Recording at Higher Sample Rates

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Recording at higher sampling rates

Recording at higher sample rates has been debated for several years. There is one camp for higher sample rates and another camp that feels 44.1 is just fine for recording since the final track will be 44.1 capable for CD playback. Higher sample rates yield higher dynamic range but can cost you valuable disk space. Also, if you want to use sample rates above 44.1 be mindful that you need processing power and memory for the task.

Today CDs are passé and almost considered a novelty for a band to use to sell at a live show. The younger generation doesn’t attach a value to CDs and some may not know what a CD is. Why is anyone recording at 44.1? Yes, MP3 file sound quality is nowhere near a true raw audio recording but today there seem to be no rules. If you have the storage capacity, processing power and ram, shoot for the stars and push your sample rate as far as you can go. In my personal opinion recording at 48 kHz is a nice improvement in sound quality without using much storage space on hard-drive. Also, 48 kHz is easier to down sample for the final bounce. Down sampling higher sample rate recordings is more difficult especially at 96 kHz and above.

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Recording at higher sampling rates is great for capturing more dynamic range from an instrument. I find myself using compression less working with recordings at 48 kHz. Mixing is much easier using 48 kHz. I’ve tried higher sample rates but like I said earlier, you have to be mindful of hard-drive space memory and CPU. You need a powerful computer to do higher sample rates and you will have to judge if it’s worth it. Once you go above 48 kHz, it’s a toss-up. Save yourself the trouble and record at 48 kHz. If you have a cheap audio interface, you will most likely have to record at higher sample rates anyway.

Also check out my post on Pre-amps.

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