Recording old cassette's into PC. 88/96k + 24bit - is it o..

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I am binning my 500 odd audio cassette collection. Most are of
commercial music that I have now replicated on cd/mp3 now so can be
binned. I have about 50-100 others of my own music or other stuff I
now wish to digitize. I have decided to record all tapes unaltered
into the pc, archive that off to DVDR, so I can bin the tapes while
having a decent unaltered original copy, then over time I can
remaster/edit some/all of them if I wish.

I plan to record via wavelab_live-input as follows

akai_cassette_deck --> DBX386@24bit_88khz --> RME hammerfall -->
Wave_L3_Ultra_dither=16bit-normal --> .wav@16bit_44.1Khz

These will be archived as the original tape copy to DVDR's. I will
consider using flac to fit more on disk, BUT as DVDR's are about 20p
these days may not bother to save time. (425mins per DVDR of .wav)

Later I plan to remaster from these .wavs using :-

waves_x-noise --> waves_linear_phase-eq --> waves_l3_ultramaximiser
(rem tape hiss) --> account for tape dullness--> make loud and punchy
These may well be kept on hard drive as flac or backed up as flac and
kept on hd as .mp3 for ipod/portability etc


SO - My issue is that cassette is not a high quality source, my tape
deck isn't great, the original recordings are not great and some are
pretty bad, also I'm doing it for nostalgic reasons, I wish to get rid
of the cassettes but don't know if I'll listen back to them much so
wish to spend the minimum time on this with a simple and fast solution
So I'm asking for help from anyone experienced in this with the
following ques:-

1) I presume it is better to set input at 88.2k rather than 96k if
saving out to 44.1k (as is exactly half freq). I appreciate that this
is way over the possible 15khz frequency response of a cassette but it
doesn't cost me anything to do it like this. Also the DBX386 has a
hard limiter pre the ADAC so it never clips so can be recorded quite
hot if required by the tube preamp.

2) I presume a dithered 88k_24bit->44k_16bit is the best way to record
the tapes and that 16bit_44k is more than adequate as a pre-master for
a cassette. i.e to store them as 88k_24bit would be wasteful, taking 3
times the disk/dvdr space.

I understand music software inside out having used it for years but
come from a computer background and though can audio engineer, don't
think I'm that great at it, so any other tips would be greatly
appreciated. I have googled and read for nearly 2 days, but nobody
talks about 96k or 24 bit in conjunction with cassettes, or solutions
to bulk archiving as a 2 stage process as I have concluded I need. As
this is a one off task before I bin ALL my cassettes for good I wish
to get it right before I begin this arduous task.

Cheers Danny K
24 answers Last reply
More about recording cassette 24bit
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    I think the most significant link in this chain is the cassette deck.

    Scott


    WhoRu <who@ru> wrote:
    : I am binning my 500 odd audio cassette collection. Most are of
    : commercial music that I have now replicated on cd/mp3 now so can be
    : binned. I have about 50-100 others of my own music or other stuff I
    : now wish to digitize. I have decided to record all tapes unaltered
    : into the pc, archive that off to DVDR, so I can bin the tapes while
    : having a decent unaltered original copy, then over time I can
    : remaster/edit some/all of them if I wish.

    : I plan to record via wavelab_live-input as follows

    : akai_cassette_deck --> DBX386@24bit_88khz --> RME hammerfall -->
    : Wave_L3_Ultra_dither=16bit-normal --> .wav@16bit_44.1Khz

    : These will be archived as the original tape copy to DVDR's. I will
    : consider using flac to fit more on disk, BUT as DVDR's are about 20p
    : these days may not bother to save time. (425mins per DVDR of .wav)

    : Later I plan to remaster from these .wavs using :-

    : waves_x-noise --> waves_linear_phase-eq --> waves_l3_ultramaximiser
    : (rem tape hiss) --> account for tape dullness--> make loud and punchy
    : These may well be kept on hard drive as flac or backed up as flac and
    : kept on hd as .mp3 for ipod/portability etc


    : SO - My issue is that cassette is not a high quality source, my tape
    : deck isn't great, the original recordings are not great and some are
    : pretty bad, also I'm doing it for nostalgic reasons, I wish to get rid
    : of the cassettes but don't know if I'll listen back to them much so
    : wish to spend the minimum time on this with a simple and fast solution
    : So I'm asking for help from anyone experienced in this with the
    : following ques:-

    : 1) I presume it is better to set input at 88.2k rather than 96k if
    : saving out to 44.1k (as is exactly half freq). I appreciate that this
    : is way over the possible 15khz frequency response of a cassette but it
    : doesn't cost me anything to do it like this. Also the DBX386 has a
    : hard limiter pre the ADAC so it never clips so can be recorded quite
    : hot if required by the tube preamp.

