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Author Topic: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4  (Read 10251 times)

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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« on: October 04, 2005, 10:56:46 PM »
NOTE:  For those wishing to listen critically and compare these samples, please consider an ABX environment - it's really the only way to do it properly.  There are several options for ABX plugins or apps if your listening's computer-based (as mine is).  If your listening's CD/DVD-based, recommend having someone rename all the samples (e.g. A, B, C, etc.) so you don't know which is which, listen and take notes, and only after you're done listening review which is which.

Edit for version 4.

This thread is for discussion of the dither comparison.  See the FTP thread in the Kickdown forum for the download info.



##################################################
#                                                #
#  DITHER COMPARISON, 24b > 16b, v4              #
#                                                #
##################################################

* v2 adds the POWR-3 dither algorithm to the mix
* v3 adds three freeware dither options:
     - Audacity internal
     - R8Brain
     - Maxim Digital Audio
* v4 adds Samplitude internal


PURPOSE

To evalute the performance of a handful of
dithering algorithms as applied to rock concert
audio recordings made from the audience.

I was motivated to do this by my (hopefully soon)
impending switch from 16b to 24b and the dither
shootout at 24-96 Mastering:

http://www.24-96.net/dither/

I strongly recommend listening to the 24-96
shootout samples.  The differences between many of
the algorithms' noise characteristics is simply
stunning.  However, I wanted to find out dither
schemes' impact on audience rock concert
recordings.  I suspect the dither algorithms have
less of an audible impact for recordings made
under such conditions. Anyway...I'm sharing the
sample files so others may listen critically and
decide for themselves the impact of the different
dither algorithms under different recording
conditions than the 24-96 shootout, and identify
their own preferences.

I'm new to the 24b world, but even so I believe
I have the correct workflow for opening,
dithering, and saving the files.  If I've made a
mistake in the workflow, please let me know and
I'll adjust as necessary and re-seed.

I may or may not follow this up with a 32bf > 24b
and 32bf > 16b dither comparison.  These would
serve as a reference when dithering after
performing edits to the master recording
(normalize, compression, EQ) in applications
capable of and configured to take advantage of
the 32bf format.


==================================================
DITHER       | FILENAME
==================================================
N/A (Master) | wsp_2448_master.flac
Audacity     | wsp_1648_Aud_shaped.flac
Audacity     | wsp_1648_Aud_triangle.flac
CEP TPDF     | wsp_1648_CEP-TPDF_NoNS.flac
L2 IDR       | wsp_1648_L2-IDR_Type1_UltraNS.flac
MBIT+        | wsp_1648_MBIT+_Normal_UltraNS.flac
MDA TRI      | wsp_1648_MDA_TRI.flac
MDA HP-TRI   | wsp_1648_MDA_HP-TRI.flac
MDA N-SHAPE  | wsp_1648_MDA_N-SHAPE.flac
POW-R        | wsp_1648_POWR_3.flac
R8Brain      | wsp_1644_R8B.flac
Truncated    | wsp_1648_Truncated.flac
UV22HR       | wsp_1648_UV22HR_Normal_NoNS.flac
Wavelab Int  | wsp_1648_WL-Internal_Type1_NS3.flac
Samplitude   | wsp_1648_Samplitude_triangular.flac
--------------------------------------------------
N/A (Master) | ymsb_2448_master.flac
Audacity     | ymsb_1648_Aud_shaped.flac
Audacity     | ymsb_1648_Aud_triangle.flac
CEP TPDF     | ymsb_1648_CEP-TPDF_NoNS.flac
L2 IDR       | ymsb_1648_L2-IDR_Type1_UltraNS.flac
MBIT+        | ymsb_1648_MBIT+_Normal_UltraNS.flac
MDA TRI      | ymsb_1648_MDA_TRI.flac
MDA HP-TRI   | ymsb_1648_MDA_HP-TRI.flac
MDA N-SHAPE  | ymsb_1648_MDA_N-SHAPE.flac
POW-R        | ymsb_1648_POWR_3.flac
R8Brain      | ymsb_1644_R8B.flac
Truncated    | ymsb_1648_Truncated.flac
UV22HR       | ymsb_1648_UV22HR_Normal_NoNS.flac
Wavelab Int  | ymsb_1648_WL-Internal_Type1_NS3.flac
Samplitude   | ymsb_1648_Samplitude_triangular.flac


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  MASTER SOURCE RECORDINGS                      ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CCM4 (ORTF/FOB/DFC) > Lunatec V3 (24b/48kHz) > VXPocket V2 > Sony Vaio

Widespread Panic
2005-08-05
Portsmouth, Va - Harbor Pavillion

Yonder Mountain String Band
2005-06-08
North Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues

Filename:  wsp_2448_master.flac
           ymsb_2448_master.flac

Thanks to Frank Sulloway for the 24b / 48kHz source recordings.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  CEP 2.0 NATIVE TPDF DITHER                    ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro, v2.00 ( now Adobe Audition )

Filename:  wsp_1648_CEP-TPDF_NoNS.flac
           ymsb_1648_CEP-TPDF_NoNS.flac

Workflow:  [1] Native TPDF Dither (via Convert Sample Type)

               - Resolution    :  16b
               - Dithering     :  Enabled
               - P.D.F.        :  Triangular
               - Noise Shaping :  None *
               - Other settings:  Default

           [2] Save As, no options

* no real info on the characteristics of the different noise shaping
  schemes, so I left them out.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  WAVES L2 IDR                                  ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro, v2.00 ( now Adobe Audition )
           Steinberg Waves - L2 Ultramaximizer v4.0.5 DirectX plug-in

Filename:  wsp_1648_L2-IDR_Type1_UltraNS.flac
           ymsb_1648_L2-IDR_Type1_UltraNS.flac

Workflow:  [1] L2 Ultramaximizer v4.0.5 DirectX plug-in

               - Quantization  :  16b
               - Dithering     :  IDR
               - Dither Type   :  Type 1
               - Noise Shaping :  Ultra
               - Compressor    :  All settings turned OFF

           [2] Convert Sample Type

               - Resolution    :  16b
               - Dithering     :  Disabled
               - P.D.F.        :  n/a
               - Noise Shaping :  n/a
               - Other settings:  Default

           [3] Save As, no options


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  IZOTOPE MBIT+                                 ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro, v2.00 ( now Adobe Audition )
           iZotope Ozone v3.08 - Loudness Maximizer DirectX plug-in

Filename:  wsp_1648_MBIT+_Normal_UltraNS.flac
           ymsb_1648_MBIT+_Normal_UltraNS.flac

Workflow:  [1] Loudness Maximizer DirectX plug-in

               - Bit Depth     :  16b
               - Dither Type   :  MBIT+
               - Noise Shaping :  Ultra
               - Dither Amount :  Normal
               - Auto-blanking :  Disabled
               - Limit Peaks   :  Disabled
               - Compressor    :  All settings turned OFF

           [2] Convert Sample Type

               - Resolution    :  16b
               - Dithering     :  Disabled
               - P.D.F.        :  n/a
               - Noise Shaping :  n/a
               - Other settings:  Default

           [3] Save As, no options


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  POW-R CONSORTIUM POW-R                        ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Bias Peak 3.2

Filename:  wsp_1648_POWR_3.flac
           ymsb_1648_POWR_3.flac

Workflow:  [1] Save Copy As (POW-r integrated into Peak)

               - Bit Depth     :  16b
               - Dither Type   :  POW-r 3

Thanks to Scott Brown for handling the POW-r samples.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  NO DITHER / TRUNCATED                         ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro, v2.00 ( now Adobe Audition )

Filename:  wsp_1648_Truncated.flac
           ymsb_1648_Truncated.flac

Workflow:  [1] Convert Sample Type

               - Resolution    :  16b
               - Dithering     :  Disabled
               - P.D.F.        :  n/a
               - Noise Shaping :  n/a
               - Other settings:  Default

           [2] Save As, no options


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  APOGEE DIGITAL UV22HR                         ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Steinberg Wavelab 5.00a

Filename:  wsp_1648_UV22HR_Normal_NoNS.flac
           ymsb_1648_UV22HR_Normal_NoNS.flac

Workflow:  [1] UV22HR integrated into Wavelab

               - Bit Resolution:  16b
               - Dither Type   :  Normal

           [2] Render, Create Specific File, set Audio File Format

               - Bit Resolution:  16b
               - Other settings:  Default


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  WAVELAB INTERNAL DITHER                       ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Steinberg Wavelab 5.00a

Filename:  wsp_1648_WL-Internal_Type1_NS3.flac
           ymsb_1648_WL-Internal_Type1_NS3.flac

Workflow:  [1] Wavelab Internal Dither

               - Bit Resolution:  16b
               - Noise Type    :  1
               - Noise Shaping :  3

           [2] Render, Create Specific File, set Audio File Format

               - Bit Resolution:  16b
               - Other settings:  Default


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  R8BRAIN                                       ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  R8Brain 1.9 (freeware)

Filename:  wsp_1644_R8Brain.flac
           ymsb_1644_R8Brain.flac

Workflow:  [1] R8Brain GUI

               - Resample to r8:  44.1 kHz *
               - Bit Depth     :  16
               - Quality       :  Very High (highest quality)

           [2] Perform R8Brain

* R8Brain does not support standalone dither, i.e. without resampling.  It only dithers when resampling.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  AUDACITY INTERNAL (shaped)                    ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Audacity 1.2.4 (freeware)

Filename:  wsp_1648_Aud_shaped.flac
           ymsb_1648_Aud_shaped.flac

Workflow:  [1] Audacity (relevant Preferences Quality and Format tabs)

               - HQ Dither     :  Shaped
               - Export Format :  16

           [2] Export WAV


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  AUDACITY INTERNAL (triangular)                ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Audacity 1.2.4 (freeware)

Filename:  wsp_1648_Aud_triangle.flac
           ymsb_1648_Aud_triangle.flac

Workflow:  [1] Audacity (relevant Preferences Quality and Format tabs)

               - HQ Dither     :  Triangle
               - Export Format :  16

           [2] Export WAV


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  MAXIM DIGITAL AUDIO (triangular)              ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Audacity 1.2.4
           MDA Dither VST plug-in (freeware)

Filename:  wsp_1648_MDA_TRI.flac
           ymsb_1648_MDA_TRI.flac

Workflow:  [1] MDA Dither VST plug-in effect *

               - Word Length   :  16-bit (0.50)
               - Dither        :  TRI (0.40)
               - Dither Amp    :  2 (0.50, default)
               - DC Trim       :  0 (0.50, default)
               - Zoom          :  0 (0.00, default)

           [2] Export WAV

* Audacity provides minimal VST plug-in support.  As a result, VST
plug-ins with custom interfaces do not display entirely properly.  The
values listed for the options above are the 'proper' values based on the
custom interface displaying properly (which it does not in Audacity).
The numbers in parentheses are the Audacity values that map to the
proper values.  I cross-referenced the MDA Dither plug-in's Audacity
values against the properly displayed values in Adobe Audition.  See
included file MDAdither.txt for the official "manual" and the complete
mappings I performed.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  MAXIM DIGITAL AUDIO (high-pass triangular)    ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Audacity 1.2.4
           MDA Dither VST plug-in (freeware)

Filename:  wsp_1648_MDA_HP-TRI.flac
           ymsb_1648_MDA_HP-TRI.flac

Workflow:  [1] MDA Dither VST plug-in effect *

               - Word Length   :  16-bit (0.50)
               - Dither        :  HP-TRI (0.60)
               - Dither Amp    :  2 (0.50, default)
               - DC Trim       :  0 (0.50, default)
               - Zoom          :  0 (0.00, default)

           [2] Export WAV

* Audacity provides minimal VST plug-in support.  As a result, VST
plug-ins with custom interfaces do not display entirely properly.  The
values listed for the options above are the 'proper' values based on the
custom interface displaying properly (which it does not in Audacity).
The numbers in parentheses are the Audacity values that map to the
proper values.  I cross-referenced the MDA Dither plug-ins Audacity
values against the properly displayed values in Adobe Audition.  See
included file MDAdither.txt for the official "manual" and the complete
mappings I performed.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  MAXIM DIGITAL AUDIO (noise shaped)            ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Audacity 1.2.4
           MDA Dither VST plug-in (freeware)

Filename:  wsp_1648_MDA_N-SHAPE.flac
           ymsb_1648_MDA_N-SHAPE.flac

Workflow:  [1] MDA Dither VST plug-in effect *

               - Word Length   :  16-bit (0.50)
               - Dither        :  N-SHAPE (0.90)
               - Dither Amp    :  2 (0.50, default)
               - DC Trim       :  0 (0.50, default)
               - Zoom          :  0 (0.00, default)

