Bit depth and sample rate conversations are commonplace and can become involved and sometimes heated conversations on audio and music production forums, particularly those aimed at pro level audiophiles and engineers. Invariably, the question will come up… 16 or 24 Bit Audio?
The Bit depth can essentially be understood as the “clarity,” or the resolution of the sound. The higher the bit depth, the greater the clarity, or ability to reproduce a more detailed zoomed in picture of the sonic detail.
CD quality = 16 Bit “Red-book Standard“
Sample rate = the amount of times your audio is sampled per second. Cycles per second.
Cd Standard = 44.1k
When you increase the bit depth and sample rate you inevitably increase the file size of your recordings per track.
Recording at 24/96 yields greatly increased audio resolution-over 250 times that at 16/44.1
Recording at 24/96 takes up roughly 3 1/4 times the space than recording at 16/44.1
Although it is hard to quantify the improvements made to your audio tracks when you upgrade in sample rate and bit depth, most professional producers will say they can tell a difference between 24/96 vs. 16/44.1, but the improvements are not going to be night and day dramatic, and most non-music engineers wont be able to tell any difference.
The Bottom Line Is:
- Use 24 Bit if you can.
- Unless you are doing audio for film or video, or have another reason not to – start with 16 Bit.
For more about 16 bit or 24 bit audio – check this out. http://tweakheadz.com/16_vs_24_bit_audio.htm