Apogee UV22HR Dithering Questions

Hello everyone,

I have a few questions concerning the Apogee UV22HR dithering plug-in. Before you read, please understand that before posting this I have read everything available, the Operation Manual, Plug-in Reference, Wikipedia, the Apogee website, and a few more without completely understanding what I am to do. I am recording my piano with a CI1 (which records at 24 bit/48 kHz). My question is: where do I go from here as far as dithering? My audio will eventually be burned to CD after it is exported as a WMA file through the Audio Mixdown. More specifically, should I dither to 24 bit or 16 bit? I guess I can’t quite figure out if I’m dithering from the 24 bits I recorded at or the 32 bit resolution that Cubase uses internally. And, finally, at what bit depth and sample rate should I export my audio at? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Regular CD quality is 16 bit 44100 Hz, but as you’re burning to WMA I’m guessing it’ll be a data disc and not an actual music disc.
Arguably you will not notice much effect from dithering because you are converting to WMA anyway, but that’s another story.

Thanks Strophoid!

I have just been exporting as a WMA cause that is the only format my Walkman MP3 player will accept, except of course MP3. I’m guessing a Wave file will be better for CD burning? Excellent, I’ve checked it out on Cubase, better options. So, my questions remain, how should I dither and export? :slight_smile:

It’s best to insert the dither plugin in insert slot 7 or 8 on your master output (they are post-fader, which means EQ etc cannot affect the dither). Dither to 16 bit and export to Wav 16-bit 44100Hz and you should be set.
I’m not an expert on this matter though, and in a blind test I can probably not even hear the difference :wink:

Thank you very much Strophoid! This will really come in handy. :smiley:

One common misunderstanding here. You don’t dither to anything. Dithering is not a process, but an extra step in process called quantization. It’s purpose is to reduce quantization distortion. Here’s quite nice article about dithering: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dither

(Sorry 'bout the rant, but I just HATE, when people are talking about “dithering to”.)

Anyway. You should always keep the original bit-depth and sampling frequency of your audio until the very last step: mastering. There you should convert your audio into 44.1kHz/16 bit (uncompressed format such as WAV) in case of target media being a CD. And during that conversion process you should apply dithering to keep your audio quality as good as possible.

Surely Dither is noise added in the process of re-quantising?

Exactly. It’s adding something … not going to something.

There’s not really a convenient way to use dithering as a verb though, dithering for 16 bit perhaps?

Oops! I thought I heard dither to mentioned somewhere…
In lack of better words, I decided on that. What is the proper way of using it as a verb?

BTW that’s the same Wiki article I tried to read earlier. I seem to understand the majority of it, but some of the details are kinda tricky without an audio engineering degree.

You can here it everywhere. Even in context: “dither down to 44.1kHz from 96kHz”. Some people keep using it as a synonym for both sample rate and sample depth conversion.

I think the trouble is that some plugins that offer dither also re-sample but are just called dither e.g UV22, so for the less pedantic of us the general term, “to dither to”, has become the norm.