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Topic: 24-bit libraries forthcoming?

  1. #1

    24-bit libraries forthcoming?

    Several times, it has been mentioned that GS 3.0 will be 24-bit capable. Where does that leave us with our 16-bit libraries?

    Has consideration been given by our developers to the upgrade path to 24 bits? I\'d hate to spend a few grand on libraries now, and have to re-purchase in six months or a year (though I have no problem with a reasonably-priced upgrade.)

    As great as GS sounds now, 24-bit clarity will be absolute nirvana (until 32-bit comes along!)

    And on that topic, is there even a hint of possible release date? Next quarter, summer, next year, next decade, never?

    Just trying to prioritize my library requirements...


  2. #2

    Re: 24-bit libraries forthcoming?

    from the perspective of our receptive system (ears + brain) the leap from 24 to 32 bit does not make any sense...

  3. #3

    Re: 24-bit libraries forthcoming?

    I for one am not going to make 24 bit libraries for quite some time, my guitar library and upcoming releases would be simply too massive for today\'s gear, maybe in 2 years or so but definitly not for some time regarding Vintaudio releases.

    Of course all my libraries are recorded in 24 bits, and if enough costumers demand 24 bits well i\'ll offer it as an option.

    Vintaudio www.vintaudio.com

    [This message has been edited by Franky (edited 02-08-2002).]

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: 24-bit libraries forthcoming?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by thesoundsmith:
    Several times, it has been mentioned that GS 3.0 will be 24-bit capable. Where does that leave us with our 16-bit libraries?

    As great as GS sounds now, 24-bit clarity will be absolute nirvana (until 32-bit comes along!)

    Just trying to prioritize my library requirements...


    Really, it\'s a non-issue. You are using, in most cases, extremely well-crafted 16-bit libraries (usually quanized with utmost care from 24-bit sources). This already nets you a \"virtual\" resolution more in line with 18 or so bits depth. Additionally, almost every developer I know is optimizing record levels such that you are NEVER getting any signal anywhere near the bottom eight bits.

    Only the last few seconds of a piano tail, for instance--barely audible with the volume cranked--will ever dip into that nether region. A steady-state type of library, like woodwinds, brass, etc., simply will NEVER exceed the range where it can be perfectly rendered in a 16-bit file.

    Anyway, even at present, your mixes take place in a 32-bit floating point environment, and are spit out into 24-bit disk files (or through your sound card). This is where the real advantage of high bit depth comes into play--within the mix environment. In that regard, you won\'t see any difference because it is already operating at that resolution.

    In essence, what this means is that the move to actual 24-bit sample source files will net you an almost, if not totally, imperceptible change. The only place you would notice a wholesale difference would be in the case of an extremely poorly produced 16-bit library.

    However, with a 24-bit library, you are facing a tremendous negative--you\'ll be getting a good bit less polyphony due to the overhead. Very few significant gains are being made in hard drive throughput these days, because the hardware is nearing its theoretical maximum performance. So until there is some quantum leap in storage technology (and you can be it will be PRICEY), a 24-bit library will simply eat your precious polyphony and give you almost no sonic benefit for the loss.

    My suggestion is, wait for nothing. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. If 24-bit libraries somehow change the world, your vendor will offer a decent upgrade path. However, I wouldn\'t waste a single thought on it.

  5. #5

    Re: 24-bit libraries forthcoming?

    Peter-I was just kidding about 32 bits (I think!)

    Franky, thanks for the input. I assume most master libraries are recorded at 24 bit, but the reassurance is helpful.

    Bruce, as usual, you have an excellent perspective on the issue. I do disagree with your assessment of the improvement, tho\'. Seems to me that we have the same question of noise build-up as in the piano sample threads. A five note piano chord adds the noise of 5 samples, a sampled (i.e., recorded) five-note piano chord adds the noise of one sample. All recordings have a little bit of room/electronic/quantization/dither, etc. etc. noise inherent in the file. Granted, it\'s very minor, but it all adds up.

    And I believe that in the next couple of years hardware advances will render the additional speed vs. polyphony debate unimportant. 24 bits will always need more bandwidth than 16, but it will be there.

    Still, your base point is well taken. A trumpet in the project today is worth a section of Maarten\'s trumpets on the next project. Thanks.


    [This message has been edited by thesoundsmith (edited 02-10-2002).]

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