Feature request: dithering in render preset

I’ve been thinking about something that would speed up my workflow a bit:

Would be great if a dithering stage could be added into the “Format” part of the Render section. Pretty often, I will render to 1644, 2444 and MP3. I have multi format presets for 2444+MP3, but if dithering could be part of the format preset, I could also do 1644 at the same time. This could also be an option for DDP rendering.

As it is now, I have dithering loaded in the master section. When I need 16 bit files I’ll turn it on and in other cases I have it bypassed. Apart from having to do the rendering in extra steps, I sometimes worry that I’ll forget to turn on dithering. Actually it’s pretty common that I open up the DDP dialogue, put in the file path, take a quick glance at the dithering and notice that it’s bypassed. Then I have to close the dialogue to be able to turn it on, which also resets the file path when I bring it up again.

PG, you think this could be implemented? Or is it available as some function I just haven’t found?

Since dither is a plugin that must be running live somewhere, I don’t really see a way to make this happen. HOFA has figured it out in HOFA CD-Burn.DDP.Master Pro but WaveLab just currently isn’t set up for it.

I simply make derivative montage versions with 2496, 2444. 1644, or 6444 in the montage name to signify what the dither plugin in the montage is set to. This is why I don’t use the global master section, too much hassle and room for user error.

Because of my workflow, the only long time consuming render is the first one, and then it’s a matter of seconds to spit out all the various format WAVs, mp3, DDP, etc.

I do my main processing and rendering in Cubase and then use Wavelab to sequence the tracks, do fades and render out to the final formats. I’ll normally have a CD master and vinyl master/digital distribution version as separate montages; I make the CD version first, then copy the .mon file to the folder with the vinyl renders and rename it and open. This makes it very easy to make changes.

It’s not the end of the world to have to activate and de-activate the dithering and doing separate renders, just a few clicks, but it could be streamlined even more. Since I’d always want to dither before a DDP for example (as my files are not dithered in advance) it would really help to have it available as an extra setting for the format.

Right. The way HOFA does this is good. In the preferences, you determine what 3rd party dither plugin and settings you’d like to use for dithering when rendering 24 or 16-bit files, or DDP of course. This could allow for multiple format exports/renders at the same time, with the correct dither setting for each export.

WaveLab just doesn’t have this kind of logic built into the background. It must be a plugin running live at the end of the processing chain when the rendering process is started.

Something might be possible with the Batch Processor and Watch folders but that sounds like more of a headache than a solution, and doesn’t help with DDP.

Exactly. Hence the feature request. :slight_smile:

I see a possible loss of flexibility here: What type (and brand) of dither would you expect to be part of that render dialog choice? How about the various settings within the dithering function? I mean sample rate and bit depth are simple numbers to select, but dither is less straight forward…

You should check out how HOFA CD-Burn.DDP.Master Pro does it. It’s quite well done.

Exactly, something like that would be perfect. Project based is a good idea, but even more flexible if it’s part of the Format settings. You could make different presets for different scenarios, like 1644 with this dither, 1644 with another, etc.

This might be helpful for certain workflows.

Yeah that’s indeed quite well done, no loss of flexibility this way. But then, what would this add to WL, which aready has a system in place? I would say it could lead to confusion, where users have a dithering plugin in the Master Section and then are confronted with another option to do the same in the render dialog. Double dither?

And all that, in fact, for users that forget to get things ready before hitting Render? A better solution IMO would be to allow changes to be made while the Render dialog remains open. (I have no clue if this is at all possible, BTW)

Yeah. I don’t think anything really needs to change personally. I find it quite fast to render all the various formats I need, using derivatives of the source montage but if it’s gonna change…the HOFA Pro method is really good.

I think one of the strengths with Wavelab is that it’s extremely flexible in that you can do things in many different ways depending on what your workflow is. If you wanted to, for whatever reason, you could put dithering (or any other plugin) as a clip FX, a track FX, an output FX, in the master section… Compare it also with meta-data; you can put in meta-data for the project, but you can also specify it in the Format window, which then brings up the dialogue for meta-data. Editing the “Encoding” section bring up the encoding settings. What I’m suggesting is to put one more field in this section which brings up settings for dithering. This would be an OPTION, you could choose to not put anything in, same as with meta-data.

The benefit would be what I already described: being able to render out to several different formats (of which some require dithering) in one go without pausing to change settings in between.

In another thread Resampling - Render TAB - #2 by PG1 - WaveLab - Steinberg Forums
PG mentions " a resampling stage [A] happens at the latest stage, just before writing the file. Hence, after the Master Section output. Therefore it is better to activate the Master Section resampler, before the dithering slot (in which case [A] is unused)"
I would also welcome a dithering option in the Render tab to be able to do multi output presets in one pass. This would save a lot of time and reduce pilot error. When I render I always have to go over all parameters a few times just to make sure I’m not committing a mistake like having the resampler on in the master section and rendering to a different sample rate/bit depth. I always have the bit meter open and check sample rate in the timecode window as a helper. (a separate sample rate window would be nice).
Maybe a warning like the one you get when you want to render a DDP and it’s in a different sample rate would help with the pilot error.