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Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

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Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Kolakube » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:15 pm

Hi,

Wondering how bit rate applies to multi sampling of old analogue synths?

I know the benefits of 24 bit multi track recording and can see how that is as good as essential if you require the best results as most multi tracks will have a varying dynamic range. And it gives your more choices at mix down re levels and such.

But does that matter a damn when multi sampling an old 80s analogue synth?
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:28 pm

Kolakube wrote:Hi,

Wondering how bit rate applies to multi sampling of old analogue synths?

I know the benefits of 24 bit multi track recording and can see how that is as good as essential if you require the best results as most multi tracks will have a varying dynamic range. And it gives your more choices at mix down re levels and such.

But does that matter a damn when multi sampling an old 80s analogue synth?

Many of those old analogue synths are capable of throwing out a huge amount of stuff right across the frequency range and depending on the patch may exhibit a wide dynamic range while they are doing so. I think 16-bit should be fine but given the choice I'd go 24-bit unless you have a good reason not to.
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Kolakube » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:10 pm

Hi there, thanks for the reply.

Yeah I have an old Akai S5000 sampler that I like very much using. its 16 bit.

Mind I also have and enjoy the 24 bit 'Sampler' on Ableton.

I can hear you right now. 'Then you should sample at 24 bit and dither down to 16bit.'
Dithering is too fiddly and I want to make my own sample library and I want to make it the best I can. I dot want to make it sound worse by choosing the wrong shape dither.

No one person says, hey use triangular or whatever. You have to pass a degree in Astro Physics to work out on a sample by sample basic what algorithm to use. Argggg. Thats to much to the point I realise I am not a dither'er

So, I need to find out if 16 bit will hold me back. 16 Bit can be used on both Akai and PC. If its 24 bit then Ill be sad to wave goodbye to having a beige box in my studio since the early 90s. End of an era stuff.
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby IAA » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:14 pm

I think 16-bit should be fine but given the choice I'd go 24-bit unless you have a good reason not to.

I’ve sampled my Moogs and even a mellotron and agree with Eddy, it’s worth catching everything...even the noise and crud.
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Kolakube » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:19 pm

Hi,

Rest assured I want everything. Im not a person who likes squeeky clean.

I loved the DX100 solid bass. Half of that was noise. Still one of my best sounds today 3 decades later. If you cleaned that up and gave me a 'pure' sample of it, I wouldnt thank you.

And the best chorus ever resides on my Juno 6. Well, half chorus half hiss and noise. Yet makes nearly everything sound superb. How I wish they would release a rack version of that chorus
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby desmond » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:23 pm

I would record at 24bit and then generate whatever destination formats I need from those recordings.
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:29 pm

Hi Kola!

Sample 24-bit, mate. No point skimping. If you like the grunge, the best sample you can get will retain that grunge - this is fidelity for the sake of capturing warts'n'all! :lol:
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Kolakube » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:31 pm

Its looking unanimous. Ok, 24 bit it is.

Thanks everyone. Appreciate the replies.
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:43 am

Kolakube wrote: Ill be sad to wave goodbye to having a beige box in my studio since the early 90s. End of an era stuff.

Don't get rid of it, it's got a sound of its own.

I have a ton of synths here, analogue and digital ranging in production from the 80s to the last few months but one of my absolute all-time favourites is a digital synth that came out in 1992.

Noisy, 12-bit-sounding sometimes, grainy but absolutely huge and epic in capability. There are sounds it can make that put the Kronos to shame.

Anyone who doesn't own a Yamaha SY85 should get one IMHO. I have three. One is the original I mortaged my soul to buy back in the day and gigged to heck, one as a spare and one in case the spare dies :)

Keep the Aikai if you love it. You'll regret it later if you don't!
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:17 am

Kolakube wrote:Dithering is too fiddly ... I want to make it the best I can.

These two statements aren't compatible!

If you want to make it the best you can, then record your samples at 24 bits with generous headroom so you never get caught out, optimise the levels afterwards, then dither to 16 bits. Job done. The level optimisation and dithering can even be done as batch functions using something like Adobe Audition if you want.

However, if that's too much hassle, record to 16 bits and sort it out from there... but you'll need to keep a watchful eye on your levels the whole time while recording, which will probably be just as tedious and frustrating as the post-prod exercise!

I dot want to make it sound worse by choosing the wrong shape dither.

99% of end users probably wouldn't be able to tell one kind of dither from another anyway, but if in doubt just use standard TPDF -- it is the most benign of vanilla dithers. Works well with everything! I'm that one person! :-)

I need to find out if 16 bit will hold me back.

I don't see any reasons why it should. The only difference between 16 and 24 bit samples is where the noise floor lies, but the noise floor in a mix is very unlikely to be dominated by the choice of 16 bit samples because (a) you're unlikely to have them peaking to 0dBFS anyway (so their own noise floor will sit at the 18-20bit level at worst), and (b) if you record guitars, or vocals, or anything acoustic the ambient noise floor is likely to be way higher than the 16 bit level....
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby ef37a » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:33 am

On a slightly different tack...Some years ago I dubbed some 50 sides of punk singles onto PC then CD for my daughter.

I copied them at 24 bits even though the dynamic range of the music (?) was next to BA. I recorded at -24dBfs so as to give plenty of headroom for the inevitable (and massive!) clicks.
My theory being that spikes that push over 0dB fs could create artifacts in the converter, a 2496?

The resultant tracks were cleaned up with the then Sony Sound Forge which was available as a one month freebie so I had to get my skates on!

I THINK I retained my sanity after the exercise but maybe that is for others to judge?

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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:46 pm

Dithering amounts to the click of one button in most DAWs and plug-ins. Simple!

And I agree with Hugh - triangular every time. If anyone felt I'd made the wrong choice they didn't come back for a refund!

The stuff you're talking about is so very, very subtle - much more subtle than the 'grunge' artifacts you are wanting to preserve.
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Kolakube » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:02 pm

Thanks you Elf and Hugh.

Can I remind all others I am talking about multi sampling. NOT recording a 1 minute take of guitar or anything like mixing.

Elf - I didnt see where Hugh said 'Triangular' dithering.
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Kolakube » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:12 pm

I use Sound forge as it has great batch converting features. I dont think many use it any more but hey ho, im the guy who still uses an Akai sampler.

There are two types of Bit Depth Conversion. One is erm, just that (We will call it vanilla) and the other is POW-r So right at the offset im drowning in jargon. Before I even get to the dither page what Bit rate reduction would you recommend I use?

Yes ive RTFM. Doesn't tell me what the differences are.


@ Elf. You said you use triangular. That will do for me then. When I finally work out if I need Pow r or noth both dither menus then have Noise Shaping. What can then be set too High Pass contour or Equal loudness contour or Off? What do you suggest? What program do you use to batch dither?
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Re: Multi sampling. 16 or 24 bit

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:21 pm

Kolakube wrote:Can I remind all others I am talking about multi sampling. NOT recording a 1 minute take of guitar or anything like mixing.

If you're capturing audio for re-use and want to do so at the best quality you can, from the A/D perspective it doesn't make any difference whether you're sampling a keypress for seconds or an opera for hours ;)
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