Sample rate know how

I feel like I'm still a newbie to some audio processing questions...but here goes :)
- I think the music I'm generally making (Instrumental, down tempo, relaxing, etc), it's possible it could get used in film/video, and not just used for Audio/CD/Streaming.
- Film uses 48kHz, CD/Streaming uses 44.1kHz.

  • Using Auria as main finishing DAW

    So I think it's best for me to start projects and record in 48kHz. Is this a valid point?
    If so, here are some questions:

    1. Streaming distributor I use (Amuse) required 44.1kHz/16bit wave files for uploading. Is there any audio quality degradation if I have the Auria project in 48kHz/24 bit, then mix down to 44.1/16? I've read that some conversion algorithms in different DAWs have some varying level of quality for sample rate conversion. I stopped at digging into the technical details of how it works, and thought I would just ask the developer!!

    2. If I have a project started in 48kHz, and I need to import a 44.1kHz sample, does Auria convert it on import?

    Any other issues that'll I'll run into needing to use both 48k and 44.1k?

Comments

  • edited December 5

    Bit rate is more important than sample rate. It's possible to move down both bit rate and sample rate with fewer artifacts. Moving up either gets you no benefit or can make things worse.

    There are "proper" ways to convert down and then there's just doing it to get it done and hoping for the best. Both are viable if you aren't releasing professionally :)

    Generally speaking, that is. I don't know or use Aria.

  • edited December 5

    Assuming (for simplicity) that you plan to provide finished stereo tracks there's few concern about the source sample rate.
    You just convert the final result from one format to the other and that's about it.
    IOS seems to come with some fairly good conversion routines (provided by Apple).
    In fact the speed of the process versus the good result puzzled me a couple of times, but I didn't dig into finer details...

    But it's a good idea to plan your preferred source format in advance.
    It may depend on sound libraries you have (or go to aquire) and partly even your hardware.
    Some devices work 'better' at 48khz, others at 44.1 and for some it doesn't matter at all.
    (this in particular refers to the sync of digital audio transfer)

    Your main concern (much more than your source material) should be the playback and monitoring system. You need one that allows to judge your mastered output in an 'objective' way as good as it gets.

  • Thank you all for the input. I also got some input on the Auria forum. Cut and pasted below:

    ...I’m obviously a believer that mixing and mastering should be done at the highest settings possible. Many of the albums I’ve bought are from the remastering files, which as I understand it many are done at 32b/192k then converted to a deliverable format. My experience is that downsampling comes at a cost and the difference between 24/96 and 16/44.1 is huge. So my two cents being that if you are thinking your music may be played in a theatre with a film, 24/48 will be the way to go.
    In terms of workflow, I’d say create your masters as high res wav files in Auria, then look into other iOS or pc apps to downsample to a 16/44.1 format (again a lossless format like wav or flac preferred, but with the case of webstreaming a lossy mpeg format as well (just make sure that’s set to 320k CBR)). While there will be loss of quality, the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” is especially applicable to audio.
    Also, my understanding is that iPad sound cards are set at either 16/44.1 or 16/48 depending on the model. To actually hear a mix and master into 24/48 will require an external audio interface that supports that bit rate....

    I also read that Auria will convert between sample rates on import but not bit rates, I think. On mixdown, The person I read from suggested if mixing down from 24 bit to 16, dither should also be added. This can be done with Pro L2 plugin.

    My workflow on my first songs was to
    1. write in Gadget, or whatever app(s)
    2. export stems in 44.1/24
    3. Start a new project in Auria at 44.1 KHz named with song title + Final Mix
    4. Make final mix and mixdown to 44.1/24 for mastering
    5. Start a new project in Auria at 44.1 KHz named song title + Mastered
    6. Insert plugin ProQ2 to cut below 90 Hz from the side band and enhance or cut problem frequencies for sound shaping
    7. Insert Pro MB if there are some problem areas that need dynamic compression for further sound shaping
    9. Insert Pro L2 for loudness leveling
    10. Mix down in Auria to 44.1/16 wave for release

    I release so far with Amuse, they require a 44.1/16 wav file, so I have to keep a 44.1/16 mixdown in my workflow.

