Metronome sound changes with new interface


(Mikebourgeault) #1

I got a new interface yesterday (M-audio m-track 2x2) and am running into a strange issue. If I set up the session at 44.1kHz or 48kHz (highest I could go before this was 48kHz), the metronome sounds fine. If I try at 192kHz, the metronome sound is so high pitched I can barely hear it. Is there an easy work around for this that I missed?


(Robin Gareus) #2

Ardour’s metronome is not re-sampled and the same samples are used as-is. So yes with a higher sample-rate the clicks will be pitched up.

You could load custom sounds in Preferences > Metronome to work around this. Disable “Use built-in default sounds” and load some custom 192kHz click sounds.


But why use 192kHz? Are you making music for bats and dolphins? :slight_smile: Chances are that the sound-quality is actually worse than at 48k. Unless you have special equipment (microphones, pre-amps) that can handle higher sample-rates and all the analog signal path (amp, transducers, speaker) supports this properly, it’s highly unlikely that there is any meaningful information in the spectrum above 20kHz.
It’s mostly a marketing gimmick. Besides you likely won’t even find speakers that can play back signals above 22kHz and in fact it’s most likely worse, inaudible frequencies will be fold back into the audible range by transducers and you get harmonic distortion.
Some further background reading: https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
/rant

A sample-rate of 44.1k or 48kHz is more than sufficient for music production.


(Mikebourgeault) #3

So is there any point in upgrading at all? I’ve been using my Alesia mulimix 16 FireWire since I got it in 2005. I likenit. I know it’s signal flow and can use it for lots of things. Plus 16 I outed rather than 2. This new interface is only 2x2. I find it somewhat clumsy to make it do what I want. It may get returned.


(Robin Gareus) #4

Well, since your old soundcard was a firewire one, It is hard to find a new machine that still has a 1394 interface. – other than that you may have downgraded from the Alesis 16 :slight_smile: but I don’t know the Alesis MultiMix first hand, nor how well it aged in your case.

Most soundcards starting mid 2000’s were already already audibly transparent, at least the digital part of it. There’s still a significant difference, particularly the converters and the analog electronics which may give you reason to upgrade.

  • better pre-amps
  • higher clocks accuracy (not higher sample-rate)
  • less noise
  • robust built
  • more I/Os
  • precise controls (e.g. no cheap rubber knobs)

A new hype since a few years is to include hardware-based FX for zero-latency monitoring and shipping matching VST plugins of those effects.

In any case the 2x2 is probably fine for a lot of things, esp small studios or home-recording.

…but the 192kHz SR on those cheap devices is pretty much useless. Try with a spectrum analyzer and see if there’s any meaningful signal at all above 24kHz, above 48kHz … up to 96kHz?