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> Recording 24 Bit At Home?
Todd Simpson
post Jun 4 2014, 12:06 AM
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Most modern DAWs will let you record 24/96. 24 Bit depth and 96khz sampling. You have probably seen this emblazed on the front of many recording interfaces during your shopping. Many recording interfaces support this now as well. HOWEVER!!!

If you set your daw to 24 bit, and your interface/sound card can only go up to 16 bit/44.1k sampling, then you've got a bit of a mismatch. It's something I see folks doing quite often. If all of this makes no sense at all, you are probably fine smile.gif

But if you are recording 24 bit, make sure your interface/sound card can handle it. Typically this needs to be set manually with the software that controls the interface. Run some tests and see if you can hear the difference. If you can't then it's just going to eat up more hard drive space for very little gain. But if you can hear it, then it's worth trying smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 4 2014, 09:49 AM
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+1

The majority of pro end mastering studios will ask you to deliver your project as 24 bit. I'd also add that there is no real advantage in recording and mixing at a SR above 96kHz and lots of disadvantages. We actually prefer projects to be 24/44.1 and 24/48.


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 4 2014, 09:22 PM
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Spot on as usual smile.gif Unless you have a specific reason for going over on bit rate/sampling, your generally better off all around to keep it just like Tony is saying. I've run across many home recordist setups that are recording in 24/96 only to output mp3 and be shocked as to all that's lost. One the home studio end of things, working at standard bit/rates are closer to what the final deliverable will typically be and the "ear shock" of losing all that quality is far less smile.gif



QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jun 4 2014, 04:49 AM) *
+1

The majority of pro end mastering studios will ask you to deliver your project as 24 bit. I'd also add that there is no real advantage in recording and mixing at a SR above 96kHz and lots of disadvantages. We actually prefer projects to be 24/44.1 and 24/48.


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Mertay
post Jun 4 2014, 09:45 PM
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I advise 48 instead of 44.1 SR. The reason is specially affordable soundcard converters cut the highest freq.s with a different curve than expensive ones but just to simplify, they lose highest freq.s when they record at that sample rate (again with affordable soundcards). Its actually freq.s most can't hear but in a mix (all tracks combined) this affects the sense of depth badly.

Also since homestudio owners usually highly depend on plug-ins, use 96 khz if possible. Its different than oversampling at 40 something SR's but also in someway the same. The plug-ins math. (as far as I read, no expert in such math.) works better.


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 5 2014, 03:17 AM
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Just to re-iterate, if you set your daw to record at 24bit/96khz, make sure your soundcard/interface can support that rate. If not, your not gaining much sad.gif But if you've got the gear to support, give it a go and see how it works for your process smile.gif

QUOTE (Mertay @ Jun 4 2014, 04:45 PM) *
I advise 48 instead of 44.1 SR. The reason is specially affordable soundcard converters cut the highest freq.s with a different curve than expensive ones but just to simplify, they lose highest freq.s when they record at that sample rate (again with affordable soundcards). Its actually freq.s most can't hear but in a mix (all tracks combined) this affects the sense of depth badly.

Also since homestudio owners usually highly depend on plug-ins, use 96 khz if possible. Its different than oversampling at 40 something SR's but also in someway the same. The plug-ins math. (as far as I read, no expert in such math.) works better.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 5 2014, 10:48 AM
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If you are doing post than generally use a SR of 48, if it's for music than 44.1. If you want to 2x upsample to 96 or 88.2 it's ok as Todd says but there is little if any benefit to upsample to 4x or higher and some definite issues. A lot of people do the SR at 192 etc thinking that the larger number must be better, it isn't.

Technically Dan Lavry wrote a nice AES paper on SR etc someyears ago which discussed in a fair amount of technical detail why there is no advantage in 4x upsampling for recording and mixing but a lot of disadvantages. If anyone wants to see it I'll try and dig it out and link it.


