Rendering 16 bit files produces 32 bit files

Wavelab 8.5.20

Loaded a 16 bit master. Rendered single format, used “Match input stream” option. The result is 32 bit files.


If you touched the audio in any way like a 0.01 gain change or dithering,fade in/out, it will go to 32 bits.
Open the bit meter to see what’s happening.

I think it always does that (32 bit result) if the render is from the Montage, even if no plugs, no gain change, and Bit is set for “Match Source File”. It does the same thing in 8.0.4 (32 bit result). I think it’s a question for PG whether it should do that or not, but that’s what it does.

It works as expected (16 bit result) if rendering from the Audio File workspace, even with gain change or plugs. That maybe seems a little odd if dither is not being applied, but that’s the way it’s working here with 8.0.4. Would need to remember to dither if using gain change or plugins.

yikes…, I will test tomorrow at the studio… It shouldn’t be doing that.
I always use my own presets when rendering. Usually use “16 bit,etc” and not “Match Source File”.
I usually never render something I didn’t process, so I have dithering “on” most of the time and I make sure it gets saved to 16 bit (or whatever I need) and don’t leave it at “Match Source File”.

The Montage is considered as a “32 bit float”, that is, the highest quality source, whatever its content.

Did a quick test…
– New Montage > 44.1 > added 16 bit/44.1 file > Reads 16bit on bit meter > Render “as is” with “Match Source File”…
Open file. Opens 32 bit but the bit meter shows 16 which means the audio wasn’t touched and is only a 32 bit container.
If I save to 16 bit it will just truncate without a problem (I suppose)…
– Did the same but I changed gain to 0.5 db… Opens at 32 bit > Bit meter reads 32 bit.

So I guess it wasn’t a bad idea to have my own presets obviously checking everything twice before rendering.
It’s great having all those metering tools in WL… The cost of the program is well worth it.

Thanks for the replies!

I’ve been thinking about this. If that is the case, why have the option at all when working with montages? “Match Source File” implies something else in my world. It’s just semantics but I think it’s confusing.


As soon as you change anything (level, envelope, plugin), the audio signal becomes 32 bit float (for DSP works), in the montage. Hence this choice to consider the montage as a 32 bit float entity.

Yes, this I understood. But why have the option of “Match Source File” when the output always will be 32 bit? Wouldn’t it be better if it said something like Match Montage Stream (32 bit float) or just remove the option to avoid confusion?

Or is there a montage scenario where “Match Source File” actually outputs anything else then 32 bit float?


A file format is a preset that can be applied on montages and audio files. Hence the naming had to be chosen generic.

I really wish we had the old behaviour whereby the rendered file from an audio montage could be set to 16bit. I use the montage for sound design in games and having to convert every file to 16 bit after is a frustrating waste of time.

having to convert every file to 16 bit after is a frustrating waste of time

You don’t have to do this “after”. You just need to specify 16 bit in the render file format options, and you get what you need.


And if you tick the checkmark it will also be remembered as preferred file format.