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Thread: Does converting sample rate cause any problems/change in audio quality?

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    Does converting sample rate cause any problems/change in audio quality?

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    I have an artist in my project studio that originally told me she wants to make youtube videos. So, I set my daw sample rate to 48000 Hz for syncing up her audio with future video. Now that we are some 5 or 6 songs into the project, she has informed me that she wants to make a CD too with what we have done.

    I think I recall reading somewhere that when having a project mastered for CD release, it should already be in the correct format to avoid any conversions. Is it worth starting those songs anew at 44,100 Hz sample rate or shall we continue at 48 khz? If so, should I convert them myself in my daw or let that up to the mastering engineer?

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    There should be no problems with audio quality.

    Render the versions for her video in 48.

    Render the versions for CD in 44.

    Or just convert 48 to 44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RawDepth View Post

    I think I recall reading somewhere that when having a project mastered for CD release, it should already be in the correct format to avoid any conversions. Is it worth starting those songs anew at 44,100 Hz sample rate or shall we continue at 48 khz? If so, should I convert them myself in my daw or let that up to the mastering engineer?
    If you are sending them out to a ME...most will tell you that you should provide them with the highest resolution audio files that you have...that includes the sample rate and the bit rate. IOW...don't convert them down to 44.1k and then send them out to the ME...let the ME do that.

    I work at 48k...even though I'm not synchronizing to video...and I then convert to 44.1 for final WAV format.
    I've also worked with 88.2k and 96k...and some pros work with 192k and even 384k...and it all gets converted down to 44.1k in the end for CD/WAV distribution.

    It's all good.

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    Continue at 48kHz. Maintain a consistent workflow. If you send mixes to a mastering engineer export/bounce/render them at the project settings and let him convert it to the delivery format.

    It's true that any time you process audio, including resampling, there is some loss. I've not found it to be especially noticeable to resample a mix once at mastering. There are more important things to worry about, like getting the mix right.

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    Sample rate conversion has come a long way since the time that you would actually change the sound in an obvious way.

    If you are sending it out to mastering, the mastering engineer will probably be using analog equipment in the path, so he will send the 48k signal out of his high end DA converters - into his awesome outboard gear - then recapture it at 44.1k. He would do the same thing if it were 44.1k to begin with.

    It isn't a big deal either way.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    If the mastering engineer does go through an analog stage then any ideas about starting a project at the final sample rate or a multiple thereof become irrelevant.

    There are cases where a particular model of analog to digital converter sounds substantially better at some rates than others, and the higher rates aren't always better. In the specific case of the Alesis HD24, the standard version, the clock is inaccurate at 44.1kHz but accurate at 48kHz. If you record at 44.1 on the Alesis (live performance) and then transfer to computer and play back through different converters the speed will be off.

    That's actually one of the reasons I use 48, I have an HD24. But I also do it for consistency and because it's the standard for video. Since one sample rate conversion isn't a make or break factor I'd rather do all the heavy work at a slightly higher sample rate and convert in mastering. Audio for video doesn't need to get converted, and since many of the better home sound systems are home theater systems there's at least a chance the better audio track will be heard where it matters most.

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