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Topic: sound quality question

  1. #1

    sound quality question

    I think all of the mp3 demos of the EWQLSO that I have downloaded sound better than the VSL demos I\'ve downloaded. I\'m talking about the smaller mp3 files (which typically do not exceed 5 or 6 megabytes). I am not talking about compositional skills or musicianship. Just the sound quality. Is this because EWQLSO starts at 24 bit and then gets the mp3 encoding (for our on line consumption) whereas VSL\'s starting point is 16 bit? Is it simply due to the fact that the mp3 conversion starts from a higher point?

    Are my ears deceiving me?

    I\'d like to hear your opinion on this.



  2. #2

    Re: sound quality question

    I think it\'s because of Keith Johnsons recording technique.

  3. #3

    Re: sound quality question

    mp3 encoding has nothing to do with whether the library is recorded in 16 or 24 bits.

  4. #4

    Re: sound quality question

    Some of the online VSL demos (esp. the older ones) use pretty low mp3 bitrates, so yes, those would have more mp3\'ish artifacts... watery strings, mouth-blown percussion hits... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


  5. #5

    Re: sound quality question

    Doesn\'t it have anything to do with the fact that EWQLSO uses 24 bit and VSL currently uses 16 bit?

  6. #6

    Re: sound quality question

    Originally posted by Marko:
    Doesn\'t it have anything to do with the fact that EWQLSO uses 24 bit and VSL currently uses 16 bit?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">No - the MP3 specifications have nothing to do with the source specifications.

    - Doug

  7. #7

    Re: sound quality question

    Excuse my density, but let me approach this from a slightly different angle. If you started with a 24 bit piece and then encoded it to an mp3 format and compared it to a 16 bit piece which was then encoded to an mp3 format (using the same bit rate), wouldn\'t the former sound better?

    If not, why not?

  8. #8

    Re: sound quality question

    I\'d compare a wav demo from both to help the decisions. I took for example Maarten\'s \"Trip through Broadway\" wav (VSL) and the \"Death Creek\" (QLSO) wav. To me the difference then gets very small, acknowledging one is 16bit and the other 24bit. I think the key to a better sound with these libs is what you are doing in the mixing process - imagine you are recording an orchestra in a studio and you\'d go on from this raw recording (let\'s say you are the master of articulations and performance and therefore this is no problem to you [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] )

    And yes, some VSL mp3s have very present encoding artifacts, as those were more than likely encoded by another encoder than the QLSO mp3s.

    You could also encode a QLSO 24bit wav to mp3 yourself and encode a 16bit version (you got to make this first with an audio app) after, then compare this to each other. You won\'t hear a difference, and if... you checked visually bit by bit.


  9. #9

    Re: sound quality question

    The difference between a 24-bit recording and the same recording dithered down to 16 bits is real, but it\'s subtle. And you can\'t hear it in some material, in fact you can\'t even hear MP3 encoding - which is a lot more drastic - all the time.

    But you\'re also piling up lots of tracks when you\'re dealing with sample libraries, so the difference should be greater than with a stereo mix.

    The difference between the way VSL and EWQLSO sound isn\'t because of the number of bits, it\'s because they\'re different recordings.

  10. #10

    Re: sound quality question

    Okay, so most of these answers \"beat around the bush\" so I will try as best as I can to answer. Nick\'s answer is closest, though. YES it will make a difference. The major difference is hich algorithm is used to dither it to 16 bit. Different companies use different processes. If taken from 24 bit straight to mp3, there will be a major difference if the dither to 16bit occurs after the mpeg compression. However, if it is dithered first, it will be more subtle. Regardless of which method is used, the final mp3 should still be a fairly close rendition of the sample library. It will be subtle, but there will be differences. Many people on this forum can hear the difference of 16bit and 24bit easily. Some have to struggle. Others (myself included) can here the harmonics above 20khz. Others cannot hear above 16khz - 20khz. The consensus is download time versus quality. With a good mp3 algorithm and higher bitrate (in the mp3), the mp3 will win out any day for most average internet users. I would rather have a wav/aiff etc if I am going for quality though.

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