Sample format in Session properties: does it influence Ardour's internal sound quality?

Hello :slight_smile:

I’m using an RME Hammerfall 9632 soundcard which handles 24-bit (not 32-bit).

I learned from the Ardour Manual ( ) that Ardour’s default sample format is 32 bit. I thought of switching it to 24-bit because of my soundcard - in order to save disk space.

BUT: Would this adjustment also influence the way Ardour “handles” the whole audio stuff “internally” - and thus decrease the “sound quality” of my whole project?

P.S. I forgot: Thanks a lot in advance :slight_smile:

Ardour’s default format is also a floating point format, which means it has huge dynamic range, a big advantage during processing. The floating point representation uses a 24 bit mantissa, so there is no loss of precision in the conversion to float either.

Anyway, going from 32 to 24 bits is quite a small saving in disk space. If you’re worried about lack of space, get a bigger disk :slight_smile:

The format-selection only applies to the “files” that Ardour records or imports. It does not change the internal processing of Ardour itself.

This caused a lot of confusion for Mixbus users as well; we eventually removed the “bit depth” display from the recent-session display on Mixbus.

Ben at Harrison

Ah thank you :-). I had almost thought it might only apply to recording and importing formats. But until now I hadn’t been sure.