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24-bit Remastered CDs??

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miT View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 10:14pm
Hi all,

It's my turn to have a rant...

As part of my music collection overhaul I've decided to buy Stevie Wonder's back catalogue on CD so I can rip it all to my PC, but some of them are being advertised as remastered 24-bit editions. Remastered is always a good thing but can someone please explain to me how a 16-bit CD can house a 24-bit recording??

I don't claim to understand the mysteries behind music creation but is it hocus pocus advertising rubbish again or genuinely possible?


Edited by miT - 17 Apr 2015 at 10:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 10:21pm
Well, if the disc medium doesn't adhere to the Red Book specification (which stipulates 16-bit, 44.1 kHz) then I see no reason why 24-bit audio couldn't be put on a disc medium. Not sure what equipment would be required to play it though...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 10:23pm
Originally posted by miT miT wrote:

Remastered is always a good thing 

Actually... no, not always. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 10:27pm
Thanks Ash. That's what I don't get though, they are just normal CDs that work on any standard player!

Interesting, please expand Ash. Do you mean that it's bad if they messed up in remastering the original? I was naturally making a generalisation about the good quality ones...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 10:52pm
Not sure then. Maybe it's just marketing BS...

Basically, what I'm saying is that if the original was already mastered very well then "remastering" it won't provide any audible benefit or may even bring detriment to the sound. I know you were only making a light-hearted generalization but some "remastering" is only marketing BS in order to get into the consumer's head and make them think that the work was inferior in quality before, all to encourage them to buy it again. 

Whether 16-bit or 24-bit, it is the mastering (how well everything is mixed) that primarily does the business. I would not be too quick to attribute a better sounding 24-bit recording (over the 16-bit version) to the higher bit-rate. It may simply be that the mastering of the mix has been improved over a poorer original mixing. 24-bit is only four additional bits over 16, as the remaining four are not used for the reproduction qualities. How much benefit a larger dynamic range provides depends on the dynamic/amplitude transitions of the listening material, typically genre dependent. Material with a small dynamic range would be given no benefit by the increased dynamic allowance. 

I feel that if the original mastering was poor, the "hi res" version won't be any better...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 11:08pm
That's what I feared. The few I have come across have had less hiss and generally sounded cleaner but I haven't listened to enough to compare. I have more experience with 24-bit blu-ray "remastered" films but that's off topic (although probably follows similar principles).

Thanks Ash, that's what I meant.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2015 at 11:18pm
With 24-bit, the noise floor can be lowered due to the increased dynamic allowance, which may help with reducing hiss/noise in the recording, I presume. So there are circumstances where the 24-bit constraints may provide advantages over the 16-bit, but depends on how well the work is mastered within the format constraints, I think.

Edited by Ash - 18 Apr 2015 at 6:56am
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