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Playback 24/96 Hi-Res files with SoX (foo_dsp_resampler), or without SoX - If resampling must occur, what is best?
post Nov 28 2012, 16:05
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Hi guys,
a friend of mine posed a foobar2000 usage question to me, to which I don't think I can give a good answer.
Can someone please offer some knowledge, tips and suggestions on this topic, thanks.

Here is my friends question:
I play back 24/96 Hi-Res files in foobar2000 over a system that only support lower sample rates.
I see that I can put SoX ("foo_dsp_resampler" component) into the mix by adding it to playback under preferences.
Is that what I should be doing? Will that give me better results than just letting the computer deal with the 24/96 files?
Also, I noticed that SoX apparently dithers, so I don't need foobar to dither. Is that right?
Any suggestions you have would be most welcome.

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post Nov 28 2012, 21:17
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If your friend's 24/96 files are playing through a DAC not capable of handling that sample rate, then down-conversion is happening before the data leaves the PC. Modern versions of Windows resample all audio sources to a common bit depth and sample rate when running in default "Shared Mode". (This is typically configurable through the playback device settings within the Control Panel "Sound" applet.) To determine if there is any benefit to using the SoX resampler, you first need to give foobar2000 "Exclusive Mode" access to the sound card otherwise resampling will take place twice. You do this by installing the WASAPI component and configuring foobar2000 to use it (Preferences > Playback > Output > Device). Once you have done this, you should find that the 24/96 files will no longer play through the DAC. Now you can download and add the "Resampler (SoX)" to the foobar2000 playback chain (Preferences > Playback > DSP Manager) and configure it to resample all output to a rate your DAC can handle. There are other settings in the resampler with which to optionally experiment, but read the thread first for some guidance. Because you are changing only the sample rate -- not the bit depth -- there is no need to be concerned with dither.

P.S. I hadn't visited the SoX Resampler page in a while and just now noticed there are two "Mod" versions available that provide control over which files get resampled. Assuming the resampler will be set to 48000, if your friend also plays CD rips he can exclude processing of "44100"; no need to resample something the DAC can certainly handle (unless the DAC glitches over sample rate changes between tracks.)

This post has been edited by Apesbrain: Nov 28 2012, 22:16
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post Nov 28 2012, 21:59
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SoX (standalone utility) does dither, but foo_dsp_resampler does not. And (almost?) all other DSP components do not dither.
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