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[ARSCLIST] Sound card confusion

Good afternoon everyone,

I have a question for the list.  Let me preface this by saying that I am not an audio engineer nor do I consider myself in any way an expert with sound recordings.   I am hoping somebody can explain what seems to me a strange situation.

I was converting some analog tape (reel-to-reel) to .wav.  I set the software (in this case Audition 1.5) to record at the 32-bit (float), 96KHz setting.  Everything went fine, and I saved the file without a problem (the file was understandably huge, given the settings).

I later discovered that the sound card in the computer, according to the specs, could only record up to 16-bit, 44.1KHz.  So my question is, how did I successfully (it seems) end up with this file that was recorded at a rate much higher than the sound card allows?

The only thing I can think of is that something (the driver?) was filling in the gap with information that made it look like a much higher quality recording that it is.  If I open up the file with another software (Audacity, for instance), it registers as a 24-bit, 96KHz recording.  But is it really one?  Or am I misunderstanding how the sound card/driver works in this process?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on the matter,

Bill Fliss
Milwaukee, WI

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