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Fixed 48k Sample Rate Impedes Recording Studio Integrations

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx III Discussion' started by relaxo, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. #1 relaxo, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    relaxo

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    Dear FAS,

    Word is that the Axe-Fx III is fixed at 48k again. First, can you confirm this? Second, if true, do you have any plans to go adjustable-sample-rate (44k, 48k, 88k, 96k) with future Axe III hardware or firmware updates?

    When you combine digital outboard gear in the recording studio, every connected piece must be set at the same digital sampling rate. When wanting to digitally integrate the Axe II into the recording studio’s workflow, restrictive fixed sample rate is a showstopper. (unless you have the money to buy, and the faith in, expensive sample rate converters to convert your outlying off-sample-rate gear.) The stellar effects in the Axe Fx II alone warrant the integration into recording studios, not to mention the primary focus of the Axe II…stunning amp sims. But in the big picture it’s usually not worth converting the entire digital side of a studio to all gear running 48k which is usually undesirable for varying reasons. Additionally often needed is to convert all the audio in every Pro Tools session folder to 48k just to use the Axe II. What’s left time and time again is only one practical and realistic solution…use Axe II in analog, suck up any unwanted audio artifacts and deal with it.

    To make the situation worse, the Axe II is fixed at 48k (the standard in the video realm) and not 44k or 96k or 88k (1st & 2nd & 3rd) most common in the recording studio realm. In rock/pop/hop studios, 44k is by far the most common session format still used, even at the pro levels. I know this because I have managed a three-room Manhattan studio for 15+ years doing 2000+ session per year with 500+ clients. We get guest engineers and sessions coming in from studios literally all over the world.

    I thought that designing the Axe II fixed at 48k was simply an innocent oversight due to lack of experience in digital recording studios, but now I am worried that it has happened again in the Axe III…or is it that anything but 48k-fixed is absolutely cost-prohibitive for the Axe-Fx 2 and 3?

    Thank you.


    (Related is the thread in "Axe-Fx III Discussion" called "What is the base sampling rate?" However, that one is focused on the sound quality of say 48k vs 96k, not integrations of digital gear.)
     
    Alexis, cn7, xprophet and 11 others like this.
  2. willowdale

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    FAS, What's the official answer for this? It does seem odd!
     
  3. Malvolio

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    I agree. As a recording musician we are not always free to choose the sample rate for the collaborative projects we work on. The fixed 48k of the AxeFX forces us into awkward integration workarounds or compromises that are not required when using digital gear from competition like Line6 which do have selectable sample rates.

    As it says in the OP, this is a different subject than the internal processing sample rate in the AxeFX.
     
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  4. #4 ethomas1013, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    ethomas1013

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    It seems odd to me that FAS would not allow for different sample rates in the III. Seems like an obvious feature to include for recording studio integration.

    A couple uninformed questions: Is this a simple matter of doing an onboard convertion of the digital signal for output to recording devices? Does the internal processing need to change?
     
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  5. Project Mayhem

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    Just a guess on my part:

    Reading through all the threads on the III there are some questions that have gotten asked repeatedly including this one.
    and by looking at the carefully worded responses (in some cases) or the glaring omission of other's (surely any of the beta tester's know if the tuner is polyphonic, as an example...yet it goes unanswered) Leads me to believe that they are limited in what they can and can't say for the time being (completely understandable)..Which leads me to believe that for right now the tuner is not polyphonic but Cliff has plans for it in the future. The "qualified" answer I have seen on 48k, fixed at 48k for now... Again, purely speculation on my part, but I can't imagine a beta tester giving that answer if they weren't aware from Cliff ahead of time if that was even a possibility. Further, as you guys said, fixed 48K has been a well know issue for a while now. I'm confident that Cliff will implement it (selectable rate) provided doing so doesn't require a compromise of a higher order priority...i.e. the modeling sounds. Maybe the beta units are fixed at 48k and the production unit's will implement selectable rates? I think there are number of things yet to come. Of course I could be 100% wrong, but thats what I'm reading between the lines...

