44.1, 44, 96 Is it really a thing?

44.1, 44, 96 Is it really a thing?

I put this one in “Beginners” because I think it might be of benefit to beginners and even if not, maybe it’s a dumb question…
I’ve seen it come up a few times here where someone states " I was going to do this but the files were 44Khz" Or "I was going to do that but I run at 96"
I may be missing something. But why is this an issue? I am not talking sound quality or anything like that. But is there anything that makes having a file of a certain resolution an absolute and anything else a complete roadblock?
Are there any modern DAWs out there that will not handle all types of files or at least have the ability convert them?
Is there anything that makes it too much of a PITA?
Just curious…


Personal opinion, which there are plenty of;

There’s stopping these people from working with a particular sampling freq. I think it’s also the sign of someone that doesn’t know exactly what they are doing. It could be the Navy coming out in me, but if they won’t/can’t be bother with the various sampling rates out there I look elsewhere. I may sound harsh, but there are a ton of engineers who can easily work with whatever is thrown at them.

To my knowledge most, if not all, DAWs offer some kind of conversion capability. If not, there are some free options out there as well.

Totally not an issue, especially for beginners. With the exception of my beat-making DAW ( LMMS ) all DAWs have the option to convert to selected samplerate. As it seems, 44.1 is fine and also DAW makers think the same, since it’s the default samplerate. Where did the gyro come from?

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So far, that’s what I’m thinking…
I mean, I have projects with 16bit wavs, 192mp3s, flacs, 44.1, 48 and 96. Some are all mixed in the project. So it really never crossed my mind. The only time I ever think about it is the final render.
I also have a customer that wanted to get into recording on the cheap. I set his old winxp laptop up with his $5, 16 bit ebay interface and old behringer drivers and he is still cranking away with it.
But if either of you know of any instance where it is just a no-go, let me know.

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Music = 44.1 (sometimes 48)
Post/film/gaming/broadcast = 48 always.

Beyond there, I’ve never had a client ask for a final delivery format at another rate.


I think a lot of the big studios are running 96 now days

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I never even think about it.


When I was younger and had ears that worked I could tell the difference between 48k and 44.1k but it was very subtle and not a lot of difference.
I could not tell any difference from any higher sample rates.

So that was a good enough reason for me to stick with 48k.

But there was an added benefit for me because my interface runs internally at 48k as does several outboard fx units I own.
I saw a performance hit when I tried going back to 44.1k
I saw a big performance hit when I tried using any higher sample rates, like the amount of plugs I could use on my UAD cards was cut in half, as well as overall performance. You’re asking the computer to do a lot more work for very little return.
The biggest thing I saw here is that someone is working in 16bits?
The DAW I use is 32bit and nothing you can do about it. Anything you bring in gets converted.
Same is true of sample rate,
I work with people using 44.1k without any problem, I just export in 44.1k for them.

What DAW is that? Does it actually convert the files right off the bat? Or is it a 32 bit float and the system does it’s work in 32?

44.1/48 is fine for me too. If you wanna go higher then by all means do so if your computer can handle it.
For me sample rate is like discussing hifi audio… to me it doesn´t matter, all that matters to me is the emotion of the song, not weather its has better highs or lows.

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I was wrong about the 32bit thing, something I read got me thinking that way, have to look that up again.

Studio One has 32bit internal processing( or 64bits),

It does convert whatever you import to the working sample rate and I think bit depth.

Cubase does that too.

From the S1 forum:
intermediate files that Studio One creates when you bounce files (or when you use Transform to Audio Track for a virtual instrument). If you inspect bounced (and transformed) files in the Pool, you can see that all your bounced (and transformed) files will be 32 bit. They will be 32 bit regardless of what resolution they were originally recorded as (no matter if 16 bit, 24 bit or 32 bit floating point is chosen Resolution set in Song Setup).

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[quote=“rjwillow, post:1, topic:644”]
Are there any modern DAWs out there that will not handle all types of files or at least have the ability convert them?Is there anything that makes it too much of a PITA?
[/quote] Reaper is pretty user friendly for choosing different samples and renders. I actually use it most the time for a player. In this world if theres a 96k classical piece I like to leave it at its 96k and Reaper can do that easily…some general players need to have config changes to go out of the 16/44.1 general use mode and into other rates.

[quote=“tacman7, post:8, topic:644”]
I saw a performance hit when I tried going back to 44.1k[/quote]It depends what you mean by ‘going back’. If you’re recording at one sample rate and exporting at another, there will be a noticeable drop in quality (in my experience).[quote]The biggest thing I saw here is that someone is working in 16bits?[/quote]I often struggle to understand why anyone would work in anything other than 16 bits.

[quote]I work with people using 44.1k without any problem, I just export in 44.1k for them.
[/quote]That is not the same as acually working at a 44.1 sample rate. Anything that involves sample rate conversion is asking for trouble IMO. Bit depth conversion is usually not an issue.

Why is that, AJ?

Because it’s the highest bit depth you’re likely to need. CDs are 16 bit. If the full dynamic range of 16 bits was utilised (above a basic 50db of room noise) you would probably damage your hearing, so anything above 16 bits is clearly unnecessary.

24bit is not for the consumer but for your workplace, all about avoiding digital noise, having the headroom so that if something red lines it doesn’t cause a problem. When we readjust audio levels in post production, there will be more latitude with less probability of artifacts.

You can do without it just keep a close eye on everything and never make a mistake and you’ll have no problems.

Lot of old articles out there, this was pretty much resolved a decade ago:


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Ok… fair enough and that’s what I figured. Just seeing if there were any other reasons.
I also wanted to see if you are as old as me and in that case you would say that tape is the equivalent of <8 bits and vinyl is X bits… :slight_smile:
But, unless your daw is fighting against it or all of your settings are mismatched, you can get a whole lot more work done with less load in 16.
I still get most of my files 44.1 24bit and stick with it all the way to the render.
For CD and distro, most require a 16 bit file. So I see your point.
But I’m fine with what I’m doing for now.
And again… I mainly started this post to find out if there were any real roadblocks or such that would prevent one from using “higher or lower” quality files. So far, I’m thinking not.
have fun

60 bit all the way

:sweat_smile: what a thread rez… lol didnt even know this was here
that would make a huge zip file to download

I use 24b, 48k or 16b 48k. Seems to work best for video productions to keep the sound as unprocessed as possible during video rendering because the mp4/mov xavc codec doesnt touch the sound format if it is what it expects (which is 48k) otherwise it will resample everything using a slightly lossyish algorithm at vid render

I could definitely hear between CD and DVD quality. You ever watch a band documentary? Holy cow do the songs sound better.