Sample rate options on field recorders



I think this is a variation of the question that has been asked over and over, but I want to be sure I'm doing the right thing before buying a new field recorder.

Currently I use the Tascam HD-P2 recorder. It has 2 XLRs and records 44.1kHz to 192kHz recording resolution at 16- or 24-bit. I have only occasionally recorded at 96kHz, 24-bit but the vast majority is 48kHz, 16- or 24-bit.

I am thinking of selling the HD-P2 and springing for the Tascam DR-680. I am very happy with Tascam preamps and would like something that will give me more room if I need to record a number of inputs (like recording guns, multiple lapels, etc). It records up to 96kHz/24-bit Broadcast WAV file resolution for 8 channels (4 XLR, 2 TRS, 2 RCA) and stereo 192kHz/24-bit recording mode.

I suppose I'm not really losing anything, since it will still do 192kHz in stereo and I can do SFX recording in stereo only.

Question is - do I really need smething that high a sample rate for general film work? Usually my dialog files are 48kHz, 24-bit. Some (cough) would argue that anything recorded at 96kHz even is a waste of file space. Will I ever be asked to deliver 192kHz for dialog?


Posted 2010-12-21T16:50:26.783

Reputation: 3 122

1why would you ever record 16 bit? 24 bit is essential for dialogue, esp for any low level sounds eg breaths etc... – None – 2010-12-21T17:21:29.087

1@tim I record impulse responses at either 44.1 or 48kHz, 16-bit, depending on which sweep files I am using. 24-bit makes for an unnecessary processing load when deconvolving. I always record dialog at 48kHz, 24-bit. Only other excption is when I'm recording a board mix from a music concert. Its end result is an mp3 or other compressed format, so that's usually recorded at 44.1kHz, 16-bit. – VCProd – 2010-12-21T20:05:07.387



Hey Prod, FWIW I do know that in the 8 years I have been recording/editing dialogue I have never been asked to turn over a 192K track of edited dialogue. It has, however, been mostly 96K for narration and on-screen acting dialogue at 48K almost always.

p.s. also FWIW, and I see you commented back you always record at 48K 24bit dialogue, but as Mr. Prebble said, use 24 bit over 16 bit always - ESPECIALLY for dialogue - I reiterate that because I saw someone get fired from a project once for recording dialogue at 16 bit.


Posted 2010-12-21T16:50:26.783

Reputation: 14 155

@Ryan Thanks! Strangely, I've gotten 16 bit dialog on several projects... I have not been happy either. – VCProd – 2010-12-28T12:55:43.313


I cant really see much benefit myself of recording dialogue at such high sample rates unless you plan on doing extensive pitch shifting and processing on it after..which could be pretty cool if you were going for the whole 'horror' vibe ;)

Andy Lewis

Posted 2010-12-21T16:50:26.783

Reputation: 2 179