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Topic: What sample rate to choose for casual use? (Read 876 times) previous topic - next topic
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What sample rate to choose for casual use?

Hi guys.

I wouldn't really classify this as an "audiophile" question. Just a generic technical audio question so as to get the best possible result.
So I recently got some decent bookshelf speakers, and I was wondering at what sample rate should I set the device on Windows.
The soundcard is just a regular internal Realtek that's on my B450M motherboard.
I just listen to regular 44.1kHz/16-bit 320kbps/v0 MP3s, nothing fancy.
And some gaming, both old ones and new ones (I mention this because as far as I'm aware, older games tend to use 44.1kHz audio, while newer ones mostly use 48kHz).

I've seen conflicting views on what sample rate to choose, some say that modern soundcards are designed to "natively" work at 48Khz, so it's better to choose that.
Others say to choose 44.1kHz so as to avoid resampling.
Right now I have it at 44.1kHz/24-bit (is it bad setting a higher bit depth if given the choice, by the way?)

As a secondary question I'd like to ask if WASAPI makes this question redundant, at least for music.
I mostly use AIMP as an audio player, and it has a WASAPI option.
So for anyone who might know, does WASAPI automatically switch to the input's sample rate, if I understand correctly?

Thank you very much for any help!

Re: What sample rate to choose for casual use?

Reply #1
Quote
I've seen conflicting views on what sample rate to choose, some say that modern soundcards are designed to "natively" work at 48Khz, so it's better to choose that.

Sound cards aren't designed for any specific sampling rate, although sometimes the driver only exposes one rate or another.  The hardware itself doesn't care so long as you don't exceed its maximum frequency. 

I would just leave your music in whatever format it came in.


Re: What sample rate to choose for casual use?

Reply #2
So for anyone who might know, does WASAPI automatically switch to the input's sample rate, if I understand correctly?

More or less
WASAPI is a protocol and all it does is transferring the audio from the media player to a destination.
If this destination is Win audio (shared mode), the audio will be converted to float, dithered and converted back to integer because that is the way the mixer works.
Likewise all audio will be converted to the sample rate as set in the sound panel.
If WASAPI is used in exclusive mode, the Win audio is bypassed, the audio is send directly to the audio device.
Hence if the sample rate changes, the audio device will receive this changed rate.
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: What sample rate to choose for casual use?

Reply #3
Hi guys.

I wouldn't really classify this as an "audiophile" question. Just a generic technical audio question so as to get the best possible result.
So I recently got some decent bookshelf speakers, and I was wondering at what sample rate should I set the device on Windows.
The soundcard is just a regular internal Realtek that's on my B450M motherboard.
I just listen to regular 44.1kHz/16-bit 320kbps/v0 MP3s, nothing fancy.
And some gaming, both old ones and new ones (I mention this because as far as I'm aware, older games tend to use 44.1kHz audio, while newer ones mostly use 48kHz).

I've seen conflicting views on what sample rate to choose, some say that modern soundcards are designed to "natively" work at 48Khz, so it's better to choose that.
Others say to choose 44.1kHz so as to avoid resampling.
Right now I have it at 44.1kHz/24-bit (is it bad setting a higher bit depth if given the choice, by the way?)

As a secondary question I'd like to ask if WASAPI makes this question redundant, at least for music.
I mostly use AIMP as an audio player, and it has a WASAPI option.
So for anyone who might know, does WASAPI automatically switch to the input's sample rate, if I understand correctly?

Thank you very much for any help!

I used to resample everything to 44.1/16 in order to prep them for CD burning if needed.  But CDs are obsolete now, so there's no reason to privilege the good ol' 44.1/16 anymore---at least, not in my case.

But as you mentioned, resampling is gonna result in lost quality, even if you resample 'upwards.'  (It will also be a slower encode.)  So, the logical conclusion is to never resample unless you have some weird reason to do so.

If you're creating a brand new audio file (for instance if you want to record yourself playing guitar) then there's no clear answer.  I guess you could just do the maximum rate your hardware supports.

Re: What sample rate to choose for casual use?

Reply #4
The ideal rate has always depended on the combination of card/DAC, OS and API what kind of results you want. Windows 7 WaveOut worked better with 44.1K. However, both WASAPI and WaveOut in Windows 8.x+ in my experience work fine with 48K. So while it's true that there's no one ideal rate, systems seem to be heading toward 48KHz as an ideal mixing rate. I know I would prefer 48KHz for the greater bandwidth and flexibility (which can make for better quality, typically) without going overboard on inaudible frequencies. BUT for the most part, sample rate conversion is more costly than necessary; it takes optimizations for both quality and speed, especially for multiple sound channels. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised to find modern OSes carry built-in conversion of 44.1-to-48, making it completely pointless to personally upsample CD music.

 
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