Why high resolution audio?

March 22, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

11 comments on “Why high resolution audio?”

  1. I did try something this past gone by weekend, that was kind of crazy.
    But the good news is, it worked!
    For a long while, I had been recording in to 32 bits, 44.4KHZ.
    But I had made a few files, that I recorded in to 96KHZ, 24bits.
    I didn’t think that, my Real Tech Audio sound card could reproduce that, until I played it back.
    When I yoost to use Audacity to make my recordings, I done that in 64bit float.
    But for some unknown reason, Audacity started making hiccups in my recordings, so I went back to using Wave Pad to make recordings.
    But as of right now, I’m looking for a way, to record directly in to DSD.
    If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
    I’m willing to explore both hardware and software means of making DSD recordings.
    Thank you all in advance!

  2. I guess I miss understood the question. high resolution audio bits/Hz refers to sampling not audible frequency. The bits describe how complex the sound can be while Hz refers to the number of times a sample is taken every second. 24 bit is more complex than 16 bit which should mean that complex music is better represented. And Hz is like the refresh rate on a tv. Low Hz like 44.1hz is a flickering B&W tv from the 60’s. 88hz is high-def. 176hz is a gaming monitor that is smooth as silk and never flickers. The feature in the video seems to refer to pitch. a 20khz sound can be recorded in 16bit/44.1hs, or 24bit/384. It should be the same pitch. The assumption is that the higher resolution should sound better.

      1. Hi Paul,
        Can I bring your attention to the link that ‘Joe’ posted here at 10:52am today & strongly suggest that this is how the ‘Hi-Fi Family Systems’ photo gallery should/could operate so that people don’t get stuck on page one, with nowhere else to go, or get bogged down as they advance through the pages…just a thought.

  3. I think a good way to think about this is your eyesight. When you lose you eyesight you don’t see things clearly, at least not clearly enough. In the 6th grade my eyesight started to go and I was copying math problems wrong off the board as I sat in 11 row of 15 in the classroom. I was good at math (I now have a Math Degree) so my teacher had my Mom take me to the eye doctor and I was wearing glasses in a few days as I could read fine, but distance was becoming a problem.

    I would consider 320 KBPS (MP3) bad sight when the cd standard at the same rate measure would be 1411 kbps. This is also writen as 16 bit/44.1 khz.

    To hear more we need better focus (clearer) and that requires a higher sample rate 96khz, 192 khz, and then there is the Sony 1 bit system of DSD at 2.8 million bits/sec and 5.6 million bits per second which Paul is doing at Octave and his SACDS are excellent.

    My recording software can only handle PCM so I do 24/96 and 24/192 which is the highest resolution I can handle and record in, but they are excellent and better than CD redbook 16/44.1 . I do have a stand alone SACD player so I can play Paul’s SACDs.

    Keep in mind your playback gear must be resolving enough to playback the improvements and your speakers up to the task.

    Tascam has free DSD playback software you can download so you can play back the Octave files in native DSD and you will need a DSD capable DAC for playback and there are some affordable ones from Topping and from Project Audio Systems to get you started, but the best is obviously the Direct Stream Digital DAC from PS Audio.

    Paul supplies a DSD dic you can upload into your computer and play back as 24/192 and the native DSD files if your DAC can handle them. The 24/192 files sound great as well.

    Once you hear this you will know what the fuss is all about.

    1. Good morning Jim T!
      I understand where you’re coming from with the statement you made yesterday.
      Just try to figure out what things look like without being able to see them.
      That’s what I’ve been doing for almost 29 years.
      That’s how long I’ve been without eye sight.
      I tell you the truth, it’s very hard.
      But thank God for both brail and talking devices!
      But about that free software, can you please send me a link to it?
      Thanks in advance!

  4. I am sorry to repeat here what I already stated in another comment.

    First, the Nyquist theorem does only whork if you can synchronaize the analogue information with the sampling events while digitizing. If the analogue 22kHz Frequency is out of phase with the sampling events, it is ignored. Repeating ever and eer again the Nyquist thing does not make it true. Neither is “Believe me” an acceptable argument.

    Second, the choice of the 44.1 kHz sampling frequency was determined by the fact that at the start of digital audio, video tape was the only choice for recording the data. The data delivered by a 16/44.1 sampling scheme did fit within the data structure used for PAL or SECAM video data, which one I don’t remember. I recommend the sectioin on “How it works” in the following description of one of the first ADC: https://www.vintagedigital.com.au/sony-pcm-1630-audio-processor/

    It is time to discuss those matters seriously.

    1. I don’t think we have any problem with the Nyquist theorem. It states that we can completely determine a waveform that has no frequency components above bandwidth B by sampling at a rate greater than 2B.

      This precludes a sinusoidal waveform with frequency at exactly half the sample rate.

  5. The original question concerns sample rate, not resolution, so the title of the post is perhaps a bit misleading. Paul explains the potential advantage conferred by using a PCM sample rate much higher than 44.1 kHz, in terms of the relaxed low-pass filtering requirements. The case for DSD is more interesting, because sample noise increases steeply above 20 kHz. DSD is not high resolution above the normal audible range.

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