    : 2) I presume a dithered 88k_24bit->44k_16bit is the best way to record
    : the tapes and that 16bit_44k is more than adequate as a pre-master for
    : a cassette. i.e to store them as 88k_24bit would be wasteful, taking 3
    : times the disk/dvdr space.

    : I understand music software inside out having used it for years but
    : come from a computer background and though can audio engineer, don't
    : think I'm that great at it, so any other tips would be greatly
    : appreciated. I have googled and read for nearly 2 days, but nobody
    : talks about 96k or 24 bit in conjunction with cassettes, or solutions
    : to bulk archiving as a 2 stage process as I have concluded I need. As
    : this is a one off task before I bin ALL my cassettes for good I wish
    : to get it right before I begin this arduous task.

    : Cheers Danny K
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    sgordon@changethisparttohardbat.com wrote:
    > I think the most significant link in this chain is the cassette
    deck.

    More likely, its the cassettes themselves. But you got the idea.

    This guy is cleaning up figurative outhouses using a sanitzed
    stainless steel shovel, wearing a fresh set of surgeon's scrubs.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote

    > This guy is cleaning up figurative outhouses using a sanitzed
    > stainless steel shovel, wearing a fresh set of surgeon's scrubs.

    I agree with re the 88.2, part but even though you stated a few days ago 14
    bit was enough to be inaudible, in this case, wouldn't 20 bit be helpful
    since he's scrubbing up the noise floor?

    Julian
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Julian Adamaitis <nospamJulianPA@Access4Less.net> wrote:
    >"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote
    >
    >> This guy is cleaning up figurative outhouses using a sanitzed
    >> stainless steel shovel, wearing a fresh set of surgeon's scrubs.
    >
    >I agree with re the 88.2, part but even though you stated a few days ago 14
    >bit was enough to be inaudible, in this case, wouldn't 20 bit be helpful
    >since he's scrubbing up the noise floor?

    It wouldn't hurt, but the noise floor is going to be WAY higher than
    16 bits will handle anyway. Way higher than 14, even. These are
    cassettes after all.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "WhoRu" <who@ru> wrote in message
    news:ffja51d40b0noull3p0228l9r88sj3rfu6@4ax.com...
    >I am binning my 500 odd audio cassette collection. Most are of
    > commercial music that I have now replicated on cd/mp3 now so can be
    > binned. I have about 50-100 others of my own music or other stuff I
    > now wish to digitize. I have decided to record all tapes unaltered
    > into the pc, archive that off to DVDR, so I can bin the tapes while
    > having a decent unaltered original copy, then over time I can
    > remaster/edit some/all of them if I wish.
    >

    I've been through this and found using the higher sample rates (in my case
    96k) to be a waste in every aspect and an unneeded headache.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Julian Adamaitis wrote:
    > "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote
    >
    >> This guy is cleaning up figurative outhouses using a sanitzed
    >> stainless steel shovel, wearing a fresh set of surgeon's scrubs.
    >
    > I agree with re the 88.2, part but even though you stated a few days
    > ago 14 bit was enough to be inaudible, in this case, wouldn't 20 bit
    > be helpful since he's scrubbing up the noise floor?

    Common cassette tape recording is a really sorry format. This includes
    both commercial pre-recorded tapes, and almost all homemade tapes. I
    just moved our church from making HX cassettes on type 2 tape to CD
    recording. It made a TREMENDOUS difference.

    Cassettes have dynamic range of 8-10 bits. Therefore, 16 bit
    resolution in the digital domain is more than enough for processing
    it.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 13:15:48 -0400, "Zigakly" <zigakly@nospam.cx>
    wrote:

    >
    >You should leave the files at 24-bit until the mastering stage, where L3 can
    >dither down to 16. I don't see much advantage to processing at 88.2kHz at
    >any point.