           [2] Export WAV

* Audacity provides minimal VST plug-in support.  As a result, VST
plug-ins with custom interfaces do not display entirely properly.  The
values listed for the options above are the 'proper' values based on the
custom interface displaying properly (which it does not in Audacity).
The numbers in parentheses are the Audacity values that map to the
proper values.  I cross-referenced the MDA Dither plug-ins Audacity
values against the properly displayed values in Adobe Audition.  See
included file MDAdither.txt for the official "manual" and the complete
mappings I performed.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~                                                ~
~  SAMPLITUDE INTERNAL (triangular)              ~
~                                                ~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Software:  Samplitude SE v8.3

Filename:  wsp_1648_Samplitude_triangular.flac
           ymsb_1648_Samplitude_triangular.flac

Workflow:  [1] Samplitude SE (Export Audio | WAV | Format Settings | Dithering

               - Dithering:  with triangular spread noise
               - Dither depth in bits:  0.50 (default)

           [2] Export WAV


« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 02:19:24 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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Offline Ed.

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i can't figure out what i like better.  i can definitely tell the difference between the 24bit source and all of the 16bit versions.  I'm definitely not a fan of the truncated versions, however, its not so bad.  having the jb3 truncate a 24bit signal as a backup seems practical.  a truncated copy is better than no copy i guess.

i found myself going for the UV22HR source, but i can't tell if i like that source better, or if its just because i've heard people talk about it before and i know that its apogee.

i probably need to listen to this on something other than a crappy laptop with crappy headphones tho for a real analysis.


Because nothing says "I have lots of money and am sort of confused as to how to spend it" like Bose.

Offline Nick's Picks

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i used to use CEP, then SF...but i'm sold on the uv22hr formula in wavlab.
go apogee!!!

Offline Brian Skalinder

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i can definitely tell the difference between the 24bit source and all of the 16bit versions.

Agreed.  My listening has included comparing the 16b versions against each other to determine which sound I prefer, but also against the 24b file to determine which sounds most like the master.  And they're not necessarily the same.

i found myself going for the UV22HR source, but i can't tell if i like that source better, or if its just because i've heard people talk about it before and i know that its apogee.

I *almost* made the comp blind comp for this very reason.  But I decided against it - it seems people are less willing to provide feedback if they think they might be "wrong" (never mind there is no "wrong" answer).  In the hopes of eliciting more responses, I left it open.

Edit to add:  In the hopes of convincing people to listen double-blind, a new note I added to the original post:

For those wishing to listen critically and compare these samples, please consider an ABX environment - it's really the only way to do it properly.  There are several options for ABX plugins or apps if your listening's computer-based (as mine is).  If your listening's CD/DVD-based, recommend having someone rename all the samples (e.g. A, B, C, etc.) so you don't know which is which, listen and take notes, and only after you're done listening review which is which.


i used to use CEP, then SF...but i'm sold on the uv22hr formula in wavlab.

I agree, UV22HR sounds better to my ears than the CEP native TPDF dithering.  I'll post more details from my listening notes a bit later.

Nick / Ed - did you check out the 24-96 dither shootout?  I like the fact that it enables one to easily hear the noise signature generated by each of the dithering algorithms.  IMO, the differences between some of the dithers are downright stunning.  However, hearing the noise signature on the samples they provided doesn't necessarily translate into "better sounding" for our purposes, hence the comp.  Anyway...
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 02:21:29 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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Roland R-05

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I agree, UV22HR sounds better to my ears than the CEP native TPDF dithering.  I'll post more details from my listening notes a bit later.

I'm happy we all agree on the UV22HR.  When I get home I may shuffle them up a bit and close my eyes and try to do a somewhat blind test and see what i prefer then.  I look forward to your notes, you nailed that 140>v3 vs. mk21>722 comp perfectly.  I almost trust your ears more than my own.

Nick / Ed - did you check out the 24-96 dither shootout?  I like the fact that it enables one to easily hear the noise signature generated by each of the dithering algorithms.  IMO, the differences between some of the dithers are downright stunning.  However, hearing the noise signature on the samples they provided doesn't necessarily translate into "better sounding" for our purposes, hence the comp.  Anyway...

I can't remember if i listened to the dither shootout or not.  If i did, its been awhile, I should probably check it out again.
http://www.24-96.net/dither/  <-- just incase anyone else needs to check it out as well.


