You are here

Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

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

Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Nov 02, 2013 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!
Ben Asaro
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am
Location: NYC

 


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby The Elf » Sat Nov 02, 2013 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!
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9975
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

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


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Nov 02, 2013 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
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17068
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby GaryM » Sun Nov 03, 2013 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"
GaryM
Regular
Posts: 336
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:00 am

Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby chris... » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:14 am

GaryM wrote: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.
User avatar
chris...
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2707
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Glasgow

Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby The Elf » Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:18 am

I suspect it's just bad wording. If it isn't I'll eat my own hat and shoes.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9975
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

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


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 03, 2013 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
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17068
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:57 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).
Ben Asaro
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am
Location: NYC

 


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:00 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote: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.
Ben Asaro
Regular
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am
Location: NYC

 


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:23 pm

TwilightOdyssey wrote: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
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17068
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Do you apply dithering to your final mix?

Postby DavieB » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:20 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...
DavieB
Poster
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 11:00 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests