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'splain 'dis to me
#984828 12/25/01 09:31 PM
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blas Offline OP
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What happens when your going along and tracking everything at 24 bit and then you introduce a track (or several at 20 bit)? How does it all jell after that.
Currently well beyond my knowledge!
Blas

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984829 12/26/01 01:43 AM
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I have done this fairly often - bring in tracks that were overdubed somewhere else (say, on a 20 bit ADAT) into a 24 bit project. It doesn't hurt anything at all.

Sure, the overall project would arguably be "better" if everything was done using the best gear possible for the whole thing - this means the best bit resolution, best converters, optimum preamp and front end signal path (mics, compressor, etc) but I think the most important thing is the MUSIC. If you have something that was done on an ADAT that just FEELS great, and you have not been able to duplicate that feel again on the "better" gear, then by all means you should not hesitate to use it.

I've heard very well done recordings in 16 bits and some pretty bad sounding 24 bit recordings. I prefer 24 bit, but I hear a greater difference between 16 and 20 bit recordings than I hear between 20 and 24 bit recordings, all other things being equal.

Again, there's really no reason NOT to fly in and use a lower bit recording if it suits and serves the music. The effect and results of higher or lower bit rates add up with each added track - they're cumulative, so you may indeed hear a difference if you're using lots of tracks from 20 or 16 bits, but if they are well recorded and again, more importantly, FEEL great, IMO, it's worth it to use them.

An example: We had a lead vocal that we did here on a Telefunken ELA M 251, and it sounded great... but the guy just couldn't get the same feel on the bridge that he had at home on his ADAT with a SM58 when he demoed the song. I flew the bridge in from the ADAT, and then I had to try to match the tone of the '58 / 16 bit ADAT track and the Telefunken / 24 bit HDR track... I think I did, and I would be willing to bet money that if I gave you a copy of the album and let you try to guess which song I did this on, you couldn't tell me which one it was. I would have preferred it if I could have gotten the feel here in the studio (it would have saved me some work) but it turned out fine in the end.

Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984830 12/26/01 07:04 PM
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blas Offline OP
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Phil, I realize you can 'get by with it', but the real question is: exactly what occurs in the workstation once that 20 bit is introduced. Does it get converted or what. That is what I was trying to understand. More the under-belly then the overview.

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984831 12/26/01 09:50 PM
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Just add zeros and carry on.

Adding lower-res files to an existing session, or even just making a new session and importing 20-bit files. Doesn't matter. Your conversion process (either copying in digitally or importing) will just add zeros for the lowest 4 bits.

You'll add values to those LSBs when you start changing things. Meanwhile, as long as you like the 20-bit stuff to begin with, it certainly won't do anything negative to your session. At least not for any technical reason I can think of.

JW

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984832 12/26/01 10:02 PM
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John's absolutely correct - the last 4 bits will just have "zeros" written to them once you import them. After that, it may change once you start applying EQ or whatever, but the freshly imported 20 bit files will just have zeros for the lowest 4 bits.

Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984833 12/28/01 03:20 AM
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blas Offline OP
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You know guys, they gotta promise me one thing. It took me twenty-five years doing this stuff to understand all the analogue stuff and now in the past ten it's digital! They jus'gotta quit changing the game rules!!
Thanks both Phil & John, you make it a little more painless (at times).
Blas

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984834 12/28/01 01:59 PM
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Minor clarification - not every daw will add zero's to a lesser than 24-bit source. VST (Nuendo/Cubase) can work with mixed bit depths.

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984835 12/30/01 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KSmith:
Minor clarification - not every daw will add zero's to a lesser than 24-bit source. VST (Nuendo/Cubase) can work with mixed bit depths.



True... the workaround is to digitally transfer the files into the system from the other system. Assuming a 24 bit digital interface on both systems, you should have no problems - even though the source tracks are stored as 20 (or 16) bit files on the source system. For example, you can transfer a 16 bit ADAT file into Cuebase via a lightpipe out from the ADAT into a lightpipe equipped sound card on the PC. Even though the source is only 16 or 20 bit, Cuebase will record the files as 24 bit and just add the zeros.




Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com

Re: 'splain 'dis to me
#984836 01/08/02 06:31 AM
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What up KSmith...aren't the zeros going to be added eventually? Sure it saves on on storage, good point, but when mixed - likely to a higher bit depth master - the zeros will be added. What do the plugins do? Do they treat everything at a single bit rate? Of course, the depth is often higher I suppose - then truncated or dithered-down...how many dither seeds to plugins typically have? I was recently alerted to thinking about how addition on many tracks with the same dither will add noise. Never really thought about it before. I guess it's not much to worry about since my instanciations of like plug-ins usually do not occur simultaneously in the time domain. None the less, something to keep in mind.


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