Because nothing says "I have lots of money and am sort of confused as to how to spend it" like Bose.

Offline Brian Skalinder

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I'm happy we all agree on the UV22HR.

Heh...note I preferred UV22HR to the CEP internal TPDF dither.  More details v. the other options later.

I can't remember if i listened to the dither shootout or not.  If i did, its been awhile, I should probably check it out again.

You should definitely check it out - it provides an easy way to listen to the noise signatures of each dither algorithm.
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Offline scb

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i'll dither the original file down using MegaBitMax and powr-3 if you want to add them to the comparison

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i'll dither the original file down using MegaBitMax and powr-3 if you want to add them to the comparison

According to this post from Chris that quotes an email he received, MBIT+ and MegaBitMax are one and the same:

Chris,
 
ExtraBit is only a demo.
As to MegaBitMax - it is available in DirectX format in iZotope Ozone 3 plug-in (it is called MBIT+ there).
 
Best regards,
Alexey

http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/ozone/
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Offline scb

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oh, cool.  if you're at all interested in powr-3 i could add that

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oh, cool.  if you're at all interested in powr-3 i could add that

I'm not interested personally, but perhaps others are?  Anyone?
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bueller?

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i use pow-r 3 all the time. depending upon the style of music i'll either use it or UV22HR

i'd like to see it thrown into this comp.

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Alright, one interested party is enough for me.  :)  I don't have POWr-3, so I can't do it.  But Scott offered to dither with POWr-3 earlier, so...I'm game.

Scott -- dither away, and if you're willing please document what you've done (similar to the TXT file).  I'll then re-seed the torrent to include the POWr3- dither file as well.  Drop me a PM and I'll let you know how to get me the file.
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ok i'll see if i can do it after work today

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Bump for version 2.  Thanks to Scott Brown for the POWR3 dither samples.
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i used to use powr3 all the time.  then i switched to megabitmax.  maybe i should finally listen to see if i hear a difference....

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Hey brian, concerning the L2 - you say that you had "all compression settings turned off" - is there an on/off button, or did you have the threshold, out cehiling, and release each set to a certain volume?

I'm about to get into the 24-bit realm (just purchased an R1) and L2 is the only peice of software I have to do dithering... and I'd like to have it maintain as much purity as possible to the 24bit file... I just don't know didley about compression, enough to turn the settings to a point where they'd not affect the sound.

Thanks.

Tickets are dead to me.  Except the ones I have, don't have, and lost.  Not to mention the ones you have, don't have, and lost.   And the ones that other dude has, doesn't have, and lost.  Let me know if you need some tickets, I'm happy to oblige. 

Tickets >>>>>>>> Oxygen

Offline Brian Skalinder

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concerning the L2 - you say that you had "all compression settings turned off" - is there an on/off button, or did you have the threshold, out cehiling, and release each set to a certain volume?

No real on/off button.  Just set Threshold / Out Ceiling to 0 and disable ARC off.  I don't think the ARC setting makes any difference if the Threshold and Out Ceiling are both set to 0 - if there's nothing to limit (b/c the Threshold is set to 0), then the release time is never needed.
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concerning the L2 - you say that you had "all compression settings turned off" - is there an on/off button, or did you have the threshold, out cehiling, and release each set to a certain volume?

No real on/off button.  Just set Threshold / Out Ceiling to 0 and disable ARC off.  I don't think the ARC setting makes any difference if the Threshold and Out Ceiling are both set to 0 - if there's nothing to limit (b/c the Threshold is set to 0), then the release time is never needed.

THanks man!  As always, you're very helpful!
Tickets are dead to me.  Except the ones I have, don't have, and lost.  Not to mention the ones you have, don't have, and lost.   And the ones that other dude has, doesn't have, and lost.  Let me know if you need some tickets, I'm happy to oblige. 

Tickets >>>>>>>> Oxygen

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Well, after listening to the point that I want to smack my head into a wall repeatedly, I'm ready to post...

I'm really curious to hear others' feedback on the comp.  Anyone willing to toss a few thoughts out there?  Remember, there's no right or wrong answer - whatever your ears and brain perceive as most enjoyable is what counts.  If we all agreed, we wouldn't have all these great options.  And if you can't tell the difference, that's useful information for yourself and perhaps others, too.

