Running Kemper at 96k

  • You don't need to. 48K is good enough to use with anything and high def videos. But if you want to do surround sound...

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • my only question would be “why?”


    I admit i am no audio engineer or scientist but I have yet to see any argument that supports a benefit from going to 96k and it uses significantly more memory for projects. There have been some good comparisons by companies like Fabfilter which suggest upsampling in the daw/plugin etc can be beneficial but nothing supporting 96k itself.

    As I said, the technical stuff is largely above my pay grade so others may have a different view and I would be happy to hear their logic and data if I am wrong.

  • Apologies to Michael as I know this doesn't help him, but I wanted to follow up on what Alan said.

    my only question would be “why?”


    I admit i am no audio engineer or scientist but I have yet to see any argument that supports a benefit from going to 96k and it uses significantly more memory for projects. There have been some good comparisons by companies like Fabfilter which suggest upsampling in the daw/plugin etc can be beneficial but nothing supporting 96k itself.

    As I said, the technical stuff is largely above my pay grade so others may have a different view and I would be happy to hear their logic and data if I am wrong.

    All of my Cubase projects are 48k, and really the only reason it's that and not 44k is that I also do video and 48k is the defacto standard for that (non-theatrical) domain. Like many here I'm a professional geek, so I do understand that it's higher fidelity on paper, but I've never heard a comparison that highlighted a significant difference in the listening experience.


    As for the Kemper, I don't even use spdif, just XLR analog out into the interface. It's quite possible that there's also an audible difference in quality between spdif and analog, but what I've heard in test videos, etc. hasn't really jumped out at me. Analog sounds great, it's easy and it's flexible, so I use it.


    On a related note, I was watching a video the other day on some recording stuff. The person was very excited about the differences between A, B and C, and my brain understood that what he was doing would, in fact, be of at least some significance. However, I was watching the video on my iPad, not in my acoustically treated studio where I listen through reference monitors. I've got reasonably decent ears, but I could hear exactly zero difference in his three examples. And I listened several times for that very reason, as it's a guy who knows what he's doing that I have a lot of respect for.


    I have no doubt that in the studio or any other critical listening environment I would have heard the differences he was highlighting. That said, for me there's always a bang for the buck consideration. The overwhelming majority of people don't listen to music in high quality professional environments, so anything that requires me to expend time / money / brain cells needs to provide results in the normal listening context of mere mortals. If it doesn't then it's not worth it to me.


    Of course, being a geek (and probably a just a little OCD), a part of my brain screams, "Why wouldn't you always want the very best quality could get?" And while it's hard for me to ignore that voice, I nonetheless have limitations on time, money and brain cells, so if I expend resources I need to get results that make it worthwhile.

  • You described my situation perfectly, Chris.


    44.1kHz and analogue, not S/PDIF, both for the same reasons as you.


    The one advantage to going 96kHz or even higher that I can think of that nobody's mentioned is for the sound-design purpose of extreme downward-pitch adjustment. In theory, every time you double the sample rate you'd buy yourself an extra higher-quality lower octave. 96kHz positively affects 1 further octave, and to get to 2 you'd need to go 192kHz and 3, 384kHz and so on.


    Crazy CPU and storage demands for the sole purpose of achieving incrementally-smoother downward shifts, but in mission-critical situations where the main focus is these transpositions, I can understand why someone might switch to these rates. Unlikely that entire projects would revolve around such things 'though, so in-practice the rate might be increased in order to record a single track that requires this extreme treatment, the audio transposed and rendered and the project's rate returned to its normal settings thereafter.

  • I do almost every record I make at 96k.
    so do most of the other professionals I know.
    George Massenburg argues for 192k!


    it’s mostly the armchair and online hobbyists who love to tell each other that “it’s unnecessary” and how stupid the professionals are.

  • I do almost every record I make at 96k.
    so do most of the other professionals I know.
    George Massenburg argues for 192k!


    it’s mostly the armchair and online hobbyists who love to tell each other that “it’s unnecessary” and how stupid the professionals are.

    I don't recall implying stupidity, or offering disrespect of any kind for that matter.

  • Not you specifically


    it's a general internets thing.


    I learned by paying attention to what the people making the best sounding records were doing.

    That's still good advice, as opposed to the self appointed internets "myth busters"


    By all means people should do what sounds best to them.
    if it doesn;t sound better to you, don't do it!

    But I bristle when people tell other people what "doesn't matter" when it clearly does to so many serious professionals.

  • But I think mathematically it doesn't make much sense to go beyond 48kHz for most of digital audio path (Nyquist) and as far as I researched the topic (I'm not a pro, just curious hobbyist) high end plugins, when needed to avoid digital artifacts (aliasing) oversample internally by a lot. Storing projects in 96K just takes more space and brings nothing at all to quality of audio, because all frequencies in human range can be perfectly represented in 48kHz (even 44.1kHz for vast majority of people on this planet). So maybe people are doing this "just in case", but I think they would have hard time to prove scientifically that it makes sense to go beyond 48kHz. It just uses more CPU and disk when less would do. It is mathematics - hard to argue with.

  • I learned by paying attention to what the people making the best sounding records were doing.

    That's still good advice, as opposed to the self appointed internets "myth busters"


    By all means people should do what sounds best to them.
    if it doesn;t sound better to you, don't do it!

    But I bristle when people tell other people what "doesn't matter" when it clearly does to so many serious professionals.

    I admire those who do this for a living and have learned a lot from those willing to share their trade craft.