    Think of what the Axefx2 became, and then compare that to the launch unit....Big difference.
    Pretty sure this is what is going to happen with three as well.
     
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  6. Jono Bacon

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    Isn't 48k generally required for SPDIF?
     
  7. bvaughn0402

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    I don't think so. The new OX box from UA Audio has 2 different types of SPDIF, and it is fixed at 44.1.
     
  8. finleysound

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    Nope. I routinely use SPDIF at 88.2 and 96kHz.
     
  9. #9 selta, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    selta

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    Just use analog in/out if 48khz isn't what you want/need? It's what I've been doing for years with my Axe-Fx II. It's in a rack in my studio's desk, and I have the I/O routed analog. Frees me from using USB entirely which is nice.

    Not a perfect solution, but it does work. I can easily see the ask for having USB be variable though.
     
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  10. Callan

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    ^
     
  11. #11 relaxo, Feb 1, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    relaxo

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    Yes, 95-99% of Axe II users have no or just one other piece of digital gear to sample rate sync to...their audio interface in their basement, bedroom, etc and all audio sessions self-originate so they can be 48k as well. In these cases it's easy just to move all digital gear and audio sessions to 48k...you're in your own little cocoon and are not required to intermingle with hundreds/thousands of existing audio sessions that are already set to another rate not 48k. On top of this, many other pieces of digital gear in our studios impossible to set at 48k so in most larger studios it 48k kills the possibility of digitally integrating the Axe II into our workflows.
     
  12. Strumzilla

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    I've always had to relegate the AxeFx to non audio interface roles. I send the analog and spdif outs to my UAD Apollo which has full sample rate configurability. It would be nice if the AxeIII included this option.
     
  13. FreeMind

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    There is little no no point in going above 48khz when recording, in my opinion.
    If you want to integrate into other recording sessions, record and up sample - Literally no one will notice a difference. Or record in an analog way...
     
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  14. _PeLUsA_

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    The axe-fx has been known for his incredible flexibility,i think this would be great if we could change this sample rate.
     
  15. #15 George Koerich, Feb 1, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    George Koerich

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    Digital resampling is not recommended when not using multiples, for example: 44.1 <-> 48.
    Recording DI for reamp is a game changer in Axe Fx when using digital connection because of levels match and SNR.

    If you have a project in different ratio than 48khz, there will be a compromise somewhere for reamp if Axe Fx3 won't support multiple sample rate.

    My opinion: I don't think "it's ok" this kind of compromise for what Axe III potencially represents in the professional audio industry.
     
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  16. iaresee

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    He said use the analog outputs if you can’t handle the fixed sample rate. 100% of studios out there can handle analog signals in their work flows.
     
  17. bvaughn0402

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    So, I've never encountered this before ... I've always used 48 because of the Ax.

    But now I have a 44.1 I need to mix in ...

    So better to upsample the 44.1 to 48 in my system?

    Or downsample the 48 Ax to 44.1?

    I'm guessing upsample is the way to go...
     
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  18. bobmichigan

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    Behringer ultramatch pro src2496 sample rate converter. around 2 or 3 hundred $
     
  19. #19 steadystate, Feb 1, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    steadystate

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    My DAW resamples on the fly and I really can't notice any degradation when set to highest quality. Software resampling is not a problem for me. But I use 48 kHz anyway. Modern processors can easily run algorithms with enough FIR filter taps to do the job at 48 kHz, IMHO that is. Golden ears may disagree. I'm absolutely sure I can't hear past 20 kHz, and I hear no aliasing or filter artifacts.
     
  20. FractalAudio

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    Somewhere you have to resample. If the Axe-Fx were running at 44.1 all the cab IRs would need to be resampled, or there would need to be an SRC chip on the digital I/O. There is no free lunch.

    The problem isn't the Axe-Fx, the problem is studios stubbornly sticking to 44.1 when 48 is a much better rate.
     
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