What are WAV Loops?
WAV loops (aka WAVE) have been the industry standard for audio files since the dark ages of computers. They offer extremely high audio quality and the maximum compatibility with most software applications.
Chances are that whichever DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software you use, it’ll be happy to handle WAV files.
The WAV files that we include with all Silicon Beats products have been expertly edited and then ‘Acidized’ so that they contain basic meta information such as ‘number of beats’ and ‘time signature’.
Many hardware samplers and workstations also work with WAV files but depending on their age may be limited to 8 bit or 16 bit audio files.
Does the bit quality matter?
The human ear can’t detect any difference between 16-bit audio files and 24-bit audio files. You should be able to hear the lower quality of older 8 bit audio files. In reality the only practical difference between 16-bit and 24-bit for the purposes of loops is the file size, however when recording at 24-bit you can usually expect less distortion at high recording levels which gives you more headroom. That’s why we use 24-bit when recording drums for our products.
Silicon Beats has been around for a long time and some of our loop packs were recorded back in the days when 16-bit was the standard recording format.
44.1 kHz vs 48 kHz or 96 kHz
It’s a fact that the higher frequencies of 96 kHz and 48 kHz offer higher audio quality than 44.1 kHz but again this difference is not audible to the human ear. When CD’s became popular in the 1980’s, the 44.1 kHz frequency was the standard so people got used to 44.1 kHz being the bench mark for the end user.
To this day 44.1kHz is the popular standard for audio production, which means we can deliver high quality audio without unnecessarily huge file sizes.
Which file format Should I use?
If you don’t have a specific reason for choosing any particular audio file format you’ll be fine with WAV files. Programs like Acid, Ableton, Sonar and Cubase are very good at handling WAV files and offer superb time stretching and quantizing functions as standard.
What are other Popular Audio Formats?
Apple Loops and Rex2 files are becoming increasingly popular. Often it really depends on your choice of DAW and the way you prefer to work. If you haven’t already chosen a DAW, try out the trial versions offered by many popular DAW platforms. Here are some popular DAW applications that work great with our drum loops:
- Logic Pro
- FL Studio