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Recording with higher sample rate


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I just watched a podcast by Lij Shaw interviewing Alan Douche.http://recordingstudiorockstars.com/rsr092-preparing-mixes-mastering-alan-douches-sufjan-stevens-brand-new-animal-collective/    In it he advocates using a sample rate of 96kHz.

I was just wondering what peoples thoughts are on this.

My 2 cents: people nowadays worry too much about slight differences that are really not important. When we are talking about a 64kbps MP3 vs a 320kbps MP3, then yes, it's important. Now if we go into that discussion of 320kbps vs a Wav/Aiff, for me it's totally nonsense, because the difference doesn't really affect the way you perceive the song. Maybe some engineers and audiophiles who appreciate music more like a science than actually what it makes them feel, will argue that it's a "huge" difference. But truth is, in my 26 years of making music, plus the other 12 as a simple listener, I always enjoyed music for the feelings it causes me, not by the quality of the recording. And to prove that we all feel the same way, how many times have we stopped on the subway or on the street to appreciate a talented singer or someone playing an instrument? What grabbed our attention was the melody, the rhythm, the chord progression, the emotion of the performer, so it all starts with the song. 

For me, I always record at 44.1. Recording at 96 just because I can, it's a waste of disk space and computer resources. This is not the 80's anymore when digital recording was either non-existent or super basic and low quality (sorry about the inaccuracy of the date haha).

So my opinion is: go with what's best, faster and easier for you. If you go with what others tell you to do based on what they perceive as being "better" you will never find your own way. :) Show me someone that under a blind test of 96 and 44 will accurately tell you they hear the difference when you go from one to the other, and I will "maybe" consider stop making music forever haha

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Higher sample rate = far more CPU intensive, and requires more HDD space.  My thoughts stop right there pretty much! :)


Moving from 44k to 96k will pretty much cut your machine resources in half, and may require you to increase your audio buffer settings to adjust.


At the end of the day, Good mixing and mastering gives you true quantifiable differences in final sound quality of a production, that goes way and beyond using 96k rate would.


Once you hit that ceiling of your own ability to mix/master then maybe 96k would be something to look into.

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I posted this, because I think he had some interesting points. The first was that 44.1 is a CD standard, and that Video Standard is 48. So at minimum, we should be recording at 48kHz.

Secondly, he noted that the difference  between 48, and 96, is measurable, so therefore it is discernible. And he said that at the moment with bandwidth what it is, it may be overkill, but, really it is about capturing the information for the future, and that by recording at 44.1, you are locked in.

He did note that the downfall is CPU resources.

Kind of peaked my interest, Here is an interesting quote from the Presonus website:

"As noted earlier, in the digital conversion process, the converters record and play samples at specified sample rates. The Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem states that in order to accurately reconstruct a signal of a specified bandwidth (that is, a definable frequency range, such as 20 Hz to 20 kHz), the sampling frequency must be greater than twice the highest frequency of the signal being sampled. If lower sampling rates are used, the original signal’s information may not be completely recoverable from the sampled signal"


And Further:

"In addition, higher sampling rates enable you to record very high frequencies above the normal range of human hearing. While inaudible by themselves, these ultrasonic frequencies can interact, creating intermodulation distortion (such as beating) that results in audible frequency content that many engineers believe to impart subtle psychoacoustic effects."

I doubt I'll jump to 96, but I may get into the habit of using 48kH.

I just thought it would make for interesting discussion. Food for thought.

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