playback pitch issue - help please!

Hi - I’ve just set up Cubase 6 and Komplete7 on my PC. I haven’t experienced this before, and I wonder if someone can help. If I set up a project and use my midi keyboard to play an instrument note on one of the tracks, the playback is probably just under a tone higher than my midi keyboard. I’ve checked the pitch of the keyboard, and that’s correct. Why would all my output be shifted up? Thanks to anyone who can throw some light on this! I’ve tried various different VST instruments, but they all do the same thing. I haven’t changed any settings, so it seems strange that this is the default pitch…

OK - I’ve just realised that the problem was caused by my sound card being set to a different sample rate to that of the project. How do I know what sample rate and bit rate I should be using? Thanks - F

There are many great resources on digital audio online, google it.

In short (and generalizing):
Always use at least the highest bit depth your sound card can support and at least the sample rate of the target medium.

The maximum number of bits to use while recording is limited by the max number of bits the A/D of your sound card uses, the most common depth used for recording today is 24 bits. The bit depth while recording limits the dynamic range of your recorded audio file. Audio -or rather the analog signal going into the A/D converter of your sound card- quieter than the lower limit (for 24 bits: 24x6 dB= -144 dBFS) will be lost. Even though you can set your project to use 32 bit float for recording, you won’t gain any dynamic resolution this way.
Cubase internal engine works in 32 bits float witch means it will use high precision when doing the math, this is important because the more you mix and fade and recalculate in different ways, the information contained in the least significant bits of your audio would otherwise loose precision. Using a low bit resolution while mixing could potentially result in audible quantization distortion.

When doing mixdown, remember to insert the UV22 dither in the last insert (the lastest of last, yellow one, no.8) slot of your mix bus, set the bit depth to the same value as your mixdown.

Regarding sample rate. Use the rate of your target medium, or a muliple thereof. If you record for CD then you will be ok with 44.1 kHz, but you could also use 88.2 or 176.4 kHz. There are some advantages to using a higher sample rate, your sound card might use noise shaping that can shift more A/D noise energy into the inaudible high frequency spectrum, also there is stated here and there that you can cut your latency in half by doubling the sample rate, but I don’t see how that would differ from using half the buffer size instead.
There are also some discussions regarding the importance of recording sound with a higher frequency than we can perceive, arguing that those sounds interact with the sound in the audible range. Now it has been confirmed that this is true, but there are other facts to take into account, such as the number of microphones and speakers actually being able to record and reproduce such high frequencies. Also, with the probability of the ultrasound spectrum being cluttered with A/D noise, combined with the low energy of ultrasound frequencies produced by acoustical instruments, I’d say that there is very little reason to record in anything higher than 44.1 or 48 kHz. Others might be of another opinion.

Any corrections appreciated!


Wow - thanks for the detailed reply. I will Google it, but you’ve answered my questions perfectly - thank you