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44, 88 or 96??


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I was hoping you experts might be able to answer a newbie question or at least point me in the right direction to a resource.

I have been recording in Logic for 6-7 years at 41K. I just moved to Cubase SX on PC. But, Ive picked up a number of devices and software over the past couple years (MOTU 828 MK2, EMU 1820M, DBX Preamps) that support 96K+. I was thinking that I would start moving to a higher sample rate. I've seen quite a few people here that say "go to 88, not 96". and oothers who say "stay at 44!" So, a couple questions:

 

1.) 44, 88 or 96K?

 

2.) If I record at 88-96 and down-sample at mixdown, will I get much benefit from this (I am not HDD limited--running 2 DAWs linked via system Link--both P4 3.0s with 1.5Gb Ram)

 

3.) If I run Cubase at 88-96 but want to use a device (synth or EFX) that only outputs at 41K, am I stuck with analog or can I somehow use the 41K device (other than doing everything that can be done at 96, then downsampleing that to 41 and add 41 stuff)?. Is this worth the hassle?

 

Before I go spending money and a ton of time converting to 88-96K, I need some help from you experts as to whether its really worth it. I have quite a bit of very nice gear and a lot of vintage instruments so I think my inputs are worth of the effort if the effort will make a substantial difference.

 

Thx to all of you for your tremendous input on everything

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Of course you want as much headroom and resolution as possible for external recording and plugin resolution/headroom,but with a trade-off on resources and what's practical.I find 88hz a good number for 2 reasons,some plugs are still troublesome at 96hz and downsampling from 88hz seems to work better,not to mention that 96hz seems a bit more resource heavy than 88hz without the benifit of much difference,but I have heard that 88hz works better for other reasons I'm not schooled in.As far as $$$ goes,I think the new EMU(what you already have) drivers support 88hz,but I'm not positive.I'm sure others will chime in with more details on sample rate preference.The ball is now rolling.
"A Robot Playing Trumpet Blows"
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IF you stay totally in the digtal domain, you are limited by the highest sample rate available. Inotherwords, if you have a synth that tops out at 48k, then that's it for you. However I'd recommend going 44.1 and not downsampling in this case. However, if you are not limited by hardware, and youre destination is CD audio, 88k is the rate to choose, as it mathematically works for downsampling much better than 96k.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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Originally posted by krcassid:

I was hoping you experts might be able to answer a newbie question or at least point me in the right direction to a resource.

I have been recording in Logic for 6-7 years at 41K. I just moved to Cubase SX on PC. But, Ive picked up a number of devices and software over the past couple years (MOTU 828 MK2, EMU 1820M, DBX Preamps) that support 96K+. I was thinking that I would start moving to a higher sample rate. I've seen quite a few people here that say "go to 88, not 96". and oothers who say "stay at 44!" So, a couple questions:

 

First of all, welcome to the forums. :wave:

 

1.) 44, 88 or 96K?

 

Well, the jury is still out on this one. I personally feel that a lot of what is "better" at 88.2 or 96 KHz is due to better A/D conversion, but we'll set those technical discussions aside for now. Is there a sonic difference? Sometimes. Depends on a lot of things. The gear is part of it, but so is the musical genre. IMO, it would be far more beneficial for a classical recording than a relentlessly heavy rock tune.

 

As has already been pointed out, there are benefits and trade-offs involved with the sample rate you decide upon. Processing is better at higher sample rates, but the cost is that it's harder on your computer - you won't be able to run as many native plug ins and so forth simultanously. Disk drive storage requirements increase significantly, as do backup media requirements. Your hard disks might not have enough throughput and speed to stream as many tracks as you would like at the higher rates.

 

Another set of considerations are "what is the purpose of this recording... is this product a demo for gigs or is it slated for a DVD-A release or is it an indie CD release?

 

Nothing says you have to do all of your recordings at a specific rate to the exclusion of all others. I suggest you use what is appropriate for the session at hand. If it is a quickie demo or indie CD release, and isn't likely to go to DVD, I normally will track it at 24 / 44.1. If it was going to DVD, I would probably consider going higher. For a rock band, I normally use 24 / 44.1... if I was recording a orchestra, I'd probab ly go 96 KHz.

 

2.) If I record at 88-96 and down-sample at mixdown, will I get much benefit from this (I am not HDD limited--running 2 DAWs linked via system Link--both P4 3.0s with 1.5Gb Ram)

 

For a CD release, this should be the last step in the mastering process - just before dithering and going to 16 bit.

 

Is there a sonic benefit to 96 KHz or 88.2 KHz? Sure... not the least of which is the processing. Do you lose some of that when you go down to 44.1 KHz / 16 bit for a CD release? Sure... but it's not like it used to be. SRC (sample rate conversion) has gotten a lot better in the past few years. I agree with Where - I wouldn't bother with a 48 KHz recording for a CD release - I don't think you gain enough to make it worth the SRC, but that depends on what you're using for SRC. But in general, I never bother with 48 KHz. I just don't hear any improvement after the SRC. But you probably will hear a difference between the right material that was recorded, processed, mixed and mastered at 96 KHz and then finally SRC'ed and dithered vs. the exact same material done at 44.1 all the way through the process.

 

3.) If I run Cubase at 88-96 but want to use a device (synth or EFX) that only outputs at 41K, am I stuck with analog or can I somehow use the 41K device (other than doing everything that can be done at 96, then downsampleing that to 41 and add 41 stuff)?. Is this worth the hassle?

