July 20, 2013

The Depths Of My Bits And The Rates Of My Samples...

by Chris Randall

Once I got past this dude's beard and the ImageLine logo that they splashed on someone else's video (the original isn't embeddable), I quickly realized that this is the single best explanation of bit depth, sample rate, and dither that anyone has bothered to make.

I've always thought that 48kHz (which puts the Nyquist frequency above 100% of the human race's hearing ability) and 24 bits (which puts the noise floor below that of most any instrument, recording method, and reproduction method) were perfectly acceptable values. This video pretty much says that's fine, although not for the reasons I thought.

Anyhow, if you're a musician that records digital audio, you owe it to yourself to spend a half hour watching this.


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Jul.20.2013 @ 12:01 PM
Good video. Although he's totally trying to gloss over the fact that my new speaker cables, made of copper that has never felt a human gaze, open up the soundstage by adding more analog to the stair steps.

Besides the incredibly distracting beard, I thought he was saying "Ziff", as in "Ziff-Davis" (which makes me an old computer geek) instead of Xiph. But those people seem to having a general naming problem; Ogg Vorbis?!? That name is probably the single biggest reason no one ever used that format.

Jul.20.2013 @ 1:03 PM
brandon daniel
And while I get the whole "supporting open codecs" thing, putting a video up webm or ogg video is ensuring large swaths of internets will never watch it.

Jul.20.2013 @ 1:42 PM
Thanks for posting this. As a quantum of the above mentioned "large swaths", I'd never have seen it otherwise.
I've been dithering tracks for years without ever having had anything other than a vague idea that it's something I should be doing. It makes me wonder what else I've been doing based on partly-absorbed information. Not just in music, in general.

Jul.20.2013 @ 1:50 PM
And the article he wrote (which he references) seals the deal on 48/24 for capture/mix/master and 44/16 for playback, forever. Read it, understand it, bookmark it.

link [xiph.org]

Jul.20.2013 @ 1:54 PM
Also, Gearslutz should just redirect to the article and video anytime anybody posts something remotely related to this topic.

Jul.20.2013 @ 2:20 PM
Awesome video. It's nice to see this companion to his fantastic article from last year on the silliness of 192/24 downloads.

Jul.20.2013 @ 4:25 PM
beauty pill

- c

Jul.20.2013 @ 6:03 PM
Between the beard and the peculiar shirt, I got out of focues....I think to need to watch it again

Jul.20.2013 @ 10:29 PM
I've seen that video before but watched it again because for a nerdy-type, he's an entertaining presenter and actually knows what he's talking about (I say this as one of the nerdy-type, too).

I've recently had this conversation with a couple of other engineer friends and we've all come to the conclusion that 24/48 is absolutely fine for all of our recording and mixing needs. We aren't mouthbreathers hanging out on Gearslutz debating which dither shape "sounds better", but guys that actually make a living doing this crazy audio business and getting paid by labels and artists. 96kHz/192kHz/DSD - none of it means ANYTHING if no one wants to listen to your song.

Jul.20.2013 @ 11:23 PM
Watch eBay prices on analog test equipment soar. Thanks, BeardDude.

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