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sample rates producing strange artifacts

The "right" audio intrerface for your studio depends on your CPU, OS, motherboard, and the robustness of its drivers. If we all put our heads together we might be able to deal with making a decision more intelligently. Use all advice given here at your own risk. This forum is only for Firewire and USB (1.1 and 2.0) interfaces.

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sample rates producing strange artifacts

Postby groovestick on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:38 pm

i'm using win 7 64 bit with ableton as my DAW and the NI audio kontrol 1 as my audio interface.

when i'm using sample rates above 44.1khz (primarily 48khz) i get this strange sort of aliasing, high-endy, bitcrushed sound that comes out of my left monitor primarly, mainly on bass sounds, but only in programs other than ableton live eg. videos from youtube and itunes. i updated my AK1 to the latest drivers earlier today and the same problem exists.

i can work fine with no audio artifacts in ableton live with a sample rate of 48khz but audio outside of that program will have this weird bitcrushed, aliasing sound and for some reason, it comes mainly out of my left speaker (krk rokit 6's).

on a side/related note, what's the difference between working in 44.1khz audio in ableton and then rendering your file at 48khz sample rate? is there an actual increase in quality?

also, i can't seem to set my sample rate in ableton live different to what windows will use in other apps. whatever i set my sample rate as in live is what windows will use for everything else it seems. setting my sample rate to 48khz in my audio kontrol 1 control panel if ableton's is 44.1khz will just revert it back to 44.1khz which is strange. is there a way to get around this?

thanks.
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Re: sample rates producing strange artifacts

Postby aww-de-oh on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:42 am

groovestick wrote: when i'm using sample rates above 44.1khz (primarily 48khz) i get this strange sort of aliasing, high-endy, bitcrushed sound that comes out of my left monitor primarly, mainly on bass sounds, but only in programs other than ableton live eg. videos from youtube and itunes. i updated my AK1 to the latest drivers earlier today and the same problem exists.

i can work fine with no audio artifacts in ableton live with a sample rate of 48khz but audio outside of that program will have this weird bitcrushed, aliasing sound and for some reason, it comes mainly out of my left speaker (krk rokit 6's).

Although most video (on DVD's) is @ 48khz, the stuff found on the web, YouTube, ect. is usually at 44.1
Set your soundcard (AI) to 44.1 and the problem should disappear. Long story short; set your AI to the resolution of the audio file that is playing. [CDs- 44.1, most web video-44.1 ..unless otherwise noted]
groovestick wrote: on a side/related note, what's the difference between working in 44.1khz audio in ableton and then rendering your file at 48khz sample rate? is there an actual increase in quality?
No. it won't increase the quality. Once it's at 44.1 that's the max. You can upsample it to put it into a project that is using that rate, but there will be no subsequent quality increase.
The general practice is to record at the target rate of the end product. ie, if you're releasing a CD 44.1 is where you want to be. If you're doing sound for film either 48 or 96 depending on the project.
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Re: sample rates producing strange artifacts

Postby groovestick on Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:54 am

aww-de-oh wrote:
groovestick wrote: when i'm using sample rates above 44.1khz (primarily 48khz) i get this strange sort of aliasing, high-endy, bitcrushed sound that comes out of my left monitor primarly, mainly on bass sounds, but only in programs other than ableton live eg. videos from youtube and itunes. i updated my AK1 to the latest drivers earlier today and the same problem exists.

i can work fine with no audio artifacts in ableton live with a sample rate of 48khz but audio outside of that program will have this weird bitcrushed, aliasing sound and for some reason, it comes mainly out of my left speaker (krk rokit 6's).

Although most video (on DVD's) is @ 48khz, the stuff found on the web, YouTube, ect. is usually at 44.1
Set your soundcard (AI) to 44.1 and the problem should disappear. Long story short; set your AI to the resolution of the audio file that is playing. [CDs- 44.1, most web video-44.1 ..unless otherwise noted]
groovestick wrote: on a side/related note, what's the difference between working in 44.1khz audio in ableton and then rendering your file at 48khz sample rate? is there an actual increase in quality?
No. it won't increase the quality. Once it's at 44.1 that's the max. You can upsample it to put it into a project that is using that rate, but there will be no subsequent quality increase.
The general practice is to record at the target rate of the end product. ie, if you're releasing a CD 44.1 is where you want to be. If you're doing sound for film either 48 or 96 depending on the project.


ok. my AI has always been at 44.1khz but i just changed it today to see if i could hear any difference. 44.1khz is still sufficient anyways. EDIT: just realised all the audio i own (just about) is at 44.1khz sample rate. am i right in saying the aliasing/distortion is caused when you try to play a song that's at 44.1khz at 48khz?

on the second note, what about synths and things that get generated in real time in a project? i understand that once live sets a piece of audio to 44.1khz in a project, it stays that way, you obviously can't undo any degradation, but what about synths being generated in real time? do they benefit from the quality increase of 44.1khz - 48khz quality if you render at 48khz but have been working with them in live at 44.1khz? it seems to me like they would as live would generate the audio for live synths in the project to the rendering sample rate.
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Re: sample rates producing strange artifacts

Postby ecc83 on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:52 am

Just a thought , might be the blinding obvious but...

Have you got Windows sounds, bleeps and bloops disabled and have you got the On Board Soundcard disabled in BIOS for preference but in Device Manager if that is too scarey?

My admittedly old, 2496 soundcard allows the sample rate to be locked so nothing else can play ducks and drakes with it!

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Re: sample rates producing strange artifacts

Postby Farview on Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:40 am

First of all, there is no real quality difference between 44.1k and 48k. The only thing that 48k gives you is a smoother anti-aliasing filter, which will give you an extra 1/2db of 20kHz. The simple fact is that most music really doesn't have much, if any energy above 16k. So there isn't anything of significance happening up there anyway.

Part of what is happening to you is caused by the fact that the computer as a whole can only be set to one sample rate at a time. If everything in the computer is trying to run at 44.1k, and you have the interface set to 48k, it causes confusion and stupid things start to happen.
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Re: sample rates producing strange artifacts

Postby ecc83 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:28 am

Jay, in fact if you can find the specifications (not easy!) for the response of many AIs/converters the HF turnover point is EXACTLY the same for 48 as for 44.1kHz, they simply don't bother with the extra few Hz.

And why should they indeed? As you say there really is buggerall of interest beyond 16kHz, heck Decca FFSS only went to 18kHz and I have never heard a complaint about high quality* FM with its 15kHz brickwall? (who wants to hear the 19kHz SC?!)

*Sadly something we Brits have all but lost now, sacrificed on the alter of low bit rate multiplexes and DAB.

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