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Old April 22nd, 2007, 05:27 AM   #1
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Recording in 12bit of 16bit audio mode?

When video is going to be edited on an NLE, should the source footage be 12bit or 16bit? From what my camera manual says, 12bit is two stereo sounds while 16bit is one stereo sound that's higher quality.

I'm not sure what the 12bit two stereo sounds means, does it mean the audio from the L and the R are recorded to two separate tracks, while the 16bit L and R audio is recorded to a single track?
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:06 AM   #2
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The DV specification allows for 2 16-bit, 48kHz tracks or 4 12-bit 32kHz tracks. Many miniDV cameras only record to 2 tracks at a time so recording in 12-bit mode merely leaves the other 2 tracks empty so sound can be dubbed onto them later. Others do allow you to record all 4 at once. IMHO the results from recording in 12-bit mode are marginal and I can't think of any good reason to do it.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:55 AM   #3
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Aviv,

The 12 bit 32khz is really not too bad at all and you may want to use it if you are feeding a bunch of mikes into the camera without a mixer. I may be wrong and someone will correct me if I am, but 12 bit 32khz is CD quality sound I believe. So if you don't have a mixer and need to use additional mikes I think it is fine.

However, one problem you may have is that most NLE's will not capture the 3rd and 4th channels. You may need to use a separate software like Scenalizer to capture the other two channels.

Otherwise----what Steve said. :)

Mike
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 08:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
Aviv,

The 12 bit 32khz is really not too bad at all and you may want to use it if you are feeding a bunch of mikes into the camera without a mixer. I may be wrong and someone will correct me if I am, but 12 bit 32khz is CD quality sound I believe. So if you don't have a mixer and need to use additional mikes I think it is fine.

However, one problem you may have is that most NLE's will not capture the 3rd and 4th channels. You may need to use a separate software like Scenalizer to capture the other two channels.

Otherwise----what Steve said. :)

Mike
The Redbook CD standard calls for 44.1kHz/16-bit. These days most music is recorded at 24-bit and often at 88.2 or 96kHz and converted to 44.1kHz/16-bit during the final stages of mastering.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 08:53 AM   #5
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The Redbook CD standard calls for 44.1kHz/16-bit. These days most music is recorded at 24-bit and often at 88.2 or 96kHz and converted to 44.1kHz/16-bit during the final stages of mastering.
Thanks Steve, I knew you would help me if I was wrong.

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Old April 26th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #6
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With most cameras it is not possible to record 4 channels, even though in theory they are there at 12 bits. With the advent of cheap PC based editing systems (which we all use now) the need for 4 audio channels or dubbing two extra channels to tape later on has disappeared. 12/32 sound quality is BAD and you have no room for mistakes in setting levels (low levels are unsuable). The whole 12/32 4 channel option is a dinosaur. Forget it.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #7
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The thing to remember is that the DV specification was laid down in 1995 or thereabouts. In those far off days few of us had computers that would handle video editing (I had a huge 22 gb hard drive in 1997 that widened a few eyes in disbelief and admiration).

So the DV spec allowed for 'audio dubbing' of the original soundtrack. You set it in the 12 bit mode, went and shot your film, rewound the tape and added music and commentary to the 'spare' 12 bit stereo track.

Of course computer technology moved so fast that by the time DV cameras became generally available the 12 bit mode had become completely redundant. But what I find strange even today is that cameras coming out of Japan are invariably set to the 12 bit mode - and it means a loss of audio quality for a lot of folk who never enter their menu mode.

tom
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