Cubase 7, 7.5 and even Cubase 6 What's the Bit Depth Please

Hopefully I can make this short, I’ll do my best. We have just finished a hardware change in the studio and were using Cubase (today were loaded with 6 but have upgrade to 7.5) once we get the hardware squared away and I’m sure that more than just myself have this question… but I could not find an answer under search. This really has to do with any Cubase set up for hardware.

Our set up is as follows.
Sony DMXr-100 used as console and using the Mic Pres with Sony A/D on each channel. I output that to the Sony Direct out to our internal ADAT Card (Sony DMBK 106) card. The output is connected via optical cables to an RME RayDat PCIE card and it is working Great. We set up Cubase 48k 32bit with the Raydat opticals as input and during our tracking and editing phase we just mix to a Stereo Output in cubase assigned to 2 ADAT channels out to our board for monitoring… All is working great and working fine ( I think).

Once we clean up all the tracks we output each track to the Raydat optical outs to the Optical Ins of the Sony… so each channel has each track in Cubase on it. We then use the Sony Program out Via AES/EBu to track the mix to Cubase (it works). Sounds Awesome and believe me, it sounds a lot better than what we were using before. The Sony Pre’s and A/D’s are great…

Now is everyone ready for the big question? It has to do with Bit Rate. As I said before the Cubase program is set to 48K 32bit … everything works… but my question is having to do with the ADAT optical … .any ADAT optical from what I read and am told that the ADAT optical transmits everything at 24 bit no more, no less. The RME card does not show a “Bit Rate” spec so I’ve written to them about that… but in the current configuration if I am tracking on the Sony, using the Sony direct outs via the ADAT optical to the RME Cable I am suspecting it is at 24 bit so, that means that the file size I would see at that point would be a 24 bit file correct? What happens when Cubase is set to 32 bit… does it just fill the remaining bits with Zero’s (0) Like on the ADAT specification? What happens when I am finished tracking Editing and now listening to the track on the optical outs of the RME Card to the Sony… am I transmitting 24bit with the additional bits truncated…

Or is it that Cubase is working in 32bit internally and outputting 24 bit. I know I can render the .wav files as 48K 32 bit and re import them as 32 bit files… but I’m just wondering about going through the ADAT opticals too and from the Sony board and the RME Raydat…

Has anyone thought about this… I am sure other software is pretty much the same… and I wonder how that is dealt with. Someone for sure has to have given this some thought and what is happening to the extra bits and what does that do to the sound if anything?

I’d really appreciate any technical input and thoughts on this… (hopefully I’ve asked the question with enough details as I said, I’ve sent a similar question to RME for their answer.

48kHz is ok for games. Use 44.1 for CD production 24 or 32bit I don’t think you’ll notice. Some like to work at double their final output rate (88.2 or 96) for arguable internal processing reasons.

And refer you here. These guys know things:
http://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=198&t=57167&p=348012#p348012

Thanks, I’ll check the link you sent… Yea, I use to do everything 44.1 @24bit, just so happen I have another firend in the studio producing and he had always used 48k 32bit when he used his focusrite… I just hate the idea if it is truncating somewhere… perhaps I’m just a bit gun shy. On top of that, Cubase is a bit new for me, so I have not looked in to how it handles files… With the Rme card they do not give any specifications as to 48k vs 44.1. I do appreciate your input… perhaps others will chime in as well.

The focusrite a games card that only uses 48kHz? For serious work best he upgrades. You may move on later and have to translate files back to 44.1. You could get into pitching difficulties if two sample rates conflict. Annoying if one forgets. An ASIO4ALL driver might be able to force the focusrite to work at 44.1 but not being familiar with that model I’m not sure. Your RME should do anything you want to do with it. High end card.

Thanks again for the update… Focusrite Pro 40 and 56 both are very flexible… but I guess I was not clear about it. we no longer use the focusrite in the studio for tracking… This is our set up now and my original question:

Our set up is as follows.
Sony DMXr-100 used as console and using the Mic Pres with Sony A/D on each channel. I output that to the Sony Direct out to our internal ADAT Card (Sony DMBK 106) card. The output is connected via optical cables to an RME RayDat PCIE card and it is working Great. We set up Cubase 48k 32bit with the Raydat opticals as input and during our tracking and editing phase we just mix to a Stereo Output in cubase assigned to 2 ADAT channels out to our board for monitoring… All is working great and working fine ( I think).

