Project Rates and Recording

Does it matter when I record what the project rate is on when I record my vinyl? I learned that I can change the rate when exporting out to MP3 to avoid a dialog box, so I was wondering if it mattered what it was set for to begin recording.


Normally you would want 44100 Hz if the final file is for CD, or 48000 if it is for DVD. Up to 96000 Hz may be appropriate for irreplaceable archive files (with two or three back-up copies stored in different physical locations. Anything over 96 kHz (96000 Hz) is overkill for audio and may produce inferior sound quality. 8000 Hz may be appropriate for speech recordings where small file size is more important than sound quality.

When Audacity is launched (opened), the Project Rate is set by the “default” setting in “Edit menu > Preferences > Quality”.

This default setting can be overridden by manually changing the Project Rate.

There is also a “special case” when importing a file into an empty Audacity project. In this case, the Project rate will automatically change to match the imported file. This only applies when there is no other audio in the project when the file is imported.

New audio tracks can be created from the Tracks menu, or when recording is started. In both cases the “track rate” (the sample rate for the track) is automatically set the same as the Project rate.

For most recording projects you would already have the “default” sample rate set in preferences (usually 44100), then when you open Audacity the Project rate is automatically set the same and when you start recording the track rate is automatically set the same, and when you export the file sample rate is set the same.

Thanks Steve!