Jul 8th, 2012, 04:32
Hey folks. I realize this topic has been covered numerous times, but, unfortunately, I'm still not clear about how to manage dithering options. Logic is my DAW, and I know there are dithering and other noise-shaping options provided with the Output track bounce process. But I have several mastering plugins (Ozone 4, Waves L3) that offer dithering/noise-shaping options. In addition, there is a dithering function in Waveburner. It's been a confusing time trying to figure out the best dithering strategy. I understand that dithering should only be done once, although I'm unclear what the burned CD would sound like if dithering was accidentally applied twice (which would be easy enough to do with the above redundancy). My basic plan is to Master in Logic (using either Logic's mastering plugins, Ozone or Waves L3), and then pull the files into Waveburner simply to organize the CD. I understand that if I've applied dither/noise-shaping in Logic during mastering, this should be turned off Waveburner during the Bounce/Burn process (right?). The other thing that I like to do when creating a final mix for each song in Logic is to burn the song onto a CD so that I can give it the 'driving test' (see how it sounds in my car). I'm doing this with the mastering plugins in place, and I turn off any dithering or noise-shaping in those mastering plugins that have this function (opting for Logic's dithering during the Bounce/Burn). But here's my question (finally): I've noted that, in Logic's Bounce window, when you select for a PCM file (in the Destination section), there is a dithering menu available in the PCM settings. Similarly, when you check the box for CD burning (CDDA destination), there is a similar dithering menu. And these appear to be tied to together, i.e., if you select a dithering option for one of these 'destinations', it applies to both the PCM file and the CDDA. There appears to be no way bounce a non-dithered PCM file (to be saved in the Bounces folder) and simultaneously burn the file onto a CD with dithering. Is this correct?? (that's my main question, in addition to any comments on my other statements above). If so, does the dithering occur during the bounce or during the CD burn? It seems that, if I want to bounce a project without dithering (e.g., to keep it at 24-bits and undithered for possible later mastering), this needs to be done as a dedicated bounce without involving a CD burn (which would require dithering). I hope this makes sense. Any other comments about optimizing dithering/noise-shaping would be appreciated. For example, does anyone have a sense for whether the dithering/N-S algorithms in Ozone 4 or Waves L3 are superior to Logic's, and which of Logic's options (POW-r 1, 2 and 3) is best suited for rock, orchestral etc.? Or are they all pretty similar? After putting so much effort into recording and mixing, my lack of knowledge about optimal dithering and how much impact this can have is quite unsettling.