    It's also very common that the professionals are releasing at least some of the product they create in an uncompressed format, at which point high fidelity is immediately relevant. I remember the early days of CDs listening to an album that I'd only heard before on the cassette tape version. I looked at my wife and said, "Wait, there's a piano in the background?" While 44.1 doesn't seem very hi fi today, compared to a cassette tape there was a world of frequencies no longer masked by the limitations of the medium. When you can hear it, quality absolutely matters.


    That said, if the destination of the work will exclusively be a compressed format, it brings into question the value of higher sample rates. If I listen to the final product (e.g. mp3 and streaming) and can't hear a significant difference, then I have to ask myself why I'm expending more resources. I don't believe that to be an unreasonable question. However, it's possible that your definition of professional does not include those who work exclusively in compressed formats, so perhaps that's why we see things differently.


    I also disagree with the assumption that only professionals can produce quality work. I've heard many things from hobbyists, which by definition means those who do not make a living from their work, that rival anything I've heard on the radio. Some of it on this very forum. It's not uncommon for professionals to display mockery, disdain and disrespect for anyone who doesn't make their living doing a given task, but to me that seems, well, less than professional. Skill is skill. An elitist attitude in pro audio is no different than saying "negros" simply weren't capable of flying P-51s in WWII, the 332nd Fighter Group notwithstanding. Generating revenue is not the only measuring stick for acquired skills.

    Not you specifically


    it's a general internets thing.

    Then perhaps learning to use a rifle rather than a shotgun would be in order. :)

  • I have been recording at higher sampling rates, usually 88khz 24bit, 64bit float now in cubase, for about 15 years. It uses tons of storage and processing power which I'd love to have back. But the audio quality is really incredible, I use lynx aurora converters that still sound fantastic and uad dsp.

    When I'm mixing everything sounds much more detailed, bigger, rounder, fatter. I tend to record kemper via xlr, but if recording live use spdif 88khz to maintain quality lost when not using the aurora.


    So, when everything goes to mp3, why bother?

    It sounds fantastic in my room and for that alone it's worth it.

    But recently I've been going back to 15 odd year old projects and remixing, remastering, and even releasing in higher sample rates.

    I can see a point coming where there will be a market for rereleasing material in higher fidelity at higher sample rates.


    Having raw 10gb big projects playing back at high sample rates really is joyus sonically. Its worth trying, you might like it.

  • I do almost every record I make at 96k.
    so do most of the other professionals I know.
    George Massenburg argues for 192k!


    it’s mostly the armchair and online hobbyists who love to tell each other that “it’s unnecessary” and how stupid the professionals are.


    You might find a number of producers working at higher sample rate for sure.

    But you will not find a single scientist for digital signal processing who recommends higher sample rates.

    Me included.



    While George Massenburg is probably the highest regarded cross-expert in music production and music hardware, he is not a digital audio expert at all.


    Here is a lengthy interview:

    http://www.mediaandmarketing.c…IX.George_Massenburg.html


    A quote from this interview:

    "We have timing cues that allow us to identify and separate images in space that let us determine where a sound is located in a room, for example. And these cues have very fine gradations - perhaps far finer than the approximately 20 microseconds available in current digital conversion techniques. Maybe we need finer resolutions - maybe down to 5 microseconds, maybe further. I can't really find any hard research numbers on this.

    Empirically, have you found that recordings made at 88.2 kHz or 96 kHz sample rates sound better?

    Yeah, I think so. I hear more high end."



    Here are my facts:

    George could have easily found hard research numbers for these timing cues, given his potential network of experts.

    Going down this route he would have found out that digital audio (as well as analog audio) has always an infinite accurate time resolution at any sample rate.

    And finding this out, he would have been invited to a blind test to check out the differences of different sample rates.

    But he doesn't seem to be interested in looking deeper into digital audio.



    Maybe you like another "soft proof" for the inconsistency if this whole topic. If you want to capture the ultra-sonic aspects of a recording by using 96 kHz or 192 kHz, you should also care about a faithfull reproduction of these frequencies (up to 40 kHz or 80 kHz) in the recording chain; microphones, outboard equipment, maybe tape recorders, monitor speakers etc.

    Have you ever seen a discussions about this, either from before or after the advent of digital audio? The experts have simply skipped this aspect, I think.


    CK

  • Most serious professionals in the music industry aren’t mathematicians, don’t understand digital audio and don’t have any interest in true blind tests (why would they? They’re busy making hits and money). Marry that to the human condition of “more = better” and you’ll get a lot of engineers working at high sample rates, convinced that it just sounds better.


    For the record, I’m a professional and work with digital audio every day. My job includes production, mastering, composition, sound design and broadcasting.

  • My own background is maths and physics and while I've read various papers and looked at the numbers I just can't ignore my ears. Seriously, if you haven't already, record a project at a higher sample rate and bit depth, close your eyes and listen to it vs a 44khz 16bit project.

    Now it could be multiple other things, like the quality of my hardware converters, signal chain etc, maybe they don't work as well at lower sample rates. Or maybe they accentuate the difference at higher rates. Either way, like dialing in tone I've landed on what to my ears sounds best, admittedly I've not gone higher to 192, but that's simply down to the cost of it. Although maybe its time to try!

    It could be that these margins become more apparent in more complex mix situations with drums, bass, strings, vocals, choirs etc.

    It is only my personal preference, I landed on higher rates because I wasn't happy with my results, i'd at least recommend recording some projects at different rates to see.