Once we clean up all the tracks we output each track to the Raydat optical outs to the Optical Ins of the Sony… so each channel has each track in Cubase on it. We then use the Sony Program out Via AES/EBu to track the mix to Cubase (it works). Sounds Awesome and believe me, it sounds a lot better than what we were using before. The Sony Pre’s and A/D’s are great…

Now is everyone ready for the big question? It has to do with Bit Rate. As I said before the Cubase program is set to 48K 32bit … everything works… but my question is having to do with the ADAT optical … .any ADAT optical from what I read and am told that the ADAT optical transmits everything at 24 bit no more, no less. The RME card does not show a “Bit Rate” spec so I’ve written to them about that… but in the current configuration if I am tracking on the Sony, using the Sony direct outs via the ADAT optical to the RME Cable I am suspecting it is at 24 bit so, that means that the file size I would see at that point would be a 24 bit file correct? What happens when Cubase is set to 32 bit… does it just fill the remaining bits with Zero’s (0) Like on the ADAT specification? What happens when I am finished tracking Editing and now listening to the track on the optical outs of the RME Card to the Sony… am I transmitting 24bit with the additional bits truncated…

Or is it that Cubase is working in 32bit internally and outputting 24 bit. I know I can render the .wav files as 48K 32 bit and re import them as 32 bit files… but I’m just wondering about going through the ADAT opticals too and from the Sony board and the RME Raydat…

Thanks

Work at 24 bit. You won’t notice.
Why at 48kHz? That’s the one that’ll trip you up. 44.1 for CD production. No gains to work at any other rate.

Well, thanks again… 48K not my choice… but the guy that is working in the studio… I’m going to have to convice him we need to change… He has been using 48k for years just his preference… Old habits are hard to change…

Really keen to know whats what too I’ve always wondered what goes on there I’ve been exporting at 32bit for ever …

when i press play on a 44.1 32bit file i know My sound card don’t play 32bit but i don’t hear the truncation is that because its always being truncated …

i thought the 32bit was just internal processing and when processed is sent to the sound card at its 24bit output … its all very confusing


if its not an internal thing we should all be doing 44.1 24bit … some one running bigger rates like 88.2 or 96k might be able to shed some light on whats goes on …


i found this and it sorted me …

http://karma-lab.wikidot.com/misc:choosing-a-sampling-frequency

There really isn’t much information that I’ve seen how this works, if what is happening that the internal workings of Cubase is using 32 bit then a 24 bit file must be filled with 8 (0)zeros to make up the 32. If you have 32bit and your card using the ADAT spec is 24 bit so, then 8 bits have to be truncated (or thrown out) most articles I see use the term most insignificant bits but that is also confusing because who makes that decision?

All I know is that the ADAT spec is 24 bits and according to what I have read, the optical transmitters and bandwidth is held at 24 bits. We didn’t have to deal with it when it is an Analog set up, it’s when we went to digital that made the issue come up.

We have recorded using Cubase session at 24bit… I probably didn’t hear a difference at all. (at least I didn’t think so)…

I"d like to hear a comment from the Cubase team on the pro’s and the cons… and how it works… I need to look again but I don’t even think when you assign my Optical ins and outs from either my Sony or the RME cards there really isn’t an option other than in the software.

I have a little time today so I think I’ll do some looking in to the set up… my current set up is 6.5 ( I have the upgrade to 7 but have not made the change yet.)

But again, we can all speculate and guess, but it would be nice to have the folks at Steinberg chime in. Hopefully they actually read this forum and chime in.

There is argument surrounding the use of other sample rates of 88.2, 96 etc. Generally they are used for some clarity in the internal generation of signals within the computer as it is used (“live” processing) and probably not for the sound although some claim to be able to hear the difference (probably not many over the age of 21). Cleaner reverb tails and the like.
In theory you could set whatever sample/bit rate you like and just export out at 44.1/16 or whatever but you end up with larger file sizes at the very least and probably some not fully tested program features at those rates. I do seem to see that those that do claim to work at these rates (88.1 or 96 etc) experience more than their fair share of niggles and bugs.
I would keep your bench mark working rig at 44.1 / 24 or 32 and try the other sample rates out with your soundcards to see if you notice any benefit. Probably won’t do much harm but if it does you know where the safe ground is. Sound on Sound certainly has a couple of threads on this probably in their “PC Music” section of their forum and the technical explanations are very good.