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Old 21st November 2012, 05:05 PM   #31
jcx is online now jcx  United States
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most Studios already work at 24/96 - so resampling with dither are standard plugins in their mastering software - pretty universal, has to be used to produce 16/144 releases - little "new" education required

to my knowledge the few published peer reviewed articles claiming positive results in controlled listening for higher resolution in either bit depth or samplerate than 16/44 haven't been replicated, have methodological questions, aren't yet accepted as proven psychoacoustics

but I'd say the situation is unsettled and therefore boosting sample rate is a better use of any extra bits - little of the current sophistication in the dither algorithms is required at much higher sample rate - the noise doesn't have to be so carefully apportioned in our normal hearing range - it can all be above 20 kHz with 96 k


If you can reliably tell 24 vs 16 bit depth, when a good dither has been properly applied to the 16 bit data, with music at reasonable volume then there are psychoacoustic researchers wanting to test you in their labs

Last edited by jcx; 21st November 2012 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 21st November 2012, 05:32 PM   #32
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to my knowledge the few published peer reviewed articles claiming positive results in controlled listening for higher resolution in either bit depth or samplerate than 16/44 haven't been replicated, have methodological questions, aren't yet accepted as proven psychoacoustics
Far be it from me to suggest that anyone would want to visit anywhere other than diyaudio, particularly somewhere as regularly derided as hydrogenaudio, but anyone who did would discover plenty of solid theoretical and practical foundation to suggest that despite numerous attempts to demonstrate otherwise, no audible improvement over well-engineered 16/44k1 is achievable.

Considering the difficulties encountered by those determined to prove the necessity of higher bit depths/sample rates, it has to be acknowledged by any fair-minded pundit that if any improvement is possible, it must be absolutely marginal.

It might be comforting to think that the system one enjoys exceeds the limits of audibility by some margin, but it's a disappointment to me to see a creeping acquiescence to a mass-market sales strategy here on what I take to be an evidence-based forum aimed at home constructors.

Greater bit-depth in a DAC may have some justification in terms of allowing digital (firmware) attenuation, but the recordings we can buy on CD already are high-definition, if there are problems with dynamic range they are the result of choices made by recording engineers not system engineers and there is no reason to think that a technically more capable system will improve matters.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:08 PM   #33
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Hopefully I don't put my foot in my mouth, but why would you attenuate in the digital realm? You would lose dynamic range no matter how many bits there are. Bits determine the resolution of the signal and should not be used to "control" volume or dynamic range. Example - 4 bit system - 0000 = lowest level, 1111 = highest level, only 16 distinct steps between them. 8 bit system - 00000000 = lowest level, 11111111 = highest level, now there are 256 distinct levels between them. There are no negative levels, so if you attenuate digitally, the number of levels between low and high decrease. Seems to make sense to leave the digital alone, and attenuate in the analog realm - which isn't that difficult.

In other words, if you attenuate 50% digitally, everything below 50% is gone. The way to keep it all is to compress downwardly, causing the high level to be 50% less loud, but again, the upper 50% of your dynamic range is not being used.

Make sense? I deal a lot with vibration signals in the digital world and while I may not have done the best job conveying the message, I do know what I am talking about.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:17 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by counter culture View Post
Far be it from me to suggest that anyone would want to visit anywhere other than diyaudio, particularly somewhere as regularly derided as hydrogenaudio, but anyone who did would discover plenty of solid theoretical and practical foundation to suggest that despite numerous attempts to demonstrate otherwise, no audible improvement over well-engineered 16/44k1 is achievable.

...

Greater bit-depth in a DAC may have some justification in terms of allowing digital (firmware) attenuation, but the recordings we can buy on CD already are high-definition, if there are problems with dynamic range they are the result of choices made by recording engineers not system engineers and there is no reason to think that a technically more capable system will improve matters.
Well engineered is the sore point here methinks. And I am not certain at all if it's the bit depth that makes the difference or how the bits are used. Maybe if I had ACTUAL 16 bit and 24 bit it would be impossible to distinguish. Have no real knowledge about this, but I seem to remember reading a thread in the digital section here, where they argued that hardly any 24bit dac's are actually 24bit, more often between 18-21bit real bit depth. So following that line of thought, maybe a 16 bit dac is not 16 bit, but more often 13-15 bit?
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:38 PM   #35
jcx is online now jcx  United States
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most (even audiophile) home playback will be through systems that clip between 100 and 110 dB SPL, in rooms seldom reaching NC25
so in rough numbers 95 dB S/N would be just about the most available

