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Old 03-22-2015, 03:16 PM
martthie_08 martthie_08 is offline
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Default Dithering in PT

I've been recording my mixes within ProTools (currently 11 on HDX) for quite some time now instead of bouncing to disk. This way, I can simultaneously record an unprocessed mixdown, along with a limited version for the client to take out of the studio for approval before the unprocessed mixdown goes out to mastering.

I usually set up my sessions 24 bit, 44.1 KHz interleaved stereo. So far so good, but two things have always been unclear to me:

1. when exporting the limited file (Apple-shift-K) for my clients, I have no options of choosing a desired Dither/Noise shaping algorithm. Does PT do this automagically with preset settings? Normally the export file format will be mp3 / 44.1KHz....

2. is there any advantage in using the provided bit length reduction / noise shaping that most limiter plugins come with even when using this workflow (recording to 24bit, then export with Apple-shift-K)?

thanks for any insights...
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:17 PM
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Drew Mazurek Drew Mazurek is offline
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Default Re: Dithering in PT

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Originally Posted by martthie_08 View Post
Does PT do this automagically with preset settings? Normally the export file format will be mp3 / 44.1KHz....

Yes, there's a chart in the manual spelling out what it's doing. I use this workflow as well and have for years.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:13 PM
martthie_08 martthie_08 is offline
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Default Re: Dithering in PT

OK, thanks for pointing me in this direction, the manual states that both Dithering and Noiseshaping using standard Digirack Plugin is automatically used when exporting from 24 to 16 bit, so I guess it makes sense to turn any Dithering and Noiseshaping from my 2-bus limiter off to avoid double processing...

I wonder though if there is a way for me to experiment with different Dithering and Noiseshaping algorithms integrated into my workflow bypassing the standard Digi plugins.

FYI, I've been using FabFilter Pro-L and Waves L3-LL Multi for most of my final limiting and these plugins each provide dedicated Dither/Noiseshaping sections.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Dithering in PT

Exporting to a lower bit depth always has dither applied. Bouncing, on the other hand does not. So if you want to get a mix out with your preferred dithering, bounce the final result instead of exporting.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:56 AM
martthie_08 martthie_08 is offline
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Default Re: Dithering in PT

Quote:
So if you want to get a mix out with your preferred dithering, bounce the final result instead of exporting.
understood, but how would I go about doing this?

Record the limited file with 16 Bit dithering and noise shaping of the chosen limiter plugin on a stereo track (as 24 bit) and then do another (offline) bounce as 16 bit without dithering?

the elegancy of working with audio tracks for mixdown is that I only have to have one realtime run-through (with all the analog outboard) and then have all the files I need. This is something I do not wish to loose...
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:33 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: Dithering in PT

Yes, PT is not particularly elegant WRT this issue. The only way I know of to force a truncate (which is what you want if you're supplying your own dither) is to do a BTD - at least you can do this offline now.

Personally, I use other apps for final prep and delivery that are more tightly focused on that part of the workflow: Wavelab, Triumph, Sample Manager, or even Audacity might be worth looking at.

best,
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Dithering in PT

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Originally Posted by martthie_08 View Post
understood, but how would I go about doing this?



Record the limited file with 16 Bit dithering and noise shaping of the chosen limiter plugin on a stereo track (as 24 bit) and then do another (offline) bounce as 16 bit without dithering?



the elegancy of working with audio tracks for mixdown is that I only have to have one realtime run-through (with all the analog outboard) and then have all the files I need. This is something I do not wish to loose...

I would print the mix just as you have been, but leave off the dithering. Then I would put the dithering plugin on the printed track and bounce that track out to 16 bit.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:55 AM
martthie_08 martthie_08 is offline
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Default Re: Dithering in PT

Quote:
I would print the mix just as you have been, but leave off the dithering. Then I would put the dithering plugin on the printed track and bounce that track out to 16 bit.
this seems like a good solution, thanks for that!

although this whole subject is more academic, with the little peak to rms margin I am working with on normal days, I did want to find out what I was missing out on by not exploring the wonderful world of dithering and noise shaping!

now I just have to find out why sometimes HDX randomly crashes my whole system when doing offline bounces, but that is for another thread
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