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96k 24bit to 44.1k 16bit?!?!?!
Old 25th January 2003
  #1
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96k 24bit to 44.1k 16bit?!?!?!

I just mixed a song at 96k (about 45 tracks) on a HD3 and I was very pleased with what I was hearing. Using HP filters on some of the synth stuff, I really got a descently open sound overall.
To make a long story short after using POW-R dither and the dreaded BTD, the results that were burned to CD were absolutely dreadful. The presence was just flat out gone. The general mix still sounded fine, but it was the upper mid to upper presence. I DO know the sound of my room and speakers now and the only thing I usually have to be careful of is the low mids.
But I had to redo the EQ over the mix bus to basically take my head off, to get it to sound all right after the bounce and convert.
I'm not smashing into the mix bus compressor or anything either, just have some occassional 1-2db peak limiting with Maxim (yes I know Maxim sucks, and I'm going to get Waves Mastering package).

So I'd love some input on the questions, and i know that many have been covered before.

If I don't use the BTD and I record the mix to another track, what is the best way to make the conversion
-import the track into another 16 44.1 session
-BTD just the recorded dithered mix
-use another audio app (Does Jam do this well or at all)


Thanks!
Old 25th January 2003
  #2
Re: 96k 24bit to 44.1k 16bit?!?!?!

Quote:
Originally posted by doug_hti
I just mixed a song at 96k (about 45 tracks) on a HD3 and I was very pleased with what I was hearing. Using HP filters on some of the synth stuff, I really got a descently open sound overall.
To make a long story short after using POW-R dither and the dreaded BTD, the results that were burned to CD were absolutely dreadful. The presence was just flat out gone. The general mix still sounded fine, but it was the upper mid to upper presence. I DO know the sound of my room and speakers now and the only thing I usually have to be careful of is the low mids.
But I had to redo the EQ over the mix bus to basically take my head off, to get it to sound all right after the bounce and convert.
I'm not smashing into the mix bus compressor or anything either, just have some occassional 1-2db peak limiting with Maxim (yes I know Maxim sucks, and I'm going to get Waves Mastering package).

So I'd love some input on the questions, and i know that many have been covered before.

If I don't use the BTD and I record the mix to another track, what is the best way to make the conversion
-import the track into another 16 44.1 session
-BTD just the recorded dithered mix
-use another audio app (Does Jam do this well or at all)


Thanks!
On the POW-R dither, did you use scheme 1,2 or 3( the most transparent is #3.)

Were you monitoring with the POW-R dither on the mix buss insert?another way you can hear ahead of time what it will do).

BTD should not change it all( I have heard if you have a lot of automation, there maybe be issues).

Maybe record the mix track on two tracks(@24bit,96K) no processing, import into a new PT session and do your pre mastering processing there. It works better this way when you bounce down because there is no automation to slow it down.

If you still doubt PT, there is Waveburner Pro and Bias Peak for this purpose.

Good luck!!!
Old 25th January 2003
  #3
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doug_hti's Avatar
 

Re: Re: 96k 24bit to 44.1k 16bit?!?!?!

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
On the POW-R dither, did you use scheme 1,2 or 3( the most transparent is #3.)

Were you monitoring with the POW-R dither on the mix buss insert?another way you can hear ahead of time what it will do).

BTD should not change it all( I have heard if you have a lot of automation, there maybe be issues).

Maybe record the mix track on two tracks(@24bit,96K) no processing, import into a new PT session and do your pre mastering processing there. It works better this way when you bounce down because there is no automation to slow it down.

If you still doubt PT, there is Waveburner Pro and Bias Peak for this purpose.

Good luck!!!
Thanks for your input Thrill, and by the way, you seem to always have good input, so I appreciate what you have to say.

Uh, yes, I was monitoring with POW-R and yes I have been using number 3, and although I can hear a fairly radical difference with it on the mix bus, it's not changing it for the worse too much.

I'll try recording to two tracks and importing.
And yes there was a good amount of automation

About the actual mathematical conversion, I've just heard a fair amount of people complain about Digi's downsampling. I don't always hear the subtle differences people talk about.

Also, if I don't have to make extensive song sequences and crossfades, etc., will ITunes suffice for burning, or will I actually get a better result from WaveBurner or Toast? I currently burn at 4x on Black CD-Rs in Itunes (no conversions of any kind done in ITunes though)

Thanks!
Old 26th January 2003
  #4
Rab
KMR Audio
 
Rab's Avatar
 

Hey Doug

In case it helps, from my Mix system I always use the following procedure.

• Bounce the mix to disk to create a stereo "pre-master" at the original bit-depth/sample rate of the session - I don't use Digi's 16-bit conversion - I''ve found it to be relatively poor.

