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bit depth rendering

Postby paleface » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:55 pm

hello

im mixing a batch of stuff ive been doing

it was recordes at 24 bit in reaper

i mixed it down to 16 bit

and decided if i wanted to change the loudness at a later date

id render the mixes at 64 bit FP in reaper

so they could be mastered at a later date if needed

most of my plugins are 64bit with a few at 32

am i causing myself any added noise by mixing up to 64 then down to 16 finally ?
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:06 pm

In a word... yes!

Each time you work on the 16-bit tracks the DAW will process the signals at whatever internal resolution it uses (32 bit float, or 64 bit float, etc), and produce a 24-bit file ready for output... which you will then need to reduce to 16 bits. each time you do that word-length reduction you'll add more dithering, so the noise floor will be higher than it otherwise would be.

Of course, you may not notice this depending on the material involved...

The better way of working is to mix your original material within the DAW and save as a DAW project. That way you always have available the highest possible quality version if you ever need to work on it again.

If you want separate finished mix tracks to store elsewhere, they should ideally be 24 bits which will give you a good basis if any future tweaking or remastering is required ... And 16 bit versions are obviously appropriate for CD (and some domestic streaming systems).

But as a general principle, always work with the highest word-length you can, and only reduce to 16 bit as a final process of the fully finished material. And for any future reworking, always go back to the highest word-length versions available to you -- 24 bit of higher, ideally.
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby paleface » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:31 pm

dunno if where confused here hugh

ive rendered to 64 bit as well as 16bit

the 16bit ones are my finished versions for now ...

ive also rendered to 64bit

wich ill then use in the futre if i need to add any more loundness

the 64bit mixes will then be imported back into reaper at a later date

and rendered down to 16 bit

so the 64 bit mixes =16bit and will only go down in bit rate once to 16 bit

is noize being added on the first render from reaper (to 64bit file)
as well as from 64bit to 16 bit ?
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:53 pm

Sorry... struggling to understand your prose.

No noise is added when working at extended word-lengths, only when reducing the word-length to a final render.
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby CS70 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:58 pm

paleface wrote:ive also rendered to 64bit

No noise is added, but it's useless - you've simply padded the samples with zeros.
It's just wasted disk space.

If the original recordings are at 24 bits, keep them and they are as good as they can get.

DAWs often compute internally at 32 or 64 bit in order to remove calculation errors when processing happens, but that happens independently on the original sample rate - you don't see that and dont need to be concerned with it.

If your mix project is at 24 bits, save the bounce at 24 bits (or as Hugh says, just keep the project) and you're set. 24 bits is the typical mix wordlength anyways for a mix, as it gets chopped down to 16 at mastering time.

You don't harm anything bouncing at 64 bit, just wasting space for no reason.
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby paleface » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:55 pm

so im not damaging by up rendering to 64 bit from 24bit recordings

thats good news

thank you kindly gentlemen
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby desmond » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:31 pm

paleface wrote:so im not damaging by up rendering to 64 bit from 24bit recordings

No damage, you're just needlessly filling your HD space with zeros and increasing the space/time required to back up/archive your files, for no practical reason that I can see. :headbang:

I'd recommend saving your original projects/recordings, and render your master mixes at 24-bit, and that's plenty good enough...

Bigger numbers aren't always better...
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby CS70 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:33 pm

No, the most obvious thing that the DAW will do is simply pad each sample with 48 zeros.

When you load them in your DAW, depending on the word length and format (fixed or floating point) that it uses internally, the samples will be converted and processed at that format anyways.

Your meaningful data is still only 24 bits.

When you're in (most) DAWs, you're always operating at 32 or 64 bit (usually float), regardless of the original sample word length.
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby James Perrett » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:06 pm

As others have said, there is little point in storing your recordings in 64 bit format as the lower bits will have no useful information in them. If you are worried about the odd peak that goes over 0dBFS then you could use 32 bit floating point files. In normal use these will give you the same bit depth as 24 bit files but with the ability to accommodate higher (or lower) levels than fixed point files.
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby hooty2 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:34 am

If my 2 cents is not pertinent to OP, please remove:
In respect of saving projects. I regularly save a 24 bit stereo mixdown to a new file (not always under reaper)..and also a copy of mixdown track back into the project as a new track.
If i delete the stereo track from 'the other place', the track in the project becomes missing/unavailable?
Why is this.
And please do move/remove if this intrudes on current discussion
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Re: bit depth rendering

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:03 pm

hooty2 wrote:If my 2 cents is not pertinent to OP, please remove:
In respect of saving projects. I regularly save a 24 bit stereo mixdown to a new file (not always under reaper)..and also a copy of mixdown track back into the project as a new track.
If i delete the stereo track from 'the other place', the track in the project becomes missing/unavailable?
Why is this.
And please do move/remove if this intrudes on current discussion

Probably because you're not actually importing a copy, but the original file in (from) the original location. Most, if not all DAWs will have some setting to copy files to a directory (folder) within its own control and either delete the original or leave it unmolested.

So your options are to locate and set this setting in each DAW, or make an actual copy which you can manually move to a directory of your own choosing and import from there (which is not mutually exclusive with the first option).
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