24bit and 16bit Sound Sources Together?

Can this be done?

I have ordered a Lexicon Omega to do some four channel recording. I will be using this with my Laptop. I will also be upgrading my N-tracks to the 24bit version from the 16bit version.

1) Can I still record with the 16bit sound card in the Laptop with the 24bit version if I do not take the Lexicon with me everywhere?

2) Should the need arise, could I use both the 24bit Lexicon and the 16bit soound card in my laptop and record six channels at one time even though they have different bit resolutions?

3) Anything else I should know about upgrading to the 24bit version?


(1) Yes, just convert them to 24 bit later if you’re going to be working in 24 bit.

(2) I think you can either record in 16 bit, or 24 bit, not both at the same time. But I suppose you could force the Lexicon 16 bit. But a bigger problem would be syncing them together, you might get drift otherwise.

(3) RTFM

Ali :)

I believe you can record two different formats from two different devices at the same time.

However, when recording from two different devices at the same time, you’ll have sync issues unless you have the clock for one device slaved to the clock on the other. To test this out (without some kind of synchronization), just start a metronome or something and record it via both devices at the same time. Record for as long as you’ll record continuously (i.e., 5 or 6 minutes for pop music, or an hour or more for live recording).

When you’ve recorded the two tracks, zoom in and verify that the spikes line up. They should at the beginning, but they’ll drift apart as time marches on in the song. If you’re lucky the gap might still be small at 4 minutes, maybe even at 6. Very unlikely you’ll have good enough sync for long recordings, though.

To measure time intervals in the timeline, right-click on one of the time-bars and set the time format to Custom, and enter “1000” in the “Frames per second” popup. The number to the right of the decimal point will be milliseconds. Note: it will look like a decimal fraction, but it isn’t. 1 second and 20 milliseconds will appear as “0:1.20”, not 0:1.020".

No need to convert 16-bit tracks to 24 bits. I have a number of songs where I recorded tracks using the built-in line inputs on my laptop, and later recorded tracks using a MOTU 828. No problems handling the multiple formats. (I suspect that there are quality benefits to converting to 24 bits, but only if dithering is done just right – and the answer to that is nontrivial. And not big quality benefits, either.)


I believe you can record two different formats from two different devices at the same time.

You’re perfectly right Jeff.

I don’t have two devices, I just tried switching the “force 16 bit” on each channel separately, and it appeared that whatever change I made was universal, (even with: “apply settings to all channels” deselected), but, the help file does definitely support what you said.

OK, this is directed at myself now. RTFM dork!

Ali :D

Well “force 16 bits” has always been crash-city for me. :wink: