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Author Topic: Dithering?  (Read 5995 times)

The Town Halo

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Dithering?
« on: August 13, 2005, 09:12:23 pm »

I'm currently recording vinyl from my MBOX into my Mac at 32-bit. What option will give me the best sound? Dithering to 16-bit in DSP Quattro, or Roxio Jam?
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2005, 09:38:09 pm »

Pardon me if my tone is rude, as I don't mean it to be.  But I'd be surprised if you are actually recording your vinyl into your Mac at 32 bits.  There are no 32 bit A/D converters, not without sophisticated and expensive bit ranging.  I am sure your Mbox is 24 bits and your Quattro program is *processing* at 32 bits.  Even with a 24 bit converter, typical signal to noise is really on the order of 17 or 18 bits.

Having said that, your Quattro file is greater than 16 bits.  I am not sure which program has the better dither.  Of course the question is, not only which has "better" dither but which type of dither do you want to hear?  There are many types of dither and then different types of noise shaping (if you want that at all).

I would suggest you dither your audio both ways (through both programs) and listen to which sounds better to you.

Barry
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2005, 09:41:00 pm »

The Town Halo wrote on Sat, 13 August 2005 20:12

I'm currently recording vinyl from my MBOX into my Mac at 32-bit. What option will give me the best sound? Dithering to 16-bit in DSP Quattro, or Roxio Jam?


do either of these have POW-r dither ? That works for me on 24 to 16 bit reduction.

Wasn't Mr. Weiss involved in the development of POW-r?
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Terra Nova Mastering
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bblackwood

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2005, 09:44:21 pm »

Everything is TPDF here, but hey, I'm practically deaf, right?
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Brad Blackwood
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dcollins

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2005, 10:03:18 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 13 August 2005 18:44


I'm practically deaf, right?


Is that like legally blind?

DC

Ronny

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2005, 11:58:06 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote on Sat, 13 August 2005 21:38

Pardon me if my tone is rude, as I don't mean it to be.  But I'd be surprised if you are actually recording your vinyl into your Mac at 32 bits.  There are no 32 bit A/D converters, not without sophisticated and expensive bit ranging.  I am sure your Mbox is 24 bits and your Quattro program is *processing* at 32 bits.  Even with a 24 bit converter, typical signal to noise is really on the order of 17 or 18 bits.

Having said that, your Quattro file is greater than 16 bits.  I am not sure which program has the better dither.  Of course the question is, not only which has "better" dither but which type of dither do you want to hear?  There are many types of dither and then different types of noise shaping (if you want that at all).

I would suggest you dither your audio both ways (through both programs) and listen to which sounds better to you.

Barry



What exactly does dither sound like when it's applied to the LSB of 24 bit?
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The Town Halo

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2005, 12:39:44 am »

I'm very pleased with the final product when using DSP Quattro's "Excellent" setting when dithering in the batch processor. I can hear a slight improvement over Roxio's Jam dithering.....not much, but enough.....
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Ronny

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2005, 01:20:23 am »

Jerry Tubb wrote on Sat, 13 August 2005 21:41

The Town Halo wrote on Sat, 13 August 2005 20:12

I'm currently recording vinyl from my MBOX into my Mac at 32-bit. What option will give me the best sound? Dithering to 16-bit in DSP Quattro, or Roxio Jam?


do either of these have POW-r dither ? That works for me on 24 to 16 bit reduction.

Wasn't Mr. Weiss involved in the development of POW-r?



Daniel is one fourth of the POW-R Consortium, along with Dave McGrath from Lake, John La Grou from Millenia and Glenn Zelniker from Z-sys.

I hate to bring this up again, but the people that say that one TPDF dither sounds better than another TPDF dither, what exactly does it sound like? And when the dither is noise shaped into the inaudible frequencies, please explain the physical reasons why you hear it at all, much less a difference. None of my dither blind tests support claims that people can hear dither when it's applied at the 24th least significant bit. The only time that I can hear differences in dither is when I play it without audio and raise gain by +50dB, the noise sounds different at these levels, but with music we apply dither to the half bit, on 24 bit material it's at -141.5dB, I'm really baffled as to how anyone can hear this. I would love to hear some logical explanations, until I do I have to put people making these claims in the same boat as people that say that gold wire sounds better than copper and brass speaker footies make cymbals sparkle. How do you know that It's not all in the mind? When can I hear people reporting physical reasons based on scientific facts and not on subjective opinions?
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2005, 07:56:28 am »

I just completed a vocal jazz disc.  And while I'll admit Ronny that I don't hear the dither 24 bits down, I can easily hear the *effects* of the dither -- at least when it comes to POW-Rs implementation in Peak (by BIAS, Inc.).

POW-R3 made the disc indistinct and veiled sounding.  Everything was under a thin (but very noticeable) blanket.

