Are higher sampling rates ever better?

Discussion in 'Digital Integration' started by c.coyle, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. c.coyle

    c.coyle From the Fabulous Downtown Lounge Subscriber

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    Interesting article:

    The Science of Sample Rates (When Higher Is Better — And When It Isn’t)

    "So, if you are ever using a converter and find it sounds dramatically better at a higher rate, don’t get excited about the sample rate. Get suspicious of the design shortcuts instead! Why isn’t the 44.1kHz on that converter up to snuff? How does this converter compare to the best-designed converters when they are set to a lower rate? Is it still better, or does the advantage disappear?"
     

     

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  2. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    First - it is a blog post, not an article. 2nd, he has no other articles quoted or proof. 3. He has a bias against high sampling rates and he has stated that in other places. His post does not prove anything. except expressing is own opinion.
     
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  3. c.coyle

    c.coyle From the Fabulous Downtown Lounge Subscriber

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    Easy soldier. Just posting an article, er, blog post. And an old one at that, now that I notice.
     
  4. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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  5. hnash53

    hnash53 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I just read the article. I found several quotes/references/citations that refer to others' comments, and links are provided for some of those.

    I found that he was not being dogmatic at all about what he was trying to explain/illustrate.

    I think the article is much more objective than subjective, as you intimated.
     
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  6. SoundOfSound

    SoundOfSound Super Member

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    There is some confusion with what Nyquist said. The Nyquist frequency is a minimum number, it is O.K. to go above it.

    You also have to keep in mind that limitations of current software and hardware are a different issue than what can be done with the DSP processing equations. The equations have been around longer than any of this relatively new DSP hardware. The new hardware will continue to improve over time and allow better sampling at higher rates.

    Your system has to be able to play back the higher rates or it will not matter that they are there. If your system cannot play back a higher rate it will chuck out all the extra information and play back at the highest rate that it can support. A 24 bit 96 Khz recording will only play back at 16 bit 44.1 Khz if that's all your system can support. Don't expect it to do things it was not designed to do.

    When thinking about digitizing a signal, Quantization, keep in mind a Riemann sum. If storage space and processing power where not the limiting factors more information would always be better.

    [​IMG]

    I think the more important number to be concerned with is how many bits can be accurately resolved by the system. More bits will give you a finer resolution of the signal volume and give you a more fluid dynamic range.
     

     

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  7. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Nope. Each bit represents EXACTLY the same volume level, whether there are 16 or 24 of them, More bits do NOT give "finer resolution ". The only advantage of 24 bits is that it gives the producer more slop room while recording and mixing down. 16 bits gives far more than enough noise floor in any listening environment, particularly with the high dynamic range compression used in so many of today's recordings.

    Suggest you go read/watch Monty Montgomery's excellent tutorials to learn how digital actually works...
     
  8. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    It is bit depth.

    http://tweakheadz.com/16-bit-vs-24-bit-audio/

    http://www.provideocoalition.com/understanding-24-bit-vs-16-bit-audio-production-distribution/

    http://www.tested.com/tech/1905-the-real-differences-between-16-bit-and-24-bit-audio/

    http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f...ce-between-16bit-and-24bit-audio-files-20921/

    We could debate this for ever. There have been articles out, in peer reviewed journals, that show people CAN indeed hear differences between high and regular res. I wonder what Monty would say, placebo affect? RIGHT.....
     
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  9. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    The AES article you are referring to was not peer reviewed, and is being thoroughly discredited by the folks who actually understand digital audio.

    https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,112204.0.html

    But, those who see this as a religious war will, of course, never yield to mere factual evidence...
     
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  10. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Each bit is a 1 / ( 2 ^ n) increment. If n = 16 we get an increment of 1 / ( 2 ^ 16). If n = 24 we get an increment of 1 / (2 ^ 24).
     
  11. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Sorry, doesn't work that way. Each bit represents a fixed voltage, 24 bits simply gives more dynamic range. 24 bits represents the SPL difference between a needle dropped on a carpet and a 747 in your living room. Way more than any recording will ever use.

    "So, 24bit does add more 'resolution' compared to 16bit but this added resolution doesn't mean higher quality, it just means we can encode a larger dynamic range. This is the misunderstanding made by many. There are no extra magical properties, nothing which the science does not understand or cannot measure. The only difference between 16bit and 24bit is 48dB of dynamic range (8bits x 6dB = 48dB) and nothing else. This is not a question for interpretation or opinion, it is the provable, undisputed logical mathematics which underpins the very existence of digital audio."

