Here at Studio 11, we usually get a few multi-track sessions every week from clients that need to be mixed out. That includes all individual tracks from the beat & music, as well as each individual vocal track (verses, hooks, bridges, adlibs). One thing we’ve noticed is that few clients rarely bring these projects into our studio correctly the first time around. The clients that do get it right get awarded free cookies. Yay! In today’s blog, I am going to go over the best methods of rendering your files on the top DAW systems as well as talk about all the things to look out for and consider in your rendering from sound quality to reliable multi-track transfers. So if you want that free cookie, read up.
The DAW systems I will be discussing today will include Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton Live, FL Studios, and lastly Digital Performer. The one thing to keep in mind, if you are using a different DAW, is that the concepts I will be discussing are pretty consistent throughout all the DAW’s. But honestly, change to one of the systems I am discussing. Why you ask? So you can apply what I am talking about in this blog, that’s why you guber.
The first concept I am going to talk about is the differences between offline, online and internal bouncing and why I believe internal bouncing is the best way to go. The reason why I want to discuss this first has to do with the sound quality of your rendered files and because this is a method that can be used in any of the DAW’s discussed to assure multi-track transfer reliability. Lastly, because I am the guy writing the blog, not you.
This term is applied to the rendering of audio files in non real time, which means it does not take the time of playback to convert your file or files for use outside of your DAW. Considered the quickest option to render a multi track session but depending on the DAW you use, certain features (plug ins, automation, midi) in your session may not work well or at all. This is why it is always best to listen back to your offline bounced mix to be sure that it rendered correctly.
Also known as the Real Time Bounce, this term is applied when it take the full time of playback to convert your file or files for use outside of your DAW. Online Bouncing is good because it gives you the opportunity to listen to your final mix as it is bouncing down. However, if you are bouncing down a very processor intense session or mix with heavy automation, it may lead to glitches in certain tracks that will cause you to have to rebounce your session, freeze a track or tracks, or bounce down the individual track or tracks that may be causing the glitch.
I apply this term to bussing your individual tracks or grouped tracks to new tracks and recording them in real time and then exporting the recorded files for conversion to use outside your DAW system. The reason why I prefer this method, scientifically speaking, when you select bounce to disk, the DAW mix engine architecture is actually taking your mix out of the DAW Audio Engine and into a SEPARATE mix engine. On the way there, it first truncates your data, then begins tossing out bits of information. If you’re low on voices, the process is even more detrimental as it needs more power to do the operation and throws out more. the result is something lacking in high end definition, a log jam of mid range and a cluttered low end. With internal layback, you’re staying in the DAW Audio engine and avoiding all of that. Essentially, what your tracks are is what you print. Another reason why I like this option the best, it allows you to listen to what you are bouncing down. And lastly, if a glitch occurs while you are recording your mix or tracks down, you can punch in at the spot of the glitch and keep recording on instead of having to go back to the start of playback to bounce again. The only time punching in might not work out is if you are using some form of modulation (tremolo, vibrato, flange, chorus, phaser) on your master mix or individual tracks. At the point of punch-in the mix or track could make a sudden sonic jump or change, which could make your mix or track not as smooth and organic sounding. If your modulation is tempo synced to your DAW, then you you should be fine.
Another important aspect I want to briefly discuss when bouncing your files down is consideration of your sessions’s bit depth and sample rate. When bouncing your tracks down, always make sure you bounce your files down at the same bit depth and sample rate as your session. If your session is at 24 bit 44.1 khz, make sure you bounce your tracks down as 24bit 44.1 khz WAV or AIF files. If it is at 16 bit 44.1 khz, then bounce your tracks down as 16 bit 44.1 khz WAV of AIF files. If your session is at 24bit 48 khz, bounce down your files at 24 bit 48khz. One thing though, unless you are working on sound to picture or music for picture, never create a session at 48 khz. At the end of the day your file must be converted to 44.1 khz to be used in most listening devices and software, and the conversion process from 48 khz to 44.1 khz will decrease the overall fidelity of your mix. That is a known fact jack.
The last thing I want to discuss before we get into specific instructions on how to bounce down your project’s tracks is the concept of Group Comping. Group Comping is when you combine two or more tracks together into a single mono or stereo track. Group comping can help decrease overall track count in your mix, and it can also allow for a combination of tracks to be processed and treated together in exactly the same way. Why put the same EQ and Compression across six tracks when you can sum up those six tracks and put EQ and Compression on only one track. It is way more effective, and allows you more control over your mix at the end of the day.
