I know this subject has been rehashed to death but 32 bit conversion in audio interfaces is somewhat new, I believe.
Being that the AXR4 has 32 bit resolution, would there be any advantage to recording at 32 bit in my DAW? If it makes a difference, my DAW is Nuendo 12.
I record dry but apply plug-ins liberally in mixing and mastering.
The ARX4 and Steinberg’s UR-C series feature new converters that support 32 bit integer audio. However, most of the benefits of the new converters still apply while recording at 24 bit depth.
32 bit integer bit depth has a lower noise floor, which will primarily apply to the ARX4’s digital audio path. If you have other digital devices connected to your ARX4, 32 bit audio will allow you to record them to your DAW at reduced input levels without ever having to worry about losing any useful bits of information.
But if you use the ARX4 by itself, you can safely stick to recording 24 bit files. Remember that all mixer and plugin processing in Cubase and Nuendo is done in 32 or 64 bit float (depending on your settings), both offering practically infinite headroom.
Thanks for that articulate and informative answer. If you don’t mind, I do have oner more question.
When I’ve completed my mix I typically send it through a Crane Song HEDD (a harmonic enhancement device), through it’s digital inputs and outputs and then back through the AXR and into Nuendo. I then export the file and master in Wavelab Pro 11.
In this instance would it be advantageous to export and then master at a higher bit rate?
Mixing down your finished mix to a 32 bit file doesn’t hurt, but at the same time it’s probably not going to make much of a difference. At that point, your mix’s noise floor is probably much louder than the -144dbFS digital noise floor of a 24 bit audio file. The additional noise from lowering your HEDD’s send or return gain is probably going to be inaudible.