Hey so I have a on set recording job coming up in South Africa, it is a 90 minute film, I have been told that in south africa they still use 16 bit so i was wondering if i record in 24 bit can you take it down to 16 bit with out effecting the sound? I want to be safe I know 24 bit is better.
I'm in South Africa, and I ALWAYS record at 24bit. Even if they drop it later, it's better to record at 24bit as you get a better signal-to-noise ratio.
When lowering the bit depth, it's a good idea to apply dithering though... Otherwise you get some added noise to your recordings.
I've been on this mission, here in SA, to get everyone into 24bit.
Record in 16bit, and don't worry about levels. They'll fix it in post.
24bit is well recognised in any DAW, regardless of geography, so you can work in 24 bit from start till end. When it comes to output, the product has to end in 48khz/16bit. But your work sessions can still be in 24bit.
Converting 24bit to 16bit does not affect the content of the recording, other than losing resolution. With loud sounds this matters less. With soft ones, and with sounds that need processing (think EQ, compression, noise reduction, etc), bit depth becomes very important.