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Dithering through Apogee unit or PT mix bus? Dynamics Plugins
Old 26th November 2002
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Dithering through Apogee unit or PT mix bus?

Hey Charles,

I posted this elsewhere but you may have missed it.

What are your thoughts on using the Apogee Trak2 to dither down, vs doing the dithering in PT at the mix bus?

Instead of using the dithered mixer plugin, or the dithering in the L1?

The technique I am refering to is https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...&threadid=1602

Thanks in a advance.

Jotown
Old 26th November 2002
  #2
FX smörgåsbord user
 
Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Jotown,

Sorry for missing your original post. I haven't used the Apogee Trak2 so I can't compare its dither, but for output dither on PT I prefer POWr Dither. It's a stock plug w/ PT. Digi doesn't hype it up much, but its really high quality.

The dither was designed by a partnership between Lake DSP, Weiss Engineering, Millennia Media, and Z-Systems. And besides being licensed by Digidesign, it is also used by SADiE, E-Magic, Sonic Solutions, BIAS, Clair Brothers, Luna Digital, and Micro Technology.

To read more about it click here.

And to read two excellent reviews click here:

Bob Katz in Pro Audio Review

Genn Meadows in Audio Media
Old 26th November 2002
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Thank you Mr. Dye,

I appreciate your response.

I am stlll looking for a used Tubetech CL1B comp/lim.

Thanks again.

Jotown
Old 26th November 2002
  #4
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 

Jotown, I've been looking for one for some time. They are rather rare on the used market, that should tell lots about their usefulness...
Good luck!
Old 26th November 2002
  #5
FX smörgåsbord user
 
Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Jotown,

Your welcome, but please... call me Charles.
Old 26th November 2002
  #6
tld
Here for the gear
 

I've used the UV-22 via my Apogee AD8000, the IDR in Waves L1 and L2, and Digi's POW-R. Though the differences are subtle, I like POW-R best. Any hey...it comes with PT 5.1.1 and up

Tom
Old 26th November 2002
  #7
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
Does POW-r Dither come with Pro Tools LE?

I'm guessing it doesn't, since all I see here is plain old dither.

Jasper
Old 27th November 2002
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
dynamike's Avatar
psychoacoustically optimized wordlength reduction?????

can someone better explain what dither actually does, and why i should use it??? cuz i don't use it now.

as far as using it for LE, this is what POW-R says:

"Pow-r is compact and designed for portability. The algorithm will operate optimally in both DSP and native software in digital audio workstation applications"

whatever that means.

thank you,
dynamike (the lamen)
Old 27th November 2002
  #9
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
Quote:
"Pow-r is compact and designed for portability. The algorithm will operate optimally in both DSP and native software in digital audio workstation applications"
Thanks, Dynamike. Guess I should check my LE CD for it. Or the downloads at Digidesign.

I'll let someone else more qualified explain dither in detail, but basically when you go from 24-bit to 16-bit, the 8 truncated bits are replaced with noise. Apparently, this is a good thing.

Jasper
Old 27th November 2002
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by dynamike
can someone better explain what dither actually does, and why i should use it??? cuz i don't use it now.
Hey dynamike,

The finer points of how dithering works can get VERY technical,
To keep it short and sweet I'll explain dithering in the most basic terms . . .

In the real world of recording digital audio, it becomes crucial to
run your mixed song through dithering of some kind if you want to
burn a cd of your mix OR record your mix on any 16 bit media, like
a DAT tape or cd-r for example.

You should NOT apply dithering if you plan on having the music
professionally mastered (the mastering engineer will do this).

You should NOT apply dithering if you are mixing to analog tape.

You should NOT apply dithering if your original audio was recorded
at 16 bits rather than 24.

But if you want to burn a cd-r of the mix for listening tests, or a
one-off for the customer etc. then it's very important to dither
your mix from 24 bits down to 16 bits. Otherwise you are losing
alot of your sound quality.

The reason dithering becomes crucial is because most digital
audio these days is being recorded at 24 bits. CD's are 16 bits.
If you don't dither from 24 bits down to 16 bits, then the top 8 bits,
will be chopped off and lost when you bounce to disk
or burn the cd. This causes a big loss in sound quality. You lose
detail, depth, dimension, sound stage shrinkage, etc.

If you put a dithering plugin on the master fader, and dial it in for
16 bits, then bounce to disk at 16 bits in order to burn a cd, then
your sound quality will be almost entirely preserved when
when compared to the original 24 bit source.

Dithering applies a very subtle (usually not noticable) layer of noise
at the 1st and 2nd bits. For reasons that are beyond me to explain,
This tiny layer of noise combined with math algorithims, essentially
causes the audio of your original 24 bit source to be
crammed onto a 16 bit cd, preserving almost all the audio quality.

