16 bit to 24 bit

I was thinking of recording the stems of some tracks I'm working on in BeatMaker 2 into Master Record in 24 bit quality (via Audiobus). However BeatMaker 2 only works with and outputs 16 bit audio.

Essentially my question is, is recording in 24 bit from a source outputting 16 bit audio a good idea, or pointless? I was going to record high quality stems in the event some producer acquaintances of mine were interested in remixing some of my stuff, and they work with Ableton and Logic.

Comments

  • edited August 2013

    It depends what you want to do with them. Upsampling to 24 bit will not gain you much by itself, but if you then further process the audio with filters, compressors or mixing applications, these processes will have more headroom to work in and will be able to produce a more subtly detailed and dynamic result than if you had performed the same processes on 16 bit audio.

  • edited August 2013

    It also is important that the program that does the upsampling/dithering is VERY transparent. The conversion itself if it is not pristine can trash your audio. Personally, if I don't absolutely need the extra headroom, I wouldn't do the conversion. You would be better off starting your project in 24bit if possible rather than converting later (however, AFAIK, the current version of Audiobus only does 16bit transfers, so that makes things a little tough)...

  • I'm not 100% sure, but I think only the BM2 exports are 16/44.1. If you output directly from the headphone jack or out of an audio interface you're getting 32-bit floating point quality. You can record into your audio interface at 24 or 32 bits if possible to preserve a lot of the headroom.

  • @K_Evo1 If I understand what you are saying, I'm not sure that is a good way to go, because you leave the digital realm. You are passing your audio through the DACs/ADCs, which is a totally lossy way of doing things......I may be misunderstanding you though...

  • He understands BM2 and Audiobus only handle 24 bit audio but in Master Record you can convert it up to 24bit and add some subtle effects very similar to Audio Mastering App (same Dev)

  • @Audiojunkie It all depends on what kind of audio interface you're using. If you use one with high quality A/D converters you're good to go. It's possible that you might lose some quality streaming directly from the iPad headphone jack, and that's debatable. I prefer the sound coming from the iPad headphone jack in contrast to rendered files in iOS apps cause to my ears the sounds are fuller and warmer.

    To get the highest quality possible you have to stream from the iPad using an audio interface into an audio interface hooked up to your computer.

  • edited August 2013

    Honestly, yeah, I now notice that Audiobus only works with 16 bit audio, so my question is moot.

    For now I'll just work with 16 bit files and not worry about it.

  • Any rumors on iOS 7 inter-audio going to 24bit?

  • @StygianPulse - not totally moot....you can still do it, use Audio us to transfer file from BM2 to Master Record, then close everything and solely work within Master Record to up-sample to 24bit and apply and changes wanted with Master Record then transfer to PC/Mac. As long as you just transfer the file with Audiobus and them close everything and apply the effects in Master Record open by itself you should be fine as long as that's your last move before PC

  • @JMSexton: I'm not particularly knowledgable about upsampling, but I did notice the option to convert files from 16 bit to 24 in Audio Mastering.

    Perhaps you'd know if upsampling a 16 bit file would be acceptable to mastering engineers who prefer to work with 24 bit files? I lightly master my tracks myself with Audio Mastering, but I've been thinking of sending off a couple of tracks to an accomplished engineer for a real mastering treatment, and he prefers to work with 24 bit files, like most.

  • It might look better to them and as I think PaulB said it gives more head room for some of the mixing effects and etc. I just meant it could still be done, I don't know the logistics of it and chances are it probably wouldn't change the sound much but as long as you transferred the file to AudioMastering/MasterRecord using Audiobus. Closed all apps including AB, and just open either AudioMastering/Master Record then converted to 24 bit then after up-sampling, apply the effects would sound best. Still though I think it might just look better/more professional to the accomplished engineer then just sending over 16bit. I haven't tried all of this but there's no reason it shouldnt work. Sorry for the lengthy response

  • If your mastering engineer demands you send a 24bit track when they know you've done it all at 16 bit, get a different mastering engineer.

    Send them your best 16 bit mix and let them up sample it with their fancy gear/software if they want to.

  • The mastering engineer isn't someone I know personally, and he does accept 16 bit files. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't overlooking something I could do to be able to offer 24 bit files, or if it would even be beneficial to do so when I'm working entirely in 16 bit.

    Thank you for your responses, guys. You've been very helpful.

  • This is just my personal opinion, so just take it as such, but I think the less processing a person does to a track before putting it into the hands of masters of the trade the better. I would leave it as it is, and if the mastering engineer feels the need to up sample the track to better accomplish his goal, he probably has the best tools for the job and knows when it is most beneficial to do or not do it. That's what he's paid to know and do...otherwise he shouldn't be touching your track.

  • Yeah. That.

  • @AudioJunkie .....well said! I wasn't thinking about it from that viewpoint. Thanks.

    @StygianPulse glad it helped. Hope I didn't mislead you in anyway, but AudioJunkie brings up a great point I hadn't thought about....always learning!

  • That's a very good point Audiojunkie. It's easy to forget that just because we have engineering tools available to us, maybe in some cases it's better to step back and let an actual engineer do the work.

  • I would like to know if it's a general iOS limitation/restriction from apple's side or could it be possible to record direct in 24 bit. MultiTrackDAW could do that f.e. but Audiobus and all other apps doesn't support rendering in 24bit or higher. Because of some reasons i would also prefer to do my works in 24bit96khz at least. I also find that the synths i play live sounds so much better and rich before render it down. I also missed some chances to get signed with some tracks because of the 16bit limit. They said of course it's possible to master it but it was planned for different compilations where all other tracks are from 24bit96khz or higher and it would sound good but not good enough between the others. I'm a noob here so i can't say if it's true or not. But i also think higher is always better :)

  • I assume AB chose not to because you're already trying to run 3+ different apps at once which can be CPU intensive and/or they wanted everything to be simple stupid. There was no latency adjustment until ppl started struggling due to CPU overload, then they added one in. I'm not sure the correct answer

  • Mmhhh, thank you! In theory it should be possible... i just would like to have the choice to crash my device :)))

  • We're talking about Apple here.....you don't get choices! Lol I Kid! That's not directed at Audiobus, just at Apple their need to be "proprietary" with everything. Nice sometimes but difficult at others

  • Yep, if all that audio stuff would work on android... who knows what will happen. But i'm getting old and i will make music now he he :D

  • They said of course it's possible to master it but it was planned for different compilations where all other tracks are from 24bit96khz or higher and it would sound good but not good enough between the others.

    Horse shit. Especially with electronic music. I'm sorry they missed out on your great tracks because they have some misguided preconceived notions about what it takes for something to "sound good".

  • edited August 2013

    @syrupcore: Thank's! Good to know. Mmhhh... just for interest... When i import a usual 16bit44.1khz into a MultiTrackDAW 24bit project (seems the only app on my iPhone which can do that). When i now export the track i have an 24bit.... but what does that mean now? Is it converted and i have now more headroom or is it still just a "fake" 24bit. I'm curious about it.

  • it is converted and you have more headroom and it's fake 16 bit. ;)

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