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32 bit float vs 32 bit ...difference?

Explorer ,
May 05, 2023 May 05, 2023

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Probably a dumb question but is 32-bit audio the same as 32-bit float audio? When searching recorders some say 32-bit and some saty 32-bit float. I know what 32-bit float does, I just don't know if there is a differnce? Adobe Audition says it can record 32-bit audio, just want to verify that if that is 32-bit float to prevent clipping? Thank you. 

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Audio hardware , Noise reduction , User interface or workspaces

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2023 May 06, 2023

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32-bit Floating Point is actually 24-bit audio, normalised to values between 0 and 1 (that takes care of 23 of the bits), 8 scaling bits and a sign bit (which is effectively the 24th bit). If you set Audition to record 32-bit audio, it certainly says Float next to the setting, but since it's only recently that we've had hardware that would put out 32-bit float, what actually happens is a bit moot - we've had one report that it simply doesn't work. Also there are reports that it's not just Audition that has this problem either...

 

So as of today, I don't know. I suspect that it's down to drivers, but it may not be. It's relatively easy to create a 32-bit framework for a file, but until now there hasn't been a need for hardware to address the file container directly in this mode, and that is probably the stumbling block. Hopefully there will be some clarity at some point.

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