Dither Problem

For some reason all of a sudden when I render a 96/32 Bit track with either the UV22R or the iZtope in the Dithering slot, the rendered file is still the same sample and bit rate. Not doing anything differently than I have a hundred times before. Any suggestions? I closed out Wavelab 8.5 and restarted it but the result remains the same

You do realize that file format and file properties are not automatically the same in WL? After rendering, or in the render dialog, you will have to specify the properties of the file to be saved. If your last setting was for 96/32 and you don’t change it, the next save after render (irregardless of SRC or bit reduction) will use that.

I do realize that but I have found nowhere in Wavelab 9 to set the resolution of the MP3 file even when it is dithered to 44.1 16 bit, the resulting file will be 44.1 but 32 bit. I can change the resolution to 16bit and save it, but when I play the file, my bit meter still shows 24 bits…I should not have to dither a second time

If you render to mp3 and then reload that file in WL, it is decoded to PCM wave, and therefor shows the internal bitrate of WL, which is 32. This is normal, you’ll see the same with any mp3 you load. If you try it rendering to .wav, you’ll see it will show 16 bits.

:unamused: seems absurd that it would recognize an MP3 as a PCM when it say MP3 in the lower right hand corne. I sure don’t ever remember this inearlier versions

The MP3 is decoded as a PCM, to be able to be edited in WaveLab.

You might want to reconsider using dither at all when rendering to MP3. To WAV, yes you generally always need to dither, depending on the final stream in Wavelab and target bit depth, but MP3, you really shouldn’t need to.

Also you’re right, Wavelab used to decode MP3 to 16 bit PCM. Now it decodes MP3 to 32 bit float PCM. That’s why you’re seeing a difference.

I don’t dither to MP3. I dither my wav file then save as an MP3. So why change from MP3 to PCM. So what is your suggestion to achieve 16 bit with an MP3 file?

MP3 is a lossy format and doesn’t really have a fixed bit depth but an either fixed (CBR) or variable (VBR) bit rate. So you cannot achieve a 16-bit MP3. When using WL to open (and maybe edit) an MP3 file, WL decodes it to recreate PCM with 44,100 samples/second (for instance) with the program’s internal 32f bit depth - so all sample based processing like applying VST plugins is possible.

What Arjan said. If your method is to make 16 bit wav files and then save as MP3 that’s fine, but you don’t need to. You could just as easily make 24 bit wav files and save as MP3. Or render to MP3 from the DAW 32 bit float with no dither if you’re comfortable with that.

“Why change from MP3 to PCM?” afaik, that’s what decoders do, even just to hear the MP3 file, whether it’s telling you it’s doing it or not.

Well last time I checked a CD is 44.1/16bit hence the reason the render and dither my 96k/32bit files. I suppose my frustration is in the fact that this was changed from earlier version. I have no idea why anyone would need to edit an MP3 or add plugins but that’s just me personally I think and MP3 is a POS and a scourge on fidelity. I only use them to give clients a way to approve a mix that isn’t a huge file I can send through email

Try rendering to a 48KHz 320kbps CBR MP3 “directly” from your 96/32 masters with no dither and see if it sounds better to you than how you normally do it. The kbps bit rate is going to be the most important factor in the sound quality.

If the following is true, then MP3’s are always decoded/converted to PCM, whether it’s Wavelab or iTunes or Sonnox or Windows Media Playber or whatever player/editor. The MP3 files are never played directly because the hardware doesn’t support it. The hardware supports PCM. But Wavelab and most DAW just convert the whole file at once, rather than in pieces. That would be the only difference I think.


I guess there are some editors that edit MP3 directlly, but I would think they still convert to PCM in order to hear the result.