    Great reply, thanks. My main query does revolve around the above bit,
    that given the source's lowish quality, if 16bit_44k would in this
    case, be fine for a pre-master. I understand that NORMALLY you would
    only go to 16_44 when 'finished' post-processing but for a tape I
    wondered if 16_44 was plenty good enough?

    I presume by what you say re 88k that you would just use 44k from the
    off as the freq response of cassette doesn't justify any higher? I
    wasn't planning to save at 88k just to downsample on the fly.

    Re other reply - I understand the tape deck may be a weak link, but I
    am wishing to simply do the best possible with the gear I have. These
    aren't rare 'Hendrix' bootlegs or anything special, it's just a case
    of 'if a jobs worth doing, it's worth doing well', within the bounds
    of my gears abilities. I also have a Denon tape deck but it seems to
    go a bit weird sometimes.


    I may just record at 16_44 then as I realised I can use the dither
    option on the DBX386 to do that on the fly, and as the DBX386 can be
    run high without fear of clipping th extra 8 bits may be redundant?

    PS - I have some tapes recorded using DBX Noise reduction, I don't
    suppose there is a software plugin/method to decode this?
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:59:02 +0100, WhoRu <who@ru> wrote:

    ----Snip all-------

    -- While it does have sense to go and stay at 24 bit until preparation
    for burning the files, 44,1 kHz sample rate would be fine and would
    ease your and your PC's job yielding somewhat smaller files.

    What I would care of is the way the cassettes are played back at the
    time of recording. It has been discussed many times here at the Board.
    Mint clean heads and pinch roller would assure that the reproduction
    is clean and crisp as it goes and there are no software solutions for
    correcting the azimuth that are as good, as your screwdriver is for
    doing it before recording for every cassete and its side. Also if the
    recordings are Dolby, match it.

    A huge amount of a doubtful salvage work could be spared by a good
    playback.


    Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    OK this is all very useful, I will try and sum things up when the
    thread completes for future googlers as I couldn't find other
    discussions re 96k or 24 bit with regard to cassettes. 96/88k seems
    deffo off the menu so far.

    With regard to 24bit, and considering the original ain't going to be
    great, is there much loss if it is input at 24 bit, but dithered down
    to 16bit and saved for later remastering? (BTW is it OK to remaster
    from a file that has been dithered down and maybe mildly limited using
    ultramax?) It's just I'm thinking that maybe 24 bits is overkill for a
    cassette, and it is after all a 50% larger file size.

    Given that it's a 2 pass approach, firstly to just get all tapes on pc
    quickly, then to later remaster them a bit, I wonder if in stage1 the
    raw recordings should be recorded with absolutely zero processing? or
    is ultramaximiser_16-bit premaster (edit-ready)? OK. I intend using
    the exact same recording path for ALL tapes as I don't want to have to
    listen to each one in detail prior to initially recording them. I
    won't be keeping the tapes either so want like to get it right, but
    also keep it simple.

    For most tapes I hope to spend no more than 20 mins or so on later
    remastering, just learn the noise_x footprint, apply a bit of eq and
    ultramax nice and punchy. I 'will' archive the phase-1 recordings just
    in case, but doubt I will ever return to them after.

    Just trying to finalise the approach I will take before spending the
    hours it will take to do it. Don't wanna get to the end and think 'Oh
    No I shoulda done it this way' - doh!
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "WhoRu" <who@ru> wrote

    > With regard to 24bit, and considering the original ain't going to be
    > great, is there much loss if it is input at 24 bit, but dithered down
    > to 16bit and saved for later remastering? (BTW is it OK to remaster
    > from a file that has been dithered down and maybe mildly limited using
    > ultramax?) It's just I'm thinking that maybe 24 bits is overkill for a
    > cassette, and it is after all a 50% larger file size.

    I don't get what you mean here or what you meant earlier by converting 88 to
    44 "on the fly" I'd say just do it 44/16.

    >
    > Given that it's a 2 pass approach, firstly to just get all tapes on pc
    > quickly, then to later remaster them a bit, I wonder if in stage1 the
    > raw recordings should be recorded with absolutely zero processing?

    ABSOLUTELY!

    > is ultramaximiser_16-bit premaster (edit-ready)? OK. I intend using
    > the exact same recording path for ALL tapes as I don't want to have to
    > listen to each one in detail prior to initially recording them

    Except you SHOULD adjust the azimuth of your cassette player for every tape.


