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48k vs 44.1
Old 6th February 2009
  #1
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48k vs 44.1

hello

some guys tell me that i don't need to use 48k because the difference between 48 and 44.1 is useless because the cd is at 44.1 and the conversion will round off some decimals .. so at the end there is no improvement from using 48k, you will only use more cpu power..

they say that i can improve the quality if i use 88.2 because there isn't this round off.. the conversion just divide /2 to achieve the 44.1 quality.

i've always used 48k.. but .. if i can avoid can be better.. i will get more HD space and more power for mixing and composing..

so!?

is that true or not?

thanks
Old 6th February 2009
  #2
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I would go one step further and even say that using 48 and (using bad conversion) converting down to 44.1 is likely to have a higher detremental effect to your audio than just staying with 44.1 the whole way.

It is, after all, one less load of conversion for the audio.

G
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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ok... for conversion i use peak.. which to my ears is the best (at 10 of quality.. because standard is at 8, you have to change that setting)

btw.. if it's better staying at 44.1.. GREAT! it's better for me to.. for cpu, for hd.. so i will change all mine templates
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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The higher the sample rate, the filtering of bad sound in our hearing range is pushed to higher freq's out of our hearing range. 48 pushes the filtering up and it gives a slightly better sound over 44. If you have a good SRC like Realbrain Pro, you won't loose quality when bringing it down to 44. I would highly recommend recording at 48 over 44. However better mic placment will make more of a difference than recording at 96 compared to 44.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World ➑️
The higher the sample rate, the filtering of bad sound in our hearing range is pushed to higher freq's out of our hearing range. 48 pushes the filtering up and it gives a slightly better sound over 44. If you have a good SRC like Realbrain Pro, you won't loose quality when bringing it down to 44. I would highly recommend recording at 48 over 44. However better mic placment will make more of a difference than recording at 96 compared to 44.
I have yet to hear a SRC that doesn't degrade the audio.

If you work for video/film use 48, if the target medium is CD stay with 44.1
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDJK ➑️

ANOTHER QUESTION:

what about IRs? if i'm using 44.1k during mixing, can i use 48k IRs? in convolution reverbs.. or the reverb will be pitched.. ?

thanks
can anyone answer to this?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDJK ➑️
I have yet to hear a SRC that doesn't degrade the audio
I have yet to hear ANY processing that does not degrade the audio.

I think this depends on how heavily I intend to use digital effects. Whether or not the benefits of 48k weigh out the disadvantage of a SRC step towards the end, depends on how much artifacts get moved to inaudible frequencies at 48kHz.

While cheap SRC can severely butcher the audio, well implemented professional tools do a pretty decent job today.

By the way, SRC works much better at 24bit than at 16. Always SRC first and dither to 16bit in the final step.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltermusik ➑️
I have yet to hear ANY processing that does not degrade the audio.

I think this depends on how heavily I intend to use digital effects. Whether or not the benefits of 48k weigh out the disadvantage of a SRC step towards the end, depends on how much artifacts get moved to inaudible frequencies at 48kHz.

While cheap SRC can severely butcher the audio, well implemented professional tools do a pretty decent job today.

By the way, SRC works much better at 24bit than at 16. Always SRC first and dither to 16bit in the final step.
This is a big debate even with the pro's. I clearly hear an improvement at 88 and 96 over 44 in the top end. Many plug ins are optimzied at the higher sample rate as well. But you really have to go to a Weiss SRC of $1,000 to not have any audible loss when you go down. BrainPro has a subtle difference but not anything that would discourage anyone from using the higher sample rate. The thing is better mic placement, and the way you use your EQ's and compressors make more of a difference than the higher sample rate recordings.

However I am for the best quality that I can get. So I use higher sample rate of 88 (there is no benifit of 96 over 88) when I know I will have enough power for the plug ins. But generally I will use 48. There is a slight improvement that I will take since it's there, and I won't use more CPU power or the extra hard drive space that the higher sample rates use. I use the SRC in Samplitude at their highest quality level which is on par with the one in Wavelab. It's good enough for me. Hell, I am doing home recordings like most here anyway, to the subtle difference really is not an issue.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World ➑️
This is a big debate even with the pro's. I clearly hear an improvement at 88 and 96 over 44 in the top end. Many plug ins are optimzied at the higher sample rate as well. But you really have to go to a Weiss SRC of $1,000 to not have any audible loss when you go down. BrainPro has a subtle difference but not anything that would discourage anyone from using the higher sample rate. The thing is better mic placement, and the way you use your EQ's and compressors make more of a difference than the higher sample rate recordings.

