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Tim Dobear - 96k vs 44.1k sample rates, my real life test

Discussion in 'Recording' started by audiokid, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    An interesting read on 96k vs 44.1k sample rates and up sampling.

    Tim Dolbear's Sound Advice: 96k vs 44.1k sample rates, my real life test.
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Thanks for posting that, Chris.

    A very interesting read.

    I think it's important to emphasize that Tim is using some pretty nice gear...

    And that the results he obtained were due in part to a high quality chain. I'm not sure one would have felt the same doing the tests with a $100 Behringer audio I/O. ;)

    So, a question for you... where are you at these days in terms of recording/sample rates? Just curious...

  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yes, it's an interesting read, and it backs up what I have found from my own experience.

    Where I think Tim Dolbear missed a trick is in assuming that the SRC he used plays no sonic role in the down-conversions. Given the quality of converters he has available, I would be interested to know whether he could find any differences when doing the 2-track SRC (96K -> 44.1K) digitally or by analog re-sampling to a separate DAW.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Glad you chimed in on that, I was wondering if you would. hehe
    I thought the same thing after I read it. I felt, as I do with everyone, should I email him and share the joy! Its so exciting isn't it? For the most part, people aren too interested. Once they hear a second DAW / capture system, they run.


    I have been at 88.2 for years and more recently 44.1 mostly because this capture process just sounds so good all the time. But, I track at that rate more out of convince. 88.2 is half of 44.1 so I always thought that was logical. I've never done the test Tim did.

    Bos, where are you again for SR tracking ?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Where it matters, 96K. Where it doesn't, 44.1K.
  6. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I've never ventured beyond 44.1. I've read tons of info and lots of debates on this. I've read Nyquist's Sampling Theory, which tells me that the signal can be perfectly reconstructed to analog up to a frequency one-half of the sample rate. Since most people cannot hear frequencies as high as 22KHz (one-half the 44.1 KHz sample rate) in theory there should be no audible difference. Anecdotal evidence is all subjective and is across the board, however, so I maintain an open but somewhat skeptical mind on this.
    Someday I'll get around to my own tests on this. At the time that I initially studied this I knew that sampling rate was not as big an issue for me as other components of my recording chain, so I've spent my time improving the other elements.
    I do appreciate hearing the experiences of others, always informative to hear first-hand experience.
    I don't really understand why the author of the posted article would upsample and then downsample to the original sample rate. In upsampling data has to be added which doesn't originally exist, in down sampling data is thrown out... seems an exercise in futility! Someone educate me on this practice!
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I believe it helped the plugins

    Sent from my iPhone
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    My question is are going to continue to discuss sample rates effect on sonic integrity as 96 becomes the norm, and digital distribution becomes dominant. Is 192 gonna have more perceptible depth, and better pluggin processing. Is there a point where it actually won't mater where everyone will agree they do or do not hear a difference? Or is this just gonna be an ongoing " mine is bigger than yours" sample rate battle for the rest of digital? I wonder.

    will it get to the point where digital sample rates are so high that it's almost linear like tape? Or will something else come about that makes samples look like direct to venal recordings? Thought provoking stuff.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    well I have an answer to this but I think Bos would say it best.
  10. TimDolbear

    TimDolbear Active Member

    Hey all.

    So I did this test for myself, for my own mental well being on the subject. You can read all you want but a real engineer sets up an experiment and test it themselves. ya know?

    As for the question/comment about SRC, I chose to do it inside Sequoia for the test, since converting from 96k to a 320 MP3 can not be done outside the box (DA to AD and recapture). And since I could clearly heard the difference in the final MP3, I got my findings. Since I deliver MP3s and CDs and Now Hi-Res versions, This test was a good middle ground for what I need to hear. BUT I have just put together my secondary setup for playback/capture at 44.1 and am about to test it. I have been slammed at the studio so it will be a few more days till I do it and post about it.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hey Tim, good to see you here. You've managed to convince me to stick with 96k now. As you might know, I record, mix and master with Sequoia but sum OTB via a mixing/mastering matrix and capture it all on a second DAW with Sequoia installed on it. I love it.
    Because I use a capture system now, uncoupled from DAW 1, SRC like this isn't applicable with me anymore but for others, this is very good to know indeed!

