I'm fairly new to audio and I mainly with with pixels. In visual effects all studios now use half and full precision floating point (16bit/32bit) to represent pixels values for intermediates which may need lots and lots of processing so using FP lets you get away with things like negative values and values above 1 without clipping. Of course the math is much more complex and it eventually gets converted to int for display in a framebuffer. For playback and publish purposes only 8 or 10bits is required as current displays can't use any additional precision, yet.
So are there any mics and A/D hardware that can even do floating point sound? Could it be useful for recording? Are there standards for FP audio data?