You have received a whole bevy of great answers to this question. I
routinely ingest and record live at 96 ks/s, 24 bits and wish I did not
have to down-sample. There are audible differences that are not subtle.
On the other hand, I am a firm proponent of selecting the appropriate
sample rate for the project at hand.
While I do not refuse to digitize oral history cassettes at 96/24, I
always confirm that this is a real requirement. My choice would be 48
ks/s 24 bits for this type of material. The challenge in a large archive
is that there are always exceptions to the rule. I have some cassettes I
recorded that I would probably digitize higher than 48 ks/s, but I have
received few if any cassettes in for transfer that have sounded as clean
as the ones I made in the 1970s on a Nakamichi 550 with AKG condenser mics.
But, in a large archive, how do you provide enough information so that
all the technicians make the appropriate choices? That's why blanket
rules exist...and it's something I always discuss (often at length) with
By the way, I think I can hear superior sound at 48 ks/s over 44.1 ks/s,
but I may just be deluding myself and I also realize that it is
implementation dependant as much of the sonic signature comes from the
anti-aliasing filters and reconstruction filters. Unless "making CDs" is
a required use of the digitized copies, I will routinely digitize to 48
ks/s today for "utility" audio rahter than 44.1 ks/s.
In the long term, 44.1 will hopefully go away in favour of 48/96/192 ks/s.
On 2012-08-17 10:37 AM, Henry Borchers wrote:
> I’ve been wondering what the real benefits of archiving music and spoken word at 96 kHz and above. From what I understand, Nyquist–Shannon tells us that the highest frequency we can hear on digital recording is half of the sample rate, so 44.1 and 48 already covers the spectrum of our hearing range.
> I do know that high speed recordings at higher bit rate can be very useful for when you are trying to transfer large volumes of long running tape in a short time but I am curious what the rational and benefits are for transfer real time at 96 kHz.
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.