The most common occurrence of Group Comping is when a project has a large vocal track count. This would include several lead tracks, many background vocal tracks, several adlib tracks and anything else vocal related. The engineer may choose to comp down the many background tracks to two or three mono/stereo tracks. Usually backgrounds are comped together in accordance to the part they are performing. For instance, chorus backgrounds might be grouped together on one stereo track, verse backgrounds comped together on another stereo track, bridge backgrounds to another. If there are multiple melodies or harmonies that are part of each background, then each harmony group is bounced separately to a stereo audio track.
Instructions on how to perform Internal Bouncing in your DAW
1. In your Pro Tools session, create as many stereo audio tracks as you need stems. If some of your stems to be are in mono be sure to create mono audio tracks for them.
2. Assign your newly created stem tracks to a different available aux bus input.
3. Send whichever audio/instrument tracks are required for each stem to your newly created audio tracks. You do this by assigning the outputs of each audio/instrument to the same busses on the inputs of your newly created stem tracks.
4. Arm all stem tracks and record all the stems in once pass.
5. Select the newly recorded stem tracks in the region view & ‘export selected files as audio’ at whatever bit depth and sample rate your session requires.
6. Be sure when you export your files that you export them in the same sample rate and bit depth as your session.
7. Lastly, create a new folder, label it the name of your project then stems afterwards followed by the bpm of the song. Example ‘project_stems_bpm’. Place all exported files into the folder.
1. The export feature for Digital Performer is pretty much the same as Pro Tools.
2. Create as many stereo audio tracks as you need stems, assign each one a different aux bus input. If some of your sessions tracks are in mono be sure to create mono audio tracks for them to create your stems.
3. Send whichever audio/instrument tracks are required for each stem to whichever stem bus using aux sends.
4. Arm all stem tracks and record all the stems in once pass.
5. Select each newly recorded stem track in the arrangement, control click on each file and choose export selected audio file. Be sure to make sure each file is exported at the same sample rate and bit depth.
6. Lastly, create a new folder, label it the name of your project then stems afterwards followed by the bpm of the song. Example ‘project_stems_bpm’. Place all exported files into the folder.
1. Logic is probably one of the easier DAW’s to create stems on for export into another system.
2. Disengage any inserts you may have on your tracks that you are preparing to make stems of. If you wish for your insert/fx to remain on a particular track, you don’t have to disengage.
3. Go to the file menu and open up the export to audio option.
4. In the export window, select all the tracks that you would like to make stems of.
5. Be sure to set the same sample rate and bit depth for your exported stems as your project’s session. Click ok.
6. A Window will pop up asking for you to choose the destination of your exported files. C reate a new folder, label it the name of your project then stems afterwards followed by the bpm of the song. Example ‘project_stems_bpm’. Click save and your Logic project will begin exporting all your tracks to the folder.
1. Make sure ever signal is routed to a mixer.
2. Switch off every insert effect on the mixer unless you want the stem file to be treated. Sometimes it’s a good idea to make stems without fx inserts and separate stems with fx inserts on.
3. Right click on every fader, press reset. If you want to keep your levels, skip that step. But you should definitely make sure, that every channel has some headroom and isn’t clipping. Repeat the step for all the pannings.
4. Make sure every mixer channel is labeled correct.
5. Be aware that Fruity is somehow “buggy” with some virtual synths. Trilogy for example plays a bit late, which gets worse if you raise the latency. So I always render at a as low as possible buffer setting. (FL7)
6. If you don´t want to render your send effects, turn them off to save some cpu power and make the rendering faster.
7. Go to File-Export-Wave File.
8. A Menu Pops up, where you can select where you want to save your File. As we want to split the tracks, just select the right folder and write the the song name.
9. Press Enter, A Menu pops up.
10. Set looping mode to “leave remainder” This way you make sure that nothing gets cut up, for example a long release of a note.
11. Quality: Select 512-point sinc. NEVER select Dithering. If you use TS 404 you can select “Alias free for TS404”. Select “HQ for all plug-ins”. Select “Disable Max Poly”.
