How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz?

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KyRo
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2010/11/04 19:52:02 (permalink)

How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz?

In your opinion, how much of an audible difference is there between 24bit/48khz audio and 24bit/96khz audio?

Both of the audio interfaces I've bought and tried so far can only go up to 48khz (the Cakewalk UA-1G can record at 96, but you can't play audio at the same time... so you can record, but won't hear anything...). Is the difference from 48 to 96 big enough to be worth upgrading to another interface that can do 96?

Your insight is much appreciated. Thanks!
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    CJaysMusic
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 20:00:47 (permalink)
    I wouldnt worry about it and unless your recording classical, its not needed and you could not tell the difference between a song recorded at 48kHz and one recorded at 96kHz. There was a study done and the conclusion was that professional audio engineers could not tell the difference between 48kHz and 96kHz

    Its a waste of CPU and disk space
    Cj

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    #2
    KyRo
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 20:56:07 (permalink)
    Really? Hmmm. I was under the impression that the difference was bigger than that. Say, like the difference from 16 bit to 24 bit.

    What about up to like, 192khz? Is that a noticeable jump? (I dunno if many people record that high)


    And no, I don't play much classical, mostly hard rock/metal (but what if I were to throw together some orchestral stuff with synths n whatnot?).
    post edited by dimelives1 - 2010/11/04 20:57:17
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    alexisrael
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 21:37:50 (permalink)
    Another issue to consider is the final format of your production. for example, as I read Dolby Digital Surround manual the advise is to save your files at 48Khz, so, one may prefer to have the entire project/tracks with the same sampling rate
    #4
    DonM
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 21:44:08 (permalink)
    Some thoughts:

    More than 85% of what I do is 'classical'  (Actually mostly baroque but I digress) the difference between 16 bits and 24 bits is agnostic to genre - As CJ points out - there are massive S/N and dynamic range dividends in recording at 24 bit - there is little reason to record at 16 if you have the storage and processing power.

    WRT 48Khz or 96Khz - that is project dependent - If my work is destined for radio broadcast 48Khz is fine as a starting point.  Even my film work has been completely 48Khz. Some of my minimal mic orchestral stuff has been at 96khz - however the moment I do multiple spot micing on sections (woodwinds, strings, continuo, etc) then the benefits of 96khz fall apart for my ears. I feel that 96khz provides great image stability when doing a great true stereo recording - there are other reasons for 96khz but that is at the top of my list - 

    Working on an orchestral session right now  - gotta go...

    -D 

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    CJaysMusic
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 21:57:18 (permalink)

    Really? Hmmm. I was under the impression that the difference was bigger than that. Say, like the difference from 16 bit to 24 bit.

    and you can tell the differenc ebetween a 16bit audio file and a 24bit audio file?
    You would be the only one in the world!
    Cj
    EDIT:
    What about up to like, 192khz? Is that a noticeable jump? (I dunno if many people record that high)


    44.1kHz or 48kHz is all you need. If 96Khzx was a waste of CPU, then 192kHz is double that waste.
     
    post edited by CJaysMusic - 2010/11/04 21:59:58

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    DonM
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 22:40:08 (permalink)
    CJaysMusic



     

    and you can tell the differenc ebetween a 16bit audio file and a 24bit audio file?
    You would be the only one in the world!
    Cj
    EDIT:


    .
     
    Actually the club is larger than you think my friend.  Being able to tell the difference between a capture and mix at 16 bits compared to 24 bits is done with little effort.  As the signal chain improves so do the benefits of the additional byte.  Back to my baroque orchestra - I'll post some samples saturday morning (they'll all be 24 bit :)

    -D



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    #7
    bitflipper
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 23:25:34 (permalink)
    Being able to tell the difference between a capture and mix at 16 bits compared to 24 bits is done with little effort.

    Maybe. But who here has ever done an end-to-end mix at 16 bits? I know I haven't.

    But my intuition says most people would not be able to distinguish between them. My reasoning is this: the only differences that can exist are very tiny volume changes. Even cumulative rounding errors after extensive processing are unlikely to result in more than a 1-bit difference.

