We have a situation where we recorded tracks at 48khz. However, the final mix will be printed through an analog console. Is there any benefit - and if so, how much - to printing the mix through the console in 96khz instead of 48khz?


If the mix is not the final production stage, you should favor to preserve all information available and avoid introducing artifacts. So if you will master or further process the signal, sampling at 96k could help. Keep in mind the difference will often be imperceptible in simple cases, and the error would be very small if you are using ideal hardware and software.

If it is the final stage, there is not straightforward rule other than "let your ears decide" -or- "If it would not be A Bad Thing to record the mixer's output at 16 bit, then use 48kHz" because in this case wordlength is far more important.

A more 'complex' mix may benefit by being captured at a higher sampling frequency. Often, you would need to know what processes are/equipment is capable of introducing (desirable) content above the nyquist frequency of the digital source (e.g. effects, not levels). The other factors would be the quality and response of your studio's equipment at varying sampling frequencies, such as the A/D convertors. Finally, you should not overlook any necessary downsampling when deciding which is better.

So there are actually multiple stages which could introduce small but perceptible errors in this case, and your ears should determine which is better because there are many variables which are not consistent from studio to studio.

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