD even if you are delivering in SD, because HD is significantly better than SD at the acquisition phase. I guess I'm asking if 96kHz is better than 48kHz in the same way that HD is better than SD, given that the Zoom is far from high-end, and the use of the onboard mics would likely negate any advantages that recording at 96kHz would bring.

My understanding is that it isn't, at least when limited by the inherent characteristics of the Zoom, but I wanted to get others' opinions. So I'll put you down as a yes?
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Old December 11th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #8
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Adam, as far as the 96kHz question goes, there's no reason to do it. Productions with budgets of millions of dollars don't do it, if that helps. 48kHz is standard in the professional world, with the exception of some music recording.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #9
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+1 Adam. 24/96 works for classical music if you have the right rig and handle it correctly in post, but unfortunately a lot of people don't.

For everything else it satisfies the producer, looks good printed on the label, but the average *viewer* doesn't notice it, couldn't tell the difference and probably baulked at the price.

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Old December 11th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. Good and useful advice from all. As it looks like even Perrone shoots at 48kHz on his recorder, that's what I'll start doing. Up till now have been recording at 96, assuming the SD/HD analogy was valid, but as Premiere wants to re-render the audio every time you nest a sequence that contains elements that don't match the sequence defaults, guess I'll settle for 48.

Thanks again.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #11
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Just another vote for 24/96 - but then I use Sound Devices/Schoeps and hardly ever do anything other than classical. And CF cards are cheap, so no economic rationale for doing otherwise. Would I use it on a Zoom? ????????? I think I'd listen and see if I thought it made any difference. Classical piano is hard to get right and I'll take any help (real or imagined) I can get from higher sample rates and I think I'd be crazy to drop back to 16 bit.

But in the end, I think it all depends on whether YOU hear any difference. I do, or at least THINK I do, my hardware is capable, and it costs next to nothing extra. So I do it. YMMV.

Peace!
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Old December 11th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #12
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Jim .. I thought of you while posting :) and your fortunate clients.

O/T our Convair 440 has slowed to a crawl at Pima, sponsor has gone belly up AFAIK.

Cheers.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #13
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There is no reason to record dialog at 96 kHz, unless you plan to slow it down for sound design effects. In fact, the resampling filters can potentially make the end result sound worse than recording in 48 kHz and avoiding resampling.

Regarding 24-bits, it's probably not going to buy you anything on the H4n. I've tested it. It falls a bit short of 16-bit signal to noise. That said, unless you are starved for storage space, it doesn't hurt to record in 24-bits. It's just a bit optimistic.

If you were recording through a clean preamp and good A/D converter, DEFINITELY record in 24-bits. But I'd still stick with 48 kHz for dialog to avoid resampling filters.

There are high-end recording engineers who absolutely avoid digital resampling filters. They will output the 96 kHz signal through a high-end D/A and resample the analog signal with a high-end A/D at the target sample rate in order to keep things organic.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #14
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Hi Allan. Too bad about the project - would have made a nice video taking off. So here's the question - would a vintage aircraft engine sound better in 24/96 or 24/48! (:-)
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Old December 12th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
The professional standard for video and film is 48/24, but only when using high-end equipment. I'm told that 96/24 is used for professional audio recordings of symphonies and string instruments and things like that, but again only with high-end equipment.
The last time I was at Abbey Road Studios they recorded at 24/44,1 !
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