12. Output: You should select WAV and not MP3. Only select MP3 if you really want to piss of your mixing engineer.
13. WAV: You shoul select “24bit float (0.24) here for a optimal sound Quality.
14. Options: Select “Split Mixer Tracks”.
15. Press Start. Every Channel will now be rendered to a separate wav. The name will be: “Song title_channel name”
16. Create a new folder, label it the name of your project then stems afterwards followed by the bpm of the song. Example ‘project_stems_bpm’.
1. Highlight your song in the arrangement window from beginning of song to the end. Be sure to highlight between 5-8 seconds after your song is down just in case any of audio tracks have a long sustain.
2. If there are any insert/fx settings on your tracks, bypass them unless you want those particular tracks to be rendered down with insert/fx settings.
3. Click on the file menu at the top left corner of the arrangement window and choose the ‘Render to Disk’ option.
4. Inside the ‘Render to Disk’ option click on the Rendered Disk tab. This defines which tracks will be exported out of Ableton. Choose ‘All Tracks’, which will then export all your tracks out of Ableton.
5. Inside the ‘Render to Disk’ option look for Audio file tab. Click on it and change it to .wav file. Adjust your bit depth of the exported files to the bit depth of your session, or the bit depth of the sample clips you are using. For example if you are using all 16 bit samples in Ableton, then render your audio files down to 16 bit. If you are using 24 bit samples, then render your audio files down to 24 bit.
6. Once you are finished adjusting your audio file settings, click ‘OK’ at the bottom right corner of the ‘Render to Disk’ option. This will begin the process of exporting your individual tracks out of your Ableton Project for use on any DAW. A save to disk folder will pop up. Create a new folder, label it the name of your project then stems afterwards followed by the bpm of the song. Example ‘project_stems_bpm’.
7. Lastly, one thing to keep in mind when you are rendering your files is if any of your tracks in your project are in mono, you should render them separately as mono tracks. You would do this by choosing ‘mono’ in the Audio files tab in the ‘Render to Disk’ option under the file menu.
So this about wraps up this discussion on how to prepare your sessions to use/mix in another DAW. A few quick things to remember is always label your files, always make sure all your exported files start at the beginning of your song, even if there is dead space. This way, everything will line up perfectly when they are brought back into a new DAW system. And lastly, if there are any tracks rendered/exported/bounced down that you are not using, delete them from the stems folder. This will save whoever is working with them stem files time, and will make for a smaller stem file size when sending to another person, copying to drive or burning to disc.
If you need assistance mixing your project call us at 312-372-4460 or email email@example.com . We’ve mixed 1000’s of projects for people just like yourself!
November 25th, 2013
Hey there everybody. Kris here. Happy turkey week from us all at Studio 11. Today i wanted to talk about a few really cool and important Virtual Instruments that you can use for your next Hip Hop productions. I will start it off in no particular order, so lets hop to it.
1. Nexus & Nexus 2
Created by reFX, Nexus and Nexus2 are next generation ROM synthesizers. Nexus delivers complex, ultra-fat, contemporary soundstorms. A powerful and flexible architecture is the foundation that supports the immediately useful and spontaneously engaging design of the instrument. Every aspect of Nexus and Nexus2 was built to produce music of the highest quality, quickly, with the least amount of fuss.
Nexus2 features a 32-step arpeggiator with note-transposition, a 32-step trance gate, reverb licensed from Arts Acoustic, and a sophisticated modulation-matrix that will help you sculpt the sound. Nexus2 includes a comprehensive 6GB library of over 1100 sounds driven by a friendly internal librarian to find the exact sound you need in the heat of the creative moment. There are also an additional 60 expansion packs for Nexus 2 as well. Features like search, favorites, and categorization are standard not only in the factory library but in all available expansions. Nexus offers an array of expansions covering a wide gamut of contemporary music styles and produced by the worlds top sound designers.
2. Lin Plug’s Predator
Predator is a “phat sounding” killer synthesizer that combines inspiring presets and first-class features to make this your ‘go-to’ synth for contemporary music production. The user interface has been designed so that almost all controls are visible on screen, making it fun and incredibly easy-to-use. And if you’re unsure about a particular synth function, simply right click your mouse to access the help screen. Predator is packed with powerful features such as Preset Quick Browser, Preset bank mananger, Preset Morphing, Intelligent Preset Variation, MIDI and Synth Controllable FX, Unison Detune, Chord Memory and an extremely versatile Arpeggiator. Included are over 4400 presets, collected in style banks: HipHop, Dance, breakbeat, various Trance styles, DnB banks, DubStep, Hardcore dance, House, SFX banks and last but not lease several artist banks. Last but not least, Predator also includes PredatorFX, allowing you to use the incredible filters, modulations, effects and vocoder as an FX plug-in within your music host.
