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Topic: Virtual instruments and sample rate

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  1. #1

    Question Virtual instruments and sample rate

    Elaborating on my previous thread, I have some more digital audio questions. A little theoretical maybe, but as a composer I hope to get a little more insight into what goes on in my sequencer as far as digital audio is concerned..

    - When using a sampler/ROMpler with samples that were all recorded at say, 44.1 kHz and having your project sample rate set to say, 48 kHz, the audio is converted on the fly. Is this SRC done by the individual plugins' audio engines or by Cubase's audio engine? Will this affect the audio quality?

    N.B. I've heard that Cubase SX's SRC is not the best and that e.g. Wavelab or r8brain pro offer better SRC..

    - Would it be good practice to set your project sample rate to the same sample rate that the majority of samples in your project were recorded at (so there'll be less on-the-fly SRC going on)?

    - When having different virtual instruments running with sample content recorded at say 44.1 and 48, I should never set my project sampling frequency to 44.1, but rather to 88.2 or 96 kHz, so no downsampling occurs, right?

    - When working with 16 and 24 bit sample content, would it still be best to bounce to 32 bit float, since that's the bitrate Cubase processes at? Say you'll be applying some minor compression and eq to this audio later.. Or would 24 bit be just fine?


    Let the madness commence (richard?)

    Roy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Richard Berg's Avatar
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    Re: Virtual instruments and sample rate

    I don't know the answer to the first question. I'd guess that Cubase converts all inputs to the project sample rate before feeding plugins, but I'd have to write a VST plugin to be sure.

    I doubt any of the other questions will make a noticeable difference. If you have CPU power to spare, setting your projects to 24/96 certainly couldn't hurt.

  3. #3
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    Re: Virtual instruments and sample rate

    The more you mix tracks and use effects / compression / Eq, the more audible difference you will ear by using high bitrate and samplerate (specially high bitrate), even with samples recorded at 16/44.

    Regarding the "native sample rate" question, I use Kontakt under Sonar, and it is Kontakt making the on-the-fly SRC if needed.
    I have eared some differences when it translate 44.1 <=> 48khz either way.
    Usually I use the samplerate (or twice the samplerate) of the main sample library I use.

    I don't now if Kontakt (and other samplers) are using better SRC for offline bouncing than for live play.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Richard Berg's Avatar
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    Re: Virtual instruments and sample rate

    The more you mix tracks and use effects / compression / Eq, the more audible difference you will ear by using high bitrate and samplerate (specially high bitrate), even with samples recorded at 16/44.
    Definitely. If you have a modern computer I'd always set complex projects @ 24 bit minimum.

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