I am looking at making some voice clips for teaching languages. I am using Audacity, but am not sure what settings to use. Many people recommend 44,100Hz for regular music recordings. Is this also the same for voice? Or does voice need a smaller sample rate? I will be recording as mono instead of stereo.

When saving as MP3 I have quality options: Insane, Extreme, Standard, and Medium. It is currently set to Standard. Would voice clips be okay on Medium or would Standard have a more clear sound?

I am trying to keep sound files as small as possible with the least amount of "noticeable" distortion.


  • 1
    Keep those settings, you're ok, i dont know if this needs a more detailed answer
    – frcake
    Jan 30 '19 at 16:02
  • Will I notice a difference if I go lower than 44,100? I know there is a difference for music, but was wondering about voice as voice doesn't have quite the same range of sound.
    – kojow7
    Jan 30 '19 at 17:16
  • A voice recorded through an ok microphone has a good amount of frequencies, there are complete musical arrangements made only with vocals. You shouldnt be concerned when using 44.1 (cd quality). If you're interested in what happens when you digitize sound, you should post another question.. the question's title doesn't really imply a full blown explanation of what happens when you quantize sound, and even if it did it would take a book to answer. 44.1 is industry standard. Lowering the sample rate a lot lower would at some point be unpleasant, but thats another topic i think..
    – frcake
    Jan 30 '19 at 17:32

Record PCM WAV at 48kHz. 16 Bit resolution is fine. Mono is fine.

There is no need to reduce the sampling rate. Moving to a non-standard sampling rate may cause interface issues down the track. Stay at 48kHz and you will be fine.

  • This answer implies that 48 kHz is somehow "standard", which is not at all my experience. It is only standard when recording sound for film, except in cases where it has been supplanted by 96 kHz or 192 kHz. For music, 44.1 kHz was as close to a standard as there was for many years, now it's also mainly supplanted by 96 kHz, but some may use 88.2 kHz or 176.4 kHz. Feb 7 '19 at 21:20

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