View Full Version : NEED HELP! 16 bit and 24 bit conflicts?
03-08-2011, 09:48 AM
I have some tracks recorded on a 16 bit recorder and want to transfer them into a 24 bit DAW for further processing/mixing + recording some more tracks in the DAW (in 24 bit). Is that a good idea; is the audio content going to be damaged in some way and the final mix will suffer from inconsistencies or worse? I REALLY need you help here! Thank you!
03-08-2011, 09:53 AM
Your DAW should be able to import and convert the 16 bit tracks to 24 bit. I've never noticed any degradation doing this.
03-08-2011, 10:05 AM
Well, you have 2 options. Convert your 24 bit files to 16, then import your existing 16 bit files and mix away, or import the 16 bit files into your DAW, then use a dither plugin to pad the files to 24 bit.
03-08-2011, 10:31 AM
I believe that upon final mixing/rendering the whole thing will become 24 bit anyway, i.e. the DAW will take care of that. I'm concerned that the quality of the final recording will not be consistent regarding the different instruments recorded in different bits? Does it make any sense? Thank you!
03-08-2011, 10:36 AM
Importing 16 bit into a 24 bit system will produce perfectly normal 24 bit files. You'll end up with some extra headroom while your mixing is all.
03-08-2011, 10:41 AM
If you load 16-bit files into a 24 bit project, in theory and 90% of the time in practice the DAW will fill in the missing bits with '0's and should be fine. No dither required.
The other 10% of the time the DAW won't handle it and you'll have very noticeable granular distortion. Sometimes there's a preference setting for this.
I'd load 'em in there but make sure the original files are backed up 6 ways to Sunday just in case it goes wrong.
The other option here is it to keep it all at 16 bit for the duration. If you do that I'd try to aim for an analog mix and upconvert at the end. Right now I'm mixing tracks that came in at 24/44.1 and the mixes have been printed at 88.2kHz. I'll let the mastering engineer take it back to 44.1 since he uses analog processing... the whole idea is to retain as much depth and dimension as possible.
03-08-2011, 01:35 PM
Amp360 and jmoose, thank you for the input. I haven't had a case of a DAW distorting a file, so, let's hope, that will not happen! So far I've been very cautious regarding converting my mixes into different bits, probably because of my ignorance on the subject. Anyway, great info guys, as usual, lot's of help!
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