View Single Post
Old 15th April 2003
Lives for gear

A PRACTICAL comparison of bit depth

I just realized there is a record I mixed that might provide the ability to compare 16 vs 24 bits on a purely practical level.

I mixed an album for Mercury on an artist named Anthony Smith about a year ago. It was recorded 100% directly to Pro Tools Mix over about a 2 year period. It was mixed 100% within Paris, except for a TC6000 connected digitally, and printed to a 1/2" ATR102.

The reason I bring it up is that because of the way the album came together with most songs having initially begun as demos, it is a collection of Pro Tools recordings at 44.1/16, 48/16, 44.1/24 and 48/24, all recorded by one person, all mixed by another person.

My point is, I would challenge anyone to determine which songs are which bit depth and sample rate by using only their ears. Now 1 year later, I can't tell which is which, without looking it back up in the docs.

So I would offer the thought that most of the discussion of this subject is merely academic, at least when auditioned on what I believe is a fairly good sounding commercial CD through high quality D/A.

Which means that maybe if we spent more time worrying about the music, and less time worrying about the specs and numbers (and doesn't digital audio give us lots of numbers to masticate?), people might be buying more CDs.

Brian T