Where to downsample, ProTools or WL?

Hi! I am a ProTools user using Wavelab for mastering. My question is where is it best to downsample if I record in 48.000/24 bit in PT? In the mixdown process in ProTools or in Wavelab? That is, should I get the 48.000 file into WL first and downsample/dither first when finally mastering to CD or mp3? (In that case where do I adjust the sample rate WL is to work in?) OR is it better/simpler to downsample in the mixdown in PT and only work in 44.100 inside WL?

I notice a slight degrade in sound quality working in WL compared to PT unfortunenately. Sound has more depth and clarity in PT - even if it is not bad in WL at all.

But there you are, you want to catch every bit of quality you can get… / yours fransmo

Happy for any well-informed advice!

There are no rules but I really like using Sample Manager by Audiofile Engineering to change the sample rate of stereo files when needed before working in Wavelab. It’s a pretty affordable program and it uses iZotope’s Sample Rate Converter which is known by many to be a good sample rate converter.

Sample Manager is also a great yet simple batch converter overall. Sample Manager is a little dated as they are working on an update for it with a new name and approach.

You could also use iZotope RX4 standalone app to convert the sample rate of files which likely has a more up to date version of their Sample Rate Conversion but RX4 is also more expensive because it has many other great audio repair tools and features. It’s worth the money if you are in the market for excellent noise reduction and other repair tools.

I don’t have any comments on the sound of Crystal Resampler in Wavelab because I personally don’t like to run any SRC live on file renders. I like to have the montage built at the final intended sample rate.

So, my opinion would be to bounce your Pro Tools mix at 24-bit/48k. Convert to 24-bit/44.1k using Sample Manager or iZotope RX4, then do your Wavelab work.

There are times when I have to create two versions of the same montage, one at 44.1k and then again at the original sample rate like 48k or 96k because the client also wants masters at that resolution.

I really dislike the idea of running Wavelab Crystal Resampler live in a montage because of extra rendering time and then double checking each render for an error or glitch due to the SRC.

Thanks greatly for your thoughts on this. I did find where to adjust the sample rate of WL projects so I did a test of mixing down in PT in 48000/24 and then importing to a WL montage in 48000 then later “mixing down” to CD format 44100/16. It worked, but I found a got a noticably clearer signal with raise in treble response in the final wave file but not quite clear “sss” sounds. Maybe the solution is a quality downsampler like you mention. / yours fransmo

I should have noted that all Audiofile Engineering apps are OSX only.

There are some others sample rate converters out there as well if you use PC/Windows like iZotope RX4 which is a bundle of many tools, and Voxengo r8brain.

I’ve always been happy with the iZotope sample rate conversion which can be found within Sample Manager by Audiofile Engineering or RX4 by iZotope.

Myriad by Audiofile Engineering should be out later this year and will replace Sample Manager and I would think there will be a free or inexpensive upgrade path for Sample Manager users.