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View Full Version : using waves plugins to dither and NOT pro tools


drguitar
01-13-2005, 02:30 PM
we are trying to use waves plugins to dither from 24 bit to 16 because we hear it does a great job of this. we are testing the waves L3 demo for this and i cannot figure out how to accomplish this within a 24 bit PT session. I can use the waves IDR audiosuite plugin to select a region, select 16 bits on the plugin and then hit the process button. It creates an audio file in the audio files folder. But when I open that audio file with quicktime to get info on the file, quicktime still says it's a 24 bit file and not 16.

Basically, how the hell can we use waves plugins to dither. It seems that no matter what, you always have to bounce out of pro tools which of course then uses pro tools algorythms for dithering and bit depth conversion. We want to use ONLY waves to accomplish this. Can anyone provide some help? thank you!

Chris Cavell
01-13-2005, 02:49 PM
Process with waves to get the file dithered, then export with pro tools to truncate to 16 bit.

drguitar
01-13-2005, 03:07 PM
but isn't that redundant? using waves audiosuite to supposodly convert to 16 bit, and then converting to 16 bit again using pro tools?

or is it that after it's processed within pro tools using audiosuite that pro tools will then do a better job of converting it to 16 bit? this whole process is kinda lost on me. it seems as though the moment I hit process on the audiosuite waves plugin, the resulting file created that resides in the audio files folder should be 16 bit since I selected 16 bit on the waves plugin before I hit the process button.

Chris Cavell
01-13-2005, 05:14 PM
no, not redundant...waves will dither to 16 bit, but not truncate the file...those are two different things. To properly convert to 16 bits you must dither then truncate.

workhouse
01-13-2005, 08:50 PM
wow
thanks guys i have NEVER been able to figure that one out
i use the L2 on every mix ( i cant live without it! )but i usually export at 24bit
and them top 'n' tail the final mix in peak exporting it
using peaks power dither down to 16bit

would i get a better result using the L2 dither instead?

SuperReverb
01-13-2005, 11:18 PM
Here's a question for you Chris... (or anyone who knows the correct answer)

If I Always use the dither in the L2 in my master Fader, (actually master aux) and through a bus, record that dithered mix onto a track in the 24 bit project...

When I export the file, Command Shift K, select a stereo interleaved 16 BIT file as the destination file.....

If I have the "Use AudioSuite Dither" check box checked, 24 bit selected, with Noise shaping turned on, (which is pro-tools default setting) in the Setups, Preferences, Processing screen.

Will Pro tools just truncate the file that I'm exporting, with the only dither comming from the recorded L2 ? or will it apply dither by default, to my already dithered audio file ?

I've never really understod the real use for this setting in PT.

I guess what I'm asking, more simply.... is....If I uncheck this box, what does pro-tools "STOP" doing?

Rail Jon Rogut
01-13-2005, 11:46 PM
If you Export (Command+Shift+K) and reduce the resolution the files are dithered by a default dither algorithm independent of the prefs.

Rail

SuperReverb
01-14-2005, 12:07 AM
So Rail. 2 questions.

first. Is the ONLY work around, to bounce my already recorded mixes to disk, using the "Bounce to disk" feature ?

second. How exactly to those pref's work in pro-tools, there is nothing specific about those settings in the manual.

do they effect export as well as Import ?

If so... from what you're describing, I'm dithering with the L2, the checkbox in pref's is dithering again, then a third time, by this default dither algorithm independent of the prefs?

yeowza.

I just want what is already on my mix track inside my 24 bit session, that I've already dithered, with out "bouncing to disk"

Chris Cavell
01-14-2005, 07:05 AM
Workhouse, it is recommended that you reserve dithering until after you have finished all other processing. If you bounce with the intent of further processing the file in another program, you'll probably see the best results if you disable the dithering present anywhere before the final steps of rendering in that other program.

SuperReverb,
1)I wouldn't call it a workaround, but rather how it is intended to be done.
2)(Rail, please correct me if i'm wrong.) The dithering pref's are in regards to the creation of fade files. The SRC prefs (tweakhead, etc.) affect import and export. Any import/export commands that reduce the bit-depth of the file undergo a seperate and fixed dithering algorithm.

If you want to grab the file without bouncing and then truncate it without further dithering, you'll have to locate it in your audio files folder and open it in another app to convert it in a faster than real-time manner without further dithering.

