Issues recording 48khz audio over 41khz audio

Audacity Version: 3.0.0
Operating System: Windows 10

Hi, I’m trying to record audio at 48khz over music that I imported that has a sample rate at 41khz.

I’m using the 48khz sample rate to record to vocals, because in my experience, it sounds much better than 41khz.

I know that it is possible to do this in Audacity, because I have done it many times before, but I can’t seem to get it to work this time.

The problem is the following:

  • I open audacity, and set the sample rate to 48khz
  • I do a test recording of my voice, and it sounds fine
  • I import the music file which is sampled at 41khz
  • I do a test recording of my voice after importing the file, and my voice sounds high pitched and too fast
  • The sample rate shown in the bottom left does not change throughout this process, but any recordings I do after I import the music are too high pitched.
  • The previous test recording at 48khz still sounds fine

I do not have a lot of knowledge with Audacity and audio in general, so I apologize in advance. I also apologize if this is a repeat question, but I looked extensively and couldn’t find a similar question.

I appreciate any help, thanks!

That might be a driver or hardware problem…

But you can upsample the 44.1kHz file to 48kHz by exporting it after changing the Project Rate. Then re-import it and everything should “match” when you record the 2nd track.

I’m using the 48khz sample rate to record to vocals, because in my experience, it sounds much better than 41khz.

That shouldn’t happen either but that too could be some kind of unusual driver/hardware problem. Some hardware runs internally at a fixed sample rate and any conversions are done automatically by the software & drivers. Normally that automatic resampling is transparent as long as you stay at 44.1kHz or higher. Or it could just be a placebo effect. :wink:

audio over 41khz audio

And just to cover this, you are talking about 44100 Audio CD sampling rate, right? Versus 48000 video sampling rate?

There is no 41000 convention that I know of. If you did mean 41000, then that may be why it doesn’t sound very good. That puts the first significant distortion product at 15.7KHz which, depending on your hearing (and age) is audible.

Did you do an actual test? If you’re comparing a bunch of badly made MP3 files at 44100 to a video rip at 48000, then I could probably sort that without a lot of trouble.

Video editors tend to whip past your job without even blinking. Everybody on earth wants to mix 44100 work into their video. Audio editors not so much. You can get into trouble by crossing rates in Audacity.

The truly obsessive will want to record at 96000, 24bit like the studios do. You can’t hear that improvement, but you can process and convert that to anything else with no trouble or damage. Those are the “Studio Master Tapes.”


OK, I personally think it is a good idea to be careful not to mix up playback and recording sampling rates. For me, I feel you are just asking for buffer overflows and underruns. There are others here that may disagree (and generally, they have more experience with this than I). Regardless, let me suggest that after you load your 44.1kHz track, that you resample it with Tracks > Resample > 48000. Hopefully, this will avoid your problem.

I was able to duplicate your problem:

  1. Windows 10, open Audacity 3.0.0, Tools > Reset Config; USE HEADPHONES
  2. Generate DTMF, save as dtmf.WAV (s.b. 44100); exit Audacity
  3. open Audacity 3.0.0, Set Project sample rate to 48000Hz (lower left-hand corner)
  4. Device Toolbar: 2 (Stereo) Recording Channels
  5. Record (stereo) my pitch pipe (E4) from built-in laptop microphone. Play back verified E4; track says 48000Hz, Plot Spectrum confirms E4(339Hz)
  6. File Import dtmf.WAV file 41400Hz, track says 44100Hz
  7. Using headphones, Shift-record new (stereo) track, E4 from pitch pipe. Track says 48000, but:
  8. Solo new track, pitch differs from pitch pipe. Analyze Plot Spectrum confirms problem: F4(355Hz)
  9. Error does not occur if tracks recorded in Mono (why?)