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96K Sounds Better...
Old 14th July 2005
  #1
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T_R_S's Avatar
96K Sounds Better...

... at least that what my client says. Back in March we did 3 songs for the project (Female vocal/jazz) recorded and mixed at 44.1. Then we did 14 more songs recorded and mixed @ 96K (The March songs had new vocals cut and remixed left @ 44.1).
All the session players were the same all the mic/pres and outboard for mixing were them same. The producer asked why the new songs sound better and the March songs?
I said the only thing we changed was the new songs were done @ 96K.
There differences we not huge but enough to be noticable.
We did not tell the producer or the client only myself and the engineer knew.
So there you have it. A true blind test.
Old 14th July 2005
  #2
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I have just completed my first projects at higher sample rates (88.2), and I can notice a pretty big difference as well. This is a band that I recorded their last project (at 44.1).

I know this has been discussed to death on every forum from here to Timbuktu, but these are my first direct comparisions, and all I can say is "wow"!
Old 14th July 2005
  #3
Personally, I am DES-PER-ATE to hop up to 96k multitracking, but I am stuck on Mix + so cant to it.

Old 14th July 2005
  #4
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heyman's Avatar
Since there is not 1 proprietary way to record and there are dozens of diffrent audio programs and tons of Hardware chipsets out there....

Saying that 96 is better than 44 - gotta take that with a grain of salt...

I am not here to hate on you guys.. I want you to get the most out of your equipment...


But there are products out there (at 44.1) that run circles around some of the more well know Stuff (800lb gorilla come to mind) running 96 and even 192..

Food for thought..
Old 14th July 2005
  #5
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GYang's Avatar
I noticed much more differences in sounds of mixing engine between various platforms (PT, Nuendo, Samplitude, Tracktion 32-bit vs. 64-bit etc) than between 48 and 96 kHz on the same platforms.
But with some converters (RME) 96 kHz sounded indeed much better. I think it is some error in design.
With Apogee, the difference does not justify effort to push 96 kHz button. So far.

GYang
Old 14th July 2005
  #6
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recorderman's Avatar
 

yeah..and the Dead recorded on 16 track before the Beatles..so what
Old 14th July 2005
  #7
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Albert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S
... at least that what my client says. Back in March we did 3 songs for the project (Female vocal/jazz) recorded and mixed at 44.1. Then we did 14 more songs recorded and mixed @ 96K (The March songs had new vocals cut and remixed left @ 44.1).
All the session players were the same all the mic/pres and outboard for mixing were them same. The producer asked why the new songs sound better and the March songs?
I said the only thing we changed was the new songs were done @ 96K.
There differences we not huge but enough to be noticable.
We did not tell the producer or the client only myself and the engineer knew.
So there you have it. A true blind test.
Did the producer hear the playback at 96k, or did he listen to 96k mixes that had been dithered down to 44.1k? Just curious.
Old 14th July 2005
  #8
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max cooper's Avatar
 

The converters in my Digi 002 sound way better at 96 than at 44.1. When I got Apogee converters, I stopped worrying about it. Can't run 'em over 48 anyway.

Some artists sound better at lower sampling rates... like once every ten years.
Old 14th July 2005
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
Some artists sound better at lower sampling rates... like once every ten years.
I love it!
Old 14th July 2005
  #10
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ISedlacek's Avatar
96 vs 44 directly depends on the used convertors and cannot be commented in general. Cheaper designs tend to have hyped 96kHz. Serious convertors usually sound great in 44kHz (more warm, natural, "analogue").
Old 15th July 2005
  #11
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

You just knew we were opening up a can of worms here!!!
Old 15th July 2005
  #12
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Stupid Question...

What good is it to have a mic pre that goes to 400khz if most microphones do not go beyond 22khz? And if your mic is not picking up anything over 22khz, then doesn't a sample rate of 44.1khz pick up everything your microphone could have "heard" according to the Nyquist theorem?

On another note, I bought a Rosetta 200 and have never run it above 44.1. I bought it because it blows my Mbox converters away at the same sample rate due to better clocking and analog circuitry. I would love to hear it at a higher sample rate, but I am limited to 48k with the outdated USB interface on the Mbox.

-Chris
Old 15th July 2005
  #13
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Quote:
So there you have it. A true blind test.
That's not a true blind test. It would have been a true blind test if you'd recorded the exact same performances to two systems at once through the same converters at different sampling rates, and even then the results would have only been valid for those particular converters. There are still too many variables involved, and things like mic placement will likely make a more noticeable difference than sampling rate.