However I am for the best quality that I can get. So I use higher sample rate of 88 (there is no benifit of 96 over 88) when I know I will have enough power for the plug ins. But generally I will use 48. There is a slight improvement that I will take since it's there, and I won't use more CPU power or the extra hard drive space that the higher sample rates use. I use the SRC in Samplitude at their highest quality level which is on par with the one in Wavelab. It's good enough for me. Hell, I am doing home recordings like most here anyway, to the subtle difference really is not an issue.
Now I can agree to your post :-)

Subtle, yes, but 'No loss of quality', no.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elan ➑️

ANOTHER QUESTION:

what about IRs? if i'm using 44.1k during mixing, can i use 48k IRs? in convolution reverbs.. or the reverb will be pitched.. ?

thanks
---
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
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Historically 44.1 x 16 bits has always been considered a compromise. It was the highest resolution that could be encoded on video tape back when that was the only way to edit digital audio other than on a mainframe computer.

Most of the folks who invented high quality digital audio considered somewhere between 50kHz. and 60 Hz. x 20 bits to be the optimum sample rate for professional audio production. Sony and Panasonic insisted that this be lowered to 48kHz. x 20 its for professional video recorders and nobody was in any position to argue.

Yes sample rate conversion degrades quality but not nearly as much as digital eq. and compression when done at low sample rates.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
Yes sample rate conversion degrades quality but not nearly as much as digital eq. and compression when done at low sample rates.
Could you please clarify what you said. Many hear including myself respect your opinion over most on these forums. Are you saying using your UAD and Wave plug ins at 44 degrades the quality compared to using them at 88 and 96?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDJK ➑️
I have yet to hear a SRC that doesn't degrade the audio.

If you work for video/film use 48, if the target medium is CD stay with 44.1
I have yet to see the person who can consistently listen to 48 and 44.1 files and tell which is which.

That said, I agree with your conclusion.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World ➑️
Are you saying using your UAD and Wave plug ins at 44 degrades the quality compared to using them at 88 and 96?
Yes and even sometimes 48 vs 44.1. The issue is how much garbage gets generated below 20kHz.

I think UAD says they do an on the fly up-sample. I don't have their stuff but every on the fly DSP up-sampling I've heard hasn't sounded as good as simply working at the higher sample rate.

And by the way all modern A to D and D to A converters oversample so recording and playing at 44.1 applies more signal processing than operating at a higher sample rate. The whole idea is to use less signal processing as opposed to making recordings for bats.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
Yes and even sometimes 48 vs 44.1. The issue is how much garbage gets generated below 20kHz.

I think UAD says they do an on the fly up-sample. I don't have their stuff but every on the fly DSP up-sampling I've heard hasn't sounded as good as simply working at the higher sample rate.

And by the way all modern A to D and D to A converters oversample so recording and playing at 44.1 applies more signal processing than operating at a higher sample rate. The whole idea is to use less signal processing as opposed to making recordings for bats.
+1 Bob. This makes ever so much sense. Destroying myths, creating love ...
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashermusic ➑️
I have yet to see the person who can consistently listen to 48 and 44.1 files and tell which is which.

That said, I agree with your conclusion.
Disagreed. This is not what the discussion is about. The question here is: Will my result sound better if I do all my processing in 48kHz and convert to 44 at the end, or will it sound better if I do it in 44 all the way.

Because the sample rate has a big impact on all the processing in between, this is much different from a 44 vs. 48 listening test, where I would not expect myself to hear any difference as well.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltermusik ➑️
Disagreed. This is not what the discussion is about. The question here is: Will my result sound better if I do all my processing in 48kHz and convert to 44 at the end, or will it sound better if I do it in 44 all the way.

Because the sample rate has a big impact on all the processing in between, this is much different from a 44 vs. 48 listening test, where I would not expect myself to hear any difference as well.

Fair point, I should have read more carefully. Certainly many plug-is benefit from upsampling.

Anyway, I am certainly not going to argue audio with Bob Olhsson.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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If you are also using an Alesis HD24, you definitely want to use 48k for timing accuracy.

best,

john
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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Barbabatch is the best sample rate converter I've seen.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Deleted 2848499
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
Historically 44.1 x 16 bits has always been considered a compromise. It was the highest resolution that could be encoded on video tape back when that was the only way to edit digital audio other than on a mainframe computer.

