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Old 2008-05-21, 06:47
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Soeru Soeru is offline
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24 vs 16 bit recording.

I've been googling the subject of what effect bit depth has on audio recordings done on digital workstations and this seems to be a subject of endless debate. A lot of modern soundcards/capture devices and digital recorders boast the ability of being able to record with a 24-bit depth.

Using 24 bit as well as higher bitrates(kHz, think 44.1, 48, 96, etc) make the file size of the recordings bigger and on computers running recording programs, put more stress on the CPU and RAM. Running cubase with the EZdrummer vst plugin, if you start a project in 24 bit/48-192khz it makes the vst plugin load the higher filesize drum samples into your ram instead of the standard 16bit/44.1khz, which takes much more time to load. Personally though, I can't tell the difference in sound. Maybe I'm not paying enough attention.

A lot of people argue that there's no need to record in 24 bit, 16 bit is fine because after all, all commercial music CD's are mastered to and burned in 16 bit, 44.1khz, so there's no point in recording at super high quality settings if you're just going to dumb it down later apparently. But then some people say it's still a good idea to record in 24 bit even if you're going to bog it down later(something about an increased signal-to-noise ratio?).

What do the experts here think? Anyone here done any pro or semi-pro CD recordings on digital equipment and what bit depth and bit rates did you use?

Should I just keep to 16 bit for quicker performance when recording on a PC or is using 24-bit worth the extra loading times and larger file sizes, even if I'm just going to convert all my recordings to mp3s later on?
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