-Duardo
Old 15th July 2005
  #14
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
Did the producer hear the playback at 96k, or did he listen to 96k mixes that had been dithered down to 44.1k? Just curious.
Comments were made after listening to a CD at home.
Old 15th July 2005
  #15
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The most important factor is probably the fact that you MIXED the new tracks at 96k. 96k mixing beats 44,1k mixing down the toilet, and you're best off recording at this rate too, because then you don't have to do unnecesary sample rate conversion.
Old 15th July 2005
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicemaster1500
The most important factor is probably the fact that you MIXED the new tracks at 96k. 96k mixing beats 44,1k mixing down the toilet, and you're best off recording at this rate too, because then you don't have to do unnecesary sample rate conversion.
when i listen to m-audio cards i think 44.1 sound better then 96
Old 15th July 2005
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vartan k
when i listen to m-audio cards i think 44.1 sound better then 96
Good for you.
Old 15th July 2005
  #18
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

Quote:
What good is it to have a mic pre that goes to 400khz if most microphones do not go beyond 22khz? And if your mic is not picking up anything over 22khz, then doesn't a sample rate of 44.1khz pick up everything your microphone could have "heard" according to the Nyquist theorem?
Well Chris, in theory, you are right, however, when mic manufacters quote the "20 to 20K" spec, they are saying that the mic picks up (for example) +/- 3 dB within that range, but that does not mean that the mic does not pickup sound outside of that range, just that it is not within spec. There is not some magic wall that prevents (for example) 22K frequencies from being picked up! They just normally test within that range, and spec their mics accordingly.
Old 15th July 2005
  #19
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Albert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S
Comments were made after listening to a CD at home.
What did you use to get it from 96k to 44.1k? If the producer noticed the difference listening to a CD, then obviously something translated from the higher sample rate down to 44.1,
Old 15th July 2005
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicemaster1500
Good for you.

go make some juice tutt
Old 15th July 2005
  #21
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Tubthumper's Avatar
 

Don't take this as gospel, BUT.....

According to Nika (who, let's make this perfectly clear, knows ****-loads more about this subject than myself), one implication of the Nyquist Theorem is that recording a sound at a sample rate over 44.1 Khz/sec does not result in an increase to its resolution. I personally find that counterintuitive, but hey.... (adopts Sgt Schultz persona) ... "I know NOTHING".

Likewise, according to Nika, any differences in sound quality perceived when comparing recordings done at different sample rates are due to variations in the converters - NOT, apparently, because we think we've captured "more" of the signal because we've recorded at sample rates over 44.1.

The worms will now be served..... HEY, a big juicy tapeworm for me!
Old 15th July 2005
  #22
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natpub's Avatar
Dan Lavry is willing to admit that there is cause to capture data up to 96. Beyond that he is not willing. Those who may be a bit fuzzy as to why, spend a few months reading his forum on REP. It's about as comprehensive as it gets.

That said, there are others, equally as well repected, who insist that 192 and way way beyond is highly desirable and important, most notably George Massenburg.

I'm kinda staying on the sidelines on this one, sticking with my 48, since it saves space and sounds fine for what I do.

So, for the "Sounds Great" -vs- "Less Filling" debate, I'm gonna have to go with "Less Filling." With all the Giga sample collections and video/film file I must have, I am running out of Hard Drives almost monthly, sigh.
Old 15th July 2005
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Hi,

Quote:
Forget it. DSD is the way to go.
So, what is your comment on repetitive Noiseshaping? Do you think that Lip****z' dithering and shaping rules we have accepted to be valid for 20 years are not relevant to DSD, even if DSD implies sampling and quantizing as PCM, just coding them differently?

Note: I am speaking of the Production format, not the Delivery format here.

Cheers,

Sebastian Gabler
Old 15th July 2005
  #24
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catfish11's Avatar
 

better high end by far to my ears at 96k
more depth of field

the biggest difference i believe is in digital effects-

massenburg eq and others
reverbs, especially
phoenix -
these are all noticable

dave hill of cranesong was adament that digital processes work better at 96k, when i spoke to him
i believe massenburg also holds to this theory, (fact)

i am in the process of switching over myself, totally.
the digital razor blades more or less disappear

i am very aware of the high end **** that happens and really find it makes a huge difference in just being able to stand the medium, digital, that is

of course others may find, YMMV
Old 15th July 2005
  #25
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lawrence_o's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
I noticed much more differences in sounds of mixing engine between various platforms (PT, Nuendo, Samplitude, Tracktion 32-bit vs. 64-bit etc) than between 48 and 96 kHz on the same platforms.
But with some converters (RME) 96 kHz sounded indeed much better. I think it is some error in design.
With Apogee, the difference does not justify effort to push 96 kHz button. So far.

