To the best of my knowledge I have in the past recorded in 32 Bit resolution… unless I was using a different audio interface. Nevertheless, I’m using a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24DSP now and I’m curious (and surprised) that in Project Setup, the option to use 32-bit resolution is grayed out. (see attached JPG)
Can someone explain why? Is this because my hardware doesn’t support anything higher than 24-bit?
Sorry guys… I have partly answered my own question… the file format that was selected was FLAC. I changed it to Wave and now the 32 bit option is available. However, I still wonder… I thought my interface specs were up to 24-bit, and 96kHz. Why would 32-bit float resolution be available?
If you are only doing audio mixdown exports being careful of levels and not using an in-project “print track” recording from the Master 2Ch Stereo Out then 24 bit will suffice.
If you are using a print track within your project (one with IN from Stereo Out and Out set to No Bus) which records master output in your project or rendering tracks within your project then use 32 bit FP (for your project Setup settings)
The primary difference between 32bit FP and 24 bit is that you can’t clip 32bit FP.
0 dB is not the maximum peak clip for 32bit FP.
You can write a +12dB wav (or higher) in 32bit FP if you want. (although you can’t play it back on 24bit adc’s !)
Then load the file in a project or audio process normalize that file to 0dB and the entire waveform will remain intact without any clipped peaks.
I prefer working at the highest resolution available today that my various plugins can handle, that is.
I store those files for future “re-mastering”.
Higher resolutions also eliminate the need to activate Oversampling in your plugins
Oversampling lower resolutions can sometimes lead to unwanted artifacts or sound artificial on a good system.
Who can predict what will be available through technology in 10-15, 25 or 50 years?
We may need the best quality versions of our recordings and mixes that we can have in order to be relevant and to not sound as a wax gramophone recording sounds to us today!