Pro Audio Files

Home Mastering: How to Convert Sample Rate

Have you seen The Godfather? I bet you haven’t. Unless you’re in England. Yes, I’m talking about the godfather of home mastering education, Ian Shepherd.

Ian has put this video together showing us how to use Sample Manager from Audiofile Engineering to quickly (batch) convert sample rate. Besides sample rate conversion, Sample Manager also has over 50 other process actions available and uses iZotope’s industry best 64-bit SRC™ and MBIT+™ dither. There is a 15-day free trial, so definitely check it out.

He also discusses why high-quality sample rate conversion is important, how to find out if the SRC in your DAW is any good, and whether high sample rates might actually be making your music sound worse.

Ian has been putting out invaluable articles, guides and videos over at Production Advice for years now, including How to Master Your Own Music — The Basics.

Anyway, he just opened up his Home Mastering Masterclass, and it’s 30% off this week. You can even enter to win a free place in the course.

Check out the trailer below to learn more!

P.S. Ian was asked in the YouTube comments what the advantage of changing to 32-bit is, and gave this useful answer:

That’s a whole other video! But the most important benefit is that floating-point prevents damage by clipping. If your signal is peaking at (or near) 0 dBFS, the SRC process may result in it going above zero.

In 24-bit this may cause distortion, whereas in 32-bit floating point you can either add a limiter to control the peaks cleanly, or reduce the level as required.

Make sure you check out the Home Mastering Masterclass for more info!

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Dan Comerchero

Dan Comerchero

I'm Dan, Founder of The Pro Audio Files and Quiztones ear training apps. I'm probably checking Instagram if you want to say hi.

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  • Frank Gustafson

    Great info! Thanks!

    I have a question about SRC :

    I use Protools LE 8.0 And I can see that by conversion Protools makes a “mirror sound” starting at around 22Khz and bouncing down the frequencies. The “mirror sound” Only occurs at 22Khz. My question is: if I make a High Cut in my master at 20Khz so that there’s no more sound at around 22Khz will I then solve the problem with the conversion artefacts?

    • Tapio Sintonen

      Actually that’s what the conversion algorithms are already trying to do 🙂 Such a steep high cut is well beyond the capabilities of regular EQ plugins, so that’s why we need these great algorithms.

      The Pro Tools conversion is ok quality for typical music production, when there is little content at 20 kHz or above. In the sweep diagrams the problems appear much worse than they really are. It’s a -6 dBFS test signal. Listenable music shouldn’t get anywhere that loud near 20 kHz 🙂 But all respect to the stuff in Ian’s video!

    • Frank Gustafson

      Thanks To Ian And Tapio! (I´m a bit late here on this). Well, I think the best sollution would be to make some comparison tests and listen carefully then. I think it will be between ProTools and Audacity. The test signal proved nearly flawless for Audacity 2.0.3 or would that just be an amazingly precise and sharp EQ on the work there? :-)).

    • Frank Gustafson

      As I can see on the image from Audacity 2.0.3 in the SRC Comparisons it actualy LOOKS LIKE the signal gets dimmed just before it hits the 22 Khz. Like as if some EQ makes a steep low pass 🙂
      Gonna give r8brain free from Voxengo a shot as well!

    • Yup, I agree with Tapio. If this bothers you, I would use a different converter. In practise, you are unlikely to hear major problems – but as a mastering engineer I can’t go with that 🙂

  • Travis MacDonald

    This is great but it made me think of something else. This is all for mastering but what about converting when producing. I usually just drag and drop samples into Logic Pro. I guess if the sample rates do not match the project then every time I drag something in it uses Logic’s algorithm to change it to match the project? That could be a lot of added distortion couldn’t it? If someone was to use this procedure on every sample that was used to create a song in Logic that could take a lot of time….or am I wrong? I do understand it for the mastering process….thanks again for your tips. =)

    • Personally I would do the same thing when converting for production too. But Logic’s conversion is pretty good, so I wouldn’t agonise too much 🙂

  • Jeffry Murphy

    WOW! This is just amazing, Ian! Great mastering skills! Thanks! You are the best!

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