    > Just trying to finalise the approach I will take before spending the
    > hours it will take to do it. Don't wanna get to the end and think 'Oh
    > No I shoulda done it this way' - doh!

    If you tweak the azimuth for each recording and optimize the Dolby dbx, etc
    and archive the phase one recordings, you will never have to go back to the
    cassettes, no matter what doh!, you might discover later. I recommend you
    archive to 44/16 wav filed DATA not CDA format. OK?

    Also, I am not aware of any software DBX, although you are teh second person
    to ask recently - it would be nice. That's why I have an old DBX box
    hanging out in the basement. You could rent it from me ;-)

    Julian
  11. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    WhoRu wrote:

    > OK this is all very useful, I will try and sum things up when the
    > thread completes for future googlers as I couldn't find other
    > discussions re 96k or 24 bit with regard to cassettes. 96/88k seems
    > deffo off the menu so far.

    Good choice. The power response of the cassette medium makes it sound
    like much of the time its bandpass is like about 8 KHz.

    > With regard to 24bit, and considering the original ain't going to be
    > great, is there much loss if it is input at 24 bit, but dithered
    down
    > to 16bit and saved for later remastering?

    Remember, the basic dynamic range of garden-variety cassettes is 8-10
    bits.

    >(BTW is it OK to remaster
    > from a file that has been dithered down and maybe mildly limited
    using
    > ultramax?)

    I don't know why you would need to limit a 16 bit transcription of a
    cassette.

    > It's just I'm thinking that maybe 24 bits is overkill for a
    > cassette, and it is after all a 50% larger file size.

    File size means nothing to me, because disk space is so cheap and
    plentiful.

    > Given that it's a 2 pass approach, firstly to just get all tapes on
    pc
    > quickly, then to later remaster them a bit,

    One of the major audible changes in the remastering step will be
    headroom optimization. You probably want to make your recordings with
    up to 10 dB of headroom. Your final work product will probably end up

    > I wonder if in stage1 the
    > raw recordings should be recorded with absolutely zero processing?

    My approach is to record as clean as possible. That makes all
    processing reversable.
  12. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    WhoRu wrote:
    > OK this is all very useful, I will try and sum things up when the
    > thread completes for future googlers as I couldn't find other
    > discussions re 96k or 24 bit with regard to cassettes. 96/88k seems
    > deffo off the menu so far.
    >
    > With regard to 24bit, and considering the original ain't going to be
    > great, is there much loss if it is input at 24 bit, but dithered down
    > to 16bit and saved for later remastering? (BTW is it OK to remaster
    > from a file that has been dithered down and maybe mildly limited using
    > ultramax?) It's just I'm thinking that maybe 24 bits is overkill for a
    > cassette, and it is after all a 50% larger file size.

    My own personal reaction would be that anything higher than 44.1 kHz
    would be overkill on a cassette. However, 24-bit vs. 16-bit is not
    that big a space difference. Yes, it is 50%, but even if you have a
    full 90-minute cassette, that's only about 240MB. If you're archiving
    to DVD-R, those can hold something like 4 GB conservatively, so it will
    take close to 20 cassettes to require an extra blank DVD-R.

    Since you are talking about de-noising things and doing other
    processing, personally I think it'd be nice to have the extra
    bits of precision to work with and just dither at the end. It
    might not be necessary, but since the cost is so low and since
    you can't go back, I would just use the 50% extra space and not
    have to worry about it.

    - Logan
  13. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Thu, 7 Apr 2005 14:57:18 -0700, "Julian Adamaitis"
    <nospamJulianPA@Access4Less.net> wrote:
    >
    >I don't get what you mean here or what you meant earlier by converting 88 to
    >44 "on the fly" I'd say just do it 44/16.
    >
    well i meant setting the live-input at 88k with it being resampled and
    saved out at 44k in realtime. I thought wavelab could do this on the
    fly but on testing it bombed out (even with diff sound card for output
    set to 44k). So as a live sample rate convertor wavelab doesn't appear
    to work. My thinking was to get the ADAC's inputs to the best signal
    to get as much info sampled and into the digital domain, then use
    software to resample/dither down to 16_44, hopefully giving a better
    result than if merely sampled at 16_44 in the first place as the pc
    has more info to play with. I also initially wondered if the noise-x
    plugin would give better results with an 88/96k input as it has a more
    accurate noise fingerprint to work with - (or not?)

