Jump to content
james rector

Is there any sound cards that have actual 64 bit D/A and A/D convertors?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I have noticed for a long time with Cakewalk that it allows users to go up to 64 bit file bit depth, and while that is just an internal processing thing, I wonder if there are any sound cards out there that actually do 64 bit. Anyone know? thanks

Edited by james rector
Spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, and neither 24 Bit. The best converters are about 20 to 22 Bit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The extra resolution of oversampling does help internally when applying effects.  But no hardware captures 64/bit audio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

64(32) bits used by DAWs are floating point formats, with 53(24)bit precision. DAC/ADC are fixed point devices, 16/24 bits are also precision.

Major difference is that in floating point format the precision is  independent from the value. In fixed point precision is value dependent.

In practice, for audio, that means  lowering track volume by 12dB before processing or exporting does not reduce precision when 64(32) format is used. But 24bit format will lose 2bit in precision (compare to the original audio, which is normally already lower).

32bit floating point has 24bit precision, so sufficient to represent 24bit audio interface recorded material. But 64bit make sense during processing, plug-ins perform millions of mathematical operations on your audio and plug-in authors are not always good in mathematics and so not always optimize the code to keep precision as high as possible. As persistency format there is no evidence 64bit bring something (till someone export/import many times, so as temporary files for continuous re-processing between export/import that theoretically make sense...).

Even in case ADC/DAC will have real 24bit precision, since we are in audio domain that will need close to 148dB SNR analog equipment (mic, pre-amp, amp, monitors, etc.) to be useful. If your equipment is of good quality, you may find real numbers in specification which rarely cross 110dB border.

Simple rule to convert dB to bits is 6dB per bit (not scientific nor precise, dB means different things even in audio domain, but works good for most estimations).

Also note that people in real world conditions most probably not notice degradation till the precision is down to 10bit... but no one will ever agree with that 🙄
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, azslow3 said:

Also note that people in real world conditions most probably not notice degradation till the precision is down to 10bit... but no one will ever agree with that 🙄

A lot of early CD players used 12-bit DACs, which gave about 10 bits of "real" resolution. But I do think that might be why people didn't think CDs sounded as good as viny when CDs first came out. Even though people may not have consciously noticed the degradation, it may have been something they sensed nonetheless..."I dunno, it just doesn't sound right." 

As to the OP, although it's risky to say something will "never" happen, once your noise floor is the sound of electrons bumping into each other, you're not going to get better resolution than that. Unless, of course, Noel comes up with electrons 2.0 :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

...But I do think that might be why people didn't think CDs sounded as good as viny when CDs first came out...

I didn't consider this - I always put it down to engineers that swapped from tape to ADAT, still kept on boosting the high frequencies (presumably out of habit) to compensate for the HF loss due to the tape's noise reduction, and ending up with a really harsh & bright mix.

I do agree with Azslow to an extent though.  Many tracks in isolation don't have a particularly wide dynamic range, so they could probably get away with a much lower bit depth.  However when it comes to mixing those tracks, you really need to mix at a higher bit depth, otherwise you'll lose detail very quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, msmcleod said:

I didn't consider this...

And companies certainly didn't want you to! It's not like the Sony CD players had big stickers on them saying "New! Now not with 16-bit resolution!" ;)

But yes, the dynamic range of today's music is so limited that even 10 bits seems generous. That gives approximately the same noise floor as tape recorders without noise reduction, or AM radio, so at those levels, you probably won't notice distortion all that much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Craig Anderton said:

...the dynamic range of today's music is so limited that even 10 bits seems generous.

Of course, you are absolutely right about that. But be careful. You're jeopardizing an entire industry built on false promises and emperors' clothing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least we can still all agree that Monster speaker cables are worth the money, right? :)

 

😬

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lord Tim said:

At least we can still all agree that Monster speaker cables are worth the money, right? :)

We had many related discussion with my colleague and friend. He instantly passed away several years ago...

It happened at that time a pair of his Kimber Hero XLR was by me, and so I still have them. Not sure about advantages in sound, but they are good and I guess will work for long. Every time I use them I remember my friend, with smile. Could simple XLR have the same effect? I don't think so. I mean from some perspective these particular cables are probably worth the money...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

At least we can still all agree that Monster speaker cables are worth the money, right? :)

 

😬

Only if they're gold plated. 🙄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sjoens said:

Only if they're gold plated. 🙄

Oh, they're gold plated all right.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...