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-   -   Recording in 88khz and mixing in 44kHz in Live (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/ableton-live/1294554-recording-88khz-mixing-44khz-live.html)

Calagan 14th January 2020 12:56 PM

Recording in 88khz and mixing in 44kHz in Live
 
Hi there

I need some advices regarding workflow & sound quality of real time downsampling in Live.

I recorded drums and vocals in 88khz for a song in which there is a lot of VSTi (electro pop). I exported all the soft synth parts in 88kHz too (saving some CPU headroom), but I can't mix the whole song at this sample rate because of CPU issues, so i'm presently mixing all theses 88kHz files in a 44kHz session, thinking about exporting the mix in 88kHz and mastering it at 88kHz before the final 44Hz/16 bits master.

I've got few questions for experts :

- does it make any sense regarding the workflow ? Because I'm mixing 88kHz stems in 44kHz , will I have some surprises when listening to the 88kHz export ?

- What's the quality of the Live real time downsampling ?
For the moment, I didn't hear any obvious difference while quickly comparing the files in 44kHz/88kHz, but the issues may lie in some areas I didn't check very precisely.

- I'm still struggling with CPU issues in this configuration (my computer is not so new, and I've got many tracks with a lot of FX). I've got some CPU issues in all my sessions (it's a regular problem, and I don't have money for a better computer), but I'm minding if the Live real time down sampling is taking some extra processing power compared to using 44kHz files in a 44kHz session ?

- Does all this $hit really matters (recording in 88kHz) if I've got so much issues and uncertainties regarding quality of the final ouptut ?

I'm truly thinking about downsampling everything at 44khz and starting again with only 44kHz files in a regular 44kHz session - and keeping that workflow for the next songs...
In this case, does it have any meaning to record in 88kHz if I have to downsample the stems afterwards (with the eventual added dithering I may need to apply if I don't export 32 bit files) ?
For info, I'm using a Focusrite Clarett for the recording, so the converters may be more efficient @ 88kHz compared to 44kHz, I didn't test that...

Red Black 14th January 2020 01:11 PM

I think that with the real-time re-sampling and multiple conversions you are going to get an inferior result than if you stayed at 44.1kHz the whole time.

Unless you can stay at the higher sample rate throughout your production then I would stay at a sample rate that your system can handle and avoid unnecessary sample rate conversions.

Mikael B 14th January 2020 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calagan (Post 14452068)
Hi there

I need some advices regarding workflow & sound quality of real time downsampling in Live.

I recorded drums and vocals in 88khz for a song in which there is a lot of VSTi (electro pop). I exported all the soft synth parts in 88kHz too (saving some CPU headroom), but I can't mix the whole song at this sample rate because of CPU issues, so i'm presently mixing all theses 88kHz files in a 44kHz session, thinking about exporting the mix in 88kHz and mastering it at 88kHz before the final 44Hz/16 bits master.

I've got few questions for experts :

- does it make any sense regarding the workflow ? Because I'm mixing 88kHz stems in 44kHz , will I have some surprises when listening to the 88kHz export ?

I just need to point out that you're not making it clear whether you're printing anything in 44.1 kHz when you're mixing. If you're not, then your questions seem to be about if monitoring in 44.1 kHz and making mixing decisions there might affect the actual export when you switch to 88.2 kHz in the project before exporting. I'd assume you'd do the latter, before the next step.

My experience tell me 88.2 will create some differences. I know for a fact that an export in 88.2, then down-sampled to 44.1, will not null with a straight 44.1 export. At least not with my tools. I think the downsampling in Live is viewed as pretty good actually, though there are other alternatives. I was just looking at an expensive alternative involving a dongleā€¦

If this difference sounds better depends on the actual tools used and the producer taste.
However, treatments with some plug-ins may sound strikingly different at these two sample rates. So this way of working might sound different from had you monitored at 88.2 all along. I haven't encountered this myself though, doing exactly like as you describe, so I view it as a non-issue.

pottering 14th January 2020 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calagan (Post 14452068)

- What's the quality of the Live real time downsampling ?


Pretty much the best, as can be seen in this site that tested SRC in dozens of software:


https://src.infinitewave.ca/


But it still not 100% transparent.

https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/au...-transposition

AFAIK, Live is non-destructive and loading a 88.2 KHz in a 44.1 KHz project doesn't change the original 88.2 file, it will still be the same "source file" if you change the sample rate again back to 88.2.

Calagan 14th January 2020 10:03 PM

Thanks for the answers.

@ Mikael B : yes, everything is printed in 88kHz and I'm just monitoring (and mixing) in 44kHz.
Are you saying you did have worked like that too ?
Regarding the FX, I know some of them are acting very differently at 44kHz and at 88kHz (Soundtoys Cristallizer being one of them). But for the usual EQs/comps/reverbs, what can I expect ?

@ pottering : thanks for the link. Is the SRC quality documented in this site offline or real time ? If it's offline, at least Live seems to be pretty transparent...
But I can't find any serious infos about the real time conversion (quality, cpu consumption).

@ Red Black : I will not convert multiple times. I'm just monitoring at a different sample rate that the original one... I will downsample only for the final export.
But while monitoring, Live will be downsampling each file in real time (non destructively, like Pottering said)...

Mikael B 15th January 2020 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calagan (Post 14453988)
Thanks for the answers.

@ Mikael B : yes, everything is printed in 88kHz and I'm just monitoring (and mixing) in 44kHz.
Are you saying you did have worked like that too ?
Regarding the FX, I know some of them are acting very differently at 44kHz and at 88kHz (Soundtoys Cristallizer being one of them). But for the usual EQs/comps/reverbs, what can I expect ?

Yes, I'm recording new tracks in 88.2 kHz and I monitor & mix in 44.1 kHz. If I need to print anything during the mix I temporarily change to 88.2 kHz as I also do when exporting. I have noticed the odd plug-in that sounds peculiar when switching to non-44.1 sample rates, but so far I haven't needed such a one to be on a song. I haven't noticed anything untoward with the reverbs and delays I use. EQs is probably what is important to check as well. The plug-ins and devices I use all sound like expected no matter in what sample rate I export.

I'm currently on the fence what downsample algo to use if I need to downsample the export. But nothing in the final exports stands out as crazy using the Live built-in conversion. Bad sounding details could still be possible given different frequency content, other levels and different plug-ins being used. But I haven't encountered this. I've done relatively few final mixes in Live 10 compared to Live 9, maybe a handful. So far, they are very similar. Already Live 9 sounds great to me when handled properly.