    The significance of that 1 bit can be demonstrated experimentally. Put any sound on a track and adjust its level to 96db below another track. Of course, you won't be able to hear it. Now boost it so it's only 90db below. Can you hear it now? Nope. They don't call it the "least significant bit" for nothing.

    But you're the professor, Don, so if I'm looking at this wrong feel free to set me straight!

    To the OP: sorry for drifting off topic. Regarding 48 vs 96: sometimes you can hear a difference, most times you can't. The casual listener will never hear it. And forget 192, it's a waste of disk space.


    All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

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    #8
    mattplaysguitar
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/04 23:40:08 (permalink)
    I accidentally recorded a song in 16 bit. It's on my website, the only song there, called 'My Best'. After all the compression and limiting, you can hear the noise, but I only noticed the noise once I realised it wasn't 24 bit (a year after finishing it). Before then I thought the song was pretty good in terms of noise levels. I'm going to re-record certain sections when I make my album though to get a better performance and to significantly reduce this noise.

    The benefit in 24 is simply to get the digital noise floor lower than the equipment noise. If your acoustic environment is very noisy and your signal chain is noisy too, you won't get much out of 24 bit recording. But in a quiet environment with quiet gear, you WILL notice the difference, but probably only AFTER compression and limiting. You will also probably notice it if your track is very dynamic and you turn it up loud (such as classical).



    As for 48 vs 96, I personally think it's a load of bull. If your filters are good enough (and according to Bob Katz, that's not to difficult to achieve) then there is no noticeable difference in blind testing by professional audiophiles.


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    #9
    Kalle Rantaaho
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 04:05:55 (permalink)
    I believe that if you want to get something out of 96 Khz recording, you should also have top notch microphones and acoustically treated studio and pro level monitors. Otherwise, and even then, the way you record and mix is thousand times more important than sample rate.
    A 200 dollar mic is hardly capable of capturing the finesses that 96 Khz could record (is it ????).

    Bit depth is the important thing. 24 bits gives you more dynamics and makes recording a little easier 'cause you can record with more headroom and still get good signal.

    SONAR PE 8.5.3, Asus P5B, 2,4 Ghz Dual Core, 4 Gb RAM, GF 7300, EMU 1820, Bluetube Pre  -  Kontakt4, Ozone, Addictive Drums, PSP Mixpack2, Melda Creative Pack, Melodyne Plugin etc.
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    OldDog
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 09:00:47 (permalink)
    I am a novice in this whole digital audio recording world, however I do have years as a computer hack and photographer.

    My take on it is, that while the FINAL output is hard to differentiate between high and medium bit rates, there is a reason to capture at the higher rates (48K vs 16k for instance ).  Whenever you manipulate a file, compress it, add effects, etc there is a certain amount of rounding that goes on in the computer, this is the nature of doing advanced math on 32 or 64 bit numbers. 

    The higher the capture rate, the more data you have per second and the less you will notice sound degradation from that rounding.  The real question is at what point does the degradation become audiable.  I probably could not tell, but my ears are trashed from my days in the military and from years of standing too close to a drum kit, but for someone with good hearing I would bet they can detect the difference.

    Again, I am new to audio so feel free to question this assumtion, however I do know on photographs and video it does make a marked difference.

    Regards, -Harry
    post edited by OldDog - 2010/11/05 09:02:51
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    Bub
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 11:41:58 (permalink)
    I recently did a project at 44.1/24 just to see if I could hear a difference. Normally I record 96/24. I heard no difference until I summed all my tracks and got to the mastering stage. Listening critically I could definitely hear 'something' I would liken to distortion/noise of some kind, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I did not apply dithering and kept the pre-master mix-down at 96/24.

    I bounced it, burned it on a disc with some other tracks, and could not tell the difference once it was played along with other files ... especially in the car with road noise and wind.

    Here's some good reading on sample rates and why higher isn't necessarily better. It basically says the higher the sampling rate, the more distortion comes in to play. I actually get the opposite results, but we're not comparing apples to apples equipment wise. Anything from Lavry is far superior to anything I can afford.