3. Native Instruments Komplete 9 Bundle
Native Instruments KOMPLETE 9 bundle packages together 33 full-fledged instruments and effects, 12,000 inspiring sounds and over 120 GB of premium samples. It now includes the new MONARK monosynth, the enormous sound of THE GIANT, BATTERY 4 drum sampler , and the ultra-playable SESSION STRINGS in addition to the all-time classics like KONTAKT 5, REAKTOR 5, GUITAR RIG 5 PRO, the mighty MASSIVE, FM8, and ABSYNTH 5.
4. Gladiator 2
The award winning Gladiator gives you a groundbreaking approach to sound generation. Its exclusive HCM™ synthesis technique, covers new and unique aural territory, only possible with Gladiator. The innovative synthesis, design and unmatched sound quality, make this not only the perfect instrument, but also the best virtual synthesizer and go-to instrument for all those looking for the ultimate creative tool. Gladiator2 supports over 15 different kinds of synthesis, 1400 preset sounds including the Electronic Expansion pack, 40 different filters, and 37 stereo fx. If you are looking for something to give you those crazy arpeggiated synth lead lines and stabs, Gladiator2 is perfect for your sound.
5. Sylenth 1
Sylenth1 is a virtual analog VSTi synthesizer that takes the definitions of quality and performance to a higher level. It was built to produce superior quality sound and music. It was built to perform. A lot of research has been invested in order to achieve unheard warmth and clarity. Featuring over 1300 preset sounds with 10 different melodic arpeggio’s, fxs and it’s rich, detailed and full of analogue-style warmth. While we find that many of the synths we use come with presets that fail to show off the instrument’s true capabilities, Sylenth1’s default bank is superb. A wide variety of sounds are on offer, including some beautiful impersonations of classics such as the TB-303, Alpha Juno and MiniMoog. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that these emulative patches are 100% accurate, they’re certainly authentic enough to be of use and – most importantly – they sound amazing. As well as the presets, you also get abank full of initialised patches. These are ideal blank starting points for programming your own sounds, and it’s when you do this that Sylenth1 really comes into its own. Sylenth 1’s effects section is one of the best on a plug-in instrument. All your faves are here, reverb, delay, chorus, phasers, distortion, compression, EQ and an arpeggiator.
Diva, which stands for Dinosaur Impersonating Virtual Analogue Synthesizer, closely models components found in some of the great monophonic and polyphonic synthesizers of yesteryear. Modules can be mixed and matched so you can build hybrids, but what sets DIVA apart is the sheer authenticity of the analogue sound. This comes at the cost of quite a high CPU-hit, but we think it was worth it: Diva is the first native software synth that applies methods from industrial circuit simulators (e.g. PSpice) in realtime. The behaviour of zero-delay-feedback filters when pushed to the limit clearly demonstrates the advantages of this groundbreaking approach. It comes with over 1300 presets. There is no arpeggiator or step sequencer though, but its unprecedented emulation of classic analog synths will blow you out of the water.
Developed by Eric Pershing for Spectrasonics, Omnipshere is the first Spectronsonics instrument be based on newly developed STEAM Engine. Omnisphere offers a host of hybrid synthesis and new control capabilities including Variable Waveshaping DSP synthesis, Granular synthesis, Timbre Shifting, FM, polyphonic Ring Modulation, high-resolution streaming Sample Playback, Harmonia™, Dual Multimode Filter structure, Chaos Envelopes™, an advanced Unison mode, and the innovative Flex-Mod™ modulation routing system – to name a few. With its vast 40 Gb library over 4000 presets, the sound palette is so turbocharged, it’s hard to imagine that I’ll ever get tired of it. Whether you’re recording electronica, film scores, ambient dreamscapes, R&B, or pop, you’re sure to find sounds that’ll be perfect for your next project. Rarely do you hear a sound that would lack practical application and quite often, that application would only be limited by your own imagination.