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Becca
post Jun 5 2014, 11:18 AM
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Oh Lordy, I am a little scared now. Before I stopped playing to raise our kids my home recording was done on a Yamaha Portastudio! Now I feel like I am a cavewoman smile.gif
I have Ableton Live Intro now with M-Audio's Fast Track pro as an interface. When I am done with a demo the Ableton renders it for me and it is then available to burn to CD. Is there something else I should be doing with it? I downloaded Audacity as it was free but have NO IDEA what I should with it.
Sorry if this a foolish question but, if I don't ask, I won't know, Right? huh.gif


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Mertay
post Jun 5 2014, 11:35 AM
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QUOTE (Becca @ Jun 5 2014, 10:18 AM) *
Oh Lordy, I am a little scared now. Before I stopped playing to raise our kids my home recording was done on a Yamaha Portastudio! Now I feel like I am a cavewoman smile.gif
I have Ableton Live Intro now with M-Audio's Fast Track pro as an interface. When I am done with a demo the Ableton renders it for me and it is then available to burn to CD. Is there something else I should be doing with it? I downloaded Audacity as it was free but have NO IDEA what I should with it.
Sorry if this a foolish question but, if I don't ask, I won't know, Right? huh.gif


smile.gif I didn't use Ableton but if there is a render option in the menu named like "render/burn for CD" it should be automatic. Otherwise render to 16 bit 44.100 khz and burn it to a cd. Just check the result in a cd player if plays everythings fine smile.gif

You're most probably working at 24 bit so when converting to 16 bit remember to Dither the project too. Dither option is usually on limiter plug-ins but if Ableton also dither's 2 times dithering is a not wanted thing.


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jstcrsn
post Jun 5 2014, 11:59 AM
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is fire-wire better than usb ?. When I am going to upgrade my interface ,I was wanting to find something with as little latency as possible.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 5 2014, 12:29 PM
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Becca - take a look at the set up options in Ableton (I don't use it so can't tell you precisely where it is - sorry). It should allow you to set your preferred bt depth and sample rate/SR. Many daws come with it set at 32 float and 44.1. 32 float is ok but 24 fixed is technically better and is what would be used if you sent your project out to master. For the SR set it to 44.1 or 48 if it isn't already.

Then as Mertay says the only thing you need to pay attention to is when you render down to a lower bit rate to produce an audio CD. Red book standard is 44.1 and 16 bit. The reduction from 24 to 16 often requires a process called dithering and you can either do this in some limiters or by inserting a dither plug in as the final item in the plug in chain. You should generally only ever dither once.

jst - FW is better than USB generally for audio but FW audio devices tend to be at the higher end of the prosumer market so usually cost quite a bit more than a USB 2 device. Also, there are not that many computers now that have a FW connection, most only come with USB and/or thunderbolt (if its a MAC) . If your comp does have a FW connector you need to make sure that uses a Texas chipset - there are other cheaper chipsets and some don't always play nice with audio streaming; Texas is about the only one which audio interface FW manufacturers test and are happy with. There are a few other bonuses in that a FW device can be daisy chained properly to increase inputs etc.

The difference between FW and USB is more to do with band width (how many channels can be used at the same time) and how audio is transferred and received as data packets (whether its asynchronous, isosynchronous etc). With latency most (probably all) USB 2 audio devices should be able to be configured for very low latency. Some people think that USB3 audio devices will give you lower latency than a USB 2 device but that isn't true - USB 3 will provide more band width but doesn't improve latency.

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Jun 5 2014, 12:30 PM


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Becca
post Jun 5 2014, 02:38 PM
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Thank you Tony and Mertay. Yep, you are quite correct. I checked Abletons settings and they were on the Red Book standard. And Dithering is there too. Now I know what that means I can use it without worries!
I really appreciate you both taking time out to answer my query. I am quite new to DAWs and the manual seems to assume a basic level of expertise in using DAWs already. Cheers guys smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 5 2014, 03:16 PM
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Just a suggestion for you Becca...

