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Author Topic: Dither? I hardly knew her.  (Read 6623 times)

Noah Mintz Mastering

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Dither? I hardly knew her.
« on: April 08, 2011, 12:38:30 pm »

The title comes curtesy of my intern Andrew.

I'd like to suggest the topic of dither use since I haven't seen it in a while (excuse me if it has been discussed recently).

What are you all using for final dither these days and why? Are any of you truncating and why? Do any of you not put much thought into it and just 'pick one'?

I've personally been using PWR2 but I can't really tell you why. I did a shoot out some years ago and frankly they mostly sounded the same but PWR2 resonated best with me. I think it's time for a revisit.
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Noah Mintz
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PBM

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 01:19:40 pm »


What are you all using for final dither these days and why? Are any of you truncating and why? Do any of you not put much thought into it and just 'pick one'?

I've personally been using PWR2 but I can't really tell you why..

PWR2 here too if it goes through Sequoia

MBit from Izotope RX2 if I use that for SRC

These keep me happy, and I have no idea what else might even be out there, so best file me under the `not much thought and just pick one' category.

Cheers,

Eric


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Philosophers Barn Mastering
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jdg

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 03:11:50 pm »

trianglular from samp, or mbit from izotope.

but, i have started "dither, nearly killed 'em" auditions.. and have heard differences ( i was not alone )

and sometimes i do truncate!
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John McCaig
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bblackwood

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 03:47:00 pm »

Just flat TPDF here. I've played with shaped dithers in the past, but always find myself back at TPDF.
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Brad Blackwood
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Mastertone

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 06:20:30 pm »

Went through a dither test some years ago, just listening to the noise itself i prefered the mbit but for the convenience of workflow and the end result i just use the powr1 or 3 in samp 98% of the time. It fills its purpose and sound great.
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Jonas Ekstrom
Mastertone Mastering
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 10:43:17 pm »

I use Sonoris Dither. I usually just stick to TPDF with no shaping, but occasionally I'll switch the settings around and try to pick the one that sounds or feels  the best, but to be honest I find it very hear to hear any difference. If I'm using shaping, I usually seem to like the "B" shape the most.

lowland

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2011, 03:43:48 am »

TPDF in SADiE all the way for me. I have POWr but haven't felt the need to break it out for some time.
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Nigel Palmer
Lowland Masters
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Patrik_T

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2011, 05:48:12 am »

.
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2011, 10:23:51 am »

Whatever the default Sonic dither is.

"shaped" TPDF iirc.

Too much dithering over dither IMO.

JT
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Terra Nova Mastering
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Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2011, 10:34:46 am »

For several years I used Power Level 3.
With Pro Tools 7 and 8, I decided to use Powe rLevel 1.
Level 3 seemed to add a slight top end. Esoteric?? :)
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Alécio Costa Studio
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TotalSonic

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2011, 12:36:53 pm »

I generally use Sonoris dither - TPDF with curve "#2" noise shaping - but sometimes I use the straigiht TPDF that is available in Awave Audio when I'm doing batch conversions from 24bit files to 16bit.

I did extensive listening tests to a wide variety of dither algorithms about 6 years ago and while I found I definitely had preferences for some over others when listening to tails and fades cranked up in the monitors or headphones - just that the difference doesn't in fact make any kind of audible difference to the much more important most significant bits. 

Anyway - in my tests I did find that truncation when re-quantizing from 24bit to 16bit was always undesirable in contrast adding dither at this stage.  To my own ear though a single level of truncation from 32bit to 24bit is in fact inaudible.

Essentially I feel those who claim that dither choice acts as some kind of "smoother" or "re-equalizer" with an audible effect on not just the tails or fades but the overall sound as well are either dealing with broken algorithms or are victims of the placebo effect - and definitely way more often the latter. 

I find it deeply ironic that some of those who go on about the significance of dither choice will in fact only have a single digital limiter choice available to them - where dither choice will have a negligible effect on the ultimate coloration over the entire track - while the limiter choice will in fact have a huge effect.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2011, 12:38:58 am »

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Herbeck

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2011, 01:33:29 am »


Essentially I feel those who claim that dither choice acts as some kind of "smoother" or "re-equalizer" with an audible effect on not just the tails or fades but the overall sound as well are either dealing with broken algorithms or are victims of the placebo effect - and definitely way more often the latter. 

I find it deeply ironic that some of those who go on about the significance of dither choice will in fact only have a single digital limiter choice available to them - where dither choice will have a negligible effect on the ultimate coloration over the entire track - while the limiter choice will in fact have a huge effect.


Instead of bashing folks with good listening skills, start to practise perfect pitch.

You don't need perfect pitch to be a good ME or musician.
But the reason I think perfect pitch is relevant for an ME
is not that you can hear the pitch of a tune, melody or note, it's why you can hear it.

Perfect pitch is the ability to hear the slight difference of the "sound" of the tones.
Every note has it's own sound, you don't try to hear if the note is high or low you hear it's sound.
And to be able to hear such small differences in sound can be an advantage in mastering,
And music actually gets more beautiful and interesting to listen to.


Two good links on Perfect Pitch
http://www.pitchtrain.com/
http://www.perfectpitch.com/

Cheers,

Herbeck
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2011, 04:09:56 am »

MBIT or TPDF, the difference is nothing compared with other factors, certainly nothing to be getting "knickers in a twist" about.

Sure you should have good hearing, it's a prerequisite but there is SO many other things of relatively huge significance that you are arguably better off spending time working with those than worrying about dither choice. Sure do a listening test it
it's cool, but don't fret it, choose and be done with and re-evaluate new kids on the block.

Sure listen see if you can hear differences you might sometimes you might not others depends on material. Use what sounds best, there is no "I am better than you so.... neeeeaaahhh" when it comes to dither.

Moving your head 1cm will be of more consequence.
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Barry Gardner
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Dither? I hardly knew her.
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2011, 09:40:37 am »

Instead of bashing folks with good listening skills, start to practise perfect pitch.

Actually Steve is not bashing good listening skills.

As mastering engineers, ~listening is our specialty~

Like many of us full time mastering folks, he simply agrees that obsessing over dither type is a big waste of time, and that a basic dither such as TPDF gets the job done quite nicely... nuff said.

On the topic of perfect pitch, I see it as more of a "gift" that someone is born with, or develops at an early age, not something that MEs need to focus on. That said, I've got good relative pitch, a skill I've retained for decades, it does have its uses at times. But "perfect" is a huge word meaning 100% pitch recognition at all times, much more valuable for musicians, rather than technicians.

Frequency range recognition, in parts of octaves, is a much more valuable skill, since we're often dealing with numbers in EQing.

JT
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Terra Nova Mastering
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