Author Topic: Sampling rate/bit depth. USB turntable. Limiting component?  (Read 5560 times)

Madmardigan

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Sampling rate/bit depth. USB turntable. Limiting component?
« on: October 16, 2014, 02:55:06 pm »
Hi,

I'm curious, I see in VS that I can set the software to record at 96/24 (for instance), but I wonder if the USB "chip" in the turntable (ADC?), or the soundcard in my 2010 MacBook Air actually limit the resulting file resolution to 44/16 (or?)? I may be deluded but I'm really wanting to rip my finer vinyl to 96/24 in order to load to a high-res DAP.

Lastly, I see all kinds of complaints about iTunes being "limited to 256 Kbps". What is this? Read rate? How does this relate (or not), to sample rate/bit depth when it comes to the listening experience for a (theoretically), perfectly attuned audiophile's ear. (I'm definitely not making any personal claim by that last. :-))

Thanks very much in advance for your expert response!

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Sampling rate/bit depth. USB turntable. Limiting component?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 03:05:38 pm »
Hi,

VinylStudio can report the sample rates and bit deths supported by your recording device by clicking 'Sample rates' in the Check Level dialog.  Select the desired device in the dropdown first.  That said, most USB turntables are limited to 48/16, and most modern internal sound cards to 96/24.

VinylStudio supports a range of options when saving tracks in AAC format, including rates above 256 kbps and Variable Bit Rate (VBR, which offers the best audio quality for a give file size).  However, not all devices might play these formats so it's worth experimenting.  Many people would say that 256 kbps AAC is 'perceptually transparent', and I would certainly think it is enough for mobile devices.

You can also save your tracks in Apple Lossless format, which, as the name implies, is lossless so if you've got plenty of space on the devices you want to play these files on, you might choose that.

Madmardigan

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Re: Sampling rate/bit depth. USB turntable. Limiting component?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 03:24:17 pm »
Thanks very much! So, although the soundcard in my Mac might support 96/24, the turntable (via USB), might limit the recording to 48/16? In that case, am I correct in assuming that, in order to get to 96/24, I'd have to use that analogue (RCA) outs, to some kind of more capable ADC USB off-turntable component?

When I click Sample Rates, what is that reporting, the turntable's capability or the Mac's soundcard capability? Or perhaps just the lowest common denominator? In which case I wouldn't know what the limiting component is.

I want to record everything to ALAC (96/24). Does this mean the whole "256kbps" and "VBR" conversation on other boards is irrelevant to me as it is applicable only to AAC?

The mobile device I am loading my library to is capable of 192/24 and all formats with 256GB of storage. I should be getting it today. I'm excited to use it! Thanks again!

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Sampling rate/bit depth. USB turntable. Limiting component?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 03:56:42 pm »
So, although the soundcard in my Mac might support 96/24, the turntable (via USB), might limit the recording to 48/16? In that case, am I correct in assuming that, in order to get to 96/24, I'd have to use that analogue (RCA) outs, to some kind of more capable ADC USB off-turntable component?

No, you can feed the line-level output from your turntable (most have one) into line-in on your Mac.  The 48/16 limitation applies to the ADC inside the turntable, and you would be bypassing that with this setup.

When I click Sample Rates, what is that reporting, the turntable's capability or the Mac's soundcard capability? Or perhaps just the lowest common denominator? In which case I wouldn't know what the limiting component is.

It depends on which device is selected in the 'Input Device' dropdown.  So you can find out the capabilities of both independently.

I want to record everything to ALAC (96/24). Does this mean the whole "256kbps" and "VBR" conversation on other boards is irrelevant to me as it is applicable only to AAC?

Yes, it is irrelevant.  Quality settings apply only to AAC.