    >> is ultramaximiser_16-bit premaster (edit-ready)? OK. I intend using
    >> the exact same recording path for ALL tapes as I don't want to have to
    >> listen to each one in detail prior to initially recording them
    >
    >Except you SHOULD adjust the azimuth of your cassette player for every tape.

    so that means listening to each tape initially as I adjust azimuth to
    get best sound.

    so i shouldn't mildly ultramax-limit the original prior to saving,
    though as the input is at 24bit i guess i will need to dither down to
    16bit prior to it being saved using it anyway.

    >
    >
    >> Just trying to finalise the approach I will take before spending the
    >> hours it will take to do it. Don't wanna get to the end and think 'Oh
    >> No I shoulda done it this way' - doh!
    >
    >If you tweak the azimuth for each recording and optimize the Dolby dbx, etc
    >and archive the phase one recordings, you will never have to go back to the
    >cassettes, no matter what doh!, you might discover later. I recommend you
    >archive to 44/16 wav filed DATA not CDA format. OK?
    >
    >Also, I am not aware of any software DBX, although you are teh second person
    >to ask recently - it would be nice. That's why I have an old DBX box
    >hanging out in the basement. You could rent it from me ;-)
    >

    are the frequency and compression changes it makes not known? and
    therefore recreatable in a plugin? or at least approximated.
  14. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "WhoRu" <who@ru> wrote

    > well i meant setting the live-input at 88k with it being resampled and
    > saved out at 44k in realtime.

    I am willing to be corrected, but I dont think that would give you any
    different result from 44/16 bit to start with.

    > so that means listening to each tape initially as I adjust azimuth to
    > get best sound.

    Oh yes. If oyu don't you won't be gettign all teh high freq information
    from your cassette and that's more way important than what youdo with it
    later.

    > so i shouldn't mildly ultramax-limit the original prior to saving,
    > though as the input is at 24bit i guess i will need to dither down to
    > 16bit prior to it being saved using it anyway.

    I wouldn't record any processing or you will have an opportunity to go doh!
    later.

    >>Also, I am not aware of any software DBX, although you are teh second
    >>person
    >>to ask recently - it would be nice. That's why I have an old DBX box
    >>hanging out in the basement. You could rent it from me ;-)
    >>
    >
    > are the frequency and compression changes it makes not known? and
    > therefore recreatable in a plugin? or at least approximated.

    They are well known and someone could easily write a plug-in for it. I just
    don know of anyone who has. You are welcome to search the web for it.
    There were at least 3 or 4 different specs on DBX, so you have to make sure
    you got the cassette tape one.

    Julian
  15. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    I would suggest that the single best thing you could do for this project
    would be to find a Nakamichi 3-head deck in good condition, one which has
    easy-to-adjust azimuth. You'd be surprised how much better cassettes sound
    without the scrape flutter from the pressure pad inside the cassette. And
    how much better still with the azimuth adjusted right.

    Compared to those two improvements, the difference between 44.1kHz and
    88.2kHz, or for that matter between 24 and 16 bits, is trivial.

    Peace,
    Paul
  16. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:59:02 +0100, WhoRu <who@ru> wrote:

    > I am binning my 500 odd audio cassette collection. Most are of
    > commercial music that I have now replicated on cd/mp3 now so can be
    > binned. I have about 50-100 others of my own music or other stuff I
    > now wish to digitize. I have decided to record all tapes unaltered
    > into the pc, archive that off to DVDR, so I can bin the tapes while
    > having a decent unaltered original copy, then over time I can
    > remaster/edit some/all of them if I wish.

    How long do you want your digitised version to last? Another 10 years, 20
    years or 50 years? DVD will probably be OK for 10 years but the rated
    lifetime on current media is only 25 years at best. If you don't want to
    have to salvage files from deteriorating DVD's in a few years time then
    you are probably better off copying to decent archive quality CD-R's which
    have a much longer predicted lifespan.

    If you really value what is on the tapes then keep the original - we know
    that most cassettes will last 30 years whereas no-one has a 30 year old
    CD, let alone a DVD-R.

    Cheers.

