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Bit Depth

Bit Depth: Refers to the number of bits used to represent a single sample. For example, 16-bit is a common sample size. While 8-bit samples take up less memory (and hard disk space), they are inherently noisier than 16- or 24-bit samples. The higher the bid depth, the better the recording, but also, the larger the file produced. Again, “CD quality” equals 16-bit, and should be the minimum bit depth used for field recordings. 24-bit is beginning to catch on in the field as storage media decreases in cost. 24-bit is becoming the standard bit depth for archival-quality analog-to-digital conversion, although many repositories and individuals continue to digitize using 16-bit. [ Audio Glossary ] [ Video Glossary ]

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