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MoonBassAlpha

Sample rate for recording

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Looking to do some recording this evening, any particular reason to choose 96 over 44k sample rate on my R24? (Assuming my memory card is large enough). 

Cheers

MBA

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I think it depends on whether there'll be any future treatment on the result. If you're recording the 'definitive' track, I'd suggest that there's no practical advantage in using a higher sample rate. If, however, there's to be any post-production, such as mastering, the highest possible would be better, albeit marginally for mortals.
Hope this helps; subject to completion, correction and/or contradiction from others.

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Depends what you’re recording and what you’re recording with...

Solo virtuoso acoustic guitar with a Neumann U47 through a Neve Shelford channel: 96Khz

General MIDI drums and a guitar through a knockoff SM57 copy: 44.1Khz, or indeed a dictaphone....

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Really it depends on your ears/monitoring and also bit depth. If you're recording at 96k you want to be using a bit depth of 32bit minimum or it's kinda like "what's the point?". Basically the sample rate frequency is how many samples or "frames" if you're comparing it to video are taken a second. Because humans hear up to 20kHz then we use at least 44.1k because the your still getting a few samples even if you're recording sounds right on the periphery of our hearing range. 48k or 96k will give you more samples or "frames" if you will but that's why I say what are you monitoring on. Because like a TV it doesn't matter if your watching a 60fps video if you're TV has a refresh rate of less than 60Hz then it's dropping frames anyway. So in conclusion, do two test recordings, one at each rate, if you can't hear the difference, stick with 44.1k/24bit. Oh and bit depth is how many "steps" or bits are in single one of those samples. CD quality is 44.1k/16bit just so you have a reference point.

Edited by Akio Dāku
Typo
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Excellent answers above.

I tend to use 24-bit/48kHz for just about everything. I think the difference between 44kHz and 96kHz is audible; but it depends a lot on the playback system.

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IIRC the zoom R24 in standalone mode is limited to recording at 24bit/48khz as best quality, so if you intend on using it for tasks such as tracking live drums at your rehearsal room and then overdubbing other instruments at home later on, it might be a good idea to stick to using that standard even if the unit can run at higher sample rates in interface mode.

The important thing is to use 24bit rather than 16bit, as this gives you much better headroom and makes it easier to avoid clipping as you are recording, but still have a good usable signal with enough detail and dynamic range without needing to worry too much about signal/noise ratio.

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2 hours ago, Skol303 said:

I tend to use 24-bit/48kHz for just about everything. I think the difference between 44kHz and 96kHz is audible; but it depends a lot on the playback system.

Snap! 🙌

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Unless there is a specific reason (e.g. label wanting to make 96k files available for high resolution downloads), 44k should be fine in most cases. There is much discussion on relative merits of higher sample rates and whether or not people can hear differences... I stopped bothering with the 'audio quality' side of the argument when I realised I couldn't reliably tell 88k vs 44k files apart. Unless there is a production reason, IMO extra system demands and hard-disk space is not worth it.

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On 17/05/2018 at 09:36, Skol303 said:

Excellent answers above.

I tend to use 24-bit/48kHz for just about everything. 

Yup, same!

Si

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In addition to the above (and I know I'm not strictly speaking about the R24 here) if you've got the CPU power to do so and storage space for recording, 96kHz will buy you better latency figures.

Edited by EBS_freak

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7 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

In addition to the above (and I know I'm not strictly speaking about the R24 here) if you've got the CPU power to do so and storage space for recording, 96kHz will buy you better latency figures.

Yup very true, although it's always worth balancing between that significant increase in CPU usage and project size vs latency, which might be completely side-stepped by direct monitoring (depending on your tracking needs).
But year, lots of different ways, all have pros and cons and very much depend on what you're trying to achieve :)

Si

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40 minutes ago, MoonBassAlpha said:

Thanks again for the discussion. Is it the case that 24 bit vs 16 bit takes up 3/2 times as much file space?

Yeah, 24-bit files are larger than 16-bit. But even my 9-year old iMac could handle 24-bit files without breaking a sweat (although I've since replaced it...).

So unless you're running an especially old computer rig, there's no reason why you shouldn't be using 24-bit/48kHz as standard.

As @roman_sub mentions above, "44k should be fine in most cases"... and it mostly is. But in my own experience (and especially when prepping material for online streaming), it helps to work at the highest practical resolution, and I find that to be 24/48. Not so high that it causes my computer to grind, but high enough to give me option of outputting full fat WAV files or slimline, 16-bit MP3s if I choose.

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