rrrabuyvsvsveytfazersurdwarubawvev
0% Interest for 36 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Cart
July 4 Financing

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

16 bit vs. 24 bit A/D converter?

digitize-LP

So, assume the following hardware configuration as illustrated by the answers provided per the following thread:
http://www.audioforums.com/forums/showthread.php?30064-What-is-the-best-hardware-configuration-to-digitize-an-LP
TURNTABLE => STEREO SYS AMP (Phono in/ line-out) ====> ANALOG/DIGITAL CONVERTER (RCA in/USB out) => COMPUTER
(The above configuration should maintain sufficient physical space between the amp and the digital components to eliminate any interference with the digital signal.)
My question now focuses on the purchase of the A/D converter. Per the above thread link the Behringer UCA-202 was recommended which is a 16 bit/48 kHz converter.
This link http://www.co-bw.com/Audio_16_vs_24_bit.htm is geared toward recording live music but I discovered this article via a link http://www.co-bw.com/Audio_Convert_LP_to_Digital_Preamp_Connection.htm
associated with another article per the same site addressing how to digitize LPs but it left me with the questions that I am posting per this forum:
In summary, the author’s conclusion per the 16 vs 24 bit article is.
“…Use 24 bit for every recording if you have this feature. I was a believer for the past decade that 16 bit was the way to go and I have absolutely changed my mind. No matter of what you are recording this is true. If you have a nice mic, a very good preamp and a clean audio system and are recording highly dynamic instruments such as acoustic guitars, classical orchestras, acapella vocals, the difference will be there. Quiet passages will be less likely struggling to stay above the noise floor on your system. One can record with no compression. You can record at lower levels, with more headroom. This ensures that the occasional peak is not truncated at the top and it will give converters some room the breathe. Because you are not pushing the limits of your bandwidth, your instruments will sound clearer, and the vocals may sound "cleaner", the song will mix better and there will be less noise…. Regarding the sample rate, unless you have a good reason not to, use a sample rate of 44.1. … Some kinds of music seem to benefit slightly from the high resolution of 88.2 or 96 khz. Acoustic instruments, like guitars, percussion, and of course vocals, i.e., things with delicate high frequencies seem to benefit but its subtle.”
My concern about the above author’s conclusion is that I think he is specifically addressing live recordings and my question is: Does the author’s conclusion hold true regarding digitizing LPs? At this point in time, I intend to record at 44.1 kHz WAV format, but do I use a 16 or 24 bit A/D converter? (i.e. I am not held bent on the WAV format and welcome any input as to better alternate formats.)
September 29, 2011 @09:21pm
bouldersoundguy

Which audio format (wave, aiff etc.) doesn't matter much as long as it is not data compressed like an mp3.
There is no doubt that 24 bit offers big advantages over 16 bit. If you can afford it definitely go for something that does 24 bit. However, you'll probably want/have to process them into 16 bit files. If you're serious about this you'll be editing, normalizing etc. anyway so it makes sense to start with 24 bit.
September 30, 2011 @02:32am
TimOBrien

Computer storage and cpu is no longer a limiter for audio.
Go with 24/44.1 on everything and worry about more important things.
September 30, 2011 @01:13pm
digitize-LP

Thanks bouldersoundguy and TimOBrien for your responses.
Does anyone have a recommendation for a 24 bit stereo A/D converter, under $500?
September 30, 2011 @02:21pm
bouldersoundguy

This forum is run by one of the better pro audio retailers, Sweetwater. There's a button at the top of the page that says "Back to Sweetwater". Using that and typing "interface" into the search field I found this product. I'm sure there are plenty of others to choose from.
September 30, 2011 @05:26pm
digitize-LP

This forum is run by one of the better pro audio retailers, Sweetwater. There's a button at the top of the page that says "Back to Sweetwater". Using that and typing "interface" into the search field I found this product. I'm sure there are plenty of others to choose from.

I really appreciate all your input. I would like for you to clarify something you said per the “What is the best hardware configuration to digitize an LP?”.
http://www.audioforums.com/forums/showthread.php?30064-What-is-the-best-hardware-configuration-to-digitize-an-LP
In the above mentioned thread you recommended separating the phono pre amp from the A/D converter, or any digital signal. I took your recommendation to mean isolate the A/D conversion process from any near by amp source. Most of the 24 bit stereo converter/interface I find on line has an amp included with the unit. Should I assume the amp source per these converter units will not impair the digital signal, or should I be looking for a converter that only accepts a line level in with a USB out to the computer w/ no amp on board?
Thanks again for your help and I am sorry if I am asking stupid questions.
September 30, 2011 @10:53pm
bouldersoundguy

I was too general when I said "anything digital". A quality interface won't put noise into your signal since they are designed to handle mic level signal, which is similar to phonograph signal. I would be more cautious about the phono signal being too close to the computer itself with all the RF stuff it produces. As long as the turntable and preamp are not right next to the computer I bet you'll be fine.
September 30, 2011 @11:23pm
TimOBrien

IMHO: I think you are just overthinking the problem.
Anything Sweetwater sells will work well for your application.
October 1, 2011 @03:03pm
bouldersoundguy

The word "overthinking" had also crossed my mind. Don't start going for OFC cables or expensive little wood stands for your cable runs or magic resonance buttons that you place on your speakers.
October 1, 2011 @04:44pm
digitize-LP

IMHO: I think you are just overthinking the problem.
Anything Sweetwater sells will work well for your application.

Thank for your response. I have seen several viable interface options per the Sweetwater sight.
I agree with you, I am over thinking the problem. It is obvious, I don't know what I am doing, but I am trying not to miss anything and get it right the first time. And staying with that theme of over thinking the problem (i.e. sorry, it's the only way I know how to figure out what I need to know) I have a couple of question about A/D converters:
1. I am little confused by some of the converter descriptions. Some read "A/D" and some read "A/D D/A" and I am not sure which one I need. I want to digitize the LP (A/D) and I want to play back the resulting WAV file from the computer through the HI-FI stereo system (D/A). So, do I need an A/D D/A converter?
2. Are all A/D conversion algorithms created equal (standardized) or are they proprietary? If they are proprietary should this be a research concern of mine or is the deviation between converters’ algorithms negligible (i.e. assuming we are comparing apples to apples, all converters are 24 bit sampling @ 44.1 kHz)?
Thanks for your input and your patience. You and bouldersoundguy have been most helpful, and I welcome any and all input you have to offer.
October 1, 2011 @04:54pm
bouldersoundguy

You'll need A/D and D/A conversion, which practically all interfaces will have. There are differences in converters but many at a given price point will be using comparable, or even identical, components. Anything from a reputable brand will be fine.
October 1, 2011 @05:17pm