n_Track's 'clock'

Hey learjeff et al,

Thanks for the replies. Jeff your explaination about 32-bit float TOTALLY clears up a lot of questions, and gives me a much better understanding. It also explains why I can be playing back master tracks in n-Track (prior to rendering and/or converting to 16/44.1) and register +12db on the VU’s and not hear it making those wonderful crackles.

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That’s a very interesting link, btw, to davry engineering. He explains why rates higher than 44.1k might sound better, but going over about 60k is a waste of time. (I confess he goes way over my head with the math, but I think I get the point …)

Interestingly, so far I’ve only seen one credible scientific experiment that claimed there were any benefits to sample rates higher than 44.1k. (It involved gammelon music and people who were used to listening to it – and man, that stuff does have high frequency content!)

One omission in the paper, though, is that it is only concerned with recording and replaying the original waveform, and doesn’t take into account any issues related to signal processing like using FX and mixing. I’m sure if he’d seen the algorithms used by variable delay line FX, i’m confident that he’d say that yes they’d sound better in higher rates, and that it wouldn’t matter whether they were recorded at higher rates or upsampled to them.


The math is over my head to. I’m going to read it a few times to maximize what sinks in, but you’re right that the basic message is clear. You also make a good point though that the article doesn’t address effects processing and such. There’s so much to learn and understand, but in the end its what sounds good. :;):

Diogenes, thanks for the “real world” test.

Thanks again, everybody!

If I end up getting the i88x I’ll post my impressions.

TelevisionFission, I sent you an email regarding more detail on your driver experiences. The i88x has gotten some mixed reviews for sure regarding its drivers, but they seem to fall into two camps; either irresolvable hardware conflicts (rare, and Yamaha seems to have done a decent effort of posting some hardware requirement specifics especially in the area of approved firewire cards), and software conflicts which can be very complex. I can feel your frustration and I offer my condolences to your negative experience. Not typical from Yamaha. Just hoping to get some more info so I can get a better prediction on what my personal outcome might be. What interface will you be getting to replace the Yamy?

FYI, when the playback meter registers over 0dB, you ARE getting clipping: the signal is being converted to 16 or 24 bits to send to your soundcard and any peaks over 0dB get leveled off nice and flat.

Clipping doesn’t usually sound like “crackles” – that’s usually the sign of drop-outs, when your computer can’t keep up and is dropping whole buffers full (or using stale buffer data). Also called “clicks and pops”. Clipping sounds more like good ole distortion, only not a nice warm fuzzy distortion but a cold harsh nasty distortion. But relatively smooth, not like blown speaker distortion.

The truth is that you can have quite a number of clipped peaks in a row before it sounds like obvious distortion. With just one or two clips we can’t hear it at all. A few more in a row, and it causes the attacks to sound muddy rather than crisp. I advise against mixing when you have much clipping going on because you’re not hearing the real signal. However, with n-Track’s meters you can’t tell one clip from a hundred. Try plugging Inspector in on the master channel and see how many clips you’re getting. More than 3 in a row anywhere and you should definitely adjust something to avoid it.
Simply so that you can hear what’s really going on.