is a 16bit/48khz soundcard enough for a soundsystem?
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  1. #1
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    Default is a 16bit/48khz soundcard enough for a soundsystem?

    yeap, see the topic.. the club is rather small..

    greets

  2. #2
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    depends on the source material.

    i mean generally. no. thats the simple answer

    but, if youre using mp3's mostly from limewire that have crappy encoding then a 24 bit soundcard wont make any difference at all.

    but generally, you want at least a +4 db 24/96000 soundcard as a minimum

    imho anyway
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtianw View Post
    but generally, you want at least a +4 db 24/96000 soundcard as a minimum
    So, you're saying CD quality isn't enough for a small club?

    24-bit sound is for studios where microphones and real-world instruments will produce analog signals with wildly differing, unconstrained ranges of volume. That way you get extra overhead space to capture the full dynamics of the sound with enough detail to reprocess it back down to 16-bit, 44.1khz CD quality for final mixdown.

    When you're just playing back sounds mixed inside a computer, a 16-bit, 48KHz soundcard will be fine. You won't be feeding it unconstrained sounds or analog inputs, only final mixed tracks and digital effects.

    I'd be a lot more concerned about the volume of the output signal from the card (make sure it's got line level, balanced outputs into an amp that takes balanced ins) than the bit depth and frequency of the digital side.

  4. #4
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    lets take this a step further... Im planning on purchasing the NI audio 2 or 4 box, I usually play on a 2kwatt 8 channel headed PA.

    Is the audio 2 gonna cut it? will going to the audio 4 make a difference?

    anyone recommend a USB card in the 125-200 range thats better suited to my need?

  5. #5
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    I also disagree with the first reply. You're going to be fine with a soundcard with those specs in the club. People have been listening to that bit rate for years and think it's just fine. That' s why it's the cd standard. However, it's not the best sound you can get.

    There is an enormous amount of debate by audio professionals and researchers as to whether sampling rates above 44.1k even make any subjective improvement in sound quality. A lot of people think the improvement is extremely subtle, and has to do mostly with very hi-end transient reproduction on very hi-end (read audiophile) equipment. That cd quality baseline is determined by something called the Nyquist theorem, and most humans can't differentiate between 48k and 96k anyway. Seriously, most of the soundcard proclamations of higher and higher sampling rates is total marketing hype. Much more important is the bit rate, and with use of fx and/or various dynamics processors, if your computer can handle 24 bit, it makes sense to use it. You give yourself much more dynamic space and headroom for whatever processing you are adding to the original signal.

    For your reference, I use 24 bit, 48k. (24 bit for the dynamics/headroom, and 48k because I subscribe to the "subtle improvement, but can't perceive improvement beyond this", and "anti-aliasing insurance for the final 44.1 mixdown" theories.

    Say you use 16 bit/320kbps MP3s to mix with (a pretty common file type. First, setting your soundcard to 24 bits DOES NOT improve the sound quality of the 16 bit MP3 (you cannot add information where there was none before). What DOES happen is that as soon as you start to process that file via fx, gain, eq, etc, the 24bit upsampling you introduced "may" improve the sound by the fact that there is more resolution for those things to work within. But if you play a dry 16bit file, no processing, and upsample it to 24bits for output, I guarantee you, you will hear no difference at all.

    Likewise, the sampling rate thing deals with the Nyquist frequency. This is a frequency that is double that of the highest frequency contained in the audio material. (IE, 44.1k comes from a doubling of 22.05k, pretty much the top end of what humans can hear). Supposedly, any material sampled at or above it's Nyquist frequency should be reproduced perfectly. This assumes lab perfect conditions though, and perfect filters at every conversion stage. This is the reason why I use 48k. It's extra insurance for less than ideal conditions, and myself and 99% of the people I know can't hear any improvement beyond it, plus the CPU/HD space trade-off of anything higher just ain't worth it.
    Last edited by Zac Kyoti; 10-09-2009 at 07:10 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Theres no audible difference between 24 bit and 16 bit.

    Heres how i sum it up simply to those who don't have much knowledge on the subject:
    Imagine on a CD you have a tone that starts silent and slowly gets louder and louder and louder. Now think... can you hear audible digital jumps in the volume level? Or does it sound smooth and gradually rise without you being able to hear the volume jumping up in chunks. (ok its a bit more complicated than this but i am trying to keep it simple so everyone understands !)

    The only time that 24 bit is worth while is when your recording, this way you don't have to run the recording as hot to maintain a high resolution recording.

    I HIGHLY recommend anyone interested in this subject watch this video:

    [GVIDEO]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5496004795361152922&ei=WivQStbuPI2 ewgPJj92CCg&q=Robert+Henke+ableton#[/GVIDEO]

  7. #7
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    man why do i keep running into guys from perth that know so much about music? lol.

    sorry just trips me out. i think i need to move down under finally lol.

    this is where i get to brag about my recent rockstar moment of partying with drew goddard and ian kenny after getting to see karnivool in hollywood with only about 50 people in the room =p
    Last edited by xtianw; 10-10-2009 at 06:40 AM.
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