[Ardour-Users] Destructive editing

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at stackingdwarves.net
Mon Nov 2 02:58:19 PST 2009

Paul Davis wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 7:00 PM, Rob Quin <robquin at uklinux.net> wrote:
>> If I just import the raw tracks into Ardour, it makes resampled 32bit copies.
> Turn off the "Copy files to session" toggle near the lower right
> corner of the import dialog. As long as they are at the same sample
> rate as the session - no copying, Ardour will just use the original
> files.
> Alternatively, or additionally, change Ardour's default native disk
> sample format to 16 bit (Options -> Audio File Format -> Sample Format
> -> 16 bit).

ouch! don't do that. in 2009, there is no excuse to work at 16bits any
more, unless you're doing really lo-fi stuff, such as speech archiving etc.
at every processing stage, you will get round-off errors (which is
signal-dependent noise), and they quickly accumulate, so that the
effective bit-rate will have degraded to well below 16bits by the time
you hit the CD, which effectively means you can *not* deliver CD
quality. with clever dithering, you can squeeze 17-18 bits of
information in there, which means you should not work at less than 20,
and that only if you don't have many processing stages.

(of course, ardour's internal sample format will always be float, so the
 processing degradation only happens when you bounce stuff - but that
happens, i'm told :-D)

Jörn Nettingsmeier

Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik

Audio and event engineer
Ambisonic surround recordings

+49 177 7937487

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