[MPA] Audio bit depth considerations (was newbie questions)

Charles Turner turnercl at mac.com
Tue Feb 18 07:45:16 PST 2003

On Tuesday, February 18, 2003, at 07:51  AM, Mac Pro Audio List wrote:

> Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 18:20:39 -0800
> Subject: Re: [MPA] Audio I/O Interface and Other Newbie Questions
> From: Scott Baldwin <sbaldwin at san.rr.com>
> On Monday, February 17, 2003, at 04:00 PM, Steve Shapiro wrote:
>> Given that the bit rate of an audio CD is 16-bits, what's the reason
>> for getting an audio I/O interface that lets you record at 24-bits or
>> more?
> This is a good question, to which there is no simple answer......
> There are actually two numbers to consider in digital recording.  The
> Bit depth (16,24) and the sampling rate.  (44.1K, 88.2, 96K...etc).

When digital music 'data' is processed, eg. inside a DAW for mixing, 
applying effects, etc., I would speculate that there can be round off 
and other number crunching precision problems. Consequently using the 
greatest bit depth available would seem to be advisable to minimize the 
effect of these computational artifacts. Save the conversion to 16 bits 
for CDs for the very last step.

However, I don't have enough experience to know whether this is in fact 
a practical consideration.


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