Exercised by something in jazz? Write to the Editor at email@example.com and be considered for publication here and in our print edition
Why not 24-bit CD?
Reader Peter Griffin asks why CDs have to be recorded in 16-bit format
21 April 2011
In case you are interested, 24 bit audio is 3 times the data of 16 bit audio in stereo. 1 minute of 16 bit is is around 10mb vs 33mb for 16 bit audio. A CD would also struggle to play 4.39 mbit/sec as it can only sustain 1.35mbit/sec. Hope you find this interesting, James. (Broadcast Audio Engineer)
I don't have time to give a deep, detailed technical answer, but suffice it to say, one can Google and find out all the answers.
Briefly, the simple fact is multi-track recorders vary between 16 bit and 44.1KHz sampling rate and 24 bit with 96KHz sampling rate.
The bits refer to the amount of data captures, and the sampling rate is how often the music is read per second. These together give you the size of your data file i.e. bit rate, measured in mbit/second.
Without going into the maths (which is not meant to sound arrogant, as even I don't follow it!), 24/96 basically triples the bit rate, which is why most CDs are recorded at 16/44.1 in order to get the data on one disc. Pretty much all burners burn at 44.1 KHz too.
Only the SACD kit is better, and if the recording has been burnt at a higher bit rate, then many argue that they reproduce close to analogue, as higher bit rate allows for more "space" between the data by enhancing noise floor and headroom. It is noise floor and headroom that makes analogue sound better, by the way.
Vinyl fans, check out Gearbox Records