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What is the proper way to reduce sample rate and bit depth?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Okay, purposefully not posting in the Sound Science forum. Disregard whether I can even tell the difference between lossless and `lame -V 0`. Likewise, I don't care if 192/24 is the only way to get the most of my music. Thx.

I enjoy keeping some audio around as lossless, but I can't justify the disk space for anything over 44.1/16. That said, when I come across something with a higher sample rate and/or bit depth, I prefer to convert it. However, recent reading has me worried that I might be doing so incorrectly (or at least sub-optimally). For reducing bit depth, evidently I should dither, but I don't know what dither scale or method I should use. (For the latter, I assume it comes to personal preference?) For reducing sample rate, I have no idea what I should be doing beyond "here's a 48kHz file, give it back as 44.1kHz", if anything.

If you want to know my real world situation, usually WAV or FLAC files come into my hands (from SoundCloud or Bandcamp), and I use either the reference FLAC of FFmpeg CLIs for transcoding (although SoX has recently appeared on my radar). I usually type something like this into the command line:

 

ffmpeg -i input.file -compression_level 12 [-ar 44100 -sample_fmt 16] output.flac

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

In case anyone other than me cares, or if, in the future, someone asking the same question stumbles across this thread, my question was answered elsewhere.

The short / practical answer is: Use SoX; the defaults for resampling and dithering work great.

I'm no expert, but if you have questions beyond what is covered in the links here and in the OP, I can try to answer them, or at least point you in the right direction.

post #3 of 4

I would just add that resampling from 48kHz to 44.1 kHz is probably not worth it - the space saving is just a mere 10% and some people claim audible quality difference.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

I would just add that resampling from 48kHz to 44.1 kHz is probably not worth it - the space saving is just a mere 10% and some people claim audible quality difference.

 

True, true. I'd probably be more concerned with possible artifacts from the conversion itself than any audible difference between 48 and 44.1 kHz, but I agree. Thanks!

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