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FAQ – Recording Policies

If you would like to work with us on a project, please read about our recording policies and download our studio contract here.

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) environments are complicated.  We are standardizing our projects to meet the following criteria:

  • Project files and audio files at the end of each of the recording session day should be backed-up remotely or copied to a portable drive and  delivered to WWR.
  • You must utilize professional recording equipment, use ProTools (Avid),  Logic Pro (Apple) or other mutually agreed upon DAW software to manage the recording project.
  • Studios need to utilize templates, create separate project files for each song to streamline setup and uniformity between projects and to save mix/project versions and version bounces during the mixing sessions.  All versions should be retained and delivered to WWR upon completion.
  • Studios need to record all audio in 24 bit, 96 k sampling rate or better.  32 bit, 192k rate or higher preferred.  We utilize Hi-Rez Audio standards at Winding Way records, and require all of our studios to use 96K sample rates or better when tracking audio.  We suggest multiples of  48kHz, 96K, 192K,  or higher.  If you do not have this capability, its time to upgrade your interface and computer gear!
  • Audio gear needs periodic maintenance. If you are running tube gear or have vintage audio gear – it needs rebuilding.  Dirty pots, dried out caps, and poorly regulated power supplies must go!  Electrical connectors wear out or become dirty and oxidized.  Electrical power can be noisy and unstable. We recommend double-inversion UPS and large transformers to provide clean power – we don’t want that noise so please make sure your gear is in good working order before recording a session for WWR.
  • Why do we want these higher resolution?  Most MP video formats today utilize a 24 bit depth 48 kHz sample rate; Up-conversions from 44.1 are not recommended, so we prefer 98k or 192k because they are even multiples of that sample rate, and should have less aliasing distortion on down conversions. This sample rate preference is important in master/sync deals!
  • Our Hi-Rez Audio (HRA) distributors want Free Lossless Audio Codecs (FLAC) for audiophile consumption. They start at 96K, and prefer 192K.  Finally, CDs are at 44.1 Khz, so down-converting WAVs at 48K is doable with proper gear or software and with little or no audible detriment.  Dithering issues when going from higher bit orders to lower (32 bit to 24 bit) should be kept in check.

Theory check

One of the prevailing ideas in the industry is that 44.1 kHz is adequate because it satisfies the Nyquist rule of sampling at a rate of at least 2x the highest frequency signal in the recorded program.  This is misleading information.

The Nyquist sampling theorem assumes that the sampled signal is a steady-state signal (wave cycles repeat continuously), and as such sampling at twice the audible range of 22 kHz should suffice. This is not the case of dynamic audio, or multi-channel mixes, especially when some instrument’s waves are short duration and have significant timbre.

Wave reproduction and music reproduction are not mutually exclusive as some argue.  It is fact that psychoacoustics play a big role in perception of music. This field of study made the mp2 and mp3 compression algorithms possible, but like any theory, process, or algorithm they rely on a premise that most people have the same audio perception – just not true!

In our opinion, It is impossible to accurately reproduce music that is anything but a perfect sine-wave with a 44.1 kHz sampling rate and still retain the wave shape and the original audible sound without reliance on transformers, low pass filtering, etc. to smooth the samples, so please embrace the higher 96k, 192k and even 320k rates!

If you have questions about our recording policies, feel free to contact us!

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