Originally Posted by Nick Morris
What were you using for years at 96k that sounded this way? When did you decided to change and what made you discover this difference? I worked for many years at 48k and was sent a couple 44.1khz sessions and those instantly sounded lofi compared to what I was use to hearing. In my experience, the higher the sample rate the better my converters sound. 384khz is king for PCM in my studio. The only thing that sounded better was DSD. This is based off a merging technologies sphynx2 converter. I currently work large PCM projects at 96k. 384khz for small PCM projects like classical recordings. Capture in DSD. This may have to do with most of the mixing taking place on a euphonix CS2000.
I spent a looooong time with converters and believe that there is no rule to which sample rate is best. To me it really depends on the converter you have. Every converter will have a sample rate which it performs it's best at. Mine happen to sound better at higher rates, (sphynx2, Burl B2, Euphonix AM713,MA703).
More importantly than what hardware I've used and what mixes I've fought....to your point, all ADA converters sound different at different sample rates. Because of their design, filter networks, clocking, circuit topology,PSU etc. They all sound different and the subjectivity of it is mind boggling. The simple answer is to find out for yourself. I do not have a nuclear booster pack attached to my computer hardware to record, process and store more samples, for this difference. There may be a time in my career, where sampling high makes more sense to the application, but I don't think I'll see that day any time soon.
I speak in highly general, preferential terms. I do not preach, or dictate what the other gearmonkey women or man, should be using in their applications. I only mean to share, my viewpoint, which has been derived by years of working at different rates, with different genre's, and people compeled to test science against music. It is derived from completing projects from start to finish, pretty much doing everything myself. Because I have found, that it doesn't matter what you use. Sure. The good ones sound great at all sampling rates. They have Different responses, but all great. I think it does't matter, what you use, because no matter what - we are recording[encoding and decoding] more High Freq. content with higher sample rates,
They might sound different from one another, but we are capturing up to 48kHz, with 96K, and then 96kHz with 192k sampling rates. Electronically, I think this can be a problem for the entire system, instead of breeding more fidelity. It will depend on many things. I have been tricked many times by 96K being "better", and then when I start processing the audio, things are not "better" at all. My viewpoint, is that 44.1 with good converters sounds absolutely fine to me, [if you like those ADA converters] and that you will have less conversion in the end, to the medium its planned for. Whatever sampling rate you use, you should plan for as little [or none] sample rate conversion as possible. I hate sample rate conversion. It sucks.
If the project is going to mastering, I will let the ME do that...because he has better hardware and software than I...but even still, I have been very happy with the projects I mix, and send to master @ 44.1. With 96K, I have found, the sound overall, has more HF artifacts, but I must stress - I can only speak to my own worn ass ear's. I have found, I struggle more with mixing at Higher Rates. I find, the bass does not sound that great to me, and I struggle to find a good sound. All of this could be good or could be bad. All of it, could be good or bad. Context is king here. Application key. Aesthetic is subjective. The Objective, is a cement wall. Your work? Is done with a sledge hammer. It will get messy.