Strange rendering problem in 10.0.30

I just did a lot of mastering. I used Pro L-2 from Fab Filter as the last plugin in the chain. I had it setup to dither to 16bits. After rendering all the files showed up at 32 bits which was their original bit rate. Not sure if it is the plugin’s problem or Wavelab’s. Just thought I would post it and see if other have noticed this strange behavior.

After rendering all the files showed up at 32 bits

Shown where?

Dither doesn’t inherently shorten the samples - it prepares them so that they will be correct when shortened to the specified length. As it is assumed that the lower part of each sample will be removed accordingly, there is no need to zero it in preparation; but the bit meter doesn’t know that.


Dithering in a plugin to 16-bits is only half the battle. You also have to specify that that resulting file be 16-bit as well in the render settings. A setting in a plugin can’t force WaveLab to know what bit-depth you’d like your rendered files to be.

In the file window in WL.

In the “olde days” if I rendered a file with a dithering program to 16 bits the resultant file showed up as a 16 bit file after rendering. This goes back to WL 6. So when did that change?

Ever since I’ve been using WaveLab, you have to do both things:

Add dithering somehow with a dithering plugin, or using the built-in dither of a limiter.

AND, tell WaveLab what bit-depth the resulting file should be.

It’s possible to dither to 16-bit audio but (incorrectly) save the audio file as 24 or 32-bit float. Now you have 16-bit audio in a 24 or 32-bit float container. The bit-depth meter will show you this if you try it.

I don’t think anything has changed, at least since version 7.

Ditto what Justin says.

Just wondering what you mean by ‘showed up’? How/where are you viewing/analysing the file? How exactly are you rendering?

I’m pretty sure you remember wrong, just because this is so particular to WL (and throws off many new users). Rendering to 16 bits leaves you with a file of the original bit depth until you save it with the required 16 bits. If you started, say, with 24 the resulting file after dithering will simply have 8 zero-bits that will be cut off after saving to 16.

Key words: “the resultant file”. In WaveLab, the file you write has the number of bits that you specify when writing it - that is nothing to do with the dither.

The function of the dither (whether built-in or some other) is to prepare the samples for truncation to the final desired length in a manner that preserves the signal as well as possible when the lower bits are removed. Some programs may do the removal by zeroing those bits, but most leave them as they will in any case not be used again but dropped when the shortened samples are written.