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I want to create my own audio CD. Should I render WAV files to 16 bit or 24 bit depth?

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Audio CDs are encoded with 16-bit values. Higher bitrates are generally used for editing, not for playback. You can write 24-bit WAV files to an optical disc, of course, but it will not be a standards complying audio CD.

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    16 bits like the man says but don't forget to dither when rendering. It helps a bit in quieter passages of music. – Andy aka Oct 5 '13 at 21:38
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Presuming you are mixing/mastering 24bit (as you should be) I would create a 24bit master & then create a 16bit AudioCD version, dithered down from the 24 bit

  • Who's mixing/mastering in 24bit these days? It's all 32 or 64-bit floating point now, you don't even get to choose anything lower because it wouldn't make sense (modern processors handle a double as fast as anything else, and integers are useless for any nontrivial effects plugin). 24-bit is merely standard for recorded audio files, mainly because that's what the ADCs offer. – leftaroundabout Feb 14 '14 at 1:44

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