Over the past few days, I have been feverishly working on mastering our next song and it’s going incredibly well and something I am very proud of. But one interesting issue I ran into was weird artifacts that sound like ring modulation once I down-sampled from 96kHz down to 44.1kHz. I’m still figuring out why. According to everything I know about audio, that shouldn’t be happening. I wonder if it’s an issue with Ableton’s resampling features but it’s odd nonetheless.

I took a look at the waveforms in Audacity and you can indeed see more complexity between 96kHz and 44.1kHz. After a bit of research, I’m thinking it may be an aliasing problem as I am using both a bit-cruncher and heavy EQ filter on the track that is affected.

Sampling Conundrum - 44kHz versus 96kHz

I’m not suggesting to go against Science! or anything, but I have always thought 24-bit / 96kHz sounded better to my ears – or at least that “CD quality” isn’t as wonderful as it may initially appear. The bigger issue there is the bit-depth (in my opinion), but this is the first time I have run into an issue where sampling rate is an issue. I wonder how this type of phenomenon would sound on vinyl…