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Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

Hey there!

Got this note from a client today:

David,

I’m working with a producer on an audiobook (outside of ACX) and he wants me to send him the raw audio in what he calls 48000. What does that mean and how do I do that?

Karen

It’s actually pretty easy, but it’s not advisable. Either way, here’s the answer.


Hope this helps!

David

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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
I heard from a student the other day who
got an email from a client she was doing
an audiobook for and the client was like
I’d like to increase the quality of my
book so could you please do your
recording at 48,000 sample rate 48,000
Hertz I’ve heard that’s better you know
this is a is a wonderful opportunity to
say this is why you hold the hand of
your clients when you’re doing
audiobooks so they don’t make mistakes
like this 48,000 Hertz as a sampling
rate is used for video and for films but
not for audiobooks audiobooks are always
sampled at 44100 Hertz or samples and
what this means basically is how many
samples per second how many discrete
pieces of data per second sound is
broken up into and described in that
data so for example one second of sound
at 44100 is cut up into forty-four
thousand one hundred individual slices
and each one of those slices is assigned
a value and then when it’s played back
all of those things all the slices that
were recorded are stuck together and
played back and that’s why you get
really great sound forty eight thousand
is more samples but it causes some
issues with other pieces of software
that work on your sound especially in
mp3 so we want to stick with 44100 so
having said that i’m happy to talk to
you about using audacity and changing
the sample rate what you’re seeing on
the screen is just a real quick track
that I recorded and if you’ll notice in
the lower left hand corner of the
recording window it says the project
rate is 44100 now I can drop that menu
down that is the sample rate for this
particular track and I can change it to
48,000 for the future but it’s not going
to change this tracks this track sample
rate that’s still gonna be 44100 so I’m
gonna put that back so I don’t forget um
if I wanted to change this tracks
sample rate and cut it up into more
slices I would then go up to the tracks
menu and choose the resample option and
then this too has a drop-down menu and I
changed that to 48,000 and then what
happens is it just basically goes in and
resamples everything so but the project
rate you’ll note is still 44100 just
this track has been resampled that’s one
way now if overall you decide you’re
gonna be doing nothing with video work
and you want to go ahead and change the
sample rate for all of your projects not
just the new tracks that are that are
coming then you want to set it overall
in audacity’s preferences and in
preferences there’s a pane called
quality and right here you see the same
drop down menu so you can choose 48,000
you can choose whatever you want it goes
very high 96,000 is for high def sound
but we want to keep things at 44100
that’s really what we want to do because
that’s what everybody uses that’s what
everybody should be using and that’s
what you want to push back a little bit
on your client and say yeah I know it
sounds like it’s really good but for
audiobooks you want to keep it at 44100
that’s how the industry works and really
be firm about that because you can screw
up your production process if you decide
to start changing sampling rates in the
middle of things or even at the
beginning of things because audible for
example expects things to be sampled at
44100 and by the way that’s CD quality
right if you play any CD any CD you’ve
gotten it is sampled those little silver
discs you remember those they’re sampled
at 44100 which means a three and a half
minute song would have about 9.2 million
pieces of data that were recorded
digitally and then are reconstituted to
play that three and a half minutes worth
of music so it’s very high quality audio
files would poopoo that but you know
audio books aren’t audiophile quality
audio anyway so there you go that’s how
to change it but don’t change it so any
comments on that was that confusing to
you did you understand that did I
efficiently scare you away from doing it
unless you’re doing video or film I hope
so
but that’s how to change it because
somebody asked the question if you’d
like to join my list and get different
you know little things that help you
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8 Responses to Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

  1. Suzan Lorraine July 13, 2019 at 7:30 am #

    I’ve been doing some books for Learning Ally and they prefer 22050 and unmastered .mp3 files for submission which they then master. What does that sampling level do?

    • David Wandelt July 13, 2019 at 12:51 pm #

      44,100 is for stereo (two tracks at 22,050 each). If you’re sending just one mono track, the sound quality of 22,050 should be identical. Perhaps DHLXVII has a different take on it.

  2. ed waldorph July 13, 2019 at 7:34 am #

    My only comment is that Sample Rate, set during recording, is most important when saving files—primarily for compatibility with player software and devices. It also factors in if you work with Digital Video Workstation programs.

    Without going into excruciating and boring detail, after looking into it, I have decided to record at 48 KHz Sample Rate and then down-sample to 44.1 KHz when saving for audio projects. This keeps the higher Sample Rate uncompressed files for later pickups or processing or use in DV.

    I was heartened when this was validated recently by Tim Tippets.

  3. Deborah Geffner July 13, 2019 at 11:23 am #

    Crystal clear as usual. Thanks.

  4. David Wandelt July 13, 2019 at 12:53 pm #

    This is great. Gives me another question to add to my job intake questionnaire. Thanks!

    • David H. Lawrence XVII July 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm #

      Because we’re recording mono to begin with, the interleaving of two sets of 22,050 samples per second is not the same as one set of 44,100 samples. I’d leave it right where it is at 44,100 so as not to cause any issues down the line with mathematical analysis of the sound by testing engineers.

  5. Brian Arens July 13, 2019 at 8:31 pm #

    Hi David,

    I realize that maybe you didn’t want to go into a lot of technical detail in your answer, but having watched the video, I don’t feel like I got anything that I would be able to potentially say to a client when pushing back and suggesting they stick with 44.1 kHz other than “that’s the way things work.” I heard you say at some point (I think?) that putting it at 48 kHz can cause problems down the line, but I’ve never heard that before, and without knowing more I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying it to a client because of the obvious egg-on-my-face follow-up:

    me: putting it at 48 kHz can cause problems
    client: what kind of problems?
    me: [crickets]

    Are you able to provide more detail in a way doesn’t make those of us who aren’t super tech-savvy go cross-eyed?

    Thanks!
    Brian

  6. Chris Buckner July 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm #

    Interesting. I didn’t know that’s what CDs are sampled at, or what 48000 was used for. Thanks for the info David.

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