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Dithering??

Discussion in 'Recording' started by jhagertybhs, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. jhagertybhs

    jhagertybhs Guest

    After mixing out a song and burning to a cd, it seems like the sound I am hearing on the cd is completely different than that in the studio. I understand the monitors will make a difference but would not dithering from 24 bit to 16 make a large difference in quality? Does anyone have any favorite software for the dithering process?
     
  2. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Guest

    Dithering makes only a somewhat small difference. Trained ears will certainly be able to tell the difference but noticing a real difference after changing locations and time in-between is likely to have other reasons. Different speakers and changed room acoustics are the most likely culprits.

    I am personally using the dithering algorithms that are built into Logic Audio but almost all software today has something built in that is usable.

    MisterBlue
     
  3. launchpad67a

    launchpad67a Guest

    The problem is, cd's are only written to in 16bit. So, dithering from 24-16 is a must, it has to be done. This does not affect the quality. If you have recorded at 24 bit, your fine.
    If you record at 16 bit, the only time you need to dither is if you have used an effect (plug-in or hardware) that has a bit rate higher than 16 (most likely 32 bit for software).

    I use the Waves L1 & L2 Ultramaximizer for all my dithering. They are superior products. I highly recommend them.


    Mike
     
  4. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest

    It's my understanding that most of the time, when a plug-in uses higher resolution for it's processing, it doesn't leave the sound at the higher resolution. The software uses 32bit, for example, to do it's processing, then outputs the original bit depth (24 or 16, whichever you were using) when it's finished. This allows the plugin to both utilize more bits to get its work done, and to bury any digital error or artifacts way, way down at the bottom so they'll get lost when it outputs at lower bitrate.

    I could be way off here. I didn't write any of this stuff. But if I am wrong, at least someone else will come out and tell us what's REALLY going on.

    Kase
    http://
    "to hell with the CD sales- download the MP3s and come to the shows!"
     
  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I'm too lazy to give a full lesson, but I will answer your question. Dither's main job is to mask the problem of hearing the converters turn on and off at their min. threshold. At very low levels, a converter turning on and off makes noise, dither adds a low level noise so that the annoying noise of the the converters turing on/off is not apparant. Dither is mostly going to be noticed on the quietest parts of the music, where the fade out is, and where reverb tails end. Other things can also be done or added in the dithering process. Here is a link for more detailed info on dither and much else.

    I suspect your problem lies somewhere else. Don't under estimate monitors and just as important, the room in which the monitors are in, as they each and both can make a very huge difference in how something sounds.
     
  6. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Hey, kids! long time no see. I'm sorry I haven't been around lately I have been too busy to eat sleep or breathe for about the last two months! I though I would take a stab at explaining exactly how the dithering process effects your signal.

    A digital signal is designed to provide accurate information about an analog signal. This information is basically just a connect the dots version of your analog signal. The da converter is just like you in kindergarten making pictures of cats and dogs from a connect the dots book. When you have a higher bit rate you just have more dots.(so to speak.) Obviously more dots means a you get a picture with greater detail.
    When you dither down you are reducing the detail. Each time you go down 1 bit you get 12 as much information.
    The difference between 16 and 24 bits is 256 times, assuming that your sample rate remains constant.

    If you want to get a good mental picture of what dithering does to your signal, just put a high resolution picture on your desktop and then set your monitor to a lower setting.

    Dithering is a digital process used to replace missing information.
    Hope this helped.
     

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