• Create a new session and import the stereo bounced file.

• Use Waves +L1 Ultramaximizer plug-in with the "16-bit Final Master" preset. Threshold is typically set around -6db and Out Ceiling at around -0.2dB. Either way, just so that the attenuation "tickles" in regularly on peaks. The dithering is way better than Digi's.

• Bounce to disk again to create the 16-bit file (Waves has already crunched the extra bits) and use Jam to write the CD at 2x speed (this provides all the PQ codes and is more straightforward than Waveburner).

I've tried messing around with different methods, but this always gives me a decent result. I'm guessing Waves L2 in the Mastering Bundle would be even better. If I need to mess with the EQ, I'll always try to use a good outboard processor rather than plug-ins. Bear in mind I'm in no way a mastering engineer, so there's probably guys out there with their eyes rolled way back in their heads! It would be good to hear other opinions...

Hope that helps.
Old 26th January 2003
  #5
I use a Finalizer to sample rate convert my 96k mixes to 44.1k

I dont have PTHD

Old 26th January 2003
  #6
Jax
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Recently, I'm finding that it sounds better to start out at 16/44.1 than be forced to end up there with dithering and noise shaping (I'm normally using L2's IDR). The obvious little perks are more plug-in instantiations and far less storage space needed for archiving. It can be hard to explain this to clients, and some won't accept it.
Old 26th January 2003
  #7
Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
Recently, I'm finding that it sounds better to start out at 16/44.1 than be forced to end up there with dithering and noise shaping (I'm normally using L2's IDR). The obvious little perks are more plug-in instantiations and far less storage space needed for archiving. It can be hard to explain this to clients, and some won't accept it.
What if your client is mastering elsewhere?

Sometimes mastering engineers will convert the signal to analog and do their processing. They can bring it back at what ever rate they wish.

I've been mixing to 96K and 88.2 for years now(I normally compress/EQ the mix in analog)and I want the best representation. Most mastering guys have no problem they actually prefer it.

On a side note, the best rate converters/down upsamplers i tested were:
Outboard: Z-Sys, Lucid and Masterlink
Mac:Spark XL and Sonic Solutions

Jules i haven't tested the Finalizer for this, but I have heard that it works well.
Old 26th January 2003
  #8
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doug_hti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I use a Finalizer to sample rate convert my 96k mixes to 44.1k

I dont have PTHD

I have a Finalizer Express that I just hooked up last night (that I normally only use live for an artist's in ear system). How would you compare using a Finalizer Express with Maxim to a c4 and L2. I'm not mastering any commercially released music material, but I do have to frequently "master" demos that DO have to sound really really good. But the problem with using the Finalizer Express is that I can do the processing at 96k, but I convert a stereo print to 44.1 into another session. And the problem with the waves stuff is that I can't even run the Linear Phase C4 or EQ on my HD system at 96k, because my mac can't even handle one instance (G4 466).
After running the track through the suprisingly complicated Express unit and having a difficult time having the track hit the comp and limiters right without overloading the ins or outs.... I did get a considerably better result by boosting and adding compression to the high band.
I also hate buying plugins and would rather buy hardware that will hold it's value a bit longer...
Is it worth trading in an Express unit and upgrading to the 96k version, as I can get artist pricing from TC and they are right down the road. Or is there X3 plugin the exact same technology as the 96k hardware version.
I don't want to have to spend $k's on "mastering" stuff, as that is not my job. But if there are any reasonbly priced comp/limiters that are as good across the mix buss as the software L2s (under $2k), would that be an option.

And Jax, I understand you're argument about recording at 44.1 16. I would definately entertain the idea (at least 44.1k 24bit) a bit more if we didn't potentially keep some of the background vocals and drums from the demos for album tracks, in which they are mixed at 96k through all outboard gear.

Urrrgghhh....thanks for the helps!
Old 26th January 2003
  #9
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
What if your client is mastering elsewhere?
I find that out during preproduction. Also, ME's can still do their thing at 16 bit. They might think it a little unusual but it shouldn't throw them for a loop, should it?
Old 26th January 2003
  #10
Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
I find that out during preproduction. Also, ME's can still do their thing at 16 bit. They might think it a little unusual but it shouldn't throw them for a loop, should it?
It shouldn't but you are tying their hands.

I don't want this to become a debate on bit resolution, but I do believe that a higher bit resolution helps in dynamic resolution(especially after digital processing which has to be done at some point).

I still mix down to DAT for those people that ask for it. I really don't prefer it(and i always state my displeasure)but hey "he's payin for it" not me.
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