Bob Katz has written some great info which explains this in detail
on his mastering website www.digido.com

In a nutshell, dithering is easy to do, and it's crucial if you're burning
a cd from a 24 bit source.
It's as simple as a plugin.

I did my best . . .

Clear as mud?

Pete
Old 27th November 2002
  #11
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
More on dither...

I just got the following information from the Answerbase at Digidesign.com

Quote:
Question:
What is the difference between the 3 different Dither settings in Pro Tools?
-Dither Plug In
-Dither setting in the Pref's Processing menu
-Dither option in the Fades dialogue

Answer:
* Dither Plug in - Affects the Bounce to Disk, mono or stereo, output.
* Dither setting in the Preference's Processing menu only affects Audio Suite processing. 'Default' is the only option at this time. When and if another A/S dithering algorithm is developed, it may be available in this popup. With "use default dither" off then the standard dither algorithm is used (no noise shaping option) in audiosuite processing.
* Dither option the Fades dialogue - Only affects Fade processing. This is a "standard" Digi algorithm.
And this one...

Quote:
Question:
In reference to the Dithered Mixer: If I want to submix elements to stereo pair outputs, it is far better to submix each pair through a master fader, rather then simply assigning all those submixed elements to the same outputs, or going through an Aux first?

Answer:
A Master Fader is just a way to adjust the level of one of the "n x 2" mixer pair outputs - every "n x 2" mixer has this capability. Summing all inputs in the same mixer (for instance routing all tracks to output 1-2) is theoretically better than having several sub-mixes (like 6 tracks mixed to bus 1-2, 6 to bus 3-4, and 6 to bus 5-6, then all of them mixed thru Aux inputs to output 1-2, since the summed bus will only be dithered to 24 bits once (instead of 3 times for the bus mixers, and then 1 more time at the output 1-2 mixer). But, the difference is small - and must be weighed against the convenience of using sub-mixes (you could try using groups for doing "group-wide" level adjustments).
So if I'm reading this right, dither comes into play when you use Audiosuite processing and fades as well as bit-rate conversion? I thought it only affected bounces with bit conversion.

Maybe I read this wrong. I'm really tired, so it's highly possible. I mean... I sure hope I read this wrong.

Jasper
Old 29th November 2002
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
dynamike's Avatar
thanks guys, that helped a lot.

2 more quickies.

1st off, i use the L2 & L1+ quite a bit to get my levels up. i recently realized i should set it to 16 bit (i guess that is the dither) when i mix down to 16 bit.

can i, or should i use the POW-r after that??
Old 29th November 2002
  #13
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
Quote:
1st off, i use the L2 & L1+ quite a bit to get my levels up. i recently realized i should set it to 16 bit (i guess that is the dither) when i mix down to 16 bit.

can i, or should i use the POW-r after that??
I think I can actually answer this.

You only want to dither ONCE, never twice. So if you use L2&L1, make sure to have the dither turned off if you want to use POW-r dither. In other words, you'll be using the Waves limiter, but not the IDR dither.

If you're using the Waves limiter right before bouncing to disc, follow the Waves L1 or L2 with the POW-r dither plugin.

That's my best guess, but let's see what others say.

Jasper
Old 29th November 2002
  #14
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
By the way...

Is anyone using POW-r dither with Pro Tools LE? I can't track it down anywhere and I'm starting to think it only works with TDM or HD systems, even if it can be used natively.

Where is this plug? I don't even see it listed on Digidesign's plugin directory.

Jasper
Old 29th November 2002
  #15
"If you're using the Waves limiter right before bouncing to disc, follow the Waves L1 or L2 with the POW-r dither plugin.

That's my best guess, but let's see what others say."

Yup!

Select dither to "none"

POW-r last.

Hop between the 3 settings, kid yourself that one sounds better than the others, - use that one.



Dunno about LE, can't recall seeing it on my MBox now I think of it......

Old 29th November 2002
  #16
"the difference is small - and must be weighed against the convenience of using sub-mixes (you could try using groups for doing "group-wide" level adjustments)."

I believe you mean 'fader groups' here.. Groups in Europe can often mean - Auxes so that could get confusing!

(I hope I am correct and merely adding clarity to an already great explanation...)

And er.. groups mean only one thing on Pro Tools - what you meant it to mean!

- sorry!
Old 29th November 2002
  #17
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
Quote:
Hop between the 3 settings, kid yourself that one sounds better than the others, - use that one.
HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Glad to see I'm not alone on this one.

Jasper
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