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Thread: Dither - My Ears can't hear it

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    Dither - My Ears can't hear it

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    I've thrown Dither plug-ins on many a Master Bus, because a book told I me I should.

    But, my ears don't hear a difference.

    Just to make sure I'm doing it right.....

    1. I throw a Dither plug-in on the master bus.

    2. Select "16-bit"

    3. Leave all the "Dither Type 1, Type 2, etc." alone

    4. RENDER my track



    I really don't hear what this does, during - or after. With it, or without.

    What am I listening for ?

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    First off, I'd recommend playing around with the dither settings instead of leaving them alone. Each one represents a different type of dithering algorithm, each with it's own effect depending upon content. Sometimes you might like one over the other, or one may simply sound more apparent than another on any given source.

    As far as what to listen for, don't expect any earthshaking differences. Try different dithers and during playback of each just close your eyes and lean back in your chair and let the mixes hit you as they hit you. Which one just feels better for some reason you can't quite put your finger on? Pick that one.

    G.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
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    I'll give it another go.... but I really hear no difference.

    Will the EQ change, or the dynamics ?

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    I used the built in ditherer in Cakewalk pro audio 9.3 last week, (to change down from 24 to 16) and found, with a fairly hot mix, that there were quite a few bits of click/pop sort of artifacts. I assume the algorithm doesn't like hot mixes or that there was conflict with a plug.
    I've yet to try a plug in ditherer. Are there any recommendations?

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    I do not know of a single DAW that does not do the dithering for you.

    Apart from specialized applications, I can't really see a need for you to do it yourself.

    You shouldn't notice the effects of dither until you have a very low level signal - one that crosses only a couple of quantizing levels. Even then it'll just sound like white noise.

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    The differences in types of dither are usually very subtle. You can hear the differences mostly in the higher frequencies, particularly with different types of noise shaped dithering. In general the difference between dithering and not is that truncation lends itself to a granier, less "organic" sound than audio that is dithered properly.
    Tom Volpicelli
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    Quote Originally Posted by pezking View Post
    I do not know of a single DAW that does not do the dithering for you.

    Apart from specialized applications, I can't really see a need for you to do it yourself.

    You shouldn't notice the effects of dither until you have a very low level signal - one that crosses only a couple of quantizing levels. Even then it'll just sound like white noise.

    Pezking -

    So.... when I 'render' there is a certain amount of Dithering going on anyway ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattkw80 View Post
    Pezking -

    So.... when I 'render' there is a certain amount of Dithering going on anyway ?
    If you're going from 24 bit to 16 bit I wouldn't assume it. Pro Tools systems for example will not. And since you want the option to choose the type of dither I wouldn't expect this to happen automagically nor would I want it to. Or at the least have an option to change it after the program defaulted to what it though was "best".
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattkw80 View Post
    I'll give it another go.... but I really hear no difference.

    Will the EQ change, or the dynamics ?
    When it does matter, it will, in most cases, "feel" slightly different. Sometimes if you look too hard for it, you'll miss it. It's kind of like one of those 3D images where if you look at it in detail you see nothing, but if you just relax and let it hit you, it pops out.

    There is a very good chance you won't hear a difference. It could be becase of the content itself that it just doesn't matter, it could be that your ears just are not there yet, it could be because your dithering algorithms just are not suited well for your content, etc. If you don't, I wouldn't worry about it.

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    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
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    I can tell right away if my tracks are dithered or not. I'll put up some files later today with different dithering, and no dithering and see if anyone can tell which is which.
    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -B.F.

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