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Dithering

Downsampling audio to a lower bit depth—for example, from 24-bit to 16-bit for CD mastering—can result in harmonic distortion due to bit truncation. You'll most likely hear the effects of this in quiet segments of your audio; they might sound broken up or otherwise distorted. To compensate for the ill effects of bit truncation, you can use dithering.

Dithering Options

When you choose the Edit > Convert Sample Type option in Audition and choose a lower bit depth, Audition gives you several dithering options (Figure2.4). Experiment with these settings when converting to lower bit depths to see which give the best results for the audio you're working with.

  • Dither Depth (Bits): Allows you to choose how much dithering to apply to your signal. Values between 0.2 and 0.7 are usually optimal; they provide the benefits of dithering with the least amount of residual noise.

  • p.d.f.: Stands for probability distribution function. This setting offers five methods for introducing dithered noise into your audio: Rectangular, Triangular, Gaussian, Shaped Triangular, and Shaped Gaussian. Triangular is usually recommended as the most workable combination of noise modulation, distortion, and decreased signal-to-noise ratio.

  • Noise Shaping: Allows you to assign different noise levels to different frequencies. Your choice among the various noise-shaping curves will depend on the content of your audio and your sample-rate and bit-depth settings.

Figure 2.4. You can configure dithering options in Audition's Convert Sample Type window.




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