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This is a specification of digital audio: How fast the individual measurements (samples) that reconstruct a sound are recorded or played back. The bandwidth of that audio file (which corresponds to the highest frequency that can be reproduced) is in practice a bit less than half of the sample rate.

Many digital audio sample and playback modules have a sample rate of only 22.050 kHz, which is half that of an audio CD, resulting a lower fidelity sound. A digital oscillator that supports a sample rate of 44.1 kHz (the CD rate) or even better 96 kHz (a common pro audio sample rate) will more accurately produce higher frequencies, with less aliasing: a digital audio phenomenon the results in an additional set of higher harmonics that are a mirror image of the correct harmonics, often adding harshness (for better or worse) to a sound.

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