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96K really sound better? Studio Monitors
Old 2nd August 2008
  #1
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96K really sound better?

This is a question for pro (full-time) music engineers only.

When working with rock and pop acts, is it worth the bother to record at 96k?

I mean is there a noticeable improvement on the final medium? Does it make Protools sound less digital?
Old 2nd August 2008
  #2
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surflounge's Avatar
EMcasts has an interview with producer/engineer/musician Joel Hamilton (Soulive, Ludiacris, Tom Waits) discussing your point about when he uses 44.1 vs 96k
EM Podcast Interviews | Audio interviews with professional musicians, producers, audio engineers about mixing, recording, producing | Hear audio engineering, mixing, production techniques podcasts
Old 2nd August 2008
  #3
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adpz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by surflounge View Post
EMcasts has an interview with producer/engineer/musician Joel Hamilton (Soulive, Ludiacris, Tom Waits) discussing your point about when he uses 44.1 vs 96k
EM Podcast Interviews | Audio interviews with professional musicians, producers, audio engineers about mixing, recording, producing | Hear audio engineering, mixing, production techniques podcasts
Excellent post. I often have the same question.
Old 2nd August 2008
  #4
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Checking it now... thanks!

very timely.
Old 2nd August 2008
  #5
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High sample frequencies are not required to make good recordings.

They do sound better to me depending on the music and instrumentation. For classical and jazz I always try to record at 88.2 or 96khz. For rock and pop I am usually happy with 44.1 or 48khz but I will not hesitate to use a high sample frequency if I feel it would be a benefit.

When deciding on a sample frequency you also have to take into account factors such as the destination delivery format, processing power needs/fidelity, storage requirements, etc.

The type of converters you use will also impact the perceived benefit of using a high sample frequency. High quality converters sound better no matter what frequency you use, so I might not care as much about the sample frequency depending on the converter.
Old 2nd August 2008
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staudio View Post
When deciding on a sample frequency you also have to take into account factors such as the destination delivery format, processing power needs/fidelity, storage requirements, etc.
+10000000

We tried 96 the minute we could and the end result wasn't enough to merit the extra storage and conversion issues it created for us.
I think it does sound better but in the end its the skill that shines, not the sample rate. And the bump back down to 44.1 always ruins at least half of the magic for me of 96 in the first place. If it could stay 96, I would use 96.

And as better and better converters have come along- 44.1 sounds really good these days.
Old 2nd August 2008
  #7
In the end, assuming a good converter that can cleanly reproduce up to the 22K frequency limit at 44.1K sample rate, if you are going to deliver at CD sample rates, the only real question I think is, does feeding super-audible frequencies to the plugins make them sound better? I don't know if that's the case or not, but I can't see any other arguments that hold any water.

Some folks argue that higher frequencies react and cause audible effects. Well, OK, but if they do then that means the effects have to bhe happening in the air and if we hear them then the mic will capture them as well.

So really the only difference has to be during the processing of the data. There isn't, as some folks think, any 'stair stepping' effect because of the sample rate. The original curve (within the limit of the frequencies captured) is accurately reproduced. But 88.2K or 96K will keep that high frequency content all the way through to the final sample rate conversion, so that all the plugs are processing it along the way.

Whather that matters, I dunno. I've actually gone back to 96K on my current project, just for funzies, to see if I feel it makes any difference. Though it's quite possible I won't be able to tell. I guess the only way to really know is to do the project, and export the final mix to 44.1K downconverted. Then go back and export every individual track, down-sampled to 44.1K with as high quality a SRC as you have, import them into another project with exactly the same procsesing, process it that way, then export it at the new native 44.1K, and compare the two.
Old 2nd August 2008
  #8
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Brent's Avatar
 

Depends

For straight out audio capture, not really.. depends if you're using ****ty converters too.

