Io dovrei essere abbastanza ferrato in materia (magari sono solo smanettone e non ricordo un cacchio della fisica del suono), ma ho fatto un piccolo riepilogo per gli amanti degli ultrasuoni, e anche del suono Hi-Fi. Tratto liberamente da Wikipedia, che non fa così schifo come dicono…
In digital audio using pulse-code modulation (PCM), bit depth is the number of bits of information in each sample, and it directly corresponds to the resolution of each sample. Examples of bit depth include Compact Disc Digital Audio, which uses 16 bits per sample, and DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Disc which can support up to 24 bits per sample.
In digital multimedia, bitrate represents the amount of information, or detail, that is stored per unit of time of a recording. The bitrate depends on several factors:
- The original material may be sampled at different frequencies
- The samples may use different numbers of bits
- The data may be encoded by different schemes
- The information may be digitally compressed by different algorithms or to different degrees
Generally, choices are made about the above factors in order to achieve the desired trade-off between minimizing the bitrate and maximizing the quality of the material when it is played.
If lossy data compression is used on audio or visual data, differences from the original signal will be introduced; if the compression is substantial, or lossy data is decompressed and recompressed, this may become noticeable in the form of compression artifacts. Whether these affect the perceived quality, and if so how much, depends on the compression scheme, encoder power, the characteristics of the input data, the listener’s perceptions, the listener’s familiarity with artifacts, and the listening or viewing environment.
The bitrates in this section are approximately the minimum that the average listener in a typical listening or viewing environment, when using the best available compression, would perceive as not significantly worse than the reference standard:
The Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem states that perfect reconstruction of a signal is possible when the sampling frequency is greater than twice the maximum frequency of the signal being sampled, or equivalently, when the Nyquist frequency (half the sample rate) exceeds the highest frequency of the signal being sampled. If lower sampling rates are used, the original signal’s information may not be completely recoverable from the sampled signal. For example, if a signal has an upper band limit of 100 Hz, a sampling frequency greater than 200 Hz will avoid aliasing and would theoretically allow perfect reconstruction.
The full range of human hearing is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. The minimum sampling rate that satisfies the sampling theorem for this full bandwidth is 40 kHz. The 44.1 kHz sampling rate used for Compact Disc was chosen for this and other technical reasons.
In digital audio the most common sampling rates are 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz and 192 kHz. Lower sampling rates have the benefit of smaller data size and easier storage and transport. Because of the Nyquist-Shannon theorem, sampling rates higher than about 50 kHz to 60 kHz cannot supply more usable information for human listeners. Early professional audio equipment manufacturers chose sampling rates in the region of 50 kHz for this reason. 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz are often used in modern professional audio equipment, along with 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz. Higher rates such as 192 kHz are prone to ultrasonic artifacts causing audible intermodulation distortion, and inaccurate sampling caused by too much speed. The Audio Engineering Society recommends 48 kHz sample rate for most applications but gives recognition to 44.1 kHz for Compact Disc and other consumer uses, 32 kHz for transmission-related application and 96 kHz for higher bandwidth or relaxed anti-aliasing filtering.