November 5th, 2013
HOW TO MIX A LOUD HIP HOP KICK DRUM
Since Dr. Dre’s “2001″, one of the most common subjects upcoming hip hop producers discuss is those loud kick drums. Everybody wants them, but very few producers/engineers are able to achieve them. I believe this is one of the hardest challenges of a hip hop producer: to make the kick drum loud, and the song itself loud, while avoiding having your kick drum squashed by the mastering compressor.
I’m talking about mixes like Dr. Dre’s “Xxplosive”, 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”, Fort Minor’s “Remember The Name”. To me and a lot of other hip hop producers, I believe, those mixes are good one to chase. The RMS and perceived loudness of the songs are really high, but still, the “knock” factor is there.
1. Understand Sound Physics
To do this, you have to understand the sound physic behind the problem. The sound of a kick drum typically contains huge amount of low frequencies. This is why they are kick drums. And what you have to know about low frequencies, is that the lower a soundwave is, the more energy it contains, and the less you hear it.
Our ears can perceive something like 40 Hz and above. Below that, it’s more about physically perceiving the sound rather than actually hearing it. Those soundwaves are just too long for our ears, but because of their strong physical impact, we can feel them.
This transition from “hearing” to “feeling” in the low frequencies is what usually tricks a lot of producers/engineers, and makes them confused about how to place the kick in the mix. When you try to make a song loud, you have to decrease its dynamics by compression and limiting. And in this, you can only do so much gain reduction before the limiter starts to act in a strange way, killing the life out of your mix. The kick drum is usually the element in hip hop mixes which mastering limiters are “fighting” with, because that is
the loudest part of the mix.
Under 40-50 Hz, there are a lot of content in a kick drum which you can’t really hear, but still, it triggers the limiter, pushing it closer and closer to the point of squashing your mix. So, to make a kick drum loud without ruining your mix, you have to sacrifice some low end energy in order to be able to turn up the kick volume. I show you how to do this.
2. Find the Right Kick Drum
This is hands down the most important step. But what is the right kick drum?
The answer is, the one which fits your beat. If you have a beat with relatively few instruments, you can use an 808-like, low, sneaky, heartbeat-style kick drum. But if you have a lot going in in your mix, choose a more “colored” kick, one with more “character”.
Listen to these examples in order to understand what I mean:
The reason you need to be careful with this, is because if you choose the wrong kick drum, you can EQ, compress and mix it until dawn, but you won’t get the sound you’re looking for.
If you have a mix with a lot of space, you can have an 808-like kick. But if you have all those synths, pianos and strings playing every note on every octave, a kick like that will not be able to cut through the mix. Don’t be like me, and try to force the wrong kick into the wrong mix—unless your goal is a high level of frustration!
3. Record Your Kick at the Right Level
If you’re recording your kick from the analogue realm, it’s important to do it at the right level. Here, I’ll record the kick from my Akai MPC 500 into Samplitude. The process is the same in all DAWs.
Make sure that the peak level of your kick while recording is somewhere between -10 and -6 dBFS. This is very important. If you record it at a too hot level, it will distort your kick. And this is the last thing we want, because it will get enough distortion through mastering.
If you record it at a too low level, noise can appear. You may think a little bit noise won’t hurt, but a quiet noise at -30 dB can be sound like a monsoon wind after compression and limiting.
4. EQ Your Kick
As I said, making a kick stand out in a loud mix requires you to sacrifice some low end content in order to get more volume. You can only have two of the following three options: a loud mix, a lot of subs in the kick, and a loud kick. Choose!
In order to carve out some low end from the kick, use a normal equalizer. In this tip, I’ll use a Waves REQ 4.
You’ll have to try different settings by raising and lowering the filter frequency. I did it at 80Hz, but sometimes that is too much—it depends on the actual kick sample.
Filter out as many lows as you need to turn up the kick volume, but not more. Accuracy is crucial here. Carving out too many lows will make your kick lose its impact. And leaving too many subs in will be an obstacle when you try to increase the kick volume.
5. Compress Your Kick (Optional)
Usually, you don’t need to do this step, because most of the kick samples you use are probably already compressed. So look at this step as something you only do if you don’t find success after doing everything else.
Try to make the most impact by reaching the lowest possible kick level. Or, in other words, get the most “knock” from the peak level of your kick.
Compression can help here. But know that your kick is probably already compressed. The mastering compressor will compress it even further, as will the mastering limiter. So at this point don’t go above 2 dB of gain reduction.