 

You have two viable choices here IMO: You can run the digital out of the device in question through a SRC (upsampling it to 88.2 or 96 KHz) on its way into Cubase (yes, such boxes do exist), or you can just run the analog outs into your system and do it that way. I really rarely bother with the former and just do the later.

 

Before I go spending money and a ton of time converting to 88-96K, I need some help from you experts as to whether its really worth it. I have quite a bit of very nice gear and a lot of vintage instruments so I think my inputs are worth of the effort if the effort will make a substantial difference.

 

I rarely bother with anything beyond 24 / 44.1 KHz. Will 88.2 / 96 KHz make a difference to you that justifies the added hassles / costs / trade-offs? Only you can decide that.

 

My suggestion is use whatever you have available to you right now, and do some test recordings at 96 KHz or 88.2 KHz. See what YOU think of the sonics and then make your decision. IMO, that's going to give you your best answer.

 

If you really like what you hear, and after considering everything and deciding if the improvement you hear is worth it to you at this time, THEN you can make a more informed decision about upgrading your gear.

 

Thx to all of you for your tremendous input on everything

 

You're welcome. :)

 

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Phil, and other gurus,

 

I have a quick question about down sampling at the mastering stage...

 

If your session was recorded at 88,...do you bounce the file,...then import the stereo file back into a new, lower sample rated, session?

 

What benefits does this yeild?

 

Apologies if this is one of those repeatedly asked questions.....

 

Always humbled,

 

Stephen

"..it will test your head,..and your mind,...and your brain too..."

 

Dewey Finn-

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I can't speak for everyone, but if I was mastering something, I'd want the highest quality master files I could get my hands on. If you tracked and mixed at 24 / 96 KHz, give me that. If you tracked at 24 / 44.1 KHz, please give me that. I'll take care of the processing, SRC and dither. :)
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I'm with Phil O'Keefe on sticking with 24 bit 44.1 KHz.

 

I have used 88.2 KHz to transfer old tapes to digital - they were recorded at 3.25"/sec and my trusty old Teac A-3340S 4-track only goes down to 7.5"/sec. By recording at 88.2, then changing the sample rate (without doing a SRC), to 44.1, the material played back correctly.

 

Other than that, high sample rates are generally a waste of drive space.

 

One other exception: recording chimes, triangles & similar stuff that is loaded with ultrasonics, when you intend to pitch-shift it downward by extreme amounts (an octave or more). Using high sample rates on this allows the ultrasonic overtones to remain, so they are shifted down into audible range when pitch-shifting it down.

 

Assuming of course that your audio interfaces analog circuitry doesn't roll off above 24 KHz anyway... you'd be surprised at how many do.

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Bounce the mix at the same sample rate, and master at that rate, dithering and downsampling at the very end of the mastering process. IF you are using a professional mastering house, they will ahve no problems with the 88.2k file.

 

Personally I think there is a huge difference in higher sampling rates. The bigger question is, does the average consumer? Probably not, unless the material is classical. However, if you have the ability, I'd use the higher sample rate, 88.2 if the end result is CD audio, 96 if it's digital audio for video.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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I have an 80 gig and 120 gig hard drive in my system. I was looking around today to find a partition big enough to record 4 tracks of drums for my upcoming drum teaching DVD. I have my system cut up into 5 partitions. Can you believe it? With 200 gig of space I found most of the partitions only had 2-4 gigs. Only my C: partion had over 10 gigs.

 

What is taking up most of the space? I have over 10 songs EACH with over 20 tracks and each of those tracks have several EDIT versions. THESE WERE RECORDED AT 44.1 / 24 . Now where would I be at 88.2 ?? 400 GIGS?

 

I think if I wanted to go up, it would be to 88.2 because things will work out NEATLY . In my minds eye I can picture 96 khz after downsampling looking like a bunch of UNEVEN stairsteps! Some will be chopped halfway, some near the edge etc.

 

Dan

 

http://teachmedrums.com

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If each partition has 2gb available, and you have 5 partitions, if you had not partitioned, you'd easily have 10+gb still available.

 

Unless you ablsolutely can't keep track of files any other way, partitioning a 120gb drive these days is a waste of space. The smaller partitions fragment faster, and the speed of todays drives are fast enough there is no significant gain in seek times by partitioning.

 

I'd suggest you (assuming you have backed up already if you haven't now is a good time to learn to do this religiously before you learn by losing data) reformat both of those drives with no partitions, you'll have more than enough space to do your drum tracks.

 

FWIW, we are a small commercial studio, and have inhouse in excess of 1.5TB of drive space available. On average, it is 60% full with active client projects. each project is backed up twice, because that's how we do it here, nothing being backed up until it is backed up twice. Drive space is cheap, losing a paying clients files is not.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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FWIW, we are a small commercial studio, and have inhouse in excess of 1.5TB of drive space available. On average, it is 60% full with active client projects. each project is backed up twice, because that's how we do it here, nothing being backed up until it is backed up twice. Drive space is cheap, losing a paying clients files is not.

 

You must have a FULL TIME person just backing up data on a midnight shift!

 

Dan

 

http://musicinit.com/pvideos.html

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Originally posted by where02190:

 

FWIW, we are a small commercial studio, and have inhouse in excess of 1.5TB of drive space available. On average, it is 60% full with active client projects. each project is backed up twice, because that's how we do it here, nothing being backed up until it is backed up twice. Drive space is cheap, losing a paying clients files is not.

1.5 terrabytes?

 

and when you say backed up twice.. are we talking a mix of DVD and HDD or just HDD? are all the HDD's in one cluster? do you have a central server in a machine room for this?

 

im very curious...

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