Original Vocal Audio sounds different when dragged over to project

This is a strange one for me. I am helping to remix a song for a friend. His original vocal stem sounds different like off key when I drag it over to my project. I have turned off all effects but still sounds off key,

So I tried to open a create empty new project just with that one audio file and again turned off any EQ etc and same result. This is all before I export anything.

I switched to another DAW reason and no issues there as vocal sounds exactly the same.

What’s going on with Cubase?

Just thinking this has got me worried if I’m recording live vocals onto Cubase if the vocal sound might be affected in anyway for the above reason?

Samplerate mismatch maybe?48 -44.1 etc

Thanks Ozinga for your prompt reply. I’m a newbie on Cubase, what settings would I need to adjust if you could guide please? It works straight away on Reason with no changes needed?

Hey man you’re the best. You were right and quick solution if I tick the box for this before importing.

Why does it do this?

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Hello no problem,

In preferences: Editing/Audio window make sure,

On Import Audio Files Tab
“Convert to project settings…” option is checked. If it does not help then the issue might be something else.

Should I always tick this box before I import anything and I guess is this to do with orignal quality of audio files?

Some DAWs auto convert different sample rate files but Cubase have the option to change the project instead. Should not be a serious problem between 44.1 or 48
but if you like you can first create the project with the same sample rate of your audio so there is no conversion. So if your file is 48khz change your project to 48 and then import the file.

You can do it under Project Setup/ Record File Format.

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and sorry is there a quick way I can change bit rate on exisiting audio project? Looked at Audio settings but can’t find the trick?

Here it is. Under the top window Project Menu

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Everything sounds perfect now and thanks for solution. So the sound quality is better on 48 I guess?


In theory yes. I am not expert and can not hear the difference :slight_smile:
I have been using 44.1 my whole life unless I deliver for movies or commercials where 48 is more common.
Someone with knowledge may add more educated comments.


Hi !

Well, if we compare a final export in 44.1 vs 48, I don’t think there will be much difference, if any.
When talking about 44.1 vs 48, it isn’t really a “better quality” question, but more like “how not to lose quality”.
This is more related to the mixing process in the DAW itself than to playback on an end device.
I’d recommend to work in 48 kHz instead of 44.1 whenever it is possible :

Most audio interfaces record frequencies up to 20 kHz, but if we look at the Nyquist frequency, which is half the sampling rate, we can see that it is very close to the highest recorded frequency – 22 kHz in the case we’re using a sample rate of 44.1.

When we further process the audio with effects like saturation and distortion, the created harmonics that go beyond the Nyquist frequency will bounce back and produce aliasing. It can become more or less audible depending on how loud the frequencies that go beyond Nyquist’s are.
So, in the case of a 44.1 sample rate, there is only 2 kHz of headroom, while with a 48 kHz sample rate, there is 4 kHz. This may still not look very much, but these 2 more kHz of headroom will strongly reduce the effects of aliasing, and the increase in CPU ressources and file size is completely negligible here.

Most plugins now have internal oversampling capabilities which eliminates the problem, but if for any reason you are using plugins that do not feature it, then it is good to have as much headroom as possible to start with.

Some audio interfaces can record up to 35 kHz when they are set to 88.2 or 96 kHz sample rate, which then effectively increases the quality of the recordings, since it captures more of your microphones and instruments, with the Nyquist ceiling being much higher at the same time, but at the cost of twice the CPU usage and file size.

However, if the recordings are done with an interface that can only record 20 kHz, then there is no need to set the sample rate to 96 kHz and you can stick to 48, as the plugins will already oversample the signal before processing it.

There are very nice videos that dive into the details even more :


Thank you Louise