[Jack-Devel] ?==?utf-8?q? Is there a way to force Jack to use 32-bit audio?

Ralf Mattes rm at mh-freiburg.de
Wed Sep 25 18:32:57 CEST 2019

Am Mittwoch, 25. September 2019 18:16 CEST, lowkeyoutlaw <quietizkept at gmail.com> schrieb: 
> Cakewalk can record in 16, 24 and 32 bit. Its internal audio processing
> engine defaults to 32 bit - a separate setting than recording bit depth -
> thus the real-time conversion CPU hit. I read that most modern DAWs process
> audio at 32 bit internally nowadays. I know that Cakewalk, Mixbus and Reaper
> do - not familiar with any others. Cakewalk does have another audio engine
> setting which puts the engine in 64 bit, but I want it all the same if
> possible. 

I think you're getting something conpletely wrong here. Your interface will send
integer values to your computer - this is where the bit depth really matters since
a higher bit depth allows for more sloppy/careless input gain control (i.e. you can 
record at a relatively low input gain and still get "enough bits" after normalizing
the signal).
> My audio interface defaults to 32 bit. I want the interface, engine, and
> recording all to be in 32 bit. 

Your DAW (like any DAW currently on the market) internally stores/processes audio data
with 32bit _floating point_ values (which are totally different from integers). This prevents
both clipping and rounding errors during sound processing.

> There is a debate as to whether this is
> overkill, but I have the HDD space, and I really dig the fact that it's
> impossible to clip 32 bit, basically. What would be a ruined recording in 24
> bit, I can just volume automate or compress. It sucks to lose a hot take due
> to one loud rouge sound. 

The 'overkill' argument you most likely encountered was most likely talking  about
the bit-depth of your output. Anything above 16 or maybe 24 bit _is_ overkill, unless you
produce for mebers of the  Elephantidae species ...  :-)

> I am using the GUI "Jack Control" thingy. It makes routing a breeze. I see
> no bit depth option anywhere. I was hoping there was a command-line option.
> I'll keep fooling around with it, and if I find a solution, I'll post back
> in case someone else has the same issue. More & more interfaces are doing 32
> bit. I know the argument that the DACs are only around 24-bit spec usually
> but again no CPU hit from real-time conversion.

What realtime conversion? Your DAW is converting integer samples to float, no matter
what you do.

 HTH, RalfD

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