What is the difference between the dithering options in Live's render dialogue?

How do I know which dither option to choose when I'm rendering my audio files?


Tarekith 6 years ago | 0 comments

3 answers

  • Ableton_David
    97 answers
    139 votes received
    6 votes

    The best resource to consult for this is the manual: https://www.ableton.com/answers/what-is-the-difference-between-the-dithering-options-in-live-s-render-dialogue

    From the manual, about the dithering modes:

    "If you are rendering at a bit depth lower than 32-bit, choose one of the dither modes. Dithering adds a small amount of noise to rendered audio, but minimizes artifacts when reducing the bit depth. By default, Triangular is selected, which is the safest mode to use if there is any possibility of doing additional processing on your file. Rectangular mode introduces an even smaller amount of dither noise, but at the expense of additional quantization error. The three Pow-r modes offer successively higher amounts of dithering, but with the noise pushed above the audible range. Note that dithering is a procedure that should only be applied once to any given audio le. If you plan to do further processing on your rendered le, it's best to render to 32-bit to avoid the need for dithering at this stage. In particular, the Pow-r modes should never be used for any material that will be sent on to a further mastering stage - these are for final output only."

    Generally, you only want to dither your rendered audio if it's final. If you're sending it to someone else for mastering, or it's just not yet the master, then don't dither. Regarding which mode is best, it's really best to use your ears and spend some time with the results. The information from the manual also helps here.


    See also the Audio Fact Sheet for information on undithered rendering as a neutral audio operation: http://downloads.ableton.com/manuals/70/audio_fact_sheet-en.pdf

    6 years ago | 0 comments
  • Tarekith
    8 answers
    33 votes received
    6 votes

    In general, these are the usual recommend uses for the Pow-r dither types:

    Type 1 - Normally used for solo instrument recordings, since it has the flattest noise-shaping curve.

    Type 2 - Good for slightly busier mixes, but still simple.  Think a small jazz band, or a quartet.

    Type 3 - Usually used for full range mixdowns, your average home recording in other words.  For most people, Type 3 will be the most appropriate.

    6 years ago | 0 comments
  • nebulae
    11 answers
    65 votes received
    0 votes

    ^Agreed with Tarekith, though I will say that Type3 uses the most noise. If you have a quiet section or a silent section (say a one-beat drop out for effect), and then you dither that song using Type3, and you re-analyze the song with the Spectrum, you'll notice noise in the drop out. 

    6 years ago | 0 comments

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