    I’m thinking to change to:
    1. write in Gadget, or whatever app(s)
    2. export stems in 48/24
    3. Start a new project in Auria at 48 KHz named with song title + Final Mix 48_24
    4. Make final mix and mixdown to 48/24 for mastering
    5. Start a new project in Auria at 44.1 KHz named song title + Mastered 44_16
    6. Insert plugin ProQ2 to cut below 90 Hz from the side band and enhance or cut problem frequencies for sound shaping
    7. Insert Pro MB if there are some problem areas that need dynamic compression for further sound shaping
    9. Insert Pro L2 for loudness leveling and add dithering at 16 bit
    10. Mix down in Auria to 44.1/16 wave for release

    If I need to provide a 48/24 wav file for another release company:
    5. Start a new project in Auria at 48 KHz named song title + Mastered 48_24
    6. Insert plugin ProQ2 to cut below 90 Hz from the side band and enhance or cut problem frequencies for sound shaping
    7. Insert Pro MB if there are some problem areas that need dynamic compression for further sound shaping
    9. Insert Pro L2 for loudness leveling_ (no need for dithering since bit rate is not changing)_
    10. Mix down in Auria to 48/24 wave for release

    Should help manage the different formats I might need.
    I might look into improving when going from 48KHz to 44.1KHz. Now I will be importing a 48 KHz /24 wave file into a 44.1 KHz Auria project and use Auria convert on import. I hope this is good enough. Maybe there are iPad apps for converting with better quality?

  • I think you're overthinking it. If your main purpose is going to be to releasing music as music, then working at 24/44.1 should be fine for that. Very little benefit to working at 32bit if you know even the basics of gain-staging, and while there's some benefit to working at 48k if you're only going to be making music for video, in general it's not worth it if you're going to be converting to 44.1 at the end anyway. Sample rates like 96k can have some benefits in very specific cases, but most of the time I think it's overkill as well. Anything higher than that is snake oil, and there's a lot of proven ways it can actually more detrimental to your music than lower sample rates.

    Dan Lavry has some interesting white papers on this subject online, and Monty from XILS has a great video that explains this all a little better too. On the phone now with bad signal, so I can link you directly, sorry.

  • I’ll look up those articles, thank you! Was listening to the Mastering show podcast...Ian Shepherd has some similar skepticism about higher sample rates.

    My thinking was to make the final mix at the highest sample rate that the song might be used in...CD release using 44.1 film/TV using 48 so therefore I should final mix at 48k.

    No one is clamoring for my music in film :D :'( . But I thought I should final mix at 48k just in case. Amuse is where I Release and they require 44.1/16. So I was hoping there’s a way to mix at 48 and then master at both 48 and 44.1 without losing too much sound quality so I could easily provide both formats for whoever might want it.

    Maybe I should drop Amuse and go with a distributor who will take a 48k/24 file. Will save a step for me :)

  • Most distributers want 16/44.1, so that's going to be a bit tough to find I think. In general, I think it's best to avoid sample rate conversion whenever possible. So if you are mainly going to be releasing just for music, I say stick with 44.1. You can always upsample to 48k later if the rare opportunity comes up. That would be better than pretty much always downsampling to 44.1 for the majority of your releases.

    There is little to no benefit of working at 48k over 44.1, you're just adding an extra step of SRC for no reason.

    Either way, we are admittedly talking about a very, very minimal impact to the sound of your music which ever method you choose.

  • @Tarekith said:
    ... So if you are mainly going to be releasing just for music, I say stick with 44.1. You can always upsample to 48k later if the rare opportunity comes up. That would be better than pretty much always downsampling to 44.1 for the majority of your releases.

    True! If I ever get a chance for music used in film I could up sample. Some small quality loss maybe in the upsampling, but better than always having the quality loss in every down sampling. And then...

    @Tarekith said:
    Either way, we are admittedly talking about a very, very minimal impact to the sound of your music which ever method you choose.

    Probably no one can hear the difference :#

    Thank you for all the feedback!

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