    PDF Whitepaper on sampling theory.
    #12
    randyman
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 21:20:50 (permalink)
    Mostly, (I think) the reason some can hear a difference is that they expect to hear a difference.  Me?  I'm old and well, my hearing isn't as good as a teenager but still pretty good

    I think we tend to get hung up on the technical stuff and ultimately feel that somehow better gear will make better music.  (and to be fair it does make it 'nicer' not necessarily 'better').

    I don't think I've ever done anything in SONAR at anything other than 16/44.    That being said, I know I'll get some heat, but really today's listening 'room' is a pair of earbuds, a car system that is seriously not flat (with the two 15" subs in the trunk) with the added road noise and most listen in an MP3 format on an phone or other player and well... I digress.

    To the OP, I wouldn't think you're missing out on anything.  At best IMO, I would use up to 48/24 and as others have commented, that would satisfy anything remotely plausible in the human range of hearing. 

    I think Ethan Winer has a video on this subject.  Google it and it is pretty amazing to hear what you think you hear.

    Good Luck!

    A rack of noisemakers is not a definitive substitute for creativity. (though it does seem to help)

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    #13
    CJaysMusic
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 21:26:02 (permalink)
    Mostly, (I think) the reason some can hear a difference is that they expect to hear a difference

    Absolutely true. There was a blind test done and most failed the test. It was in another thread about this same subject. For the most part, most could not single out the audio that was at a higher rate
    Cj

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    TheOrginalGrumpster
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 22:35:23 (permalink)
    Of course one use for higher sample rates is reduced latency, where extremely low latencies are essential.
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    randyman
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 22:49:41 (permalink)
    While I've not actually tried it, the statement 'higher sample rates is reduced latency' would logically not be true since you moving more data thru the same number of buffers and that would take longer.  If you increased the number of buffers, that would still take more time...

    But, I've been wrong before.

    Just sayin'

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    #16
    TheOrginalGrumpster
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 22:55:13 (permalink)
    I have pasted this to save time.

    "First thing you need to know of is a Buffer.
    This is a small piece of memory which allows 2 pieces of software running asynchronously to communicate.
    [A bit like a key-stroke buffer - you type letters on the keyboard, these go into a buffer, and later Word (other packages are available !) collects them from the buffer.]

    Using unreal (but simple) figures.

    Assume a buffer size of 100 samples.
    If you have a sample rate of 100Hz (100 samples per second), your latency will be 1 second.
    i.e. it takes 1 second for the first sample to make it's way through the 100 sample buffer.
    OK?

    If you now double your sampling rate to 200Hz, (200 samples per second)can you see how the samples will make their way twice as fast through the buffer? Now the latency (the time it takes to pass through the buffer) is now 0.5 second.

    OK, scale these up to 4800kHz, a 1000 sample buffer and we have:-

    1000 / 48000 = 20.8ms latency.

    Double your sample rate to 96000 and your latency is:-

    1000 / 96000 = 10.4ms.
    post edited by TheOrginalGrumpster - 2010/11/05 22:57:06
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    brundlefly
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 22:59:26 (permalink)
    the statement 'higher sample rates is reduced latency' would logically not be true since you moving more data thru the same number of buffers and that would take longer.

     
    Buffers hold a fixed number of samples. If your clock runs a higher rate, each buffer is filled and emptied faster.
     
    For example: My standard ASIO buffer size is 96 samples, this represents 2ms at 48kHz, and approx. 2.2ms at 44.1kHz. My effective buffer latency in milliseconds is lower at 48kHz.
     
     
    #18
    TheOrginalGrumpster
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/05 23:01:00 (permalink)
    Correct ! 
    #19
    hybrid3
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/06 07:52:02 (permalink)
    One thing that could differ is the output of softsynths or other plugins that might suffer from aliasing effects in 44.1 or 48 kHz but not in 96kHz. I've heard (source needed..) that this is how the Clavia Nordlead handled the aliasing issue.

    However, I guess most softsynths today deal with aliasing effects internally and in those cases, 96 kHz or 44.1 kHz shouln't make a difference in that sense.




