Welcome to No Limit Sound Productions

Company Founded

Our services include Sound Engineering, Audio Post-Production, System Upgrades and Equipment Consulting.
Our mission is to provide excellent quality and service to our customers. We do customized service.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Q. Is it worth recording at a higher sample rate?

By Hugh Robjohns
CD burning.
I've recorded several songs in 24-bit/48kHz. When I went to burn the CD, the application I'm using for burning (Nero) did not recognise the files. I had to convert them to 16-bit/44.1kHz first. So does it make a difference in the audio quality of the final CD tracks to record at the higher rates when it's then converted back to 16-bit/44.1kHz? Maybe it's not worth getting a fancy audio interface after all?

SOS Forum Post

Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: If your end format is destined for a 44.1kHz sample rate — the standard audio CD format (the 'Red Book' standard) is 16-bit/44.1kHz — there is no point in recording at 48kHz in the first place. There is no significant quality gain involved in using a fractionally higher sample rate (48kHz is only eight percent higher than 44.1kHz), and the technical losses and time involved in sample-rate conversion aren't very constructive either.

I would recommend recording your material at 24-bit/44.1kHz and then truncating and re-dithering the finished tracks to 16-bit as the final stage before burning the CD. There is a useful advantage in recording your original material with 24-bit resolution, as this increases the dynamic range available to you. This translates into greater headroom and a reduced risk of overloads and transient clipping.

If you want to start with higher resolution source recordings, possibly with an eye to releasing the material on high-resolution formats in the future, then you have a choice of sample-rate options. Obviously, sample-rate conversion will be needed for a CD release, and many argue in favour of recording at 88.2kHz as this is double 44.1, making the down-sampling relatively simple.

In the early days of sample-rate conversion this made a significant difference to the resulting sound quality, but modern sample-rate converters appear to handle non-integer conversions with no loss of quality at all, and a 96kHz sample rate is more widely used in high-resolution formats. In my opinion, there is very little to be gained in going to higher sample rates, so I would use 24-bit/44.1kHz for a CD-only release (reducing to 16-bit/44.1kHz at the last possible stage), and 24-bit/96kHz for everything else.

Published June 2005

No comments:

Post a Comment