Topic: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Hello,

Looking for where to find the dither option on the outputs I have not kept at unity. I can’t find anything on it yet.  Appreciate the help!

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Dither option ? Tthis is usually being done by VSTs of your DAW.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Sure, that’s one place where dither can be needed.   

Dither is needed to avoid truncation distortion.  TotalMix will truncate outputs, There must be a dither option for when a fader is not at unity.  Is there not ?  Can’t believe that would be the case.

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Any digital mixer should have that build in. I am guessing it has.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

I agree, any digital mixer should have that built in.  I have also learned to never guess with audio, you’ll be surprised quite often.  I am getting the impression this isn’t an option for the user, does anyone know with certainty that TotalMix does dither it’s outputs to avoid truncation distortion?

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Well that’s disappointing.

7 (edited by ramses 2020-01-08 21:40:49)

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Sorry, I can't answer that question. But usually you can expect from RME products, that everything is being
designed to have very good quality.

As you know the NAMM show is running in the USA right now.

It's best to wait a little longer until someone from RME comes up with an answer before jumping to conclusions.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

I know for a fact that the analogue outputs don´t need dithering, dithering 24 bit is at -144db noise floor/distortion at -110 to-120db. But digital out would need some dither or randomisation for further processing, that is theocraticly......

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

9

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

nickMo wrote:

Well that’s disappointing.

Indeed it is. 20 years after this

https://archiv.rme-audio.de/old/english … tmhard.htm

one should expect some knowledge when Dither makes sense and when not.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Matthias, 

I am trying to understand your post.  Are you saying that dither does not make sense in total mix? That a fader not at unity would not need dither to avoid truncation distortion?  I would appreciate an explanation so I could shake this confusion on how totalmix could avoid truncation distortion.  It can't, can it? not unless it dithers those outputs.

11

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

There are two points: truncation at 24 bits is of zero consequence unless you discuss theoretical limts that nobody will ever experience in real-world applications. The sources and the destinations are all much worse than 24 bit resolution, and noise is and works like dither. That's why that article included a simple measurement to show what happens when you lower the signal. And the article also states that 'the other 5 bit are used for the LSB to decrease rounding errors which has an effect similar to low level dither.

Note that TotalMix is a monitoring / mixer tool. It is not intended to work within DAWs at floating point resolution.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

RME's stance is that dithering at 24 bits is not needed because "The sources and the destinations are all much worse than 24 bit resolution, and noise is and works like dither." and 'the other 5 bit are used for the LSB to decrease rounding errors which has an effect similar to low level dither'.   ........ummmm, might want to double check that.

"truncation at 24 bits is of zero consequence unless you discuss theoretical limits that nobody will ever experience in real-world applications",    ...except we do.  Once you have perceived truncation distortion and it's avoidance, you know.  Until then, you don't know it is an issue.

"Note that TotalMix is a monitoring mixer/tool. It is not intended to work within DAWs at floating point resolution." - I assume everyone already knows this.

RME has chosen distortion over noise. Got it.

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

nickMo wrote:

RME's stance is that dithering at 24 bits is not needed because "The sources and the destinations are all much worse than 24 bit resolution, and noise is and works like dither." and 'the other 5 bit are used for the LSB to decrease rounding errors which has an effect similar to low level dither'.   ........ummmm, might want to double check that.

"truncation at 24 bits is of zero consequence unless you discuss theoretical limits that nobody will ever experience in real-world applications",    ...except we do.  Once you have perceived truncation distortion and it's avoidance, you know.  Until then, you don't know it is an issue.

"Note that TotalMix is a monitoring mixer/tool. It is not intended to work within DAWs at floating point resolution." - I assume everyone already knows this.

RME has chosen distortion over noise. Got it.

You are 100% wrong, really. This discussion pops up everywhere one time or another. Last one I followed was very lengthy on the Nuendo forum. No nuendo does not dither also on its internal mixer.
If you still believe you are right try the following. Take a nice clean sine wave, one that easy to hear when it gets distortion. Lower the level step by step and up the monitors or headphones. If there comes a point that the sine starts sounding like a square, you are right and I will eat crow. If silence or noise wins, you will say sorry, right? Thing is I tried this, with a  sampler with 16 bit outputs and no dither, which was because I did not believe dither noise worked. But it did. Lowered the level till sounded like square, played a low level noise sample et voila sine was back. You can not repeat this yet with 24 bit converters, no matter how good. If we would ever get converters with a144db noise floor, then it would at least be a theoretical problem. Still If I remember correctly we will never get that silent because of electron noise in electronics at current levels.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Truncation distortion exists and affects audio even when it is below equipment noise floors.  The idea that because it is so low in level it doesn’t matter is incorrect.   There is no reason to not dither to avoid truncation distortion.

15

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

The simple reason is bit tranparency at 0 dB gain. Apart from that there is no need to continue this discussion. You are not forced to use TM FX if you think it decreases sound quality. Set everything to unity and use your DAW's mixer instead.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

MC wrote:

The simple reason is bit tranparency at 0 dB gain. Apart from that there is no need to continue this discussion. You are not forced to use TM FX if you think it decreases sound quality. Set everything to unity and use your DAW's mixer instead.

