32 bit float recording

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Oauk
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:17 am

32 bit float recording

Post by Oauk » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:23 am

Hello Ableton community,

I recently bought a Zoom F6 and it has the ability to record in a 32bit float. The problem is that I can't import it into Live 10 Suite. (It's not a multichannel recording... I know Ableton doesn't support it. My 24bit recording works fine). I also have iZotope 7 standard and have the same problem there.

Does someone know a workaround? Or something?

Thanks in advance.

fishmonkey
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by fishmonkey » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:52 am

yep, convert it to 24 bit in another app.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

jlgrimes
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by jlgrimes » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:19 pm

Oauk wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:23 am
Hello Ableton community,

I recently bought a Zoom F6 and it has the ability to record in a 32bit float. The problem is that I can't import it into Live 10 Suite. (It's not a multichannel recording... I know Ableton doesn't support it. My 24bit recording works fine). I also have iZotope 7 standard and have the same problem there.

Does someone know a workaround? Or something?

Thanks in advance.
There is really no need to record in 32 bit float.

24 bit is enough dynamic range.

All 24 bit recorders analog specs aren't even able to record to 24 bits 144 db dynamic range even. The best interfaces are about 120 Db of dynamic range.

fafoua
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by fafoua » Mon May 03, 2021 3:35 pm

1 year old thread resurection ;)

When 16 bit was standard, people would say the same about 24 bit recording : useless.

32 bit recording is new. 32 bit playback for consumers is even newer, I believe it doesn't really exist commercially, yet. It will certainly be the standard in 10 year. Probably the dynamic range will be managed during playback : the levels and DR will be set in digital domain, according to the listening conditions.

32 bit recording has a lot of advantages already. You don't have to worry much about dynamic range. Say you record a jazz drummer, Elvin Jones or Tony Williams style, who plays very soft parts and then hits like a hammer. You would need a compressor and limiter to reduce that dynamic range, or record from far away. With 32 bit recording you can do the dynamic range management while mixing, without worrying much about noise floor or clipping.

It's a bit the same as with raw or HDR capture for still and movie cameras : you set the exposure low during shooting, knowing that in PP you will be able to upper the shadows and maybe recover a bit of the highlights, with excellent quality.

Angstrom
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by Angstrom » Mon May 03, 2021 4:05 pm

I'm confused by this thread.

Ableton Live records 32 bit waves, and can open them.

Go to preferences, Record Warp Launch, look at the Bit Depth selector dropdown.
It's been 32 bit capable for years.

properLofi
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by properLofi » Tue May 04, 2021 8:39 am

32 bit float encoding for the Zoom is specific for the Zoom so not interchangeable with Ableton.

As jlgrimes says, there’s really no ADC/DACS around that is able to process more than 20bits worth of dynamic range so 32 bit recording is absolutely pointless. Similarly there are no microphones around with the sensitivity required to capture 32bit dynamic range. The quietest sections are going to get lost in electrical noise and the loudest would simply destroy the capsule. It will never become a playback standard as there is simply no need for it.

Internal 32/64bit processing is useful to avoid clipping during processing but no one is ever going to record or listen to 1528db of dynamic range and it’s insane to think that they might need to. 24bit well exceeds the capacity of human hearing without physical damage so just stick with 24bit.

Tomlinson Holman (THX) says 20bit is more than sufficient. Anything more than 24bit as a final file format is snake oil.

Angstrom
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by Angstrom » Tue May 04, 2021 12:53 pm

properLofi wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 8:39 am
32 bit float encoding for the Zoom is specific for the Zoom so not interchangeable with Ableton.
Aha. Some kind of header thing I guess. That's weird. I'm sure I've pulled in live recordings off an H5 before now. I must have misremembered.
properLofi wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 8:39 am
As jlgrimes says, there’s really no ADC/DACS around that is able to process more than 20bits worth of dynamic range so 32 bit recording is absolutely pointless.
Its true that the actual physical interface DtoA wont benefit much from 32 bit , but within the app it will benefit quite a lot. We are doing a lot of dynamics / amplitude processing in the software. Ableton has a mixture of 32 bit dynamic range in-channel processing and 64 bit at the mix/summing points.

So if we had a signal peaking on the recording at -40Db and we boosted it to peak at -6 and used a compressor to lift the lower dynamic range we would benefit from as much word length as we have on hand.

In the case of field recordings it's possible that there might be something we actually want down at -70Db. Ants farting, etc.

[jur]
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by [jur] » Tue May 04, 2021 1:57 pm

Angstrom wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 12:53 pm
In the case of field recordings it's possible that there might be something we actually want down at -70Db. Ants farting, etc.
You'd be surprised how much louder they are :lol:
Ableton Forum Moderator

properLofi
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Re: 32 bit float recording

Post by properLofi » Thu May 06, 2021 6:17 pm

But you’re missing the point. If the AtoD converter can only provide 20 bits of dynamic range (at best) your -70db ant farts are going to be swamped with noise. You can’t just boost the file by 70db to bring that up without increasing noise floor even if you “record” at 32 bit. Your just encoding 20 bits worth of dynamic range into a 32 bit file. You’re not creating the extra dynamic range. Now, when you work internally it’s a different story. If your signal is being generated at 32 bit to begin with the noise floor is non existent so you can boost to your hearts content and start pulling up all those juicy glitch artefacts. You’re never gonna get the same from some field recording even if you could truly encode at 32 bit with some magic AtoD. The best studio mics around don’t give more than 100db dynamic range. So if your microphone StN ratio is 89db your ant fart is only ever going to be 19db above noise floor. Hardly worth boosting in a 32 bit environment.

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