Export formats

A few questions around export file formats:

1 Assume the session is 24 bit. When exporting from Ardour to a file for processing outside Ardour, would it be better to export at 24 bit, or 32 bit float? What might influence this decision?

2 When exporting from a 24 bit Ardour session to a file with lower word length, say 16 bit, is it recommended to apply dither? Which type of dither is recommended (my general reading seems to suggest triangular)?


Paul H

  1. there’s no point trying to increase bit depth artificially. in addition, quite a few applications will refuse to read the 32 bit float files that ardour generates - a result of ambiguity in the specification for WAV over whether such a data format is allowed (some people believe that you must use WAVEX for this).

  2. whenever you reduce the bit depth, you should always apply dither. the precise type matters much less than that you apply it. so-called POW-R is probably best, but is protected by patents and so forth at this time. triangular is a good default choice.