When you record and mix try to keep individual track lanes down so that they peak at around -12dBFS and the stereo main/2 bus at about -6dBFS. Only bring up the level when you 'master' the track. This suggestion may contradict what your DAW's manual says but you'll be much less likely to clip and will have a better digital gainstage.


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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Becca
post Jun 5 2014, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jun 5 2014, 02:16 PM) *
Just a suggestion for you Becca...

When you record and mix try to keep individual track lanes down so that they peak at around -12dBFS and the stereo main/2 bus at about -6dBFS. Only bring up the level when you 'master' the track. This suggestion may contradict what your DAW's manual says but you'll be much less likely to clip and will have a better digital gainstage.

Duly noted Tony. Very useful tip and greatly appreciated. I have had issues with clipping but manual is rather sketchy on details.There are plenty of Tutorials on youtube for Ableton but concentrate on mostly on advanced DJ type stuff.
Thank you again smile.gif smile.gif


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Mertay
post Jun 5 2014, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Jun 5 2014, 10:59 AM) *
is fire-wire better than usb ?. When I am going to upgrade my interface ,I was wanting to find something with as little latency as possible.


I have an old TC electronic konnect 8 (FW) soundcard (first they made, not available anymore) and a friend of mine bought a Roland Quad capture (USB) recently.

Sure not on the same machine, but played guitar with both of them. I can't remember the numbers but my FW has noticabley less latency. But the think is its considered most people can't notice latency problems or an advantage pre 7 ms. So taking 7 ms is the max for live recording, USB delivers this good enough. Maybe only advantage of FW is (guitar-wise) I get to add 1-2 more (simple) plug-ins which to be honest doesn't make a huge difference.

I'm a PC guy and FW is abandoned. If my soundcard broke although I have FW inputs I'd buy a USB soundcard, honestly my opinion is the hassle of trying to fix program/update/installation stuff is a lot worse than adding 1-2 ms latency for recording (and I consider myself some-what a tweaker) smile.gif

QUOTE (Becca @ Jun 5 2014, 01:38 PM) *
Cheers guys smile.gif


Cool smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 5 2014, 06:16 PM
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This is a KILLER reply by TONY and I hope it goes in the wiki smile.gif These questioned answered below come up quite a bit and these answers are great!!! NICE smile.gif

QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jun 5 2014, 07:29 AM) *
Becca - take a look at the set up options in Ableton (I don't use it so can't tell you precisely where it is - sorry). It should allow you to set your preferred bt depth and sample rate/SR. Many daws come with it set at 32 float and 44.1. 32 float is ok but 24 fixed is technically better and is what would be used if you sent your project out to master. For the SR set it to 44.1 or 48 if it isn't already.

Then as Mertay says the only thing you need to pay attention to is when you render down to a lower bit rate to produce an audio CD. Red book standard is 44.1 and 16 bit. The reduction from 24 to 16 often requires a process called dithering and you can either do this in some limiters or by inserting a dither plug in as the final item in the plug in chain. You should generally only ever dither once.

jst - FW is better than USB generally for audio but FW audio devices tend to be at the higher end of the prosumer market so usually cost quite a bit more than a USB 2 device. Also, there are not that many computers now that have a FW connection, most only come with USB and/or thunderbolt (if its a MAC) . If your comp does have a FW connector you need to make sure that uses a Texas chipset - there are other cheaper chipsets and some don't always play nice with audio streaming; Texas is about the only one which audio interface FW manufacturers test and are happy with. There are a few other bonuses in that a FW device can be daisy chained properly to increase inputs etc.

The difference between FW and USB is more to do with band width (how many channels can be used at the same time) and how audio is transferred and received as data packets (whether its asynchronous, isosynchronous etc). With latency most (probably all) USB 2 audio devices should be able to be configured for very low latency. Some people think that USB3 audio devices will give you lower latency than a USB 2 device but that isn't true - USB 3 will provide more band width but doesn't improve latency.


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