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Improving audio performanceSystem configuration ► Bit depths for playback

Most sound cards can play audio at 16-bit or 24-bit resolution, with a few sound cards supporting 18-bit and 20-bit resolution. When your project contains files with different bit depths SONAR plays them at the bit depth that your sound card is currently set to. Because SONAR can play projects that contain files of different bit depths, you don’t have to convert 16-bit files to 24 bits to play them with other 24-bit files, saving significant storage space. If you’re playing 64-bit, 32-bit, or 24-bit files at 16 bits, you can turn dithering on in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Playback and Recording to compensate for the truncated data.
When you first install SONAR, the Wave Profiler profiles your sound card at all the bit depths that the sound card supports, so when you change the playback bit depth, you don’t need to run the Wave Profiler again (you do need to relaunch SONAR).
Go to Edit > Preferences > Audio - Playback and Recording and choose the bit depth you want to use in the Audio Driver Bit Depth field.
If you choose to play back at greater than 16 bits, you may need to pick a bit format for your data in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Audio Profiles in the Stream > 16 Bit Data As field. You may need to consult your sound card’s documentation to find the optimum setting.
Some audio devices, especially USB devices that use WDM drivers, can not operate in 24-bit mode unless a variable in SONAR’s Aud.ini file is set to 1. The variable is Use24BitExtensible=<0 or 1>, which goes in the [name of your audio device (‘n’ in, ‘n’ out)] section of the Aud.ini file.
SONAR 4 does not play back projects that contain files with different bit depths (SONAR 5 and later), so if you want to open a multiple bit depth project in SONAR 4, see the following procedure or a conversion procedure.
Use the Utilities > Change Audio Format command to open the Change Audio Format dialog box.
Choose a new bit depth in the New Bit Depth field.
If you’re changing to 16 bits, you can check or uncheck the Apply Dither check box. Dithering means to add a certain audio signal to 16 bit audio to make it sound more like it did as a higher-bit signal.

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