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Old 20th August 2019
  #3
Assuming you haven't made any mistakes in selecting your bounce down options, and assuming your DAW handles off-line bouncing correctly, there's generally no difference in audio quality between an offline bounce and printing a mix back into the session in realtime.

The main exception is that some plugins have an option to use increased oversampling when bouncing offline. In those cases, there is a mathematical difference, but whether you'd actually hear it comes down to how you're using the processors (and of course, your experience level and the quality of your monitoring).

On the other hand, in terms of workflow, printing back into your session offers a few advantages.

First of all, you can punch into a mix, so if you find a glitch or make a small change, you don't have to re-print the entire selection. Very useful for revisions, or, for mixes where the CPU is taxed and you get some audio dropouts or other occasional gremlins.

Speaking of those gremlins, you can listen in real time as you're printing, so if you hear em, you can stop the print and address it. If you bounce offline, you'll only potentially discover those gremlins upon listening back.

Along the same lines, I've found that some DAWs' plugin delay compensation and handling of automation timing can be flakey in terms of how it works in offline bounce mode vs. real time printing. My philosophy is that I want to hear the mix as it's happening, so i can be sure it sounds exactly as I expect it should.