    Looking forward to your next version, please let us know when its up?

  12. TimDolbear

    TimDolbear Active Member

    audiokid, have you tested playback of a 96k file, A/D/A, capturing it back in at 44, as compared to simply running off the mix in Sequoia at 44.1/32bit float with he highest setting?

    I just did... but I want your take on it before I reveal mine...
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Tim. Darn, I don't want to touch a thing on my rig until I'm done with this project in about a month. But I love these collaborations and really respect others that take the time to demystify it all for us. So please, just let us have it :)


    I've always felt that 88.2 sounded pretty awesome bouncing down to 44.1.
    88.2 has been my SR for anything serious but in all honesty, I chose that SR years back because of the dividing factor (back when I was bouncing down , which I don't have the need to do anymore).

    I hate thinking about this stuff as its been so damn confusing and distracting over the years. Thus, why I uncouple my DAW's, invested in additional ADC and mixdown to a capture system set up for the destination SR of the day. I feel like a load of lead has been lifted off of me.

    I'm not really the best guy to be asking to join in on this because I have a very different workflow.

    I posted your findings because I know this is helpful info for those who bounce and! for anyone considering a better DAW like Samplitude/ Sequoia! :) . This DAW is a beautiful thing. Thank you Magix!

    Smiling away with joy... , now that I've witnessed your experiment and had a few other discussion on 96k lately, trusting this without doing more test for myself, I'm switching to 96k.

    Unless, someone else whats to participate, lets just have it!?
  14. TimDolbear

    TimDolbear Active Member

    OK, 96k wave out the Mytek, captured back in the Apogee at 44.1/24bit vs simply having Sequoia SRC the 96K to a 44.1 32bit float file.

    Comparing the 2 wave files, its so close. so close. at first listens no one was hearing anything more than a possible bright upper mids on the captured wave vs the SRC wave. In fact the main elements, stereo width, vocals, and such there is no difference. But when you listen into the mix, specifically the snare drum, there is a big difference... Also over all, it seemed to have the upper mids of background elements in the mix dull and lacking definition. strange...

    The SRC made the snare sound dull, rolled off... the captured wave version sounded as it should. Enough that I will be always capturing it. who know what else is going to be affected in other material...
  15. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Does Sequoia use some Dithering paterns that could be changed in the options. I know Sonar do.. Never use it cause I export in the same format and use T-Racks to go to 16bit 44khz
  16. TimDolbear

    TimDolbear Active Member

    I used Pow-R dithering in this test. Sequoia has lots of options for dither and noise shaping.
  17. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Great stuff, Tim. I've been making the point in these forums for some years that digital SRC does not perform as well as analog recapture via good A-D and D-A gear.
    bigtree likes this.
  18. TimDolbear

    TimDolbear Active Member

    New blog post: 6 months into my 96K adventure: http://timdolbear.blogspot.com/
    bigtree likes this.
  19. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Hello. Long time. Anyway, just to throw it out there, any opinions on the Pono player? There was a few days of hubub about it. Apparently it plays files at a full 196kHz encoded to FLAC. Neil Young has had his hand in the pot for a while. A lot of big names endorsing it. Is there any reason why we should be excited about this? I think it's great that someone is trying to promote hi fidelity audio but is the Pono player overkill?
  20. TimDolbear

    TimDolbear Active Member

    Have not really checked it out. I feel there is not a need. If delivery formats on the end user side increase to 192 than yes, but the cost in resoucres at 192 is so much and I can't believe its any better than 96k. Some day I will test. but I would need 4x the computer power and 2 UAD Octo cards to just be where I am now DSP wise. And buy new A/Ds... I think 96k sounds great, not lacking anything IMHO
    bigtree likes this.

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