    "So, can you actually hear any benefits of the larger (48dB) dynamic range offered by 24bit? Unfortunately, no you can't. The entire dynamic range of some types of music is sometimes less than 12dB. The recordings with the largest dynamic range tend to be symphony orchestra recordings but even these virtually never have a dynamic range greater than about 60dB. All of these are well inside the 96dB range of the humble CD. What is more, modern dithering techniques (see 3 below), perceptually enhance the dynamic range of CD by moving the quantisation noise out of the frequency band where our hearing is most sensitive. This gives a percievable dynamic range for CD up to 120dB (150dB in certain frequency bands)."

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded
     
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  12. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hmmm ...

    I think part of my problem is that I think of dynamic range as an absolute range - a range of values (volts, etc.) between which no clipping occurs. I wasn't thinking of it as ratio-type value (dB). So by increasing the bitdepth you're not pushing the ceiling up by a factor of 2 ^ (24 - 16). You're pushing the self-generated noise "floor" down by the same factor.
     
  13. for_p1

    for_p1 Addicted Member

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    With CD resolution noise floor is about -130dB. 24 bits can potentially bring down further 48 dB. That means that with 24 bits quantization noise will be below thermal noise of any circuit at room temperature. This is exactly what we need - negligible quantization error. So the advantage of using 24 bits over 16 bits is clear. Modern technology makes 20 bit of resolution rather cheap, and 22 bits still achievable (though expensive). Why not to use what is readily available? If not full scale was used at recording process (and this is a common case with any live records) - no resolution is lost even if peaks were 12 dB below full digital level.
     
  14. SoundOfSound

    SoundOfSound Super Member

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    Thanks, but I earned a living working on DSP hardware for more than 10 years so I do know a little bit about how it works. :)

    I'm not sure where you got your information but what I'm talking about is the quantization of a raw signal source into a digital representation.

    In electrical hardware the full scale range, FSR, of a converter is selected on a ADC chip or chosen by the EE designing the circuits. That FSR is then chopped up depending on the number of bits available on that particular ADC board. Each bit then represents one small voltage slice of the FSR. A single bit may represent a different voltage depending on the FSR and bit depth of different ADC systems.

    Given the same FSR in the same system more bit depth will give you finer resolution of the signal. It gives you more points to sample the voltage and get a more accurate reading.

    Here is a simple Wiki blurb ...don't make me bore you with ADC converter data sheets. :boring: :D

    Go to the part that says RESOLUTION. :thumbsup:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog-to-digital_converter
     
  15. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    In standard audio applications, each bit represents approximately 6db. Adding more bits doesn't slice the incoming audio signal more finely, it merely allows greater dynamic range. 24 bits doesn't slice into 3db or 2db per bit, it's still 6db. Anything more than the 120db available by dithering and noise shaping 16 bits is really unnecessary, and will make zero discernable difference in the reproduction chain.

    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/au...why-32-bits-per-sample-should-never-catch-on/
     
  16. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Increasing the bitdepth pushes down the self-generated quantization noise floor. And for_p1 said that this self-generated digital noise can get pushed down below the ambient analog noise floor where you don't really care about it anymore. Cool.

    However - above this pushed-down noise floor don't we have a lot more "clean" bits than we did before? IOW by increasing the bitdepth didn't we increase measurement accuracy (resolution) by reducing measurement error?
     
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  17. SoundOfSound

    SoundOfSound Super Member

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    This article is silly. There is a thing called a volume control on the front of your amp! :p
     
  18. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In the last sentence of post #6, I interpreted the phrase "More bits" as "More samples".

    I bet we would all agree that 16 bits provides more than sufficient dynamic range, for music at least.
     
  19. SoundOfSound

    SoundOfSound Super Member

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    Not more samples. That would be determined by the sampling rate.

    Bit depth gives you a discrete range of voltage values that are definitive such as 2^16 or 2^24.
     
  20. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Chicks believes what Monty Montgomery writes and is a firm believer.

    There was a link about review - http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/high-res-article-on-proof.725395/

    It goes through a bunch of studies and does say, the studies do show a small albeit definite perception differences. It is about training the brain/ear for discerning high res files. I mean a sommelier trains for a long time to discern what grapes, area of the world and vintage a wine is in a blind test. It can be done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
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