Bit Depth in DAW

James Hardiman Leave a Comment

Dear Mr. Katz,

I read an article about mastering in a german recording magazine in which the author recommended to change incoming material with 16 bit into a 32 bit float file.The theory behind is that with these extra reserved bits you will get better results after processing the file through various plugins. As we know the lower bit information (where all the fine details of music are stored… ) gets lost if you have only 16 bits – this theory of creating these extrabits and use them for more accurate and exact processing sounds logical for me. What do you think about that?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Respectfully yours

Mike Amon

Dear Mike: It’s not necessary to explicitly do this in any modern-day DAW. The DAW will do it for you. All calculations on any source file will be done at 32 bits float, even if the source file is 16 bit. The results have to be captured in 32 bit float to take advantage of this, or dithered to 24 bits fixed.

Hope this helps,

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