    James.
  17. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    James Perrett wrote:
    > How long do you want your digitised version to last?

    Analog degrades over time (print-thru is one obvious symptom), and loses
    something every time you copy it. And some batches of analog tape have
    self-destructed. So the real answer is to focus on the data rather than
    the medium.

    Since digital media can be copied losslessly, the proper response to
    this concern is to copy the data onto new media whenever you start to
    distrust it. You'll probably want to do so anyway as denser media
    continue to become available.

    Of course there's absolutely nothing wrong with preserving _both_ media.
    For irreplacable stuff I pull a pure digital copy (data CDR, with error
    correcting codes for absolute accuracy), AND a digital audio copy (audio
    CDR, which allows players to interpolate past failure points and thus
    may be playable even after it has started to degrade), AND retain the
    original media.
  18. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    OK well then it seems the best option is to record all the cassettes
    in at 44k 16 bit with no processing of any kind (no dither) and back
    these up as the original raw backup. 88/96k or 24 bit seem overkill
    for cassettes given their dynamic range.

    Then over time these can be edited. Obviously when later remastering,
    the processing in wavelab will all be done at 32bit_float internally,
    as that's how it operates, despite the source being 16bit.

    I had considered whether to record in at 24bit, dithering down to save
    at 16bit via ultramax purely to use the full potential of my A/D's so
    possibly getting a better end result than purely using the A/D's at 16
    bit. But to be honest all you ever read is that dither MIST be the
    last thing you do. This seems to mean that 24bit--dither-->16bit will
    be worse than direct 16 bit with no dither? hmmm don't really get
    that.

    Anyway I'll tweak the azimuth before each tape and will begin grabbing
    them, (unless anyone has any last comments to make?) e.g "STOP no use
    192khz the oberon theory says that the nyquist squared noise floor
    threshold must be quadrupled to absorb the ambient affects of as yet
    undecoded alien transmissions from ...."
  19. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Fri, 08 Apr 2005 05:55:52 GMT, "Paul Stamler"
    <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote:

    >I would suggest that the single best thing you could do for this project
    >would be to find a Nakamichi 3-head deck in good condition, one which has
    >easy-to-adjust azimuth. You'd be surprised how much better cassettes sound
    >without the scrape flutter from the pressure pad inside the cassette. And
    >how much better still with the azimuth adjusted right.
    >
    >Compared to those two improvements, the difference between 44.1kHz and
    >88.2kHz, or for that matter between 24 and 16 bits, is trivial.

    Only if you're trying to make sense.

    Chris Hornbeck
    6x9=42
  20. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Fri, 08 Apr 2005 21:38:19 +0100, WhoRu <who@ru> wrote:

    >OK well then it seems the best option is to record all the cassettes
    >in at 44k 16 bit with no processing of any kind (no dither)

    There's an error here.

    >I had considered whether to record in at 24bit, dithering down to save
    >at 16bit via ultramax purely to use the full potential of my A/D's so
    >possibly getting a better end result than purely using the A/D's at 16
    >bit. But to be honest all you ever read is that dither MIST be the
    >last thing you do. This seems to mean that 24bit--dither-->16bit will
    >be worse than direct 16 bit with no dither?

    *All* word length reductions must be dithered (to avoid yada yada).
    This includes any analog to digital conversion. This whole thread
    has been based on the assumption (good one too) that any real tape
    will make enough noise so as to be much bigger than even a 16 bit
    converter's LSB quantization errors.

    IOW, the tape's noise will (possibly/ probably) dither the conversion
    pretty well no matter what. But still:

    You should still dither any word length reduction, including A/D
    conversion. It's The Cowboy Way. And years later, you won't be
    staying up late at night wishing, and wondering...

    Good fortune,

    Chris Hornbeck
    6x9=42
  21. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Fri, 08 Apr 2005 21:38:19 +0100, WhoRu <who@ru> wrote:
    ---------------8<-----------------------------
    >
    >Anyway I'll tweak the azimuth before each tape and will begin grabbing
    >them, (unless anyone has any last comments to make?)

