RESHAPING SOUND: HIGH-RESOLUTION AUDIO MASTERED
Let’s face it: quality sound matters. Not just to musicians and audio professionals, but to the general music-listening public. For many years, there’s been a push to bring high quality digital audio to the market. Since the dawn of Digital Audio, researchers have been trying to improve upon the quality of sound reproduction to surpass audio reproduced via CD. They were looking for a means to offer even more than “lossless” audio, to get a near identical reproduction of sound from the master recording of a given piece of audio. After much deliberation, we believe we’ve found that quality through High-Resolution Audio.
High-Resolution Audio refers to the “lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better than CD quality music sources” – a definition agreed upon this past June by the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA), the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) and The Recording Academy. What this means is that sound quality is measured by the bit depth and sample rate that are used in digital audio recording. The higher the bit rate, the closer the audio file is to the original sound.
What higher bit rates and higher frequency sampling allow for is a more natural sound curve that incorporates all sound, including any nuance that is created based upon harmonics. The higher the bit depth, the more natural the sine wave looks compared to an analog signal. And, since digital signals are an approximation, the more information you can include in a given sine wave, the more natural it will sound.
To achieve this natural sound, consumers will need to understand not only the benefits of high-resolution audio, but also the type of audio signal distribution system that can reproduce these audio files, especially as the CE industry moves towards these high end audio files.
By Todd Mares, Application Field Engineer, Peerless-AV