Cheers,
Chris

sukks2bu
01-14-2005, 08:18 AM
You know, This has been going on for so long, and Rail and Nika have both talked about this till they were blue in the face, but I wish DIGI would come out and say.................TO DO THIS, IT IS BEST IF..........................everyone is guessing.
I'm in the same boat. When I master, I will use the pow-r dither on the final insert of a master fader, and bounce to disk, and when I select 16bit 44.1, the convert during or after bounce comes up. WHAT IS IT CONVERTING IF I AM ALREADY DITHERING USING POW-R dither. I beleive rail said it was truncating the file, but I want to hear from DIGI. WHERE IS DIGI?

Nika
01-14-2005, 09:22 AM
So Rail. 2 questions.

first. Is the ONLY work around, to bounce my already recorded mixes to disk, using the "Bounce to disk" feature ?

...


I just want what is already on my mix track inside my 24 bit session, that I've already dithered, with out "bouncing to disk"



What is the reticence to bouncing to disk?

Nika

Chris Townsend
01-14-2005, 10:32 AM
You know, This has been going on for so long, and Rail and Nika have both talked about this till they were blue in the face, but I wish DIGI would come out and say.................TO DO THIS, IT IS BEST IF..........................everyone is guessing.
I'm in the same boat. When I master, I will use the pow-r dither on the final insert of a master fader, and bounce to disk, and when I select 16bit 44.1, the convert during or after bounce comes up. WHAT IS IT CONVERTING IF I AM ALREADY DITHERING USING POW-R dither. I beleive rail said it was truncating the file, but I want to hear from DIGI. WHERE IS DIGI?



All of these questions you mentioned are covered in the Pro Tools manual. We have been thinking of writing a dither usage tutorial to make this info a little more easily digestable, but I'm not sure if and when that'll happen.

Steve MacMillan
01-14-2005, 11:58 AM
I think that ProTools should allow for third party dither (ie. Waves, Pow-R, etc.) upon export and truncation. If like me you record mixes internally and you have a lot of mixes to bounce it could take awhile.

STeve

drguitar
01-14-2005, 12:52 PM
i 2nd that

Nika
01-15-2005, 06:41 AM
How often do you need to export the 16 bit versions of those tracks? If you export the 24 bit versions what, exactly would be the benefit?

danickstr
01-15-2005, 06:46 AM
why not send it 24 bit to the mastering house and let them worry about it? After they fix your mix I bet they have some good tricks for dithering as well.

c-tone
01-15-2005, 08:59 AM
What is the reticence to bouncing to disk?

Nika



It just doesn't sound as good to my ears, and I have done plenty of A/B'ing to confirm this. This really doesn't need to steer this thread into a Bounce to Disk quality debate, as we have had plenty of those already.



why not send it 24 bit to the mastering house and let them worry about it? After they fix your mix I bet they have some good tricks for dithering as well.



Because sometimes we actually make CD's out of these files ourselves!

I'm with Steve MacMillan. I record the mix to a stereo track. I then put on the L2 plug-in with dither set to 16 bit. Then I bounce those internally bussed to another stereo track. I then export the files at 16 bit stereo interleaved and import them into Toast for making CD's. As STeve said, it can be a tedious process, but as of now, it is the best sounding way to do it that I know of.

Steve MacMillan
01-15-2005, 12:23 PM
I'm with Steve MacMillan. I record the mix to a stereo track. I then put on the L2 plug-in with dither set to 16 bit. Then I bounce those internally bussed to another stereo track. I then export the files at 16 bit stereo interleaved and import them into Toast for making CD's. As STeve said, it can be a tedious process, but as of now, it is the best sounding way to do it that I know of.



What I usually do is record my 24 bit mixes back into the session thru busses, and that's what I send to mastering. Then if I need to burn a reference CD or make a MP3, I export the track to 16 bits and ProTools dithers my mix for me with its default dither (no choice). This is good enough for a quick reference. If you don't want ProTools to dither your Waves dither then you have to bounce to disk in real time. Slow, and I don't trust it from bad experiences I've had with bounce to disk in the distant past. What I would do if I was trying to create a 16 bit master would be to apply my favorite high end dither via audio-suite to my mix, then I would use an external utility to truncate to 16 bits (Peak or Sample Manager). ProTools should give you the ability to turn off its default dither on export, and you should be able to use third party dither at that point instead.

STeve

Nika
01-16-2005, 05:35 PM
What is the reticence to bouncing to disk?

Nika



It just doesn't sound as good to my ears, and I have done plenty of A/B'ing to confirm this. This really doesn't need to steer this thread into a Bounce to Disk quality debate, as we have had plenty of those already.



OK. I don't know what to tell you, other than that the system was designed to run a certain way, and when run that way it operates most efficiently, with the most flexibility and the best sound quality. When running it another way you risk losing one of those traits. I believe that the avoidance of using "bounce to disk" is irrational - or at least unwarranted.