POW-R2 made the vocals extremely sibilant.

POW-R1 was *just* right --- oh!  for a moment I thought I was telling the story of Goldilocks and the 3 bears!

So, I believe one can hear various "flavors" of dither.

Barry
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bblackwood

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2005, 08:19:46 am »

Ronny wrote on Sun, 14 August 2005 00:20

I hate to bring this up again, but the people that say that one TPDF dither sounds better than another TPDF dither, what exactly does it sound like?

Is POW-R TPDF?

Quote:

And when the dither is noise shaped into the inaudible frequencies, please explain the physical reasons why you hear it at all, much less a difference.

Curious, you don't hear any diff between UV-22 and POW-R?

Quote:

None of my dither blind tests support claims that people can hear dither when it's applied at the 24th least significant bit.

Err, who said anything about dithering to 24?
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Brad Blackwood
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Chris Cavell

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2005, 08:50:23 am »

Quote:

Curious, you don't hear any diff between UV-22 and POW-R?


The differences b/w these two are like night and day on my setup.

Just about any other comparison requires a certain higher level of concentration and attention on my part to really make out the subtle differences...but b/w the UV-22 and any implimentation of Pow-R is extremely noticeable.
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Barry Hufker

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2005, 09:00:14 am »

Here are a couple of interesting pages:
http://audio.rightmark.org/lukin/dither/#samples

and

http://www.24-96.net/dither/


I happen to think Alexey's dither is a great improvement over POW-R.

Barry

Yeah -- and how come *I* didn't catch that "dither applied at 24 bits" thing?!

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Ronny

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2005, 11:22:03 am »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 14 August 2005 08:19

Ronny wrote on Sun, 14 August 2005 00:20

I hate to bring this up again, but the people that say that one TPDF dither sounds better than another TPDF dither, what exactly does it sound like?

Is POW-R TPDF?



The Weiss POW-R unit offers four dither types POW-R1, R2, R3 and flat TPDF.

Quote:

Quote:

And when the dither is noise shaped into the inaudible frequencies, please explain the physical reasons why you hear it at all, much less a difference.

Curious, you don't hear any diff between UV-22 and POW-R?



Which type is that Brad, POW-R1 has a curve that is very simliar to UV22, which BTW, Apogee doesn't call it dither noise. Also the reason why they call it 22 is because it's supposed to be noise shaped above the human hearing range.

Quote:

Quote:

None of my dither blind tests support claims that people can hear dither when it's applied at the 24th least significant bit.

Err, who said anything about dithering to 24?


I don't know about where you apply dither, but when I apply it to reduce word from 24 to 16 bit it is applied at the half bit of the 24 bit signal, dither won't do a damn bit of good if you apply it to 16 bit "after the truncation" because quantization distortion from the reduction where it is needed remains.
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Ronny

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2005, 11:37:56 am »

Barry Hufker wrote on Sun, 14 August 2005 09:00

Here are a couple of interesting pages:
http://audio.rightmark.org/lukin/dither/#samples

and

http://www.24-96.net/dither/


I happen to think Alexey's dither is a great improvement over POW-R.

Barry

Yeah -- and how come *I* didn't catch that "dither applied at 24 bits" thing?!





Probably because you don't know where dither is applied when you dither a 24 to 16 bit word reduction and assume like many people that it's appled to the 16th bit after the reduction, that ain't the way it works.

Glad that Alexey's tests were brought up, Cool Edit Pro's 44.1k dither held it's own with some of the POW-R and IDR evaluations. Here's a dither example coming from a $250 DAW prog that holds it's own with the supposedly "better" dither algo's costing $3500 for just the dither, much less the rest of the features that Cool Edit provides. At least Alexey made dither on the audio examples, instead some of these non-real dither examples where they turn the gain up on it so that you can actually hear the sound of the dither noise. This tells us nothing, it's the effects of the dither and not the dither itself that will be heard if there are any.

I'm still waiting on an answer to my question. How does dither applied to the half bit of 24 bit become audible?
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TotalSonic

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Re: Dithering?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2005, 11:42:39 am »

Barry Hufker wrote on Sun, 14 August 2005 14:00

Here are a couple of interesting pages:
http://audio.rightmark.org/lukin/dither/#samples

and

http://www.24-96.net/dither/





These particular examples are a fairly useless way to judge the effectiveness of the dithers because:
1) in the first case because they are 16 to 12bit conversions
2) in the second case because they are the dither noise alone just gain staged substantially up.

Both of these examples do not represent a real world test for judging:
1) "effectiveness" at smoothing apparent distortion from quantization errors at the 16bit level
2) "transparency" of the dither

the second test only allows you to judge:
3) "pleasantness" of the audible noise the dither imparts

Best regards,
Steve Berson
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