GYang
The thing is that the higher your sampling frequency, the better filter you need to get your signal straight! I've been reading a bunch of technical stuff on this. I run Prism ADA8's now and they sound just marvellous on 48K! In fact, the chief of the company toldm e I shouldn't bother upgrading to a 192 since the difference is so minor. He said to better get your mic straight, that' ll gain more than goinf over 48 Khz...
Old 15th July 2005
  #26
Gear Nut
 

So for a ordinary CD-production:

88.2 or 96 kHZ?
Old 15th July 2005
  #27
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One thing that really helped me internalize Nyquist's was the fact that with only 3 plot points one can draw a perfect circle.

So when we think in terms of more samples = more resolution, we are in essence simplifying the maths too much.

So when Nyquist states: to sample a freq, the sample rate needs to be 2x plus a bit, we don't take into account the maths that rebuilds the curve. We are just thinking in terms of time-slices.

Sorry, but that was an epiphany for me.
Old 15th July 2005
  #28
again:
read the paper from the AD/DA-master Dan lavry
http://www.lavryengineering.com/docu...ing_Theory.pdf
http://www.lavryengineering.com/white_papers/dnf.pdf

should be enough input for you guys
Old 15th July 2005
  #29
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearslutzer
again:
read the paper from the AD/DA-master Dan lavry
http://www.lavryengineering.com/docu...ing_Theory.pdf
http://www.lavryengineering.com/white_papers/dnf.pdf

should be enough input for you guys
Good reading, in simpler words, if converter is properly designed and manufactured it is highly unlikely that listener will hear any difference between 48 Khz and 192 kHz.
In practical terms, with best converters I tried ever DCS, Weiss and Apogee 16 X, I am ready to fully agree with that.
Next question is digital processing and plug-in effects where you can gain much of quality if you use them in the smallest possible degree. It might be, although I am not sure, that with 5 effects in chain 96 kHz processing would make some difference. With plug-ins I use (sparely) the most (Sony EQ and dynamics) such effect is not noticable.
Smart approach will never ask for too much digital dynamics (I prefer analogue in any case) and when I obviously need 96 kHz processing (Revebs), I simply upsample (SRC x 2) the signal before processing.
Mixing in 48 or 96 will give always typical digital mix and if it is not OK (what is not very often in my practice), I'll go OTB.
It was once when we recorded a song with 2 acoustic guitar, violin and 2 vocals in space with natural reverberation and no effects at all (just analogue compression, 10 tracks project) 96 kHz mix sounded slighly more open and airy than same 48 kHz mix. Was it overall better track, I don't know, it wasn't worth deeper examination, song was good at both sampling rates and everbody was equally happy.
The producer took 48 kHz as final choice, as in his opinion it was played just slightly better. No one noticed difference in sound quality.
Enough from me.

GYang
Old 15th July 2005
  #30
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Quote:
Likewise, according to Nika, any differences in sound quality perceived when comparing recordings done at different sample rates are due to variations in the converters - NOT, apparently, because we think we've captured "more" of the signal because we've recorded at sample rates over 44.1.
This is absolutely true...a 44 kHz sample rate can accurately capture ANY signal below 22kHz, including all phase information.

However, all A/D converters require some kind of input filter, which usually is an analog filter at a very high frequency, followed by a digital brickwall filter (assuming we're oversampling here, which is true for the overwhelming majority of converters). The quality of these filters is a big determining factor in the sound of the convertor. Also, the analog stage preceding the actual conversion can have a pronouced effect, causing errors, or ringing, or crosstalk depending on its slew rate and setlling time.

One thing recording at >44.1kHz lets you do is to put those filters well outside the audible band, so they don't have to be a steep, or as carefully designed. For this reason you may see some big improvements on some converters when going from 44.1 to 96, but not so much on others...it depends on the filters and converter design.

One thing that going to 96k can really buy you is reduced latency. Latency on a typical 44k sample rate is about 1.5 ms, and is less than half that at 96k (again though this depends on the filters...).

Cheers,

Kris
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