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Author Topic: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?  (Read 3919 times)

recall

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Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« on: March 19, 2011, 07:35:06 pm »

Hello,

I hope it is OK to post here I have the utmost respect for Brad and everyone posting on this informative forum.  Primarily I am a freelance engineer/producer.

Lately I have had bands come to me asking for additional mixing/production and mastering on their DIY projects. I think we have achieved some good results and I am really comfortable in just pushing their mixes across the finishing line.  I am clear with them that my main strength is mixing and advise them that if they really can't afford to go to a mastering studio I will use my experience to provide the best result I can for them.

For the last couple of mastering jobs I have done all processing of the mixes in pro tools at the original 24/44.1 sample rate then shift-apple-k export files as interleaved 24bit wavs.

I then import these files into DSP quattro, do gaps and fades and use the "burn cd" button.

Now this means DSP quattro is doing the final conversion from 24/44.1 to 16/44.1

Is this the best/most efficient way to do things or would I be better off importing the 24 bit mixes into a new 16 bit pro tools session and converting using tweakhead BEFORE doing all my processing? Or even once the processing has been done in the 24bit session exporting using shift-apple-k to 16bit.

I guess I want to do the conversion where it hurts the least!

I think my choices are:

1. Carry on as I am now. Processing in PT at 24/44, import 24/44 files into DSP Quattro, assemble CD. Let DSP Quattro downsample to 16 bit at final "burn cd" command

or,

2. Process in PT at 24/44 then export interleaved files at 16/44 from PT using shift-apple-k, Pro Tools therefore handles SRC and dither. Assemble 16 bit files in DSP - therefore no src happens in this program.

I'd really appreciate your help and wisdom, I don't proclaim to be out to take professional ME's work but I do take pride in doing my best and trying my hardest for clients who otherwise would not get their records put together and help a thriving grass roots scene in this area.

Thanks,

Iwan
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gertvanhoof

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 06:27:24 am »

I then import these files into DSP quattro, do gaps and fades and use the "burn cd" button.

If you're doing any processing (fades etc.) in DSP Quattro, dithering prior to that is quite useless (take it from someone who used to make the same mistake). So I'd export 24/44 out of PT and let DSPQ handle dithering duties when the project has taken its final shape.

Best regards,
Gert
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Brethes

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 09:33:52 am »

Option 1.
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Dominique Brethes
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recall

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 11:13:55 am »

Thank you Gert and Dominique,

After further thought late last night this is the conclusion I came to.  It feels good that my conclusions are backed up by both of you.

Thank you for taking the time to answer.

Best

Iwan
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Laarsø

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2011, 01:44:34 pm »

Just to clarify, there is no SRC (sample rate conwersion) when going from 24/44.1k to 16/44.1k...       That would be if going from, say, 24/48 to 24/44.1k, or from 08/44.1k to, say, 08/22.05k, etc...

There is a deleterious effect of re-dithering at the same wordlength if no DSP has necessitated it.   Therefore, do not dither to 16 bits in both apps.   If you are going to go to 16 bit, although you may have wanted to audition it that way, during 24 bit processing, you should not actually print it that way until the fades and all limiting or flange has been applied.  (;



Cheersø,
     Laarsø
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Laars Oglethorpe, V
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 05:28:00 am »

At the final stage of processing just before commitment to 16bit, most limiters have a dither option these days.
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

recall

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 07:45:54 am »

Hello Barry,

I'm using Slate FG-x for additional level. Nothing crazy or slamming, I like it better than the Massey L2007 or MCDSP ML1.  The slate has dither options but I have unchecked them as there is a final dither stage in DSP Quattro which is applied when producing the disk image for burning the red book CD.

Laarso,

Thanks for the advice. I'm still waiting for the elusive project where a master flange is needed across the stereo mix!  Hopefully today. ;D
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KAyo

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 06:29:18 pm »

Just as a side note: My favourite point of conversion, is at capture. Bringing the analogue back into the digital domain.

Saying that, it’s not the only point or way, but, I do like that .. when done right.

Cheers,
KAyo
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 10:19:01 am »

Cheers, KAyo

Is KAyo your real name?

JT
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KAyo

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 01:28:58 pm »

Is KAyo your real name?

JT


Yes it is! :)

If intrigued:  It’s a connotation from the Persian text..
“The first King of Persia, known as Kayo-mars, of the Zarathushtra faith”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayumars


On that note; pints all around.

Regards,
KAyo
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Best place to convert down to 16 bit in a mastering session?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 06:10:10 pm »

Quote
On that note; pints all around.

Regards, KAyo

Then I'll have a Dos Equis, or two!

Cheers, JT
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