What Sample Rate and Bit Depth Should I Record My Songs At?

Almost every modern recording studio uses digital audio recording techniques for tracking their projects as opposed to analog audio tracking (digital recording became the norm in the early 80’s). In digital audio,  the sound is being sampled X amount of times in a second. That’s where we get the term: sample rate. The sample rate can be anywhere from 8KHz (Kilohertz – 8,000 times per second) up to 192KHz. The bit depth determines the number of decimals in the sample which determines the accuracy of the sampling. The Bit Rate can be 8, 16, 24 bit. (for example, 8 bits will result a sample with only 8 decimal numbers)

Audio CD Quality

All  Audio CD‘s are formated at 44.1KHz, 16bit.

Q: “If my final song is going to be in 44.1KHz, 16bit, why should it be recorded at a higher sample rate and bit resolution?”

A: Changing the sample rate from a high sample rate to a lower sample rate (for example: 96KHz to 44.1KHz) can slightly modify your final recording. That process is called:  “dithering”, and is part of the mastering process. Research has shown that recording your audio at a higher sample rate (such as 48KHz or 96KHz) and then dithering it back to 44.1KHz doesn’t improve the sound of the recording and even cause slight distortion. We highly recommend recording your songs at 44.1KHz.

Q: When should I record at 48KHz 96KHz or 192KHz?

A: 48KHz sample rate is the default sample rate for TV and film tracks. The 96KHz and 192KHz is mostly used for Blue Ray DVDs.  Since your audio is being processed digitally in the computer, even the slight volume change will result in a mathematical formula with a lot of decimal numbers. We always recommend recording your song in the highest bit rate possible – 24bit.

The default sample rate and bit resolution for Studio Pros custom studio tracks and productions is 44.1KHz, 24bit. Recording at this rate will ensure your song will be recorded at the highest quality possible.

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