In a digital recorder, sampler, or computer based recording setup, the sample rate is how many times per second the source material is being 'sampled' or recorded. Sample rate affects the frequency response of the final recording or sample; the highest frequency that can accurately be sampled is 1/2 the sample rate. In general, the higher the sample rate, the better the sound quality. But, the best sample rate to use will depend on your application, your gear, and the amount of storage available (the higher the rate, the more storage required).