@iamjosephkim on Twitter was asking me today if I have a video on dither. I should probably do a full-on video tutorial on it at some point. But for today, let me give you the “quick and dirty” run-down on dither.
All you high-end, super smarty-pants, you are welcome to go in-depth in the comments section, but I’m gonna keep this brief and simple.
What is dither?
Dither is simply noise that you add to your mix. Every DAW I’ve ever used comes with a dither plug-in. This normally goes on your master fader.
When should you use dither?
If you recall, I wrote an article recently on 24-bit vs 16-bit. Go back and read that article if you haven’t already. Here’s the summary: Record at 24-bit.
Your final mix that you burn to CD, however, needs to be 16-bit. The problem here is that you have to somehow “chop off” 8 bits of information to get from 24 to 16.
Dither smooths out this transition. That’s really all you need to know. The how and why are fairly interesting, and you’re welcome to go research it, but knowing the ins and outs of dither doesn’t really help you create better music. So simply remember this:
When converting from 24-bit to 16-bit,
Simple enough, right?
How to Apply Dither
Like I said before, dither is fairly simple. If you use the basic “bounce-to-disk” function of your DAW, simply insert a dither plug-in on your master fader (after any other effects), then set the dither to “16-bit.”
That’s it!! That’s enough information to make sure you’re doing things right when it comes to dither.