Bit Depth and Sampling Rate


DIY Mastering


Lesson Info

Bit Depth and Sampling Rate

Okay, so let's get geeky with it um bit depth and sampling rate I know this sounds so boring so we're going to make this nice and fast and you're gonna learn some really cool little details that will make you it's so it's way easier for this so bit depth for a bite this is twenty four bit sixteen bit and then some systems have thirty two in sixty four these days if you can and I'm sure you can get hard drives or cheap you want two recorded your highest bit depth that your audio interface allows and the highest sampling frequency that your ability to mix with your plug in this allowed this is because one you want a future proof your music every day another service is allowing you to have twenty four bit ninety six kilohertz masters basically you want a future proof your music because everybody's gonna want to hear that stuff and then to it sounds better and there's no reason to not um in general if you can only afford and the way I usually would say people determine this is mixing at ni...

nety six kilohertz or eighty eight to kilohertz takes a lot more plug in power away from your plug ins then forty four one or forty eight kilohertz you want it if you khun use your poor kids you're not running out of cpu recorded eighty eighty or ninety six killer ts and twenty four bit obviously um auras high bit rate is it'll take your on your audio interface sampling rate is you know your audio measured per second basically sampling rate we could get into that this is how it's measured geeky this here's when you really need to know is the highest frequency that um you could record is your sampling rate cut in half so forty four one kilohertz beads you could do up to twenty twenty kilohertz coincidently is right where we could hear which is why these side teo developed it but they while they did that on a nice graph that wasn't actually true so what we've learned now in since the dark days of digital is that we all could hear muchmore above twenty killers in a perceptive way so the reason we now do ninety six kilohertz is that at forty eight killers we still hear harmonics and air and the sound sounds taller and the math sounds less closed off to our ears so what I like a lot now is that most of the plug ins that you guys would use these days is there's a thing with where we get into yet again the math so the math to me um I'll get a lot of masters that art sixty four sixteen forty four one kilohertz and if I might do that master at sixteen mid forty four one killers or twenty four bit forty one kilohertz instead of bouncing it up in up sampling you know they didn't record it and then taking it up to eighty eight to kilohertz I noticed the plug ins sound better and do better math and make a more pleasing sound if you take it up and then do it and do your work there now there's other reasons for this too that even if you can't mix at that and then you're going to a separate mastering file at the higher frequencies we're adding harmonics usually mastering so if you take your master up you recorded at twenty forbid forty eight kilohertz and then you take it upto twenty four but ninety six gill hurts the master the thing to remember is we're adding tonnes of harmonics so those harmonics are creating frequencies that go up higher than the uh what do you call it twenty kilohertz that forty four one cuts off at we want to capture those harmonics and if you don't believe me this exists watch your frequency analyzer as you add harmonics your mix all the sun and you start seeing information happen above everything you recorded because it's adding those harmonics back onto it it really really really helps your sets out um as well you know when we're all talking about let's get things loud and clear and punchy the higher bit depth of the higher sampling great allow that to happen you know the bit depth allows a wider dynamic range it allows mohr of ah puncheon just power in your sounds and you're able to just get and more optimized it's so easy to do in hard drives are so cheap these days I don't care how poor you are you can afford to do this somehow so as I just said you want a master at your optimal bit depth and sampling rate twenty four ninety six is plenty great um if for some reason you really have one of those audio phrases that records at sixty four bit which I don't think I've ever encountered go right for it if your system allows you to, um lowering the bit rate's going to reduce the dynamic range now the biggest thing that I often hear about this is but jesse you know, uh, cds and everything we listen to is sixteen but forty four wood or even worse a web stream off my space or something horrible sounding like that you want a one future proof your trucks and head to the higher you go from the original source, the better the diluted source is going to sound. So we have to always remember that somebody is inevitably going to listen to your record on a terrible laptop through a terrible street about a terrible website, but if you do all sorts of great things before it it's going to sound much better as compared to if you just wind from the start and said oh well no one's going to hear that anyway and plus you also want your record gets popular wouldn't be so dice to record release twenty four bit ninety six killer hurt version of your record for all those nerds to sit further audio files speakers and saying look how talented this person is and then you're so great and you're everybody at the dinner party is impressed by this guy so as I sky said lowering the sample rate doesn't allow you to add harmonics that are pleasing to the year we all love the way the higher sampling rate sounds so do that the way we lower assembly right and arbitrated simply right is a process called dithering and noise shaping but we're going to talk about that a little bit later when you set up your song that should be pretty easy you do this every time you make one look at that you have your nice twenty four bitter sixteen good choice and then you have all these sample very choices here select the highest one you can work out and mix that if for some reason you go oh no I can't mix this anymore you could always save a copy and take it down to forty eight words or forty for one later when you bounce your mix I know you're going it's going to be four cd if you're good a master and manipulated mohr you want to do twenty four bits and then whenever is the multiple of your master so if you're at forty four one go up to eighty eighty two if you're at forty eight you recorded forty eight go up to ninety six kilohertz it's so easy to do it takes you so little time and will improve your products so well you do not want a master office sixteen mid forty four one kilohertz master because it just does not sound good at all um so if quick back to the kino real quick so the key takeaways for this uh section are if you're mixing your own material ensure you have a head for we wanted creatively take a take a you manipulate our