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Thread Bits, Herz', Stereo Split, Mono, Broadcast Wave...?

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1 Bits, Herz', Stereo Split, Mono, Broadcast Wave...?
hi,
i'm using Cubase, and i'm pretty new to the recording buisness. I have learned myself everything I know about recording in Cubase, and I'm capable of doing regular recordings of guitars, vocals etc. But I feel that I've missed out on some very general stuff.

What is Bits? Something I can drag from 16 to 24, and then to 32 Float. What does this mean, and what does it do for my recording projects?
kHz: Same question for this one. I can change it, and I have a sense that by taking it higher the sound is supposed to get better:P, but what does it acctually do, and how important is this? Where is the ideal place to have it? I do 44.100kHz now, is this sufficiante?

Simple, Stereo, Mono. What is the actual difference?

Broadcast Wave, Wave, AIFF: Different file types, but what is the actual difference? Which is the best?

Thank you!
2
Bits are a measurement of how fine the audio is measured digitally. its a mathmatic name for how fine audio can sound. for instace, an audio file at 4bits will sound like those very old computer sounds, or the music coming out of supermario on an old gameboy. CD's are at 16bits, but the industry standard in recording is 24bits, in other words, very high quality.

kHZ is a measue of how many times a sound is sampled. the higher, the better, although 196khz is the highest i've ever heard of. CD's play at 44.1khz, but when recording, go as high as your soundcard will let your record for outstanding quality (some will argue that you can't hear the difference, but its generally accepted as worth it). dont record higher quality than your audio card can record, otherwise its pointless to have the larger files.

Stereo means that different sounds can come out of the left/right speakers, mono means that the same sound always has to come out of both. in mono, things like panning are useless.

i dont know what broadcast wave is, but .wav is used on PCs, and AIFF is on macs. They are both uncompressed audio types, and i dont believe that there is any discernable difference in sound, but possibly in the amount of space they take up. i dont know which is the best, or if there is a best
3
Thanks!
One last thing: When I've recorded with 16 bits, is there any point in mixing it down in 24 bits?
4
nope, but if you recorded in 24 bits, mix it down in 24.
5
A good way to describe it is to campare audio files to videos

Just incase you didnt know (wich im sure you did) most video is just a bunch of photos shown in sequence very quickly.

digital audio is not that different.

the bit depth is the quality of each sample (in video a sample is the equivelant or a picture or frame),

a 16 bit sample might be like a 1 megapixel photo but 24 bit sample might be the audio equvelant of a 4 megapixel photo.

and khz (thousands of samples per second) is similar frames per second in video.

so if you have 96000 samples per second (96khz) instead of 44.1khz the quality of the audio will be better
in the same way that 10 frames per second is more convincing than 5.

allthough the differences in quality are big when you look at them mathematicaly it is hard to tell the difference between 16 bit/44.1khz and 24 bit/96khz recordings by listening because that the human simply dosent notice.
6
i've never heard it put that way, great analogy. thanks