Mark Goslett is a London-based music producer and member of the Music Producers Guild. His unrelenting pursuit of excellence in the studio, and decades of work as a musician has brought him to the forefront of the music industry, where his credits include: TV commercials, emerging artists, and a profusion of live sound engineering engagements.
He’s an expert in Apple’s Logic Pro X software, and in this lesson he teaches how to create a new session and choose the appropriate sample rate and bit depth!
When you fire up Logic for the first time, you’ll be greeted by a window asking you what you want to open. You’ll have the option of opening existing sessions or creating a new one. Logic offers several session templates to get you going, or you can open a new empty project. In this case, Empty Project is fine.
Next, you’ll be asked what kind of track you want to begin recording. Here, choosing an Audio Track is fine. You always have the ability to add more tracks later. We’re primarily more concerned with how to set the sample rate and bit depth once a new session is already open.
You’ll find the ability to change sample rate from the File > Project Settings > Audio menu. The default sample rate is 44.1 kHz with options all the way up to 192 kHz. The higher the sample rate, the better quality your recordings will be. However, the file size will be significantly greater as well.
As a general rule of thumb, your sample rate should be twice as high as the highest frequency you intend to record. As the human ear only goes up to 20 kHz in the most extreme cases, the default 44.1 kHz is quite adequate.
The only other consideration for higher sample rates is “foldover,” where instruments in an extremely high frequency range have nowhere to go beyond the sample rate, and are “folded over” into the recording. This could hinder the overall quality of your recordings.
As a beginner, 44.1 kHz will still serve you well.
Bit depth determines the overall dynamic range of your recording. There are 6 dB worth of headroom in each bit, so a bit depth of 24 offers 144 dB of dynamic range. You can set bit depth from the Logic Pro X > Preferences > Recording menu.
By default, Logic’s bit depth is 16. You can choose 24 by checking the box in the Recording menu. 24-bit recording creates a much lower noise floor, while file size will be slightly larger.
For most purposes, recording at 24-bit/44.1 kHz is ideal!