either i have a workload-related blackout or i'm missing some basics.....

i just completed editing a project consisting of audio material which was originally 44,100Hz. the audio is intended to accompany a video. what's the exact meaning if at all of exporting it at 48,000Hz? am i gaining a higher resolution by doing so? or it doesn't make any sense cause the original material was 44,100? will it affect the sound in any way when i export it at 48?


4 Answers 4


I guess that quality-wise, this wouldn't make any difference since your original material is recorded in 44.1kHz. It's not like you can add any clarity or frequencies just by exporting it to a higher sample-rate.

The issue might be here in the format that the person wants to use with the video. If you use 44.1kHz in a video file that is intended to go with 48kHz audio, you will encounter massive sync issues.

I might be missing something, so I would wait for some 'high-caliber' guys to answer the question.

  • @S_Mich is right with his quality comment. If you start with 41.1k samples and when you convert to 48k, the computer basically fills in the gaps with "0's" in its binary makeup --- Its the same as if you went from MP3 to Wav. There is no way to gain back your lost binary data once its removed. You dont gain any new audio or quality.
    – C3Sound
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 5:19

You need to be very careful to deliver the correct format as per the specs for the project. For films we are given a list of deliverables by the post supervisor...

One very important reason to work 48k in post, is due to digital laybacks. Tape formats like DigiBeta (common in TV land) work 48k, so if you provide 44.1k audio there are a number of potential problems, the worst case is that if it is laid back as though it IS 48k, then you'll get nasty aliasing artefacts ie your work will sound bad and/or drift in sync... To solve this problem they will have to waste valuable/expensive time converting your files...

You need to find out the spec for the delivery of the project before you start it, or if its too late for that, at least find out before you complete the job and make sure sample rate, bit rate, timecode, sync etc are all verified as correct...

PS in your specific case, I would also verify that the original field record actually IS 44.1k as that is not standard practice. Go back to the sound logs from the recordist and the original recordings and check, incase it has been incorrectly converted by the picture editor or assistant...

  • Spot on, if you have to deliver in 48k and get a some unusual sounds, try and use a dither effect as it may help. Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 21:29
  • @Ade, pretty sure Dither won't make much (if any) difference if your having problems whilst converting between sample rates. Dither is used when changing bit rates, ie. 24bit to 16bit, to make the quantization noise from truncation less noticeable.
    – deleted
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 11:21

no, it won't affect the sound at all. Converting low SR recorded sound to greater SR only gives you more headroom for Edits, process and the likes.

  • sorry, but what do you mean by "headroom for edits" ?
    – kampana
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 16:43
  • There will always be a small amount of error introduced with the conversion. Presumably the software sample rate conversion you are using has negligible artifacts.
    – endolith
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 20:11
  • Plug-ins work better and introduce less aritifacts at higher SR. So, working in higher SR lets you edit the sound furhter without corrupting it even if you ultimately have to reduce SR.
    – GMatijas
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 20:20

I don't have time to get into the details, but audio for picture only works at 48k. Not a resolution thing.

  • 4
    That is not a correct statement...you can do "audio for picture" at any sample rate you desire, be it 24000k to 192000k; like Tim stated, it is the delivery requirements that determine the workflow. For example, what if the project requires an analog layback? Audio file resolution is not a factor at that point. Correct me if I'm wrong... Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 19:16
  • My apologies, I think I may have misunderstood what was being asked. Film/broadcast specs, which I'm more often working with, have never asked for anything other than 48k files delivered digitally. Perhaps Tim can enlighten us as to whether or not he's ever been requested to deliver stems or elements to a mix stage at a resolution higher than 48k?
    – peeks
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 1:47

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