But, if you start factoring in software plugins that are not upsampled, going from 44.1 to 96k is a HUGE difference in my experience. EQ's for example will sound much smoother.

my 2 cents.
Old 2nd August 2008
  #9
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davedarling's Avatar
 

I do 88.2 pretty much all the time now. I agree with the previous poster -
Makes a noticable difference on ITB mixing.
If you have the storage, why not.

best DD
Old 2nd August 2008
  #10
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Fletcher's Avatar
A while ago I had all 3 sets of RADAR converter cards [Classic (48), Nyquist (96), S-Nyquist (192)] and listened to all 3. I like the sound of the Nyquist cards best at both 96k as well as 44.1, but the 96k recording really stood out to my ears. Since then 96k has pretty much been the defacto standard at my studio no matter what converters we're using [we have Apogee's [AD & DA-16x's], Crane Song's, JCF's and both an iZ RADAR as well their ADA.

So far, from my listening... I certainly have no complaints with 96k... but I did find that there was something wonderfully agressive about the low end on a metal project I did at 44.1 [which didn't happen at 96k].

...and so it goes.

Peace.
Old 3rd August 2008
  #11
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96k is more accurate, not because of the sample rate itself, but because of the way the HF are filtered out. How more accurate over 44.1k is dependent on the filter itself. A good friend of mine who designs this type of equipment for spinal research claims that the aliasing or "ghost notes" can cause irregularities 10k below the cut off point of the filter. Now mind you, in his field they are dealing with gains of X1000 not X100 like in audio, so I'm not sure how dramatic these "auditites" are for our field - nor do I care.

It's tape all the way for me baby!
Old 4th August 2008
  #12
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Atari's Avatar
 

I've worked 44.1 48 and 96kHz I use mostly. I just noticed a big difference in detail using 96 kHz. Mostly not when soloing a track but in the final mix. It ís a big dissapointment when going back to 44.1 when exporting but I still believe my mixes sound better in 96kHz. Might be just in my head..
Old 5th August 2008
  #13
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Working at 96K will NEVER make any system sound less digital, what it will do is give a different character to the sound - many will call it smoother. I Like to track at 96 when disk space will allow.
Old 5th August 2008
  #14
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According to Dan Lavry 96 sounds worse than 44.1/48 due to some physical reasons I am not able to recall. Maybe do a search for it if it is of any interest.
Since I work 44 in tracking and 96 in mixdown, I'll do a comparison with the next mix like: 96/24bit, 44/24bit, 44/32bit (or 64, but I guess it's clueless).
Old 5th August 2008
  #15
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peeder's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
According to Dan Lavry 96 sounds worse than 44.1/48 due to some physical reasons I am not able to recall. Maybe do a search for it if it is of any interest.
Since I work 44 in tracking and 96 in mixdown, I'll do a comparison with the next mix like: 96/24bit, 44/24bit, 44/32bit (or 64, but I guess it's clueless).
Actually he has argued that 60KHz would be the ideal sample rate, and cautions that 96K can actually reduce the accuracy of a converter, which might not have enough time to get everything right.

There are four basic things going on here: ADC, DSP, DAC, and SRC. I think it's a total given that DAC will sound better at 96K than at 44.1, because all modern DACs upsample anyway. DSP will sound better at higher rates if it is nonlinear, due to the avoidance of aliasing distortion. ADC will sound better, all things equal, due to gentler anti-aliasing filters.

SRC (sample rate conversion) is best avoided, but the best SRC algos are pretty damn good these days. SRC may trump all of the above concerns, in that avoiding it may cause less damage than running everything else at a suboptimal rate.

I myself don't know the answer to these questions in general. I can note advantages and disadvantages but I would have to listen very carefully to each implementation to pick out the best compromise through the entire chain.

Old 5th August 2008
  #16
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Well I've recently started trying it for low track count stuff...like 3 piece rock bands who want something quite stripped out. That way I know the various 'taxes' wont be too bad. There's definitely something great about it. I think it just sounds a little bit more 'real'. I haven't AB'd the same mics in the same room but it's sort of like the difference between a good reverb and a great reverb. They both work really well but the great one just 'feels' better. I have NO problem with 44.1 and I do most of my projects at that rate but I look forward to increasingly moving towards 96 as things get faster.

