HD Sound Effects Primer: What and Why?
Q: What are HD sound effects?
A: HD sound effects are audio files of sound effects recordings produced and delivered above CD-quality audio standards. In other words, anything above 16-bit/44.1kHz. They can be mono, stereo, 5.1, 7.1, and beyond. The current standard in delivery of HD sound effects libraries is 24-bit/96kHz – this is currently Blastwave FX’s native recording and delivery standard. In addition, our defiinition of HD sound effects involves the recording quality as well- poorly recorded sound, even at high bit rates and frequencies does not qualify. True HD sound effects, beyond bit rate and frequency are pristinely recorded using only professional recording techniques and equipment.
Q: Why do audio professionals need to adopt the use of HD sound effects into their everyday workflow?
A: We see two main reasons:
- To match HD video standards: HD television has become mainstream, and with it comes consumer technology already capable of playing back HD audio. We, as audio professionals, must not fall behind the video industry by offering an inferior quality audio experience to consumers.
- To uphold the original HD sound recording quality: Professional sound recordists regularly record in 24-bit/48kHz and above. Audio post professionals need to maintain the hi-def quality by utilizing HD sound effects into their mixes.