How do studios determine what resolution to record/master in?


How do studios determine what resolution to record/master in?

Ie., why don’t they all produce 24/192k masters instead of some albums being 88.2k, 96k, 48k, or even 44.1k?


It is possible that there is some disagreement among various entities in the recording industry as the best resolution to use when you are releasing music at different rates. 192k is not a multiple of 44.1 where 88.2 and 176.4 are. Some recordings are released at 24/48 so for those 192k would make sense as would 96k.

Others may have better ideas.


I’m just wondering if it’s a limitation of the equipment that’s the deciding factor or the band themselves, recording engineer, producer, mastering engineer, or?

(Martin Kelly) #4

Most commercial record companies such as BIS, proclaim in their liner notes to record at 24/96. However, some other record companies, such as Linn Records, record at 24/192. Others such as 2L record in DXD, and effectively ‘downsample’ to DSD for SACD releases etc.
I think it varies to some extent, but recording at 24/96 or 24/192 seems to be the norm these days.


Recording these days is often done at 24-bit for the extra headroom it provides during mixing. Sample rate will vary, but probably averages around 96k these days as most hardware will do that now and the storage isn’t super expensive.

For mastering, target is always going to be CD-equivalence. Partly because of the cost of distributing larger files, partly because RIAA is paranoid about piracy so doesn’t want to give out super high resolution files, and partly because anything higher than RedBook quality is completely pointless anyway. Especially to your average consumer listening on their craptacular iBuds…


CD mastering (44.1/16) is still the standard because in many parts of the world there is still a large market for physical CDs. Hi-res will remain a niche market for a long time to come. And as said above, hardly anyone really cares.

(Chris ) #7

When we record live gigs, it’s at 24/48 on our Mackie Digital PA system. Sounds great when mixed…

(Sean) #8

@Mediahound probably a question to ask here, where a bunch of mixing and mastering engineers hang:

I recently had some tech questions and was directly engaging with a famous and grammy award winning engineer, which was cool.