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Topic: To dither or not to dither before burning to CD (Read 3001 times) previous topic - next topic
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To dither or not to dither before burning to CD

I have become convinced of using dither at (computer) playback of MP3's and MPC's. I use MAD and Frank Klemm's mpc plugin for that. I also read Franks excelent page about the pros and cons of dithering.

Now I hope some can help me with my next question, that would apply to MP3 as much as to MPC.

Asume that I have tracks from a CD that have been encoded to MPC or MP3 (not hard eh). If I want to burn those tracks to Audio-CD again should they be decoded with or without dithering?

The reason I ask is because my Audio CD player (like most) does things like oversampling and noiseshaping already.

edit: small typo
comments please.
Ge Someone
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

To dither or not to dither before burning to CD

Reply #1
Are you using a 16-bit sound card? do you like what you hear with MAD (which dithers by default)? Is so, then decode to .wav with dithering, and burn those .wavs to CD.

The technical answer to your question is a definitive yes - with the caveat that extreme noise shaping should be avoided, because you might hear a click at track boundaries. The reason is because a noise shaped dither signal is mainly high frequency, but can also be high amplitude (if the noise shaping is extreme enough) - switching it off abruptly may give an audible click - but it'll be a very quiet one!

The artistic and real world answer to your question is "maybe". Dithering may reduce low level distortion, not dithering will reduce low level noise. Noise shaped dithering can give you the best of both worlds, but some people dislike it.

I use 1-bit triangular dither (from within Cool Edit) if I can be bothered, and no dither if I can't be bothered! Using MAD you get dither without hassle, so use that and be happy with the results.