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Pow-r Dithering vs UV 22
Old 16th July 2005
Gear Nut

Pow-r Dithering vs UV 22

Ok, I have a few questions I'm hoping some mastering engineers can help me with. I use Nuendo. When I do the final print of my master, I go to the last post fader insert and put in a UV22 HR plugin. Then I export and choose 16bit. As long as I have the mix going lastly through this dithering plugin, its not truncating, correct?

Also, are there noticeable sound differences to Pow-r and UV22? Does the Pow-r really make the mix sound better? If so, what DAWs does Pow-r currently come with?

Next, how does adding dither noise make my 16bit mix sound more like my 24bit mix? Thanks, I really overlooked this dithering thing.
Old 16th July 2005
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar

Great questions! I have PTLE and it came with Pow-R. I have apogee converters that have UV22, which I suppose may be different from the plugin. Don't know for sure, though. I'm kind of unclear on this stuff too. I generally forget to dither.
Old 16th July 2005
Gear Addict
EngineEars's Avatar

It'd be great to get respected persons opinions on this issue. For as many things we have to worry about, it'd be nice to not have to spend a day or two comparing the various dithers out on the market.

(Wouldn't it be great if there was some trade secret like use the Pow-r #3 dither plug-in followed by a notch EQ -12dB @ 2k for the best sounding 16 bit preservation of 24 bit recordings on planet.)

Which one is most accurate?
Which one works best for what kind of music?
Which one was used the most on commercially released recordings?
Can you even tell a difference on a recording that is loud for the whole song?
It'd be nice to know what the diff between Pow-r/UV22/Cranesong/stock Digi/etc.?

Perhaps this is a topic for a mastering forum. I asked a ME about it once and his response was it really didn't matter unless you are doing wide dynamic classical or jazz recordings. That makes sense, since most of the work done today is at full scale digital from the top of the song to the tail.

Sorry to hijack the original question Analog, maybe we'll both get our questions answered and I can give you the Cliff Notes version.
Old 16th July 2005
Yes there is a difference sonically.

Its slight but noticeable.

Most ME's will tell you not to sweat it and focus on other aspects of your mix.

My favorite is still POW-R #3.

Its the most transparent to my ears.
Old 16th July 2005
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

First off, dither is the addition or subtraction of a carefully calculated spectrum of noise that is used to define the activity of the bottom digital bit. Without dither, the bottom bit chatters like a mis adjusted noise gate as it is modulated by the audio signal. Dithering changes this clatter into something that sounds like analog noise.

UV-22 is a variation on what is called a Nyquist dither. It is noise that is limited to the very highest frequencies. The result sounds a lot subjectively like analog tape hiss. My understanding is that Pow-R 1 is also a Nyquist dither. Prior to the introduction of the Pacific Microsonics system and Pow-R, UV-22 was the dither of choice for many of us although there have always been dither conservatives who insist flat dither introduces the least coloration.

The Pow-R noise shaped dithers were considered a significant enough advance over what had come before that most mastering engineers today stick with flat, or Pow-R 2 or 3 without getting hung up in comparisons.

As for which to use where, my experience has been that Pow-R 3 is virtually transparent with high quality, "open" sounding recordings. Pow-R 2 or flat dither tend to soften crispy, digital recordings that have gotten clipped somewhere along the way while Pow-R 3 seems to make them sound worse.
Old 16th July 2005
Lives for gear
cdog's Avatar
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Yes there is a difference sonically.

My favorite is still POW-R #3.

Its the most transparent to my ears.

Old 16th July 2005
Lives for gear
Riad's Avatar

I don't use the bounce to disk function any longer in Pro Tools, call it a phase I'm in. I print a stereo track of the mix and enable the UV22HR on the Apogee AD16-X, then export the region... I have no idea what I'm doing.
Old 16th July 2005
While you can simnply use whichever one sounds best at the time, I use flat TPDF dither all the time. This is definitely not something you need to lose sleep over...
Old 16th July 2005
Here's a helpful primer on dithering. It was written back in '96 but it's still pertinent today. (There are a few typos in it; one or two specific pieces of info are a bit dated -- and it's been a while since I've read it in its entirety -- but as I recall it gets the basic concepts right.)
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