Dithering with the L2

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Dizzi45Z, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Dizzi45Z

    Dizzi45Z Active Member

    I am using Sound Forge to master. I would like the L2 to dither the songs down to 16 bit from 24 bit (48K). I have selected 16 Bits, Type 1, and Moderate shaping. After I process the audio, Sound Forge says it is still in 24 bit, 48k. How do you get the L2 to dither it to 16 bits?
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    how are you printing the file?
  3. Dizzi45Z

    Dizzi45Z Active Member

    I am printing the file to CD using CD Architect 5.2.
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with sound forge but are you bouncing to disc or printing the file to two tracks in the same session?
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    And more importantly, have you READ THE MANUALS for both applications?
  6. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    I presume that you are using the plugin version of L2. If you export your mix, make sure you added the L2 on the stereo bus with the dither settings of your choice (ie;Type 1, and Moderate shaping) and export your mix in 16 bit format within CD Architect.
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    This was always one of the beefs I had with Sound Forge. I used it for a little bit before switching to Sequoia.

    When bouncing the final track, you would specify which dither to use, but you still had to go into the bounce preferences and select 16 bit. It made me feel as though it wasn't really dithering using my algorithm of choice.

    I wound up contacting Apogee (I used their UV22HR a lot) and despite the fact that they didn't actually support that product in Sound Forge, they gave me the heads up on how to do it. Quite annoying! I much prefer it when things work the way they're supposed to.
  8. Dizzi45Z

    Dizzi45Z Active Member

    Thank you for all of your posts. Sorry it took me a day to get back to this. I have been very busy.

    I was bouncing to disc.

    I have read the manual for L2 and everything that I could find about dithering and plug-ins and the only way that I have found to apply effects onto a wave file is to bounce to disk which prints the effects to the current wave file you are using.

    Yes, I am using the plugin version of the L2. I can't export audio from Sound Forge. It doesn't have a stereo bus either. The way you get your audio out of the program is by rendering it. This is the point where I can have Sony dither the audio down to 16 bits if I want. I did notice that if you import a 24 bit file into CD Architect, it will generally get .3 db louder which can cause problems if you have limited to -.1. So I have been making sure it is 16 bit 44.1k before I go into CD Architect.

    Exactly. I can get the file to 16 bits by rendering to 16 bit after the effects have been applied. But I do wonder if it uses my algorithm of choice. I wonder if it could be bouncing to 16 bit and then converting back to 24 bit and then dithering to 16 bit with Sony's dither when I render the tracks out of the program.
  9. Dizzi45Z

    Dizzi45Z Active Member

    Okay, so I just checked my email and I got a response from Waves about the L2 and L3 plug-in. This is what they said:

    So it sounds like the L2 and L3 don't actually convert to 16 bit. You still have to convert the file to 16 bit after the L2 or L3 have been applied to the file.
  10. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    It may help to understand that there is more than one process here:

    Firstly, the dithering process reduces the word length (typically to 16bits) while reducing quantization errors. So the result is a data stream output from your main DAW software that has 16bits of resolution.

    Secondly, when you bounce/render/export that data, the workstation needs to create a file which will contain this 16bit data. In other words, you need to tell the DAW software what size of container (the file) you would like to pour your data into.

    Usually one chooses the file's bit depth and sample rate to match the data being stored. However, it is possible to store 16bit data into a 24bit file (but, of course, you still only get 16bits of resolution). Likewise, you can store 24bits of data into a 16bit file: the result is (usually) a truncated 16bit word.

    To answer your question directly: the dithered down output of the L2/L3 plugin will be converted to a 16bit data stream. But when bouncing, you still need to tell SoundForge which type of file to create so it will properly store your dithered data.
  11. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    You meant that dither is used while reducing the wordlenght isn'it?

    Dither is noises added to sample data for the purpose of minimizing the quantization errors no?
  12. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    I was using the contracted, inaccurate colloquial term of "dither". So yes, I meant word-length reduction plus dither.
  13. Dizzi45Z

    Dizzi45Z Active Member

    So lets say that Sound Forge applies dithering to the audio file when you reduce the word length to 16 bits. Is this something that I would want to try to avoid since L2 has already added dithering to the audio?
  14. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Don't assume that SF is applying dither. You don't have to use dither to truncate the word length. You also don't want to apply dither twice. I'm sure that there is a preference selection that allows you to tell the program to apply or not.
  15. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Yes - when you choose 'Bit-Depth Reduction' from the Process menu, set 'Bit-Depth' to 16 and 'Dither' to 'None'. Then save. That's all there is to it. When you apply the 16 bit Waves IDR from the L2 plugin to a 24 bit file, you are preparing for truncation. Then, you truncate, without dithering.
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