48 or 44,1 that is the question

I was talking with someone about 44,1 khz and 48 khz, 16/24 bit recording.
Personnally I prefer 48 khz because it gives nicer high end and 24 bit to give some extra depth for audio processing.
But I started to think after this conversation about dithering.
The point he was talking about finalizing the product. When you finish a product you convert it to 44,1 khz 16 bit and add dithering. So theoretically he is talking the truth. Maybe it is more natural to record and master 44,1 khz instead of adding random noise (dithering) in the end.
Any ideas about the real truth?

Well if you record at 16bit you create a data stream that will less robust against the summing of all the DSP processyou apply to it, such as EQ compression, etc, all of which slightly degrade the signal along the way.

Regarding sample rate conversion, I don’t think it’s an evil thing these days so whatever floats ya boat :slight_smile:

As said, stick to 24bit and don’t worry about the rest.

24 bit is cool

There may be some subtle differences in sample rate depending on the sound you are working with, but normally this kind of discussion will attract self-proclaimed physicists who will condemn every post that in any way opens the conversation around psycho-acoustics, let alone harmonic alteration of frequencies depending on sample rate.

No condemnation here, but let’s not forget, hearing is not a purely mechanical phenomenon of wave propagation, but is also a sensory and perceptual event; in other words, when a person hears something, that something arrives at the ear as a mechanical sound wave traveling through the air, but within the ear it is transformed into neural action potentials. Hence, in many problems in acoustics, such as for audio processing, it is advantageous to take into account not just the mechanics of the environment, but also the fact that both the ear and the brain are involved in a person’s listening experience.

But yeah, 24 bit is cool! :slight_smile:

psycho-acoustics is very important. Those who condemn it are infidels. Don’t let ‘self-proclaimed physicists’ ruin your day though. :slight_smile: - remember they are only self-proclaimed.

Exactly Paul Woodlock

That’s what I h@ted about the old forum, at the first mention there was some improvement to be had by using higher sample rates, the answer was always the same: industry conspiracy, bats will fly etc

Then of course Sir D. came up with the explanation that higher harmonics may be able to alter lower frequencies, thus altering the harmonic content of a sound but only if these are captured along with the original content.

It was certainly food for thought and really broke the mold of the typical “you can’t hear it anyway” discussions.

BTW where is Sir D?

I guess I should ask in the "who do you miss from the old forum thread.


I think he missed the satire there, Paul :bulb:

I think you’re talking about foldover (aliasing). But even if you capture a signal at 44.1kHz and the implementation is well designed, the aliasing should be of an extremely high frequency and then filtered out, beyond the range of human hearing.

If you’re saying that a lower sample rate doesn’t allow you to capture some of the higher partials of a sound, you’re right, but the energies at those frequencies of most musical instruments is low and not notices when they’re missing. Analog doesn’t capture all those harmonics, either, you know

Paul may be able to shed some light here

It would be interesting if anybody ever would do a project in 48 and 44,1 khz. Have anybody ever done it? Just to compare which one you prefer in the end. That is the same song, same instruments in a same setup, same effects- not convert but recording all in two samplerates. The only difference should be the samplerate, bitrate and dithering.
I would do it myself but it is a time demanding project so if anybody has a spare time…
The more the marrier- there are also 96 khz and 196 khz :smiley: But these samplerates are hardware demanding. I could not get them to work as expected with my setup.

24 bit + 44,1 kHz is the best compromise for all recording situations.

Centralmusic that is right for more reasons than one.

Cubase tends to default at that frequency even though windows would like to be 48Khz.

I mix to 44.1 16 bit, but tend to record at a higher frequency provided the system can cope.

One thing I do always do though is work @ 24 bit as that does not seem to require so many resources from the system but mixing in 16 bit doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Mostly I think it depends on source “material” but that theory Sir D put forward was interesting in that I think he was saying higher frequencies if recorded and played back can have an effect on the harmonic content of lower frequencies even if they (higher frequencies) cannot be heard.

I don’t really know if that has anything to do with psycho-acoustic phenomena but it’s worth thinking about I believe.

Actually…it’s 2011. When you finish a product you convert to 128k MP3 and upload to one or several of a zillion online music hosting sites and have your work completely ignored by a similar number of disinterested non-listeners.


So it is really OK to record songs in bathroom with my mobile phone played with my $60 guitar.
So really, computer? Why? Cubase- for who? Nokia rules :smiley:

Seriously, I’m just curious. Since I am a virgin by sodiac, I have pre programmed precision inside me. I can’t sleep because of little questions I can’t fully understand. I was born with scientists soul but somehow ended up making music. Silly me.

If Dylan were here this would bring him out…
but, IYO, am I wasting resources by setting up my projects at 96/24? My old ears can “feel” (hear)a difference.

I never liked cassettes at 1 3/4 inches per second, and 7 1/2 was adequate, but 15 on 1" :smiley:
It’s a bit easier to understand when you talk about signal and “real-estate” on physical tape.


Higher harmonics don’t alter lower frequencies. Anything above your range of hearing is largely irrelevant unless it’s folded back into the audible range by aliasing.

And then there were all those assertions back 10 or 15 years ago that higher partials above the normal range of hearing had an effect on the bone structure of the cranium and such and therefore could in fact be “perceived.” What was ignored was that most upper partials contain so little energy (exception: transients) that it was largely, if not totally, irrelevant

Transients aren’t an exception. The upper harmonics of a transient also contain so little energy as to be insignificant.

Unless you’re a square wave… man :mrgreen:

I was referring to the leading edge or attack portion of a transient… aren’t they usually very high frequency?