Do I need to dither a 16 bit session since wave lab is 32 bit float?

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CaliforniaChas
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Do I need to dither a 16 bit session since wave lab is 32 bit float?

Post by CaliforniaChas » Sat May 05, 2018 2:08 pm

If I am burning a CD in wav lab using 16 bit wav files and am not changing the gain or adding plug ins do I need to dither. As I understand it Wavelab is operating at 32 bit floating point which may mean that technically the 16 bit files are 32 bit floating point just by being in Wavelab and, Therefore, need to be dithered again.
Please only reply if you really know the right answer.

Thanks,

Chas

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Arjan P
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Re: Do I need to dither a 16 bit session since wave lab is 32 bit float?

Post by Arjan P » Sat May 05, 2018 7:17 pm

Nope, if indeed you don't 'touch' the audio with any gain change or plugin, you're good to go. The original 16 bits will be in WL's 32-bit 'container', but remain untouched and are burnt to CD without any change from the original. You could say the 'extra' bits for calculation remain all zeroes throughout the program.
--- "If anyone owes it all to Bach, it's God" - Emil Cioran ---
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CaliforniaChas
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Re: Do I need to dither a 16 bit session since wave lab is 32 bit float?

Post by CaliforniaChas » Sat May 05, 2018 7:58 pm

Thank you sir. What if we change a pause or trim a file?

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Arjan P
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Re: Do I need to dither a 16 bit session since wave lab is 32 bit float?

Post by Arjan P » Sat May 05, 2018 11:59 pm

Changing a pause makes no difference. Trimming a clip in the montage (which I presume you mean) will result in a short fade out at that clip boundary. This means at that fade out that WL will calculate in its 32f resolution. Theoretically this should be reduced to 16 with dither before going to CD. IMO, in practice, it means I'll decide by the type of music whether I find it really necessary.

BTW, fogot to mention: use the bit meter. It tells you exactly how many bits the current audio is - play around a bit with it (change the master fader a bit) and you'll see what internally goes on.
--- "If anyone owes it all to Bach, it's God" - Emil Cioran ---
SOFT: (All 64 bit) | WaveLab 9.5.30 | Cubase 9.0.30 | HALion Sonic 2.0.0 | Win10 Pro - SoundCloud
HARD: i7-950 | Asus P6TD | 30GB | Tascam DM-3200 | DigiMax48 | Midisport 8x8 - SoundByte Studio

CaliforniaChas
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Re: Do I need to dither a 16 bit session since wave lab is 32 bit float?

Post by CaliforniaChas » Sun May 06, 2018 12:13 am

Thank you, Arjan. Super helpful. I didn't know about the bit meter and will be checking that out
I was going to ask you about adding a fade but you've answered that. If I add a fade in one track the Whole project would be at 16 bit native except for that one fade and I would have to make a judgement call there.

Wow Lots of info!

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