Hello everyone, just a quick question. When you have a set sample rate and bit rate for a track or recording let’s say 48 khz sample rate and 32 bit float or 24 bit. Is it possible to convert that track or recording down if you had to but not back up? If I were to convert the track to let’s say 44.1 kHz and 16 bit, is it not possible to convert back up once the conversion from 48 kHz to 44.1 kHz sample rate and 32 or 24 bit to 16 bit has already been completed?
Also just thought of another question, what is a good work flow for working with a bunch of different samples at various sample rates and bit depths? If I’m working on 32 bit float at 48khz in my DAW but let’s say record vocals into my audio interface at 44.1khz at 24 bit rate, and also have other recordings at different sample rates and bit depths, would the recording still be compatible with my DAW sample rate and bit depth settings? Do you need to convert all the samples to the same sample rate and bit depth to that of your DAWs sample rate and bit depth settings?
To my understanding, sample rate can be changed without destruction. Whenever you work in a DAW all files need to be of the same sample rate in order to play together. 48kHz is preferable to 44.1kHz as the highest audible frequencies can be better reproduced as per Nyquist Theorem.
Bit rate is different in that once audio is dropped from one rate to a lower one, e.g. 32 to 24 or 16, the conversion throws out data that is no longer in the resulting file. If you convert from 24 to 16 then from 16 to 24, the data discarded when going down to 16 no longer exists and cannot be brought back.
When converting to 16 bit, there is an article written elsewhere here (SRC then Dither or Dither then SRC?) by Paul Fawkes that discusses in detail how to dither the conversion so that the discarded data can be replaced with noise that accounts for it in the resulting file.