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    randyman
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/06 12:21:00 (permalink)
    well, thanks for setting me straight! 

    (you can tell that i don't get hung up on the technical stuff -  ha!)

    I guess I've not suffered from many latency issues - but I do use mostly outside synths, etc.
     
    But back to the OP question.  Can you hear a difference? 
     
    I can't.
     
    <edit for spelling>
    post edited by randyman - 2010/11/06 12:25:43

    A rack of noisemakers is not a definitive substitute for creativity. (though it does seem to help)

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    alexisrael
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/06 16:40:35 (permalink)
    Sir, just yesterday while hard disk backup in progress, I spent couple hours reading Sonar 8.5 reference guide of 1500+ pages. Check it out, see trobleshooting chapters at the end, there are important practical notes on 96Khz (and 24 bit) recording in context of Sonar 8.5
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    jimkleban
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/06 18:01:36 (permalink)
    Just my 2 cents... dunno if CJ was referring to the below example of 16 vs 24 bit but:

    I sample a lot of instruments (one hit - with articulations) to create virtual instruments for use within Kontakt.. 

    I used to sample at 16 bit and I thought that it sounded pretty good... but about 2 years ago, I tried to sample at 24 bits and I will say that I can hear a difference in my sample libraries... the 24 bit stuff sounds a lot smoother than the 16 bit stuff... sorta took the digital edge off the sample libraries.

    Now, perhaps I imagined this but I have been sampling at 24 bits since.

    Jim


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    #23
    Shadow of The Wind
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/06 20:34:09 (permalink)
    24 bit gives you more headroom or signal-to-noise ratio. Since most modern interfaces offer 24 bit, I do not see any reason not to use it. There may be cases where the source does not use all the SNR. And there may be interfaces where the effective bit depth is not quite 24 bit. But there is not much to lose.

    96 kHz will make your files much bigger. The advantage is that signal processing is somewhat easier. And you can e.g. nudge your clips on a finer grid. (There are tools to shift audio data in sub-sample steps if you should really need them.)

    Now, here is my surprising finding: I found that my Phonic audio interface sounds MUCH better at 96 kHz. There is no doubt about it. My guess is that the anti-alias filters are the culprit. So, even if I only record at 96 kHz and then reduce the sampling rate to 44.1 or 48 kHz, the quality is better. (And, if you downsample correctly, you gain some SNR.)

    Wilko
    #24
    djwayne
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/06 21:53:11 (permalink)
    I have 24 bit DVD-A's that sound really good.. better than 16 bit cd's ?? I think so.
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    Guitarpima
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/07 00:49:17 (permalink)
    I don't think anyone is arguing about the bit depth. The sample rate is the subject in question.

    I think younger people would hear a difference but most people would not.    

    Notation, the original DAW. Everything else is just rote. We are who we are and no more than another. Humans, you people are crazy.
     
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    drewfx1
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    Re:How Big a Difference from 48khz to 96khz? 2010/11/07 12:44:59 (permalink)
    A couple of thoughts:

    1. If you run things at 96kHz and feel you are hearing a difference, don't automatically assume that the sample rate is the only thing that changed (some people will even compare different converters at different sampling rates and claim the difference they're hearing is due to the sample rate itself).

    There's a lot going on in modern converters - sampling method, analog electronics (including anti-aliasing or reconstruction filters), oversampling (including the digital decimation filter when downsampling, or interpolation filter when upsampling), clocking/synchronization.

    2. People often confuse what it might be possible to hear in terms of high frequencies under "laboratory conditions" with what kind of (very) high frequency content is actually present and can be reproduced mics/speakers/analog electronics/etc. It's a bit dubious as to whether anyone can hear frequencies much over 20kHz at all - even when played back at high volume. But even if you can, there's no way your ears are as sensitive at high frequencies as they are at 2kHz and, in the real world, very high frequency content is usually not near maximum amplitude. If you can barely hear something (if at all) at -2dB, how do you expect to hear it at -20dB? 
    post edited by drewfx1 - 2010/11/07 12:46:12
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