That’s my problem, you don’t need to dither if the mixer is at 0db gain.  Works perfect here already for that.  Just routing is great.

The issue is that if you had a dither option we could use the total mix faders at values other than unity without truncation distortion also.

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

nickMo wrote:

Dither is needed to avoid truncation distortion.

Well, at least you created a truly unique sentence...

Zero results in several search engines, except of course for this thread. Makes you wonder. big_smile

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

What do you mean zero results in several search engines. Makes you wonder? I don’t get what you are saying. 

The basics of digital audio here, why are we trying to resist it?

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

cyrano wrote:
nickMo wrote:

Dither is needed to avoid truncation distortion.

Well, at least you created a truly unique sentence...

Zero results in several search engines, except of course for this thread. Makes you wonder. big_smile


...so I typed the exact sentence into google and was hit with a ton of relevant results.  Indeed, Makes me wonder wink

20 (edited by vinark 2020-01-15 15:03:00)

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Most of us here (audio professionals) do understand dither and truncation distortion. And understand that it is not an issue with totalmix. What do you want? Complain? A solution for a specific problem? A useless dither option on all outputs? Only useful dither would be at the digital output(s) for a digital transfer but with using the fader for level (and not for sending to a dac!) But in that scenario, digital transfer. you would add the correct level and dither at source, not randomly in totalmix.
I do dare to say if you are hearing truncation distortion with totalmix even with ridiculous settings, you are imagining it.
I am not trying to be unfriendly, but saving you from the rabbit hole of unobtainable imagined perfection, been there ;-)

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Dithering any outputs which has a fader other than unity is not useless.  This would avoid truncation distortion. 

This is an issue with total mix.  It isn’t if you don’t move the faders, but then why include the faders in the first place if the argument is that total mix is only for routing.  I want to be able to use total mix and it’s faders without truncation distortion.  I was surprised to find out that total mix just truncates.  That’s all.  I expected truncation distortion to be avoidable in total mix and it isnt unless you leave the faders alone. 

Not hard to understand.

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Where do you hear that distortion you talk about all the time ?
I really want to know as I am NOT hearing it no matter where the faders are....

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

so much theory in this post, totalmix is the last thing you need to worry bro in music production or even mastering

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Truncation distortion is subtle.  It can be described as harshening and loss of depth.

If you have not experienced the audio with and without truncation distortion it is hard to imagine the subtle difference.  You don’t realize what you’re missing until you hear it for yourself.  Again, it is subtle.  But it is definitely there.

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

Again, disagree. It is very unsubtle and turns a sine into a square really. But only when level drops to -144db. That is the point you are missing. Except for a computer generated sine at -144db there is no audio at that level.
But . and I am still trying to help here and it would be nice if you acknowledge this, If you have an experience that dither makes the audio nicer, that is a known psychoacoustic effect. That is why the analogue button on waves plugins add noise (as is in the emulated hardware) Noise has the strange effect of adding something nice to a sound. In reality nothing is ever noise free. The whole, same, discussion on the nuendo forum, where someone claimed to hear improved audio with dithering all non 0db channels, in the end proved to be the psychoacoustic effect of the used dither/added noise. You can even use noise shaped dither at 16 bits in a 24 bit environment ass an effect, just as adding needle noise to a hip hop track.
Cheers!

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

26 (edited by ramses 2020-01-17 10:26:57)

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

+1

To exaggerate such things, which are really far below the hearing threshold and to discuss/present them as possible mistakes, I find a bit excessive.

Or to put it another way: I don't walk around at home with an electron microscope and then complain to my wife how unclean it all looks. Let's perhaps better discuss topics that are relevant to sound and what the human ear can actually perceive.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

At the low levels the distortion is occurring, it is very subtle.  If you choose not to care, that is your choice.  There is always the choice. Noise or distortion.  You simply choose distortion because you feel it is too subtle to be bothered with.

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

@NickMo

How exactly are you perceiving truncation distortion, below noise floor? What is your monitoring equipment? And are you recording yourself or other people? Is that an obstacle to your recordings?

I'm asking all this, because since you know how dithering works, there wouldn't be any reason to make a point out of this.
Dithering adds random noise -> truncation distortion from TM(as you're saying) is below noise floor -> so you allready have noise added, that does the same job as a dedicated dithering "plug-in".

There must be something else in your signal chain that applies the "harshenning and loss of depth" effect.

Anyway, if you still hear the truncation distortion, you could very easily route a noise-generator to a software output, and mix it to taste to your hardware outputs. And there is your dither!

Unless, you can, also, hear truncation distortion from TM added to the noise generator... smile

Re: Where is dither option in TotalMix?

nickMo wrote:
cyrano wrote:
nickMo wrote:

Dither is needed to avoid truncation distortion.

Well, at least you created a truly unique sentence...

Zero results in several search engines, except of course for this thread. Makes you wonder. big_smile


...so I typed the exact sentence into google and was hit with a ton of relevant results.  Indeed, Makes me wonder wink

Put the sentence between double quotes...