Playback
Next time I do my testing, I'll have my PC hooked up to the main playback system in my office, but I didn't get it done in time for this comp.  So for this listening session:  PC > Waveterminal 2496 (coax) > smART DI/O DAC > AKG K501 headphones.  I admit I mostly listened to the WSP sample as I quickly got my fill in each of several listening sessions before I even got to the YMSB sample.

Summary
For overall sound, I preferred MBIT+ due to my perception of its retaining the most detail from the 24b source throughout the range (smoother overall sound) and reproducing the soundstage very well.  Waves IDR took a close second, but lost a touch of bass and soundstaging detail and I found the highs, while detailed, a smidgen fatiguing (I think I'll try a different noise shaping scheme next time).  POWR3 and UV22HR sounded somewhat similar to my ears in the loss of HF detail and a resulting etchiness, with POWR3 exhibiting better mid detail and a more natural soundstage.  CEP and WL's internal dither v. the others - readily noticeable difference, though I preferred WL's internal to CEP by quite a bit.  Bottom line for me:  while I prefer MBIT+ and IDR to the others in this particular case, POWR3 and UV22HR sound mighty fine and I'd be happy with any of these 4 options.  But since I have a choice...  :)

My notes...

Cool Edit Pro TPDF
  • noticeble loss of detail throughout the range
  • reduced bass extension / impact
  • mids more up-front than others
  • strident highs, spitty, fatiguing
  • flattened soundstage
.
Waves IDR
  • slight loss of bass extension / impact v. 24b; better detail than CEP, UV22HR, POWR3, WL Internal
  • retained mids detail well, more than UV22HR, POWR3, similar to MBIT+
  • smoother / more detailed highs than UV22HR, POWR3, similar detail to MBIT+, but something in the HF bugs me just a bit - may have to try another NS setting
  • retains soundstaging well, better than UV22HR, POWR3, not quite as well as MBIT+
.
iZotope Ozone MBIT+
  • very close bass extension / detail relative to 24b, slight loss of impact
  • mids rich and full, close to 24b sound
  • similar HF detail to IDR, more than the others
  • best 16b overall detail and soundstaging
.
Powr Consortium POWR3
  • best bass extension and impact of the bunch (woof), but seems a touch looser somehow than the other 16b sources (maybe a playback gear issue?)
  • mids not as detailed as IDR, MBIT+, more detailed than UV22HR
  • highs not as detailed as IDR/MBIT+, spittier, etchier a la UV22HR
  • better soundstaging than UV22HR, not as open and natural as IDR, MBIT+
.
Truncated
  • loss of detail across the board (big surprise there, eh!)
  • spitty highs and transients
  • screwy soundstage
  • edgy
.
Apogee UV22HR
  • reduced bass extension, but more pronounced upper bass / low mids the others
  • something's just not right for me in the mids - maybe not blending well to my ears from the more pronounced upper bass / low mids into the rest of the mid range;  something's just...missing
  • less detailed, etchy highs (maybe due to no noise shaping options implemented with WL's UV22HR implementation?)
  • somewhat etchy soundstage, like there's more pronounced instrument separation (even than the master) - I think this is what initially drew me (and perhaps draws others) to UV22HR, but ultimately I found it slightly unnatural and fatiguing
.
Wavelab Internal
  • loss of bass detail / extension, but not bad!
  • mids more recessed (guitar, keys, vocals), lost detail
  • big loss in HF detail, extension, but not nearly as fatiguing as CEP TPDF
  • flattened soundstage
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id like to hear your take on the office playback. i dont use phones really.
mics: (4)akg c460b(a60,mk46,ck1x,ck1,ck2,ck3,ck61,ck63)
pres: oade m148/edirol wmod ua5
recorders: marantz stock671/oade acm671/fostex busman vintage fr2le

(P.S.: On a threaded discussion board like this one, there's no need to repeat someone's post when you reply to them; everyone can see all the messages in the thread.)

Offline Brian Skalinder

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id like to hear your take on the office playback. i dont use phones really.

