32-bit or 64-bit?

Is WaveLab 9 based on a 32-bit or 64-bit float engine? Looking for an engine that can capture, store, and deliver 32-bit integer (clean) files, such as AIFF32 and WAV32. A 32-bit floating point engine will tend to lose some of the top 8 bits. Tks.

If not here, Studio One or Reaper. Although as you probably know Wavelab can make 32 bit integer files.

Bob99, yes I see that Wavelab can “handle” 32-bit integer files, but I’m not sure what that means. It really comes down to the processing engine. If Wavelab has a 64-bit float engine, it can capture, store, process, and deliver lossless 32-bit files. If the engine is 32-bit float (like 98% of all DAWs), then a 32-bit file will probably lose bits. Yes, Reaper has a 64-bit float engine option. I’ll check Studio One, thanks.

Maybe the Stillwell Bitter plugin inserted very last in the chain will give you some clues:


WaveLab 9.5 has a 32 bit float engine, but a 64 bit engine is in the pipeline.

Philippe, thanks! Any ETA for the 64-bit float engine?

more short term than long term…

Bob99, just checked Studio One. They don’t do double-precision (64-bit float) in the mix engine, and they use the mix engine for storing and retrieving data.

It was capable and selectable a couple years ago, in the Pro version only I think. Can’t imagine they would drop it.

I have a doubt. If the WaveLab’s engine is 32 bit float, why appears to select the 64 bit float option? :confused: Thanks.

Sorry, I forget put the pic:

I suppose there could be a difference between being able to play and write 64-bit WAV files vs. the bit-depth of the mix engine.

Justin is right. Btw i am travelling and cant answer all posts.

Ahh!! Gracias!

Cubase 9.5 just came out with a 64-bit float engine. I fail to see the point, but then, I also don’t see it for 192k audio (except when working for bats maybe).

The 32 Float engine is in bit depth really good, in 44.1 Khz more then enough for audio.
The 64 bit engine is supposed to be better, but it will be only very slightly.
For me i would prefer to stay with 32 bit Float.

For those who say higher bit rates and higher sample rates are pointless - I suggest a little humility here. Can you make “Wavelab”? Can you make “Cubase”? Can you make Weiss digital processing equipment? Very few people in the world can do these things… despite that, do you really think these people are “stupid”? That they somehow don’t know what they’re doing and just add pointlessness to everything they do? Or are they more likely striving for the absolute pinnacle of excellence - even if it’s only a 1% improvement?

Anyway - with that in mind, I have to say - I have done extensive testing with both higher bit-rates, and higher sample-rates (including 192khz, DSD, etc). While I feel “recording” at higher rates offers VERY little benefit (but “possibly” some), I have come to believe that some digital “processing” can benefit from these higher rates as well. In the context of a software like Wavelab/Cubase/ProTools/etc, that “processing” occurs MANY MANY times throughout a mix… every single fader deviation on each and every track from 0db? Digital Processing. Every single plugin? Digital processing. Every summing occurrence? Every envelope? Digital processing.

Work at low rates if you want, but don’t get too arrogant about it. There are others in the world who may disagree with you, and they are not just the “stupid” bottom-of-the-barrel type people. Anyway… just some thoughts on the subject. We all need to trust our instincts and our hearts when making creative, critical decisions… just as the engineers who make our favorite tools do. Maybe put at least a tiny bit of trust in some of the people who make these incredible tools that we use every day.


Yes, to agree with Toader in a shorter manner:

Just because you can’t hear it, doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial to the end result, and now the end user result after lossy encoding.

44.1k is technically enough for the human ear, but I personally feel that working at 96k allows my digital and analog tools to perform better and ultimately achieve a better end result.

Then I use quality SRC (Saracon) to reduce to 44.1k and/or 48k as needed.

I would welcome a 64-bit audio engine from WaveLab but I don’t think WaveLab is behind in adding this. REAPER has a 64-bit audio engine but since RX6 is still 32-bit float and I heavily use RX6 as REAPER’s external editor, I still save processed audio files as 32-bit float rather than 64-bit.

This has nothing to do with arogance, but with science versus marketing. Try some articles by Dan Lavry (not the average audio nono), in which he suggests, backed by data, that 192 kHz is possibly worse than 96 kHz - especially in AD converters. I’m not even going into the massive dynamic range 32bit float has, and to which 64bit float adds nothing useful - simple maths. Marketing has its own rules though: ‘If everyone else has it, so must we’, and ‘If 96k is so much better than 44.1, can we go and double that?’.

Although Dan Lavry discusses the optimal sample rate for “recording”, he doesn’t speak much about “processing” at higher rates - but even he recommends 88k or 96k. Here is a quote from one of his papers:

At 60 KHz sampling rate, the contribution of AD and DA to any attenuation in the audible range is negligible. Although 60 KHz would be closer to the ideal; given the existing standards, 88.2 KHz and 96 KHz are closest to the optimal sample rate.. http://www.lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-white-paper-the_optimal_sample_rate_for_quality_audio.pdf

Anyway, regarding sample rates, I know what I hear. Regarding 64-bit processing, the designers have decided to add it for some reason. I’m assuming they’re striving for excellence. I look forward to testing to see if I can actually tell a difference