My question is whether there’s any benefit or harm to doing my final export to WAV as 24 bit, 192khz? It sounds fine to my ear, but I’m curious if doing this–resampling back from 96khz to 192khz–would introduce any artifacts or cause other subtle changes.
There are teeny-tiny “mathematical” changes/errors, but you won’t hear any difference. If you go from 96 to 192 and back to 96, and the bytes will not be exactly the same as the original 96kHz bytes.
Going from 96 to 192 increases the amount of “data”, but it doesn’t increase the useful information… You can copy a VHS tape or DVD to Blu-Ray, and you get “higher resolution” but the picture won’t automatically improve.
Thanks, I may do the double blind when I have time. Or perhaps I’ll do some digging around to see if anyone has already done the work for me:
Yes, it’s been done before… As far as I know, nobody has ever “passed” a proper blind ABX test between CD quality 44.1kHz/16-bit and anything “better”.
There are “golden ear” audiophiles and “audio professionals” who claim to hear a difference, but the differences seem to disappear in blind testing… There’s always a “flaw” in the test, or they claim that blind testing is invalid for audio testing. The audio pros aren’t quite as goofy as the audiphiles (most pros don’t claim that expensive cables improve the sound), but there is a fair amount of nonsense (and lots of non-blind testing) in the pro audio community too.
In fact with most program material, most people can’t hear a difference between a high-resolution original and a high-bitrate MP3. (BTW - It turns-out that the equipment isn’t that important… If you can hear an MP3 artifact on a high-end system, you can probably hear it on an “average” system.)
24/96 seems to be the “studio standard”, and there may some advantages to recording, processing, and mixing at higher resolutions… Or, maybe not… But if your equipment supports it, there is no harm in using the higher resolution.
[u]HydrogenAudio.org[/u] has information on blind ABX testing and links to software that makes it easy to do yourself. But it can take some time since you have to do multiple trials in order to get statistically valid results. Of course if the difference is obvious, it shouldn’t take long to listen to 10 short samples and get 10 out of 10 “right”.