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TwilightOdyssey



Joined: 26/02/09
Posts: 48
Loc: NYC
Do you apply dithering to your final mix?
      #1072932 - 02/11/13 10:33 PM
I shall be doing a final mix soon an using an online mastering house (Abbey Road). They only accept 16 bit wav files.

Should I use dithering on my mix down?

Thanks!


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The Elf
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Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: TwilightOdyssey]
      #1072933 - 02/11/13 10:40 PM
Use dithering whenever you are reducing wordlength. If you have tracked at 24-bit, for example, and are mixing down to 16-bit, then you should apply dither.

This said...

...I find it odd that a mastering house would specifically want a 16-bit file. I would expect them to be more than happy with a 24-bit file.

For mastering I'd positively *discourage* my clients from sending me a 16-bit file!

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: TwilightOdyssey]
      #1072935 - 02/11/13 10:45 PM
It seems very odd that they would only accept 16 bit mix files for mastering, and I'd suggest that you check that again...

However, if that is really the case, then yes, it's absolutely essential that you apply dither when reducing the word length of your files. I would probably go with straight TPDF (triangular) dither rather than any kind of noise-shaped option, simply because the high levels of HF noise that the latter introduce could compromise the EQ and dynamics processing options applied in mastering.

And also make sure that your files don't peak higher than between -6 and -3dBFS so avoid problems with intersample peak clipping.

H

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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GaryM



Joined: 06/11/08
Posts: 637
Loc: Dundee, UK
Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: TwilightOdyssey]
      #1072942 - 03/11/13 12:11 AM
The page at http://www.abbeyroadonlinemastering.com says:

"We accept uncompressed stereo WAV or AIFF files, 16bit & 44.1kHz or 24bit & 96kHz"


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chris...
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Joined: 12/03/03
Posts: 4491
Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: GaryM]
      #1072969 - 03/11/13 11:14 AM
Quote GaryM:

16bit & 44.1kHz or 24bit & 96kHz"



which taken at face value means that, assuming, (as is likely), you don't have your mix at 96kHz, then they only accept 16bit.

StRanGE!

Unless the webpage is just worded very poorly.


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The Elf
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Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: chris...]
      #1072971 - 03/11/13 11:18 AM
I suspect it's just bad wording. If it isn't I'll eat my own hat and shoes.

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Joined: 25/07/03
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Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: The Elf]
      #1072975 - 03/11/13 11:30 AM
Absolutely. If they can handle 24/96 then they can handle 24/44.1 just as easily, and I don't know of any mastering engineer who would prefer 16/44.1 files over 24/44.1.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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TwilightOdyssey



Joined: 26/02/09
Posts: 48
Loc: NYC
Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: TwilightOdyssey]
      #1073004 - 03/11/13 01:57 PM
Thanks for the lighting fast replies! I actually noticed after I posted originally that they now take 24-bit mixes as well (they did not originally).


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TwilightOdyssey



Joined: 26/02/09
Posts: 48
Loc: NYC
Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #1073006 - 03/11/13 02:00 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

And also make sure that your files don't peak higher than between -6 and -3dBFS so avoid problems with intersample peak clipping.

H



Thanks for the tip! That will not be an issue, as I am mixing in analogue and am averaging -12 to -9 dBFS coming back into the DAW.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 20849
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: TwilightOdyssey]
      #1073018 - 03/11/13 03:23 PM
Quote TwilightOdyssey:

Thanks for the tip! That will not be an issue, as I am mixing in analogue and am averaging -12 to -9 dBFS coming back into the DAW.




Perfick! I wish everyone mixed with the same sensible level alignments.

H

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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DavieB
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Joined: 27/07/02
Posts: 35
Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix? new [Re: TwilightOdyssey]
      #1077260 - 03/12/13 02:20 PM
Do one file dithered and one file not dithered, send them both files and tell them the dithered one is the undithered one and the undithered one is the dithered one and see if they notice the difference...


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