is SpDif "lossless"?

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by xy, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. xy

    xy Guest

    i'm setting up a computer just for gigasampler. i plan to run the
    sounds into the recording computer via sp-dif.

    do i "lose" any bit-depth or sound quality because it's being
    transmitted? do i have to worry about "digital gain staging" or
    something to get the most bits into the host computer?

    i'm wondering if a Vsti or Dxi softsampler would have a resolution
    advantage because it's being hosted inside the DAW.
  2. philicorda

    philicorda Guest

    xy wrote:

    > i'm setting up a computer just for gigasampler. i plan to run the
    > sounds into the recording computer via sp-dif.
    >
    > do i "lose" any bit-depth or sound quality because it's being
    > transmitted? do i have to worry about "digital gain staging" or
    > something to get the most bits into the host computer?


    No. The whole point of digital transfer is that it is bit-accurate.
    The only thing you might have to worry about is clocking and jitter issues.

    >
    > i'm wondering if a Vsti or Dxi softsampler would have a resolution
    > advantage because it's being hosted inside the DAW.


    They will have a slight advantage if, like the Steinberg Halion running in
    Nuendo, they operate at 32bit float for processing the samples, and can
    connect directly to the 32bit float mix buss. Really though, the difference
    is minute. The only real advantage is that the timing will be better on
    softsamplers, due to the limitations of midi. Softsamplers can in theory
    have sample accurate timing.
  3. Chris Smalt

    Chris Smalt Guest


    > > i'm setting up a computer just for gigasampler. i plan to run the
    > > sounds into the recording computer via sp-dif.
    > >
    > > do i "lose" any bit-depth or sound quality because it's being
    > > transmitted? do i have to worry about "digital gain staging" or
    > > something to get the most bits into the host computer?



    > No. The whole point of digital transfer is that it is bit-accurate.



    Correction: some S/PDIF devices send 16 bits, some 20, some 24. Some
    devices receive 16, other can deal with up to 24 bits. If your
    receiving device can deal with less bits than what's being sent, you get
    truncation distortion. Whether you can live with that is up to you.
    Often, the sending device lets you choose the bitdepth that's being
    sent. It's worth checking out before deciding on the hardware you're
    going to use. Even if your sample libraries are 16 bits, any panning,
    volume change or EQ-ing expands the word length.


    Chris
  4. xy

    xy Guest

    thanks

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