use w/ 16 bit sound card
hey guys many of you suggests to use higher bits when doing music so i used the 32 bit float options when rendering so when i edit i have more bits to use. however my card is only 16 bit and when i play it back it sounds like the music staggers. is this normal and can editing be good in this mode?
I’d suggest that you use 32 bit float for anything but the very last stage of the process. When done with mixing and mastering, render the resulting wave file to 16 bit and use dithering. Leave the wave files as they are (i.e. 16 bit), there’s no need to convert them. It’s the internal processing that has to be 32 bit float in order to minimize computational error when processing. n-Track Studio uses 32 bit processing internally, so normally I wouldn’t worry about it at all. Even if a wave file is 32 bit float, it will play back in 16 bit on your system - nothing is gained by this, just extra strain put on your system.
When you play back, someting sounds wrong? I don't know what "stagger" means, other than that's what I do after too many beers. Do you mean you're getting pops and clicks or silent spots (all of which I call "dropouts")?
Dropouts can be caused by a number of things, but drivers & buffering are the primary culprits. Other suspects are other programs running and stealing the CPU, and PCI bus latency (but the last is usually only if you have your DAW set up for very low latency).
I get nasty dropouts if my wireless is turned on but there's no wireless hub to connect to. (I have to remember to turn my wireless off when playing out.)