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Topic: Dithering question

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  1. #1

    Dithering question

    Hi. I\'ve got a portable mic preamp/ a/dconverter arriving soon. It has 24/96 output and does not dither down to 16 bit at all. I was told by the manufacturer that it is compatible with 16 bit digital devices, but that those devices simply ignore the bottom eight bits when recording.

    So my question is this...
    Will recordings sound any worse when this happens? (When I record to a 16 bit device with a 24 bit stream coming in).

    If the recordings will take place near a power outlet, I can record straight to my soundcards s/pdif input at 24/96, no problems. But often times I will be on-location, recording to 16 bit.

    Thanks for any help, and here is the a/d converter it anyone is interested.

    http://www.core-sound.com/HighResRecorderNews.html#MIC2496

  2. #2

    Re: Dithering question

    The principle is simple: you want to use dither whenever you reduce the wordlength, because it lets you keep some low-level detail that you lose by not dithering. I don\'t know what else there is to say!

  3. #3

    Re: Dithering question

    The 16 bit input device will just truncate the extra 8 bits. I believe this truncation will give you noise at abound -90 dB (ie the 16th bit will largely be truncation noise). Rounding I think would give you a half bit better resolution, and dither would give you a pleasanter noise spectrum & possibly a hint of the accoustically significant spectrum in the truncated bits.

    There are plenty of applications where 16 bit recording is OK, & I would expect 15 bit recording (ie 16 bit truncated from 24) to be adequate for these applications. Plenty of location recordings will have too high of a noise floor to make a difference anyway.

    If I were recording for a sample project or capturing a master for a distinguishing client (espetially with good mics & a good room) 16 bits isn\'t enough, and 15 bits moreso.

  4. #4

    Re: Dithering question

    Thanks for the replies. If I do any sample cd projects, I will use my PC, and record 24/88.2 through the optical input. When doing field recording, I\'m limited to 16/44.1, because the Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 is only capable of that quality. If I had a laptop with 24/96 support, I would do that in a hearbeat. In fact, my preamp supports up to 24/192kHz! That would be great, although a bit over the top. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] It\'s good for sampling trees singing though. Hahaha.

    BTW, SAM, are you the Project SAM person? I\'m wondering if you have gotten an approximate date and cost on your upcoming trumpet library. Thanks in advance.

  5. #5

    Re: Dithering question

    Originally posted by unconscious sound:
    BTW, SAM, are you the Project SAM person?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">That project has nothing to do with me, look around here for Maarten Spruijt.

    cheers,
    -s

  6. #6

    Re: Dithering question

    “Rounding I think would give you a half bit better resolution, and dither would give you a pleasanter noise spectrum & possibly a hint of the accoustically significant spectrum in the truncated bits.”

    Except that nothing has a feature to turn rounding on or off like you often can with dither! Things either have dither or they don’t. If you have it, you want to use it whenever you reduce the number of bits. Some people might actually argue with that, but I consider that pretty far out there - unless you\'re after a gritty effect.

    “There are plenty of applications where 16 bit recording is OK, & I would expect 15 bit recording (ie 16 bit truncated from 24) to be adequate for these applications. Plenty of location recordings will have too high of a noise floor to make a difference anyway.”

    The argument to that would be that you still hear a lot music inside the noise floor - both live and in the electronics. This is all subtle stuff, though. I say use what you have and make the most of it.

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