J
Old 5th August 2008
  #17
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confooshus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
This is a question for pro (full-time) music engineers only.

When working with rock and pop acts, is it worth the bother to record at 96k?

I mean is there a noticeable improvement on the final medium? Does it make Protools sound less digital?
Professional here... I use 44.1/24 bit. Most people I know use that, some use 48/24... I don't know anyone using 96 or 192.
Old 5th August 2008
  #18
Old 5th August 2008
  #19
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Barbary Ape's Avatar
 

I read in an article quite awhile ago that in new converters using the latest Cirrus Logic chips the gap between 44.1 and 96K is now bigger.
Doesn't bother me I never do 96K anyway.
Old 5th August 2008
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmf View Post
According to Dan Lavry 96 sounds worse than 44.1/48 due to some physical reasons I am not able to recall. Maybe do a search for it if it is of any interest.
Since I work 44 in tracking and 96 in mixdown, I'll do a comparison with the next mix like: 96/24bit, 44/24bit, 44/32bit (or 64, but I guess it's clueless).
I did not say that 96KHz is better or worse then 44.1KHz. In some ways 96KHzs better, and in other ways 44.1KHz is better. I do take issue with 192KHz, which has no up side, only down sides.

Regrads
Dan Lavry
Old 5th August 2008
  #21
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Sinewave's Avatar
 

Quote:
In some ways 96KHzs better, and in other ways 44.1KHz is better. I do take issue with 192KHz, which has no up side, only down sides.
Hey Mr. Lavry,
When is 96khz better and when is 44.1khz better ?
Old 5th August 2008
  #22
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arrakian's Avatar
 

What are the downsides to 192k?
Old 5th August 2008
  #23
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I've experimented with 96k using the SSL Alpha Link / Mixpander5 system and there was certainly a difference. 96k had more space and air around each source, for lower track count stuff and acoustic style music I think it's a real advantage. However, I primarily work at 44.1/24 since it's usually higher track count rock band music I get around here. I think 44.1/24 sounds great with these converters.

War
Old 5th August 2008
  #24
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrakian View Post
What are the downsides to 192k?
192k only for very special classical or acoustic situations (Earthworks or Schoeps mics, GML preamps, string quartets in nice rooms). Low compression, high fidelity, etc.

For rock'n'roll, 192 is just... nerdy.

- c
Old 5th August 2008
  #25
Blu Ray

Blu Ray disk will enable Dolby Digital HD (uncompressed) Dolby Digital HD (uncompressed) and possibly multiple channel WAV at 96khz and maybe (depends on Blu Ray player) 192 multiple channel support.

Within a year that market will be there.

Investing NOW will secure profit within the year and within the coming three years when Blu Ray disks become affordable. Blu Ray allso revives DVD-A and SACD as it will support all those formats.

So supplying affordable media on DVD-formats are an option too.


Muziekschuur
Old 6th August 2008
  #26
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arrakian's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
For rock'n'roll, 192 is just... nerdy.

- c
Depends on the type of R&R...

Engineers are nerdy/geeks by nature. Who else would sit around and discuss or fuss over sample rates, compression ratios, mic measurements and proper placement. etc.
Old 6th August 2008
  #27
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Go 1 bit-5.8MHz DSD or go home.

Old 6th August 2008
  #28
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davedarling's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by confooshus View Post
Professional here... I use 44.1/24 bit. Most people I know use that, some use 48/24... I don't know anyone using 96 or 192.
I've used 88.2 on my last 4 records - i like it.

best dd
Old 6th August 2008
  #29
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confooshus's Avatar
 

Oops forgot about that number... I don't know anyone using that one either....
Old 6th August 2008
  #30
The only gotcha with 88.2K is that sometimes some plugs don't support it. So make sure that's not the case before you get way into it and find you can't use some key plug.
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