harmonics are transients the way we want we're using compression like you would on instrument and don't short you're trying to short change your dynamics by using a lower bit rate and separate don't short change your frequency response as well I think that existed questions all right let's do it so we've got quite a few of them just kind of general stuff and uh first of all uh hernan gil asks what are the variable elements versus the ones used on every master and I want to address that so what? We're going to dio when we get into the tools next segment tomorrow rather is answered this exact question for you so we're going to say here are here, here, the here, the here is the menu here, the idea, you know, here the big categories on the menu, here's, the specific things you can choose from. So, you know, on so basically, like you answered the question before, you know, there's, frequency control and there's dynamic range. So those air kind of the two big ones here, different ways of doing that. So stay tuned tomorrow and you will get the bacon. Come on, that is that I have no problem turning off one of these things when they don't work all the time. Like, you know, I did a master right before I left for this, where I literally just put a cute a brick wall limiter on because it sounded greater than that. You shouldn't feel obliged that you have to use all these tools. I use all these tools because it's a method I've developed for my own stuff, but when I do, like more acoustic rock or like laidback rock, I wanted time that found filters go on a lot of time, that multi band compressor is gone, and I'm letting it be way more raw the day the data today, the one element is on every master is your ears that's true, and maybe your ears and your react emotional reaction? All right. Well, hernandez had a question as well, which is? I have ah, hard time hearing the character of gear or plug ins like there are too many different settings. Do you have a method for that? Yes. So just as we were talking about, you want to scroll through your presets and then manipulate the key to learning what different gear sounds like is using the dials and practicing hearing things back? Just as you know when you're learning to play guitar and you learn that strumming up by the neck is one sound versus storming out of the neck makes it much more staccato you gotta learn to play this justus he would've instrument through lots of trial and error playing around and learning with these knobs do just as you learn that the president snob on your on your guitar amp does something taking out those mids makes you dimebag darrell instantly. Whatever you need to do if you find this out over time great. Okay, you have one thing? Sure. S o this is a very broad question and I know that there's really no way you're going to be able to answer it uh directly, but it's from our friend michael montoya from goliath um how do you keep your loudness without losing punch? A lot of that is the one the subtle clippings at different stages that too how you e q into those compressors and three you're released times. Air compressors are released times and that's something we're gonna go away and do tomorrow is that your attack and release time in your compressor is a lot of your punch. Okay rival had asked, why do some commercially master tracks seem to clip on meters? Isn't everything supposed to only hit zero d be ok, so there's all meters air not calibrated the same. So that's one problem we have inherently to second problem we have is that I don't know how far we want to get into this kiki stuff, because it's, this is the type of thing that's almost a little good to google, but every time you do a digital process, you add an extra bit and clipping measures extra bits. I kind of feel like I can't answer it because maybe it's best if I send him some further reading, this is like another one of those subjects where I don't think it's gonna matter too much to how you work, and I want to give you guys really good knowledge on how to make good setting records, but this is an interesting thing to understand, so maybe I'll post this in the chat room, a link to this during the break or something since I think this is ah long interesting subject that you don't necessarily need to do to make good records, but the others they answer to this is that trump your meter's react differently to the way different ways that people do brick wall limiting and how they clip saw sounds and which authoring software they've used as well for there? Ah wave mp three cd, whatever it is, some of these things register clips and very weird ways. Here's another broad question, but I think an interesting one from kid pyramid where do you stand on realty tubes versus to modeling for distortion and warmth? Okay, so real tubes are great, wonderful sound that, you know, one of the reasons I love to send my tracks to alan doctors said west west side is he has this collection of all sorts of awesome to gear that can sound great, but sometimes it's actually too warm, and sometimes I've already warmed things up so much that I don't need those tubes. I have yet to hear one of the reasons you don't see any to modeling in what I'm doing today is I've yet to hear to modeling that sounds puzzle to myers, just like the harmonic excite er's I tend to find when people do say, I'm doing to modeling what they're really saying is, I'm making fizzy noise modeling that sounds really not pleasant to me personally, but one of my best friends and old studio partners, I watched him put that on everything. And man, his stuff sounds great when I master it. It's like a walk through the park, and it can be a great tool. But it's, not a tool I personally employ.

Class Description

Mastering is often the difference between a good recording and a bad one, but mastering is notoriously difficult to understand. In this two-day workshop, sound engineer Jesse Cannon — who’s worked with the likes of Ross Robinson, Saves the Day, Animal Collective, The Misfits and Man Overboard — shares what he’s learned about mastering from working at top-tier studios like WestWestSide Music and Cannon Found Soundation. 

While there’s no substitute for having an engineer master your music, that’s just not feasible for many artists. This class is the next best thing: a comprehensive guide to DIY mastering.

Jesse breaks down the mastering process from start to finish. You’ll discover the basic principles behind mastering, and learn about the processes and tools at your disposal. Jesse will identify and troubleshoot basic rookie mistakes, discuss lesser-known essential concepts as well as share his essential behind-the-board tools as he takes you through a few real-life examples.

After two days with Jesse, you’ll have everything you need to master your tracks with affordable tools.


Michael Pena

This class was awesome. Jesse goes into detail about the mastering process and best practices for mastering in an easy to understand way. The live mastering session was very informative and educational.