Most of the folks who invented high quality digital audio considered somewhere between 50kHz. and 60 Hz. x 20 bits to be the optimum sample rate for professional audio production. Sony and Panasonic insisted that this be lowered to 48kHz. x 20 its for professional video recorders and nobody was in any position to argue.

Yes sample rate conversion degrades quality but not nearly as much as digital eq. and compression when done at low sample rates.
This is really interesting. Something I have considered but never really felt the need to dive into and investigate. As a young engineer still finding myself in the assistant engineer seat often, I would say (as an approximation) that I see 80% of sessions in 44.1 and only about 20% at 48k or higher. Is there a reason that most of these engineers still work at the lower rates?? and I am talking world class engineers working at prominent studios...just curious.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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A huge proportion of world class engineers working at prominent studios almost never mix "in the box." Working at 44.1 can also make for better sounding unmastered client copies. Until very recently high sample rates would also bring a lot of DAWs to their knees.

I had questions about working above 48k but found at the very end of the line my CDs consistently sounded "more analog" on the tracks I had recorded at 88.2 or 96k.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
A huge proportion of world class engineers working at prominent studios almost never mix "in the box." Working at 44.1 can also make for better sounding unmastered client copies. Until very recently high sample rates would also bring a lot of DAWs to their knees.
Thanks for reaching out, Bob. Very true...most of these guys I'm assisting are doing a fair share of OTB mxing. It should be interesting to see what the next few years brings as the higher rates also brings down the power in the digital boards like C200, 88d, ect. that are popping up like daisies in the springtime.

One more question for ya, I have had this talk with a few engineers, and the census seems to be that if you are going to work at a higher rate, that it is better to work in even numbers, meaning instead of 44.1, work in 88.2, not 96 because 96 requires a logarythimic equasion when converting back down, where as 88.2 is and even "cut in half" so to speak, so less math is involved. Is this true???
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
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The even number thing was because of limitations of the old Pacific Microsonics model one converters. There is no other advantage I'm aware of besides being less demanding CPU-wise which is a non-issue at this point.
Old 7th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elan ➑️
ANOTHER QUESTION:

what about IRs? if i'm using 44.1k during mixing, can i use 48k IRs? in convolution reverbs.. or the reverb will be pitched.. ?

thanks
----
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
A huge proportion of world class engineers working at prominent studios almost never mix "in the box." Working at 44.1 can also make for better sounding unmastered client copies. Until very recently high sample rates would also bring a lot of DAWs to their knees.

I had questions about working above 48k but found at the very end of the line my CDs consistently sounded "more analog" on the tracks I had recorded at 88.2 or 96k.
Mr. Olhsson,

I would like your opinion about a different theory I have on this subject. The great recordings of Motown and rock music in the 60's and 70's were all done on reel to reel. Playing the tapes over and over again, while loosing a little fidelity to the high end due to the constant back and forth on the tape heads, bouncing, cutting and pasting, etc. With the 88/96 sample rates being clearer, smoother or more detailed top end, one would think 44 would be closer to the analog days, as the old recordings never had that crisp detailed sound of today. Hence another reason why many like Apogee converters over the more detailed, heightened top end of some other high end converters. They just sound more natural.

For rock music, I am thinking perhaps 44 is better, (maybe 48), while classical or jazz might be better at the higher sample rates. Your opinion please.
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think 96k sounds more analog than 44.1. It isn't about how much top-end there is. It's about how much crispy distortion there is. 44.1 often sounds brighter than 96k for this reason.

I also don't buy the theory that degradation is what makes analog sound great.
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
A huge proportion of world class engineers working at prominent studios almost never mix "in the box." Working at 44.1 can also make for better sounding unmastered client copies. Until very recently high sample rates would also bring a lot of DAWs to their knees.

I had questions about working above 48k but found at the very end of the line my CDs consistently sounded "more analog" on the tracks I had recorded at 88.2 or 96k.
let me just qualify that a little. A huge proportion of world class engineers working on pop or rock music almost never mix in the box.

Bearing in mind that TV/film mixing and video games out number pop songs about 100:1 in terms of work load, and in terms of number of people doing it..... and bearing in mind that the budgets are bigger and people get paid - AND that most of these disciplines DO involve mixing ITB (purely for recall) I'd argue that the majority of world class engineers DO work ITB....

Unless ya wanna argue that TV/Film/Videogame mixers aren't up to the standard of pop n rock mixers - the only sound recording are that DOESN'T have agreed standards that all work to......

sorry to drift...
Old 8th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
The whole idea is to use less signal processing as opposed to making recordings for bats.
LOL
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