I should have the office setup together in the next couple weeks.  Any thoughts from your end using speakers, since you don't use headphones?
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i plan on doing that tomorrow as i have only glanced over it w/ my comp spoeakers. will report back though. my playback is low-fi fwiw.
mics: (4)akg c460b(a60,mk46,ck1x,ck1,ck2,ck3,ck61,ck63)
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OK, so what's the cheapest way/place to get MBIT+™ Dither?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Microphones: AKG C 480 B comb-ULS/ CK 61/ CK 63, Sennheiser MKE 2 elements, CAD GXL1200 (cardioid and mod-cardioid capsule & electronics mod), Audix M1290-o, Micro capsule active cables w/ Naiant PFA's, Naiant MSH-1O, Naiant AKG Active cables, Church CA-11 (cardioid), (1) Nady SCM-1000 (mod)
Pre-amps: Naiant littlebox, Naiant littlekit v2.0, BM2p+ Edirol UA-5, Church STC-9000
Recorders: Sound Devices MixPre-6, iRiver iHP-120 (Rockboxed & RTC mod)

Recordings on the LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/ChuckM
Recording website & blog: http://www.timebetweenthenotes.com

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pm if you're interested.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2005, 10:50:28 AM by Brian Skalinder »


Because nothing says "I have lots of money and am sort of confused as to how to spend it" like Bose.

Offline Brian Skalinder

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The comparison is now available on tapers.org in the gear comparisons directory.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2005, 12:14:05 PM by Brian Skalinder »
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v3
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2006, 05:08:56 AM »
Bump for v3.  Added three freeware dithering apps/plug-ins:

- Audacity (two samples)
- Maxim Digital Audio (three samples)
- R8Brain (one sample, thanks to Teddy for the recommendation)

If anyone has recommendations for freeware dithering solutions, whether standalone apps (a la R8Brain) or VST plug-ins (sorry, not interested in DirectX at the moment), let me know and I'll try to add them to the list.

See original post for complete info.
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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2007, 08:35:23 AM »
so where does one find this MBIT+ ?, is it a wavlab plugin ?

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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2007, 12:18:44 PM »
so where does one find this MBIT+ ?, is it a wavlab plugin ?

The only place I know of to get it:  as part of the iZotope Ozone 3 mastering system.  Just like with IDR dither in the Waves L2 plugin, one simply does not use the other features of the mastering plugin in order to use the MBIT+ dither.

IMO, Samplitude ($50) + iZotope Ozone ($250) makes for the best affordable post-production toolset going (AFAIK).
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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2007, 02:20:19 PM »
i think i paid a bit more for samplitude, and i agree, it smokes! havent tried izotope, but i might have to check it out...

thanks for all the work on this.

+t
-macdaddy ++

akg c422 > s42 > lunatec v2 > ad2k+ > roland r-44

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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2007, 10:36:32 AM »
so where does one find this MBIT+ ?, is it a wavlab plugin ?

If you're on a Mac, you can purchase AudioFile Engineering's Wave edtr software and it is included as part of the deal. Pretty much if you own any Mac audio software you qualify for an upgrade price, so you can get the whole thing for $150. That's a pretty good price if you don't have an editor or if you don't have a good editor. The plug-ins are included, so you can either add these to your price evaluation, or simply exclude them and you still end up with a very competitively priced solution.

Wayne
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Editing: QSC RMX2450, MOTU 2408 MK3, Earthworks Sigma 6.2

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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2007, 12:29:07 PM »
so you're on wave editor full time now, wayne?

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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2007, 02:54:38 PM »
so you're on wave editor full time now, wayne?

Yes. I switched about a month ago. I REALLY like it.

Wayne
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Editing: QSC RMX2450, MOTU 2408 MK3, Earthworks Sigma 6.2

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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2007, 02:57:58 PM »
so you're on wave editor full time now, wayne?

Yes. I switched about a month ago. I REALLY like it.

Wayne

I'm assuming it works well for your multitracking? Interesting that it has some good plug-ins at that price. EDU discount puts it at only $100.

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Re: Discussion: DITHER Comp, v4
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2007, 04:30:01 PM »
I'm assuming it works well for your multitracking? Interesting that it has some good plug-ins at that price. EDU discount puts it at only $100.

While technically I could use it to multi-track, I don't. I use Digital Performer for that. Once I have everything setup the way I want it, I create a two track mix-down. That's what I use Wave Editor for... all the things we need to do with a two track file (markers, dither, sample rate conversion). It's really good at some things, and others it still needs work at... But, they are working on it and they are really good when it comes to support, so I like both them and the product.

Wayne
Mics: Earthworks SR-77 (MP), QTC-1 (MP)

Editing: QSC RMX2450, MOTU 2408 MK3, Earthworks Sigma 6.2

 

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