Cheers!
Nika

Steve MacMillan
01-16-2005, 05:46 PM
OK. I don't know what to tell you, other than that the system was designed to run a certain way, and when run that way it operates most efficiently, with the most flexibility and the best sound quality. When running it another way you risk losing one of those traits. I believe that the avoidance of using "bounce to disk" is irrational - or at least unwarranted.




I wont get involved in a discussion of sound quality. But I have done many test of automation accuracy and bounce to disk is not as accurate as just playing the mix. Very dense eq automaion on a vocal, timed filter sweeps, etc. lag behind with bounce to disk and I wont use it.

STeve

PTUser NYC
01-17-2005, 11:00 AM
Very dense eq automaion on a vocal, timed filter sweeps, etc. lag behind with bounce to disk and I wont use it.



This is my experience as well.

I like recording my mixes in the box, using my choice of dither (from 24 to 16 bits) from a plug in on the master fader. Naturally, I end up with a 24 bit file, which contains a mix that has 16 bits of precision. There is some question in my mind as to whether the 8 LSB's are zeros or noise, but either way there is no information there anymore. At that point I want a straight truncation of the file, and not the second dither step I would get bouncing to disk.

My solution is to export the file as a 24 bit word, and then convert it in SoundAPP PPC, which as far as I can tell (and I have some experiments upcoming to check this) does NOT dither its truncations. SoundAPP PPC is a freeware product, and can be found here:

http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/SoundApp/

Matt_G
01-17-2005, 04:42 PM
OK. I don't know what to tell you, other than that the system was designed to run a certain way, and when run that way it operates most efficiently, with the most flexibility and the best sound quality. When running it another way you risk losing one of those traits. I believe that the avoidance of using "bounce to disk" is irrational - or at least unwarranted.




I wont get involved in a discussion of sound quality. But I have done many test of automation accuracy and bounce to disk is not as accurate as just playing the mix. Very dense eq automaion on a vocal, timed filter sweeps, etc. lag behind with bounce to disk and I wont use it.

STeve



Hi Steve, do you get this even if you select the 'convert after bounce' option? I remember reading in the manual that checking this option reproduces the most accurate automation when using BTD.

As for the issue of dithering & CD burning. I do this outside of Protools. In fact the only dither I use inside Protools is of the 24bit linear variety provided by Waves IDR from the L2 or L3. I don't like the sound of Digidesign's 'Stereo Dithered Mixer' so I use the 'Stereo Mixer' (undithered) & when dealing with higher then CD sample rates there is a real potential to screw things up if you use 16bit dither within Protools. For instance if you are using Protools for SRC it appears to do the SRC 'after' it dithers/truncates to 16bit. Sample rate conversion should always be done at the highest possible bit rate (24bit for protools) with additional (24bit) linear dither applied before the final noise shaped dither & 16bit wordlength reduction. This is because the wordlength increases above 24bit when applying up or down sample rate conversion which needs to be dithered to 24bits for the highest quality conversion (read -> no aliasing artifacts or distortion). Protools does not do this to the best of my knowlege, maybe Chris Townsend could correct me & enlighten us all if this is otherwise?.

To prevent this truncation I use the BTD option to produce a file that contains the original sample rate & bit rate of the Protools Session. Which in my case is usually 24bit 88.2kHz or 24bit 96kHz. From here I use an excellent OSX application from Audioease called Barbabatch for high quality SRC to 44.1kHz with 24bit linear dither applied on the output of the process. I then take this 24bit 44.1kHz files & import these straight into Waveburner Pro 2.2.1 (OS9) which burns the CD & dithers in realtime (using POW-r#3) to 16bit. Because Barbabatch does batch conversion & waveburner does the dithering during the realtime CD burn it takes little effort & time to work this way & the results are far superior to using SRC & 16bit dither within Protools.

My only wish now is for a 'working' version of Waveburner Pro for OSX. The version available now that's bundled with Logic Pro 7 is worse then a beta version making it buggy & unusable. The only other reliable alternative is to import your 24bit 96k files into Samplitude or Sequioa on a PC for the final SRC & 16 bit POW-r dither. Either option will produce a more pleasing end result compared with Protools IMHO.

At the end of the day if you are concerned about quality take the full sample/bit rate audio files on a data disc to your preferred mastering engineer & let them take care of the rest. If you wish to do demo CD's for clients who can't afford mastering, then follow my steps above. Of course it's not going to sound the same as the pro's as this is only one small aspect of mastering but this way you will maintain the integrity of the file through to the final CD.