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dithering question DAW Software
Old 20th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
adamlloyd's Avatar
 

dithering question

hello, quick question..

I am making some minor adjustments to a set of masters that have already been dithered down to 16-bit for CD...

I'm making adjustments with a Waves Linear Multiband in Pro Tools. My question is, after I render the LinMB to the audio with the Audiosuite and I'm ready to export (I never bounce to disk)...I'm assuming I have to re-dither? because the audio files go back to being 24-bit? Is there any way around this (I'd rather not alter the audio anymore than i have to...) and/or what's the best way, considering I don't bounce-to-disk? Record to a new track first with POW-r dithering? use the dither on the Linear MB? I'm not sure which would be the best option.

Thanks for your help!!
Old 20th August 2007
  #2
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jayfrigo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamlloyd83 View Post
hello, quick question..

I am making some minor adjustments to a set of masters that have already been dithered down to 16-bit for CD...

I'm making adjustments with a Waves Linear Multiband in Pro Tools. My question is, after I render the LinMB to the audio with the Audiosuite and I'm ready to export (I never bounce to disk)...I'm assuming I have to re-dither? because the audio files go back to being 24-bit? Is there any way around this (I'd rather not alter the audio anymore than i have to...) and/or what's the best way, considering I don't bounce-to-disk? Record to a new track first with POW-r dithering? use the dither on the Linear MB? I'm not sure which would be the best option.

Thanks for your help!!
Your best best is to go back to the original 24 bit undithered files to make your adjustments, recalling the original mastering settings and adjusting from there. If you are adjusting 16 bit dithered, and already mastered files, there's no way around the DSP increasing the wordlength (it would be very bad if you tried to process at less than 24 bits), which you will have to dither back to 16 again.

However, there are so many compromises here. An already mastered track is propabaly going to contain clipping distortion, considering the levels most people associate with the word "mastered" these days, and this distortion can often be unintentionally highlighted even more through additional processing.

Also, the noise floor (including quantization noise) has already been brought up to levels where it may start to interfere, and further processing wil just increase the likelihood of audible problems. Also, if the original wordlength reduction was done with an aggressive noise shaper, you'll have even more liklihood of hearing artifacts, noise, and general unhappiness. In the end, if you must do it this way, hopefully what you gain will be more than what you lose, but it is a minefield.
Old 21st August 2007
  #3
Gear Addict
 
16/44.1's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo View Post
Your best best is to go back to the original 24 bit undithered files to make your adjustments, recalling the original mastering settings and adjusting from there. If you are adjusting 16 bit dithered, and already mastered files, there's no way around the DSP increasing the wordlength (it would be very bad if you tried to process at less than 24 bits), which you will have to dither back to 16 again.

However, there are so many compromises here. An already mastered track is propabaly going to contain clipping distortion, considering the levels most people associate with the word "mastered" these days, and this distortion can often be unintentionally highlighted even more through additional processing.

Also, the noise floor (including quantization noise) has already been brought up to levels where it may start to interfere, and further processing wil just increase the likelihood of audible problems. Also, if the original wordlength reduction was done with an aggressive noise shaper, you'll have even more liklihood of hearing artifacts, noise, and general unhappiness. In the end, if you must do it this way, hopefully what you gain will be more than what you lose, but it is a minefield.

Absoluty correct .
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