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Topic: GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

  1. #1

    GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

    please excuse me if this is a dumb question, or if it\'s been dealt with here in depth before: Is there any benefit from having a card that can do 24-bit, 96k sound if your sample library is all in 16-bit,44.1 format?

    I understand that if you\'re outputting analog sound into a mixer, a card with the best possible DA converter would be optimal. So let\'s say my card has 20-bit or 24-bit DA converter, is there any need for 96k sampling capability, and any reason to set the card for 24-bit soundfiles?

    Can you set the card to 24-bit, 96Khz sound and output a better sound via SPDIF than you could if it\'s set to 16-bit, 44.1Khz (even if the original sample files are only 16-bit, 44.1khz)?

  2. #2

    Re: GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

    please excuse me if this is a dumb question, or if it\'s been dealt with here in depth before: Is there any benefit from having a card that can do 24-bit, 96k sound if your sample library is all in 16-bit,44.1 format?

    You may want to posit this question to Nemesys. I can make some conjectures. Mainly, since Gigasampler does realtime interpolation, the final sampling rate doesn\'t really matter that much. 96KHz will sound better because the high frequency cutoff isn\'t as steep, but other than that I can\'t think of anything that would create an advantage. As far as 16 vs. 24 bit, since Gigasampler can output 24 bit capture files, I would imagine they could send 24 bit output to the audio driver if it supported it.

  3. #3

    Re: GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

    I am an amateur and I am speaking from the best of my limited knowledge. If you apply compression at any stage you will be \'packing\' more bits of resolution into 16-bit. You need 18 bit of resolution to fully exploit the dynamic range of 16 bit if your compression reduces 12dB off your peak level. Due to polyphony, you almost always get more than 16-bit of resolution in the mixed output, because adding several 16-bit samples together will give you a bigger-than-16-bit number. So you start with 16-bit samples, get more than 16-bits from the output because of polyphony, and end up compressing and transferring to CD, 16-bits again. It is just nice to work in a 24-bit environment. I personally believe the quality gain is minimal and negligible, but the speed gain is enormous. It is just so much faster to work with 24-bit because you do not need to worry too much about record level and headroom.

  4. #4

    Re: GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

    If your playing a sample library of sounds that are all recorded in 16 bit / 44k , using a 24 bit sound card to play back that library , from a spec point of view , it wont make much difference . The only small advantage would be the higher bit rate output dac . What is the dac bit rate on the card that you are replacing ? If its 18 or 20 bits on the dacs , like alot of 16 bit sound cards there wont be much difference . Thats my opinion from a spec point of view ,. but there\'s something else that you have to consider , if the dacs on the 16 bit card that you currently have are just a crappy [ not all same bit rate dac\'s are created equal] then regarless of the # specs , in that case the 24 bit would sound better .Heres a example of my last statement , I have 2 different 16 bit sound cards by different manufactures , the one cards is 82 db and the 2nd card is 47 db signal to noise ratio.and they are both 16 bit cards . . Asuming your current 16 bit sound card is a good quality one , getting a 24 bit card to play back 16 bit samples will just make a marginal difference .
    The main difference that you will notice is when you state playing back 24 bit samples and sound file . see ya , Ken

  5. #5

    Re: GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

    Just reading the thread with interest.

    About 3 months ago I was doing some sales training in a music store and had my PC set up with a Guillemot ISIS (20 bit card) and a Gadget Labs wave 8/24 (24 bit card). I played a Coors track that had been recorded into Cool Edit Pro at 44.1. You could hear a definite difference between the quality of the sound cards.
    I aint a techkie so you could argue about bit rates and samples and whatever but me and 8 other guys in the shop were pointing towards the Gadget card playing \"warmer, smoother and cripser\" than the ISIS.
    Not knocking the ISIS (we have sold over 1500) in the UK alone and read into this what you will.

    I put it down to dithering (my sales technique that is)

    Hope this helps anyone out there.


    Matrix : You think thats air your breathing..

  6. #6

    Re: GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

    Thanks, everyone, for your responses,

    Bmtong, that part about about several simultaneously played 16-bit samples adding up to greater than 16-bit audio makes sense to me now. I\'ve actually got a Gina card (20-bit DAC, and outputs 24-bit files via capture), and the 24-bit setting makes a difference to me. Can anyone comment about whether 96 Khz makes a difference with giga? (gina does only up to 48 Khz.)

    Also, anyone know anything about whether Gigasampler eventually will support 24-bit samples? (if i try to import them, the instrument editor says 24-bit files not supported). 24-bit, multi-sampled instruments probably would mean too much hard drive space for most folks at this point. But it might be nice to be able to import a couple of little 24-bit audio files with a mix of instruments to play back as samples.


  7. #7

    Re: GS and 24-bit/96k sound cards

    Hi Arch
    Nemesys told me that they would be supporting 24 bit when I ask them that question about a year ago , although I didn\'t think at the time to ask them if they will be supporting the 96 k sampling rate standard , but Ill bet they will be. They will also be supporting dvd, meaning that sample library\'s will eventially be on dvd disk , because they will need the dvd standard capacity of 5.1 gigs to hold the extensive memory usage of the higher bit rate with the larger numbers of samples , velocity zones and dimensions allowed by giga sampler. QAs far as your question about the 96 k sampling rate , Ive never heard 96 k or 24 bit my self [ although I would like to ] but from what I hear people say the 96 k sounds a little better than 48 k , 96 will also use twice the memory of 48.If I was going to buy a sound card I would get one with 96 k capability and If you wanted to conserve memory on your recording project just set it for 48 sinse they are all downward compatable. Although I have been hearing talk in the audio community that they will probably be making 192 k the dvd standard before to long . see ya , Ken

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