Hi, I'm a little confused on sample rates for fx recording and thought I'd post here. I'm recording some fx that I want to use in a variety of contexts, sound design material and for music. I want to record in 96k, as that seems to be the norm, but I'm concerned this will cause problems in 48k sessions or even 44.1. I've had problems in the past of samples being played back too fast or too slow due to a conflict in the sample and DAW session sample rate. How do people normally work with 96k samples. Do they have to do some conversion before fitting well into a 48k session?
Thank you

4 Answers 4


sample rate convert on import... soundminer or Pro Tools will ask when importing as the system can't work with mixed sample rates. 96 to 48 is fine, it's half data, like 88.2 to 44.1.

record sfx at 24/96 for future proofing library.

  • Agree! As @George said for Time (frequency) or Pitch (bit depth) effects are higher values better. If it is planed to do drastic changes it is not wrong idea to use 192 kHz @ 24 bit and in DAW use 32 bit for some headroom and smooth. You can always Sample down and Dither if it is required. Jan 17, 2013 at 7:59
  • Thanks. But if I'm running a session in 48k and want to pull in a sample and I recorded at 96k won't this create a problem?
    – Amber
    Jan 17, 2013 at 16:13
  • You can convert your samples to the project's sample rate on import, so your 96k sounds can be converted to 48k to match your session. If you don't convert, then you run into issues with sounds playing back at the wrong speed, which I sometimes do on purpose as it can be a cool way to create new effects. Jan 17, 2013 at 17:13
  • Thanks Chuck. For some reason I didn't know this. Logic always asks me if I want to convert the session to the sample rate of the sample. I'm new to Pro Tools and haven't discovered this yet. This will be helpful, thanks again.
    – Amber
    Jan 17, 2013 at 17:34

The other thing to mention is that if the mic and preamp and A/D support higher than 20-20kHz (such as a SD 7-series and a mic like the MKH8040, it means that by recording in 96k, you WILL capture content extending to the upper harmonics which cannot be heard by our ears normally. So when you varispeed these sounds, it means that there's a plethora of sound content in there which will be audible. For example, bat sonar or birds.


The higher the sample rate, the more you can do with the recorded file afterwards. This is especially important if you plan on pitching down a lot, as higher sample rates will preserve high frequencies, whereas 44.1 kHz will sound muffled and lack energy.

So go with 24/96 as Mike said and worry about conversions later. Better even, work with 96kHz always and only when exporting for casual playback convert to 44.1 kHz.

  • Thanks George, this will probably work for me most of the time. But I have old sessions at 48k that I might want to use some of this new material on, won't this be an issue if they are recorded at 96k?
    – Amber
    Jan 17, 2013 at 16:15
  • it shouldnt due to the auto conversion.
    – Dave
    Jan 25, 2013 at 14:05

Its important to check your preferences in ProTools for sample rate conversion as ProTools uses this preference setting by default sometimes eg when importing via drag & drop or when using save a copy & changing sample rate...

Preferences/Processing/Sample Rate Conversion Quality

I always use the best quality (but slightly slower) sample rate conversion setting: Tweakhead

If using the import audio command, you can set this manually

  • Same here, only way to go. With CPUs as fast as they are now, it hardly takes anytime at all which is great. May 27, 2013 at 8:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.