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 Tell me something about dithering...
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benyah Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject: Tell me something about dithering... Reply with quote

I roughly know what dithering is and what it does, but my recording software offers me 4 different algorithms and I'm not sure a) what the difference is and b) which one to use... I've always used the first one because it is first and it says "dithering" behind it. Can anyone explain to me what the difference is? I've posted a picture below with the different algorithms:



Thanks, Ben.
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M.Brane Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basically the choices relate to the characteristics of the noise. Which one sounds best is completely dependant on your program.

The difference is likely lost on most listeners especially on heavier music.

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What MBrane said. My software's got various dithering options also, and nobody who's experimented with them can tell the difference except the sort of geeks who claim to be able to hear the difference between stuff recorded at 44.1 and 48, that sort of thing.

If there *is* an audible difference, it's a very tiny audible difference.

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MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to hear the "obvious" difference:

* Record some room noise

* Duplicate it as many times as you'd like to try different dithers

* Dither the files to 16-bit using the different dithers

* Crank 'em up -- Evenly -- But this might be 40-60dB of boost, so be careful

* Listen

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm assuming you've done this test. What do you get? Different kinds of noise, or are some less noisy than others?
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benyah Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I've tried it and here are the results. I still don't know which one would be best for me I think #1 and #3 have the nicest sounding noise and #2 sounds mean!! I recorded in 24 bit and dithered to 16 bit using the different algorithms. I then normalized them and converted them to 320 bit mp3s so I could upload them here.


POW-r #1 (Dithering).mp3
 Description:

Play

Download
 Filename:  POW-r #1 (Dithering).mp3
 Filesize:  1.68
 Downloaded:  1628 Time(s)


POW-r #2 (Noise Shaping).mp3
 Description:

Play

Download
 Filename:  POW-r #2 (Noise Shaping).mp3
 Filesize:  1.68
 Downloaded:  1600 Time(s)


POW-r #3 (Noise Shaping).mp3
 Description:

Play

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 Filename:  POW-r #3 (Noise Shaping).mp3
 Filesize:  1.68
 Downloaded:  1642 Time(s)

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, three's the quietest by far. I'd go with three. No?
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Massive, when you say 'record some room noise', you mean record a few seconds of nothing at all with mics hooked up to pres and going to disk, right?
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MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep.

I wouldn't exactly trust the MP3's as a reference... I've heard plenty of dither noise change considerably using different algorithms... And you need to compare it to the raw 24-bit PCM data to really get the idea.

And don't normalize -- The additive volume needs to be precisely the same. There could be a 10dB difference between one type and the other.

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damion Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:03 am    Post subject: RE Reply with quote

Massive. what type of dither do you use? I do a lot of Pop-Rock and Metal. Just wanted to know what you think works best. I have Waves, Powr, and HR24. Any idea what you would use?

thanks
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MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

POW-r 1 more than most, sometimes just Samplitude's native dithering.
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