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MP3 to 24-bit for editing purposes? (1 Viewer)


Second Unit
Jan 13, 2001
Hopefully someone here can answer this, because I've been google-ing around for a while and can't find a (good) forum for sound editing like HTF is for home theater...

If I have an MP3 file. Is there any value in me converting it in Sound Forge (or whichever editor) to 24-bit for editing... then converting it back down to 16-bit with dithering and noise shaping before saving it as a wav file for CD burning purposes?

Does this process somehow clean up artifacts and noises during the upconversion and downconversion, or is this just a wasted effort? My reasoning for trying this is I though it might work like how a few DVD players now are 12-bit / 108khz to improve picture quality even though DVD-Video is only 10-bit on output.

Wayne Bundrick

Senior HTF Member
May 17, 1999
DVD-Video isn't even 10-bit. MPEG2 uses 8-bit sampling. DVD players with 10- or 12-bit video DACs have better picture quality for the same reason that 24-bit audio DACs make a 16-bit source such as CD sound better.

I could be wrong but I think MP3 encoders will knock down to 16 bits at the first step of encoding. Even if encoders can accept higher precision as input, it's likely that the source material is 16-bit. If it was ripped from CD then it's definitely 16-bit.

But if you are going to be doing any kind of audio processing while you are editing (i.e. anything other than straight cuts), it might be beneficial to do that at 24 bits. I don't think it will clean up artifacts but at least what the processing adds to the audio will be high precision. But it could be making a silk purse out of a sow's ear because the damage has already been done.

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