44 or 48 and how?

So I noticed 48 is now the default setting in Ardour.
I guess most of my soundcards defaults to 48 as well (Focusrite)

I’ve been back and forth around this before. Like eight or nine years ago I believe.
I remember having to be cautious of which samples and recordings were 44 and which were 48.
I messed up my files and folders badly and in the end I then decided that the norm for audio was 44.1…
Well time messes with things and today I guess “CD-quality” aint a that hot reference anymore.
And there you find yourself pushed into the category of oldtimers. What can one do…
Anyways, I refuse to be too old to adapt so my question is;

Is there any neat way to make all these years of projects and files transform to a 48 default system?

Or is the easy way to stubbornly hold on to 44,1?

Jack is still my friend btw.


The default changed for new sessions.

When loading existing sessions it is perfectly fine to keep using 44.1kHz. Also if you create a new session the engine dialog allows you to pick 44.1kHz (if your soundcard supports it).

If you goal is to produce a CD, then continue to use 44.1kHz.

There is little effective difference: Most transducers cannot produce frequencies above 20kHz and very few humans can hear that. However for technical reasons many consumer soundcards only support 48kHz (HDA Intel, and most phones), and some streaming services also require that.


That only applies to the MAGA equivalence of the audio folks…
To the ones of us who are reasonably sane the Red Book specs of 16 bit and 44.1kHz is still perfectly fine.

For a multi-track recording session you may want to go with 48 or 88kHz and 24 bit, just to be on the absolute safe side, but if you do decide to go for 44.1/16 anyway and it ends up sounding like crap it’s 100% because of bad mic placement and/or mixing; not of the session settings.


It’s fine, but some media, e.g. some video formats, will require 48k, so 48k as a default makes sense if you are not explicitly targeting CD as the final release format.


You can always resample your 44.1 kHz audio to 48 kHz, without anyone being able to tell the difference, if it turns out you’re using Ardour for doing audio for a DVD/BluRay release.
The only exception would be if your target audience is dogs or bats…

What I’m saying is that from an audio high-fidelity POV 44.1/16 is more than “good enough”.
For “Average Joe” something like 32/12 would probably sound perfectly fine.
In fact, many of the old “classic” vinyl releases are probably in that vicinity; when it comes to the actual specifics.

Personally, I would prefer if the world moved away from 44.1 to 48, mainly, because CD is a dying format.

Red book had it’s place and it worked well, but it was created for a specific use-case which seems to be going away. Personally, I’ve not had a CD player in my home for years, and the last time I used one was to rip my CDs to my server about 10!years ago.

With everything moving towards digital downloads and streaming, and with video formats and many audio devices preferring 48 kHz sample rates, personally I think there’s not much reason in the industry to use 44.1 any more.

(Other than, on a local level, many audio interfaces only support 44.1 kHz).

Of course, it’s entirely possible that CD could be revived. After all, we are going through a vinyl revival at the moment. Maybe in several years time the audiophile community will “rediscover” CDs too

Agreed, but the reverse is true as well, and is probably less jarring to those who like to obsess over numbers.



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