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Old 2012-12-31, 16:45
jlgrimes jlgrimes is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,922
Originally Posted by ahyzjac View Post
Hey guys,

I want to mix a project down using various audio/midi Stems recorded in both Reason 5 & Cubase Studio 4.
During the export/import process in Reason/Cubase I am presented with dialogues which display Bit Depth & Sample Rate options.

When I export tracks from Reason I get a Bit Depth option (16or24bit)
When I import into Cubase I get a Bit Depth conversion option "Convert to project Sample Size 24Bit to 32Bit"

I'm am a bit confused about all this..
Is there a general rule to follow to get best audio quality when working with various stems created across a number of different DAWs?

Do any of these conversions deteriorate audio quality as compressing & decompressing audio files does?

Also, how does all this fit into exporting audio for mastering?

Many thanks for your help,

As a basic rule when transferring audio from studio to studio or from DAW project to DAW project (recording, mixing, or mastering) use 24 bit audio (if your DAW offers higher bit rate, you can ask the engineer if they support it). The bit rate of your DAW mix engine will always be best but it not always offered as export option and many Different DAWs don't always read various high bit depth files (eg 32, 64), and as nhansen said, there is practically no such thing as a 32 bit Soundcard so 24 bit is the defacto standard. The error of converting to 24 bit will be negligible.

Convert to 16 bit when you are transferring audio to a device for playback on standard systems (eg burning to CD, convert to mp3, sending demo to someone etc). Our main consumer audio formats are mostly pretty much 16 bit (I think DVD uses 24 bit however).

16 bit will detetiorate your audio some so that is why it should only be used as the final conversion to CD or mp3.

24 bit will deteriorate your audio as well but no where near as much as 16 bit and the error would be all in the "noise area" of your converter so it will be practically inaudible (in many cases the 16 bit error may even be inaudible but it is good to have high audio standards).

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