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JohnnyUtah



Joined: 08/08/09
Posts: 6
Dithering drum samples... ?
      #816229 - 03/03/10 03:26 AM
Hi, I don't post here very often but I've been a SOS reader for a very long time. I need some advice, so hope you good people can help

I bought an old Yamaha A3000 sampler because they're so cheap (now that software samplers have killed the hardware smapler market). I have a lot of one-shot drum samples I want to load into it, but the sampler only allows 16-bit samples, whereas most of the wavs I have are 24-bit. Not a big deal, I can batch truncate them, but I'm not sure if I should add dither or not. Is that just for a final project mix-down? I mean, if I do it at this sample level, then use the samples in a track, then dither again, won't I be adding two layers of dither?

I've never been really clear on this, and I have heard opposing arguments. Can anyone offer a definitive answer?

Cheers, Johnny


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DaleSmith



Joined: 29/04/08
Posts: 331
Loc: Hull, UK
Re: Dithering drum samples... ? new [Re: JohnnyUtah]
      #816230 - 03/03/10 03:43 AM
Im prepared to be shot down in flames here, but I wouldn't.

I don't think it would make a great deal of difference if you did have 2 layers of Dither, but I personally wouldn't bother in this situation.

I'd be more concerned with retaining the maximum dynamic range you can. Get as much level into the sampler as you can without clipping, and you probably won't even here the difference.



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chris...
active member


Joined: 12/03/03
Posts: 4644
Re: Dithering drum samples... ? new [Re: JohnnyUtah]
      #816231 - 03/03/10 04:19 AM
You should dither anytime you reduce wordlength.

It seems you've heard about only dithering at mixdown - that's because, ideally, you would work with more than 16bits at all stages, and only convert down to 16bit at final mixdown. But, as you're going down to 16bit at this earlier stage, technically you should be dithering then, even if you'll be dithering again later.

However, as Dale says, it's unlikely to be very noticeable in this situation.


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JohnnyUtah



Joined: 08/08/09
Posts: 6
Re: Dithering drum samples... ? new [Re: chris...]
      #816233 - 03/03/10 05:28 AM
That's great guys, thanks for the info. With most of these samples being commercial releases and already "optimised", they nearly all peak at 0db, leaving no room for dither without clipping. Should I reduce the gain before dithering, and if so, by how much (and how much will dither add exactly)? and is there a particular dither algorithm which would be better suited for drum hits? Perhaps a low level dither?

Sorry for all these questions, I just want to get it right the first time!


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adam miller



Joined: 02/08/06
Posts: 84
Re: Dithering drum samples... ? new [Re: JohnnyUtah]
      #816235 - 03/03/10 06:29 AM
Life's too short! Truncate away, there are far more important sonic battles to pick in the production process than dithering your drum samples.

Ad


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4536
Re: Dithering drum samples... ? new [Re: JohnnyUtah]
      #816254 - 03/03/10 08:30 AM
Or look at it the other way: why not add dither?

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4536
Re: Dithering drum samples... ? new [Re: JohnnyUtah]
      #816256 - 03/03/10 08:35 AM
Actually, thinking about it, if they're imported straight from cd with no other processing applied, the eight extra bits would just be zeros so you could remove them without causing distortion. But if any gain change, compression, eq etc has been applied at 24bit you'll have increased the meaningful word length and so need to dither.

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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JohnnyUtah



Joined: 08/08/09
Posts: 6
Re: Dithering drum samples... ? new [Re: JohnnyUtah]
      #816266 - 03/03/10 09:01 AM
So I'm getting that I should dither... so that's what I'll do. I think iZotope RX has a dither clip prevention, "noise peak limiting", so I'll just activate that. Thanks for your help!


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