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Frequency response vs sampling rate?

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Matt Radbourne
Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 23, 2009 at 11:48:51 am

Hi all
I'm confused between frquency response and sampling rate.

I have a Logitech H330 USB headset which allows me to record into my audio software at a maximum 32000hz. I spoke to Logitech customer support and asked if they had any that record at 44100hz sampling rate or higher.

They were suggesting headset mics with 100-10000hz frequency response. Can the sampling rate I am describing be worked out from the frequency response or are they two different properties of the mic (+ built-in USB audio interface)?

More importantly, will a 44100hz wav file sound less 'muddy' and clearer than a 32000hz wav?

Thanks

Matt Radbourne
Media Designer
CEM, UK


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cowcowcowcowcow
David Jones
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 23, 2009 at 3:15:13 pm

Hi Matt,

Generally speaking, you want the sample rate to be at least twice the frequency response. So if the frepuency response (the highest frequency) of a mic is is 20000Hz, the sample rate should be at least 40000Hz (or 44.1kHz - CD quality).

The 32000Hz sample rate is going to sound "muddy" because you're not recording the high-end frequencies of the mic. Unless the mic only has a frequency of 10000Hz. But I would think that would sound pretty "muddy" too.

Hope this makes sense :-)

Best,

Dave J


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Thax Clave
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 23, 2009 at 6:12:00 pm

[David Jones] "The 32000Hz sample rate is going to sound "muddy" because you're not recording the high-end frequencies of the mic."

What will a headset mic be picking up above 16 kHz, anyway?







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Ty Ford
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 24, 2009 at 1:31:42 am

Hello Matt and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Thax is right; not much in the human voice over 16kHz. That being said, you will have to convert the 32kHz sample rate into any system that works normally at 44.1 or 48 kHz sampling. Frequently not a problem, but sometimes pitch shift or other weirdnesses may occur.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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John Livings
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 25, 2009 at 7:22:34 pm

Hello Ty,

To follow up on Thax's Point (The mic won't pick up much above 16 Khz).

Is it true that the average human voice range is only from 80Hz-3500Hz.

If the above is true, the mic wouldn't need a range more than 80Hz-3.5Khz.

What am I missing? I believe my SM58s go from 20Hz-20Kh, However they are used to pick more than Voice.

John


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Ty Ford
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 25, 2009 at 8:25:27 pm

Hello John,

The fundamental of the human voice, depending on the voice, is down around 90-150 Hz. The peak of human hearing is around 3kHz. Sibilance - those s and z vocal sounds -- are up around 6 kHz. So 3.5 kHz is a bit short. It would sound like telephone quality.

AM radio has a frequency response of about 10 kHz. FM and TV audio tops out at 15 kHz.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Sam Mallery
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 25, 2009 at 8:03:47 pm

Matt, I don't think you need to concern yourself with mathematical equations that calculate a microphone's frequency response with sampling rate capabilities. Your Logitech H330 doesn't sound good because it's a $23 USB headset. If you want to record good sounding audio, you need a better microphone. You could get a USB microphone, like the B.L.U.E. Snowflake or the Snowball. Neither of them are headsets, but, I don't know of any affordable headsets that are capable of high-quality audio.



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Ty Ford
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 25, 2009 at 8:27:45 pm

Well, if you used a Countryman e6 mic and a Centrance MicPort Pro USB dongle, you could do very well.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Matt Radbourne
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 25, 2009 at 9:56:56 pm

Thanks for the welcome, Ty.
Everyone on this thread has been really helpful.

I do feel embarrassed that I'm quibbling over the quality of such a low end product. It's just I have to buy 50 for tutors to record lectures in their offices and I don't have money for Sennheiser or anything of that calibur. I'm trying to use science to pick the best from a bad bunch :)

I went for a set of MS LifeChat LX-3000 to try. Fingers crossed.

Thanks again!

Matt Radbourne
Media Designer
CEM, UK


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 26, 2009 at 5:23:07 am

You might want to look into the Nyquist Theorem a little. It's a bit tough to grok, but it may reveal some things about the digital and analog domains that you hadn't thought about.

Wolf
<><


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 27, 2009 at 4:28:42 pm

And to answer the question as to why a mic needs to pick up frequencies like 16k and higher, it actually has to do with the quality of the response itself which is not linear. If you look at a response curve, the quality degrades way below 16 khz in most cases, so as a rule of thumbs, the higher you can get the frequency response, the less distortion you usually get at lower frequencies.



Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Ty Ford
Re: Frequency response vs sampling rate?
on Nov 27, 2009 at 5:14:01 pm

"so as a rule of thumbs, the higher you can get the frequency response, the less distortion you usually get at lower frequencies. "

Vince, I don't think you can make a case for this. In my experience, well designed audio circuits can have as wide or narrow as you may want and still be quite linear.

Regards,

Ty Ford




Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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