When I’m sixty-four…
In-house mastering is done in a 64-bit environment for maximum detail and clarity. Eq’s and comps are primarily Linear Phase types for zero phase distortion and ultra-high precision. Sometimes I even use my ears…
The primary advantage of 64-bit music mastering is the increased headroom it provides. Headroom refers to the amount of space between the loudest point in the mix and the maximum level that can be represented without distortion. In 32-bit mastering, the headroom is limited to approximately 1500 dB, which is sufficient for most purposes but can still result in some distortion in highly dynamic mixes.
In 64-bit mastering, the headroom is increased to 192 dB, which provides more space for mastering engineers to work with and results in a cleaner, more transparent sound. This increased headroom allows mastering engineers to apply more dynamic range processing, such as compression and limiting, without introducing unwanted artifacts or distortion.
Another advantage of 64-bit mastering is the improved resolution it provides. Bit depth refers to the number of bits used to represent the amplitude of a sound wave, with higher bit depths resulting in more precise representations of the wave. In 32-bit mastering, the resolution is limited to 24 bits, which provides 16.8 million possible levels of amplitude.
In 64-bit mastering, the resolution is increased to 32 bits, which provides over 4 billion possible levels of amplitude. This increased resolution allows for more precise adjustments and processing, resulting in a more detailed and accurate representation of the original mix.
One of the biggest advantages of 64-bit mastering is the reduced noise floor it provides. The noise floor refers to the level of noise that is present in a recording when no signal is present. In 32-bit mastering, the noise floor is typically around -192 dBFS, which is already extremely low and generally not audible.
In 64-bit mastering, the noise floor is reduced to around -384 dBFS, which is essentially imperceptible. This reduction in noise floor results in a cleaner and more dynamic sound, particularly in quieter sections of the mix.
Finally, 64-bit mastering also provides improved compatibility with modern recording equipment and software. As technology continues to evolve, many recording studios and software platforms are moving towards 64-bit processing. By mastering at 64-bit, producers and engineers can ensure that their final product is optimized for the latest recording and playback technology.
In conclusion, 64-bit music mastering offers a number of advantages over 32-bit mastering, including increased headroom, improved resolution, reduced noise floor, and improved compatibility. These advantages result in a cleaner, more dynamic, and more accurate representation of the original mix, and are particularly important in highly dynamic or complex mixes. As technology continues to evolve, mastering at 64-bit is becoming increasingly important for producers and engineers looking to create the best possible final product.