The UV22HR should be the last plugin, after the limiter.
It adds noise in order to reduce the low level distortion caused by the reduction of bit depth when you convert. Instead of having unpleasant distortion it is transformed in noise instead. In fact the noise level is higher than the lowest level possible for that bit depth, so that sharp “on/off” or “step-like” volume changes are replaced with noise. Usually there’s a noise shaping feature that changes the frequency of the noise so that is becomes less audible to the ear, while preserving the dithering efficiency. That’s why you shouldn’t be putting any effect after it, as it could alter the effectiveness of the dithering.
In any case you’d really need to increase the volume a lot to be able to hear that.
No, Cubase doesn’t do the dithering automatically when exporting, that’s why a plugin is included.
If you export in 16 bit, you have to set the output bits setting in UV22HR to the same value.
Note that dithering is only useful when reducing to 16 bit or lower.
If you export in 24 bit it is not really needed, except if your music is very soft and dynamic like classical, where the listeners need to increase the volume a lot to appreciate it fully, compared to modern music like pop/rock.
Same as the picture except you can turn on noise shaping, which wasn’t included in UV22.
Auto blanking can be useful if you want to reduce the size of exported MP3 when there are a lot of silences in the audio. It completely cuts off the audio, including the dithering noise when the level falls under the threshold, but I do not recommend to use it otherwise.
At 24-bit, the resolution is 255 times higher than 16-bit, and the SNR is also larger (144 dB vs 96 dB). For this reason dithering isn’t required.
There’s no way we could hear quantization errors at such high resolution. You can still do it but there’s no real advantage of doing so. It will just unnecessarily raise the noise floor.
Unless you are really planning to release your music on physical CD, there is absolutely no need to keep converting your music in 16-bit. I think the disk era is now over for years.
16-bit digital audio found on CDs has a theoretical maximum SNR of 98 dB and professional 24-bit digital audio tops out as 146 dB. As of 2011, digital audio converter technology is limited to a SNR of about 123 dB (effectively 21-bits) because of real-world limitations in integrated circuit design. Still, this approximately matches the performance of the human auditory system.
24-bit and 32-bit audio do not require dithering, as the noise level of the digital converter is always louder than the required level of any dither that might be applied. 24-bit audio could theoretically encode 144 dB of dynamic range, and 32-bit audio can achieve 192 dB, but this is almost impossible to achieve in the real world, as even the best sensors and microphones rarely exceed 130 dB.
Dither can also be used to increase the effective dynamic range. The perceived dynamic range of 16-bit audio can be 120 dB or more with noise-shaped dither, taking advantage of the frequency response of the human ear.