The excellent choice Between: sample formats & Sample Rate.

Hello friends,

I really like this wonderful forum. There is a lot of valuable information here. And the members are quite friendly and helpful.

I am in the process of recording an audio book. My setup is: a quite room, Toshiba Cosmio laptop, Samson CO3U USB mic, pop filters, vocal booth, thick bed sheets hanging in front of mic, windows 7, laptop is distant from mic.

I am a wondering what is the best combo as far as combining both making Sample formats & Sample Rate? The mic I am using is great, but it is after all a USB mic.

Sample Rate: 8000 Hz, 11025 Hz, 16000 Hz, 22050 Hz, 44100 Hz, 48000 Hz, 96000 Hz.
Sample format: 16-bit PCM, 24-bit PCM, 32-bit PCM.

Thank you so much!

Am I right in assuming that you will be distributing via CDs?

If so that I would work with Audacity set at its default 32-bit floating 44100 Hz - and then when exporting the final product down-sample by exporting to WAV at 16-bit 44100 Hz (the Red Book CD standard) with either shaped or triangular dithering.


What’s the possibility that the 32-float setting will refuse to connect to the USB microphone?
“Error while opening sound device”?


That’s not a problem (tested on Linux and Windows). Portaudio and the sound system should be able to come to an amicable arrangement so that 16 bit audio is accepted from the USB and padded to 32 bit float in Audacity. 32 bit float is the best format for processing (due to much greater precision than 16 bit) so yes I agree that 32-bit floating 44100 Hz is the best format (or 48000 Hz if the final destination format is DVD video).

Yup, that’s exactly how Audacity handles the 16-bit data coming in from my Edirol UA-1EX soundcard - and handles it well :slight_smile:


Hi again and thanks a lot!
I am as you know am using Samson C03U:

And in the first paragraph of the site it says: “Capturing audio at 16-bit (bit depth) resolution up to a 48kHz sampling rate, the C03U offers the accuracy you need to be sure that what you hear is what you get.”

Is that in agreement with what you are saying?
IE does will the suggested settings (format rate and sample rate) work smoothly with the C03U MIC?

your replies are greatly appreciated!

It should be fine. Virtually all USB microphones support 16 bit at 44100 or 48000 Hz - it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to only quote the higher sample rate (so as to appear more impressive in the sales literature :wink:).

So in short this means that I should do the followings in the following order:

A. While Recording: Use 44100 Hz and 32 bit float.
B. Exporting to WAV (for the purpose of editing & applying effects): Use 44100 Hz and 16 bit float.
C. Exporting to MP3: 128 kbps.

am I right? is this a good way to go?

You guys are awesome!

I would suggest:

A. While Recording: Use 44100 Hz and 32 bit float.
B. Export a raw capture copy at 32-bit WAV (and back it up)
C. Do all editing in Audacity at 32-bit float (that gives you the headroom you need)
D. Export final production to WAV 44100 Hz and 16 bit float (and back it up) - this is your master and you can burn CDs from this.
E. Export to MP3: 128 kbps - for use on a portable player

Personally I use 256 bitrate - even with my ageing ears I can hear compression damage at 128 - this still gives a compression ratio of 9 or 10 to 1.