• Ryan Sullivan

WHAT IS DITHER?

What is dither? This is a fairly frequent question I get from producers as it's always in the rendering or exporting options of your DAW but many people don't quite understand what it's about so they simply ignore it or use it incorrectly.


Simply put, dither is noise that a sound engineer adds to your audio in order to preserve the quiet parts of the song which can be destroyed in 16bit audio files, which is the most common bit depth of a final song master. It's an incredibly important step within the audio mastering phase of post-production as it preserves the audio fidelity and dynamic range of your recording. This is why it is best practice to record and mix your song at 24bit and only convert down to 16bit at the end of the mastering chain which is where the dithering process takes place. That's also the reason why dither options are typically only visible when rendering or exporting your audio.


The following video offers an excellent demonstration of how dithering works and sounds, as well as how your music will sound if dithering is either not used or is used incorrectly. It's a slightly long and rather nerdy watch, however it's extremely important when it comes to audio and music recording, mixing and mastering.







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