You are here

Dithering drum samples... ?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby JohnnyUtah » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:26 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
User avatar
JohnnyUtah
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby DaleSmith » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:43 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.

:)
DaleSmith
Regular
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby chris... » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:19 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.
User avatar
chris...
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2720
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Glasgow

Re: Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby JohnnyUtah » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:28 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!
User avatar
JohnnyUtah
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:00 pm

Re: Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby adam miller » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:29 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
adam miller
Poster
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:30 am

Or look at it the other way: why not add dither?
Jack Ruston
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3517
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:35 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.
Jack Ruston
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3517
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Dithering drum samples... ?

Postby JohnnyUtah » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:01 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!
User avatar
JohnnyUtah
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:00 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kwackman and 1 guest