    Yes, I forgot to mention that it could be necessary to demagnetize
    your cassette tape deck heads by a hand demagnetizer. The procedures
    are discussed at various places at the Internet. This in some
    circumstances could have a "wow" effect. This, plus cleaned heads and
    tape path, properly adjusted azimuth for every cassette and its side
    as well as matching noise reduction setting (whatever the tape has
    been recorded with, if any) will ensure you optimal reproduction from
    the analog part. And then you could choose bit depth, sampling rate
    and so on (some editor programs have an option to work and save
    temporarily files 32 bit, it can add to "internal" precision during
    work no matter what bit depth you're working with. It also adds to
    working payload though).

    Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia
  22. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Sat, 09 Apr 2005 06:34:52 GMT, "Paul Stamler"
    <pstamlerhell@pobox.com> wrote:

    >>Personally, since you're planning to run these through Wavelab, I'd suggest
    >storing the files in 32-bit float, so it can have the format it likes. I

    I don't see the point of storing files at 32 bit, that doubles the
    file size for no gain whatsoever, from what I've ascertained.
    Obviously when I later come to remaster it wavelab will start with a
    16bit file and internally as it runs through plugins do so at 32 bit
    float regardless and dither back down to 16 bits at the end after
    processing. Whather the source is 16 or 32 bit will make no difference
    to wavelab, 32 bit would just mean extra dynamic range resolution that
    won't exist on a cassette - correct?

    Part of my confusion about dither was everything you read says to
    dither down only as the last stage, BUT in this case I am preparing
    raw copies of audio cassettes that it seems will not benefit from
    going above 16bit/44k, then dither is OK I presume, though possibly
    unneccessary as the inherant noise of a cassette will mean the high
    bits are in a state of flux anyway. The main thrust of the thread was
    to determine if anything greater than 16/44k was overkill which it
    seems it is. I certainly dont wish to create larger files
    unnecessarily, especially as when I tested flac on a 24 bit file it
    made no difference but on a 16bit reduced it by about 30%, that's if I
    decide to use it.

    Bottom line is as it seems 16/44k is more than adequate to capture the
    freq response of a cassette, there is no point using any higher.
    Regarding dither there is no problem recording at 24 bit if I wish
    with a dither down to 16 bit on the output and saving at 16 bit (on
    the fly as I can do in wavelab).
  23. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Sat, 09 Apr 2005 09:31:15 +0200, Edi Zubovic <edi.zubovic[rem
    this].@ri.htnet.hr> wrote:

    >the analog part. And then you could choose bit depth, sampling rate
    >and so on (some editor programs have an option to work and save
    >temporarily files 32 bit, it can add to "internal" precision during
    >work no matter what bit depth you're working with. It also adds to
    >working payload though).
    >
    the chip in my pc is easily powerfull enough to run the 4 or 5 plugins
    I need at 32bit res in real time when remastering, so there will be no
    temporary files and no payload. I just dont want to being with higher
    res files than I need as there may be 100+ tapes to do and don't want
    to bunr more dvd's than necessary. Some people seem to say "no harm
    storing at 24 bit" but if there is no gain then there is no point.
    Arny says the res of a tape is 8-10 bits so... Also as I am recording
    in via my dbx386 (dbx4 = no fear of clipping) and boosting the input
    to -8 to -2 db range its pretty hot so is already using all the bits.
    Wavelab bit meter shows the first 2 bits permanantly on anyway even
    when there's no signal.
  24. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "WhoRu" <who@ru> wrote ...
    > the chip in my pc is easily powerfull enough to run the
    > 4 or 5 plugins I need at 32bit res in real time when
    > remastering, so there will be no temporary files and
    > no payload. I just dont want to being with higher res
    > files than I need as there may be 100+ tapes to do and
    > don't want to bunr more dvd's than necessary. Some
    > people seem to say "no arm storing at 24 bit" but if
    > there is no gain then there is no point. Arny says the
    > res of a tape is 8-10 bits so... Also as I am recording
    > in via my dbx386 (dbx4 = no fear of clipping) and
    > boosting the input to -8 to -2 db range its pretty hot so
    > is already using all the bits. Wavelab bit meter shows
    > the first 2 bits permanantly on anyway even when
    > there's no signal.

    I'd have to agree with Arny. You would be really lucky to
    get 16 bits worth of dynamic range our of your old cassettes.
    Storing 32 (or even 24) is just silly and wasteful, particularly
    if you have "100+ tapes". 88K or 96K sampling rate also
    seems optimistic at best. Stick with 44K x 16bit and get
    on with your life.
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