what is the normal sample rate and sample size for post production? is there any diffrence in sample size and sample rate of tv movies and theaters?

7 Answers 7


Required delivery for nearly all HDTV broadcast stations these days is 24-bit/48K. Now, that doesn't mean you can't do the sound design at 96 or 192k, but you'll have to dumb it down for delivery. Movies will also be done at either 48K or 96K for final deliverables.


Its a vague question: "for post production?"

The sample & bit rate you work at during post production is a different issue to the sample & bit rate for release/delivery format....

For film, location sound is 24bit 48k poly, I do most FX field recording now at 24 bit 192k, I do sound design/processing 24 bit 192k or 96k or 48k while dialogue editors & foley work 24 bit 48k, We mix 24 bit 48k so my final edit sessions are 24bit 48k

FWIW the 24 bit vs 16bit is as significant as the sample rate... (I wouldn't want to be working 16bit & haven't in a decade or more)

The delivery format depends on the medium, versions of a film soundtrack are created for each medium

  • output for film sound neg
  • output for HD Master
  • output for SD Master
  • output for DVD
  • etc...

In the UK, its 48k 16 bit for Television.


48khz 16bit remains the industry standard for both formats. To get you started and and answer some basic (and technical) questions, I'd recommend picking up "Sound for Film and Television".


  • 2
    Hey there @Danger, I reckon it may be worth keeping promoting this "library for sound designers" thread socialsounddesign.com/questions/1945/…. The more people know about it, the more likely they are to post about other books and it'll serve all of us and many more :) While we're at it, we can help keeping the info on there up-to-date. Nov 28, 2010 at 20:57
  • Amazing text!!!! Singlehandedly changed my perspective on Diversion. Nov 30, 2010 at 15:09

Standard for any video work is 48k/16b, however your question leaves an open door that I'm offering to shut: 48/16 is the release/broadcast standard, however while still in the postproduction process, the use of higher bit rates and sample rates is preferable.

In any process, the higher the resolution of the source/input the better the quality of the result/output of the process will be.

  • I didn't see your answer before writing mine justin so I think I was walking through that open door just as you slammed if shut! - Yes, my answer refers to during the post process rather than at the broadcast stage. Nov 28, 2010 at 21:03

IMHO, I'd have said 48k/24bit, whether film or telly. Not solely as my own personal preference either - in my experience that's the format that location recordists are delivering rushes at these days.

  • So, @Michael, are you saying 48k dialogue over 96k or even 192k? I reckon that the trend around here, for effects and music at least, has been to encourage higher sample rates. Nov 28, 2010 at 22:52
  • Not stating a preference - just observing what seems to be the norm in my experience. So you have dubs operating at 96 or 192k? Nov 29, 2010 at 12:21
  • @Michael, no I don't, I was only asking ;) Nov 29, 2010 at 22:01
  • I work at 48/24 for film. Smaller films where I have total control over I do at 96K the whole way, but that is rare. Unfortunate, I think. But there are those who argue with me that they can't hear the difference between 96K and 48K... And even 16 bit to 24... Can't believe that one.
    – Utopia
    Nov 30, 2010 at 7:33

As Noiseboy said, the standard in the UK is 48 KHz 16 Bit. Sometimes the sound post-production superviser will request 24 Bit resolution as this allows about 20 dB more headroom, but this will always be agreed upon before the shoot. Although many cameras record at 48 KHz, 16 Bit this is likely to change in the future - camera technology is continually developing and storage mediums are also getting maller in physical size but bigger in storage size.

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