so you just need 16 bits when playing at very loud volume – any turn down in the above situation will have the room noise floor as a limit – volume control technology doesn't matter


and the “lost bits” heuristic itself is past its “use by” date – today Media player SW calculates with 32 bit internal wordlength, can be set to send 24 bits to your HD DAC – even with 16 bit source

so in practice today even with 16 bit source the bits don't "get lost" until they are way below better grade audio DAC output electronic noise floor ~ -120 dB

and again it is hard to get through to people what dither does - you can have much more than 16 bit's theoretical 96 dB when the dither is shaped to hide where our hearing isn't sensitive - delivering weighted psychoacoustic S/N well over 100 dB

Last edited by jcx; 21st November 2012 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:43 PM   #36
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Well engineered is the sore point here methinks. And I am not certain at all if it's the bit depth that makes the difference or how the bits are used. Maybe if I had ACTUAL 16 bit and 24 bit it would be impossible to distinguish. Have no real knowledge about this, but I seem to remember reading a thread in the digital section here, where they argued that hardly any 24bit dac's are actually 24bit, more often between 18-21bit real bit depth. So following that line of thought, maybe a 16 bit dac is not 16 bit, but more often 13-15 bit?
There is validity in that argument. In my job, if I use a vibration sensor that outputs a level from 0 to 500G, but my test only covers 10 to 250G, then I am not using the full resolution, or bit depth of possible levels. A sensor that outputs 0 to 250G would be much more appropriate. But how do you translate this to music? If your highest level is 100dB, but most all the rest of the content runs at 65dB, you rarely realize the full bit depth available. Just the way it is...
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:49 PM   #37
pooge is offline pooge  United States
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Originally Posted by yagoolar View Post
There is actually quite a lot if you start searching the Net.
Good start is e.g.
Free High-Res H i F i D U I N O and archive.org.
I found Nine Inch Nails band shares their album free nin.com [the official nine inch nails website]
Yes, free samples of "HiRez" are easy to find. However, I don't find much, if any, that actually specifies that no compression was used.
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Old 21st November 2012, 07:13 PM   #38
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why would you attenuate in the digital realm?
People want to be able to move a slider on their computer screen and analog attenuation isn't built into most digital systems.

Some modern DACs have built-in digital attenuation schemes operating under uProc control. It's of course possible to construct a digital-controlled attenuator operating solely in the analog domain, but it's not always done.

It's difficult to know the exact implementation details of every piece of equipment one encounters. I always run the digital end at maximum volume, it's the simplest way to the best result. Hopefully. It's a kind of diminishing returns thing, there's a limit to the amount of personal effort I want to put into playing some music, particularly if I don't notice a problem, and all my systems have regular pots in them.
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Old 21st November 2012, 07:14 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by jcx View Post
...
so you just need 16 bits when playing at very loud volume any turn down in the above situation will have the room noise floor as a limit volume control technology doesn't matter
...
This is where I disagree. the difference is impossible to notice when running full tilt constantly, it is in the transitions and quiet passages with low level details the difference appears. Like if you are playing a track loud, all of a sudden there is a transition to a quiet passage, you are listening to the noise floor of the guitar amplifier on the recording, and the guitar player is playing very very carefully, you can hear the uncut/not close cropped strings moving ever so slightly, the musicians breathing very quietly, someone in the room just opening their mouth without saying anything maybe just a smile or grin. This sort of thing. Just love those recordings, they are rare, but great moments in recording history.

Now, I agree that proper 16bit recordings are really good, but they are far between and the so called experts in the studio are often too lazy to do things properly, they may not use optimal equipment or maybe they use it wrongly, but resolution and bit depth is never directly wasteful. There may come a day when everyone is able to hear the difference and truly appreciate it.
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Old 21st November 2012, 07:18 PM   #40
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Well engineered is the sore point here methinks.
Right.

But it's a 'weakest link in the chain' scenario. No amount of beefing up the other links helps.
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