NewBee question about sample rate, delta 1010

I’ve got a a Delta 1010 and the 24 bit version of N-Track. What’s the best way to set them up for the best quality recording?

I want to record at 24 bit but what should I set my sample rate to in N-track and on the 1010?

96k?
88.2k?
44.1?

Honestly I have no idea what the sample rates even are or do but I’ve heard you need to set them the same on the card and in the software. I have a 1.7 GHz machine with 1g mem.

Thanks in advance for your replies

wow. I wrote a really long response and it wouldn’t let me log in, now it’s gone… crap.

alright, here goes again.

bit rate is how many pictures the computer takes of the volume of a signal. A wav file is really just a graph… so, if you look at the graph, bit rate is the vertical measurement. now the height of the graph doesn’t change, but the more bits, the smaller the pieces the height is cut up into. more resolution. the higher the bit rate, the quieter the background noise of the electronics becomes (noise floor) 24 bit is probably as high as it will ever get, because at that point the noise floor is so quiet that you actually begin to hear the sound of electrons moving, and lowering the noise floor any more wouldn’t do any good.

sample rate is how many pictures is taken over time. in 1 second, 44,100 samples are taken for 44.1 khz. this equates to a connect the dots line where each connection between the dots is NOT a straight line, but is a stair with a right angle. So on the graph, the higher the sample rate, the more dots in one second, and therefore the smaller the stairs… 44.1 is CD quality. 96 is DVD quality. as the rate gets higher, so does the file size… the highest pitch recorded is also determined by the sample rate. you have to have 2 dots to sample a pitch. so your sample rate divided by 2 is how high a pitch you can record. 44.1 equals about 22 Khz. human hearing average 20 Hz to 20 KHz.

one reason we like to sample higher is that there are frequencies above or hearing range that mix together with other instruments making sub harmonics-frequencies we CAN hear. this is part of the reason live music is thought to sound better than recorded music.

so sample rate is really up to you. i use 48. this is better than CD, while not eating up as much CPU as 96 which equals twice as much work.

to set them, you open n-track, file/settings/preferences and choose your poison. it’ll automatically tell your sound card to use that frequency as long as you don’t have your soundcards frequency LOCKED- which I don’t recall if the 1010 can do that. to check, open up your 1010’s control panel, and on the sample rate tab, there’ll be a check box that will say the sample rate is locked at… or not.

Wow, that explains a lot. Thanks!

How much more resources would be used by a higher rate? Like say 96K? Does the downside outweight the benefit?

I think unless you have a pimping computer and plan on making ACTUAL CDs and selling them, that 96 Khz is overrated. I even record other bands and only do 48. it just sucks up so much of your processing power that as soon as you start adding plugins your computer is totally bogged down. I’m running a 1.8 ghz, 1 g ddr400 ram, 10,000 rpm harddrives. pretty nice, and I can get about 24 tracks at 44.1 before my computer really takes a hit (using effects of course) at 96, I wouldn’t even get half that. and some plugins don’t run at 96 yet.

Okay thanks. Do you know if most people run at 48? Is that fairly common or are most content with 44.1?

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How much more resources would be used by a higher rate? Like say 96K? Does the downside outweight the benefit?


In simplistic terms, doubling the sampling rate from 44.1kHz to 96kHz will double (actually a bit more) the amount of samples (ie data) your PC needs to process and store. ie wav files would be twice as big, and the number of tracks your system could handle would halve.

Going from 16 bit to 24 is 50% more bits. ie each sample processe/stores half as much again data. Use it with 96kHz are you are really starting to hit the machine!

After a few experiments, I settled on 24/44.1. I can hear the difference between 16/44.1 but it’s a trade of in CPU and disk usage.

HTH


Mark

Simple answer: highest quality is 96k. However, if the final result will be 44.1k (for CD), some wise folks like Mr. Katz advise to start with the format you’ll end up in, and stick with it. Because converters aren’t perfect.

There are valid arguments for starting in 96k and then downsampling to 44.1 in the end. But note that it’ll take over twice the CPU power and disk throughput. You should have ample disk throughput unless you’re on a laptop and trying to record lots of tracks at once (8, 16, or more). But even with a nice fast CPU you’ll start running out of horsepower depending on what plugins you use. (Just mixing without any plugins, and without using anyy EQ or the FFT frequency display much, you’ll be fine even at 96k, even with quite a few tracks. It’s the FX & EQ that suck on the CPU.)

My suggestion is, if you’re a newbie to recording, eliminate a bunch of issues and start out recording at 44.1k. Once you’ve learned the ropes, and are starting to make mixes you think are nearly pro quality, or if you’re doing a good job of recording tracks you think you might want to remix in years to come, then try 96k.

There’s a lot to learn. There’s a LOT to learn before most folks are doing anything worth the extra fuss of 96k, especially if you’re using mikes. (I’m just talking about mike placement, mike selection, preamp selection, room treatment, etc. here – nothing about mixing itself).

On the other hand, I’ve heard some very simple recordings done by newbies that turned out astoundingly well. The vast minority, but it does happen. (One case I remember was posted here about 3 years ago, a recording with acoustic guitar, fiddle, and oboe, “Katy’s Way”. All recorded simultaneously, in a lovely sounding room, with mikes about 3 feet away from each performer. Truly lovely performance, and perfectly captured. I’d like to hear THAT one in 96k! I don’t remember any other cases.)

The stuff I mentioned above: mikes, preamps, placement, room treatment, etc., all matter tons more than whether you use 96k or 44.1.

And not to mention that it’s really the performance, arrangment, and composition that REALLY count. Like Mac used to say: if you can’t make a hit record with a soundblaster and stick mike, chances are you can’t make one with anything.

good info there learjeff. I’m not new to recording by anymeans, just to computer recording :wink:

I’ve been an analog tape guy for years and in many ways I still am. Thanks for the information. I think I’m starting to understand.

Great – then you already know (a) about mikes & such, (b) about optimizing the analog signal chain, © that it’s the content that really counts.

And most of all (d) when you’re ready to dig into the magnum opus!

:)

PS: I did see the lightbulb turn on, by your handle! I wonder how it knows? :wink: