If you’re relying on your digital-audio workstation (DAW) to convert sources to the mixing sample rate or convert your mix during renders, you might be compromising audio quality. There’s a lot of incorrect or low-quality signal-processing code in the wild, and both DAWs and audio software in general are known for questionable sample-rate conversion (SRC). This is an especially widespread problem in sample-based synthesiser plugins.
MasterSample: do it fast and do it right
When sample-rate conversion is fast, the algorithm is usually low-quality or simply incorrect. When results are correct, the algorithm is often slower than necessary. MasterSample is neither: it does mastering-grade SRC at blazing speed, and multithreads conversions to get batch jobs finished lightning-fast.
MasterSample is designed with the utmost care for mastering engineers and anyone who cares about their conversions.
Arbitrary sample rates
Other products either limit you to preset sample rates or cheat when you enter nonstandard values, introducing pitch and time errors. MasterSample will resample to ANY whole-number sample rate with complete accuracy. For example, try converting 44.1 kHz material to 44101 Hz and witness both speed and accuracy.
Pitch and speed
Do you need to make a speed correction? Perhaps your final mix is dragging or you’re mastering television/film material for the other side of the pond. MasterSample will change the speed of your material on the fly, without any extra processing steps.
Some software doesn’t use the full numerical accuracy available and settles for single-precision (or worse) accuracy; MasterSample always uses full double-precision floating-point during processing.
Correct dithering is a thorny topic. Fortunately, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to: MasterSample uses 2-step TPDF dither when outputting PCM, eliminating harmonic distortion in low-level signals.
It’s a little-known fact that floating-point signals also need correct dithering to prevent harmonic distortion. Again, we’ve done the research — and testing — so you don’t have to. When outputting floating-point, MasterSample just does the right thing, giving you a pristine signal.
Some software uses looping or other hacks to work around slow dithering code - not MasterSample. Dither is generated live using a hand-picked fast random-number generator that passes the strongest statistical-quality tests in existence. You won’t find better dither short of analog noise.
MasterSample doesn’t make you think about dither — it just works.
Ring out the changes
Did you know that correctly-done SRC extends audio beyond its original boundaries? We do. Some refer to “ringing” in digital filtering as if it were a bad thing, but it’s actually necessary for correct results; that’s why MasterSample lets you keep those extra samples, and prevent any transients at the beginning or end of your material, while reporting the exact amount of delay so that you can maintain correct alignment in the next stage of your project. Of course, by default MasterSample will perfectly preserve first-sample alignment.
Subsample time alignment
Even in digital audio, time is continuous. MasterSample lets you tweak the time alignment of your results down to the thousandth of a sample. Do you need to correct azimuth between the tracks of a tape transfer or the channels of a hardware synthesiser? MasterSample has you covered.
Customised filtering with powerful control
Choose your SNR
SRC products often use hardcoded resampling filters with a fixed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and support only a limited set of standard sample rates. MasterSample designs custom filters on the fly, giving you unparalleled control and flexibility. While MasterSample chooses a default appropriate to your selected output format, you can also specify the SNR you need directly.
Define your guard band
Very few SRC products let you specify where in frequency to begin filtering; MasterSample lets you customise the transition band while enforcing sensible limits. Other products use excessively drastic filtering even at HD sample rates; MasterSample lets you choose, and will by default filter as gently as possible without any aliasing, keeping the material you care about pristine.
Other SRC will often alias in the guard band; while MasterSample of course gives you this option, by default it will totally prevent aliasing by rolling off within the guard band. You can even choose where your guard band ends, and all frequency parameters for filtering can be specified before and after any speed change. Total control is yours.