I use a compression setting with a fast (9 ms) attack, and a ratio of 3.82. Set the release to a point where the compressor stops compressing before every other kick hit.
6. Make Space for Your Kick
In order to make your kick’s remaining lows work, you have to do some clearing in your mix. To me, that usually means HP filtering every instrument which is not a kick or bass. Pianos, strings, synthy, vocals, percussions, hihats, everything. All of their lows need to go, at least from 120-150 Hz. I sometimes go up to 250 Hz.
I do know that a lot of pianos or strings have content there, but the main thing to do here is sacrifice. A nice piano’s low end may sound good, but it’s not why the piano is there. It’s there for its mids and highs. Let the low end of the mix be dominated by the kick and the bass.
7. Set the Volume of Your Kick
This is what we are here for. If you’re after those strong hitting, loud kicks, the task is obvious here. Set the kick to a high level.
My kick here is around 6 dB above the mix. Yes, without the mastering effects on it, it doesn’t really sound right. The kick is a little bit too loud. But, this is what will make it really stand out after mastering.
8. Apply Mastering
Let’s see what we’ve got. I will use a compressor (an UAD 4K Bus Compressor) and a limiter (a UAD Precision Limiter). I use Universal Audio DSP-powered effects, but if you use Waves, you can do the same with the Waves SSL Compressor (almost identical to the UAD version) and the Waves L3 Multi-Ultra limiter.
First, instert your compressor. I use a mastering preset in a slightly modified version, with a 1 ms attack, auto release and a ratio of 4:1. Set the treshold so you can apply around 4 dB of gain reduction. After we put on the limiter, you can use the makeup gain on the compressor to add volume.
After the compression is working, put up your mastering limiter. At this point, all you really have to do is push volume. On the UAD Precision Limiter, it can be done by turning up the input knob, on the Waves L3, it’s by turning down the treshold. Push it until you get the volume you’re after. You’re done!
October 24th, 2013
Here are a few tips for recording a rap artist in your home or project studio.
1. Don’t think of it as recording a “singer.” Recording a singer is quite different from recording a rapper. Rappers use their voices as percussion instruments, and the pop of each syllable needs to be clear and pronounced. Singers use glissando and other techniques, and smoothness is often emphasized. Recording a rapper is not the same as recording a singer, and your mixing and miking technique should reflect the difference.
2. Get a lyric sheet. Home producers must make sure that the lyrics of a rapper can be easily heard, as they’re certainly the most important part of the song. Energy is also very important, so feel free to stop the rapper if he’s not projecting enough confidence or if he’s fudging a few lyrics together. After you’ve recorded one song, listen back to the take before moving on. There may be certain lines that need to be re-done, and if you don’t check carefully before recording another song, microphone placement and other factors can change.
3. Microphone choice. The best microphone for a rap artist is probably a large diaphragm vocal microphone, placed about a foot away from the performer. This will capture all of the percussive sounds of the performer without clipping the mic or getting too much mouth noise. You may need to add a windscreen for extra protection for the microphone. Zero out the signal on the heaviest part of the song to avoid clipping. Remember to work with the performer; he or she needs to be excited about performing. That’s the only way that good energy will carry across on the track.
4. Mixing. A fairly heavy compression effect is good for rappers, because it evens out the his and lows of the performance (volume wise) and makes everything sound more strong. Sometimes, I’ll keep the original rap track and add a doubled version with compression on it. Slight reverb can give depth, but be careful not to make it a noticeable effect. Some rappers double-track their vocals (record the same part twice) to give a the vocal a stronger feel.
October 16th, 2013
When using samples in your music productions, whether they be drum, music or vocal, always make sure you use samples that have the same bit rate as your session. This way, no audio conversions are taking place to convert files from 16 bit to 24 bit, or vise versa. The rule to go by is the less conversions, the better the sound. Each DAW’s software uses different math algorithms to convert your files, and the math is never finite. Usually the converters of these DAW’s will round the math of an audio file to a certain amount of decimal places, like 10 to 100 decimal places. The high end DAW’s will round the math to a higher decimal value, say 500 decimal places. Top end mastering studios converters can round to millions of decimal places. By using samples that are the same bit rate as your session, your sounds will sound a little bigger, warmer, and less digital because they are not going through any kind of conversion process until the end of the mix and mastering process. This will lead to a better sounding end product as a result that will translate more honestly across any speaker it plays out of.