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Topic: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

  1. #1

    OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    In at least 8 times out of 10, I'm asked to deliver music to video in 48 kHz - to match with DV, HDV, HDTV or other HD video standards. However, most samples (that I have and use) are recorded and provided in 44,1. This makes me concerned, since I want to prevent the sound from being dithered up and down too much.

    At times I’ve been the victim of video compositors who doesn’t seem to think about the differences between 44.1 and 48 and thus just squeezing the sound through any of the video application’s standard – but rather poor – conversion processes. End result: the audio comes out sounding slightly grainy and sometimes also pitched down 1.08% and increasingly out of sync. Regretfully this sometimes reflects back on me, so I tend to want to deliver in a way that will need no conversion or dithering..

    My way of dealing with it has been to work in 44,1 in Cubase and then exporting it out to 48. This usually keeps any compositors off my back and I suspect it keeps any heavy dithering down to a minimum.

    I curious to what you guys are thinking about when it comes to prevent the sound from being dithered 44,1 > 48, and how you supposed solutions and workarounds look like?
    .. and of course, any spur of the moment thoughts are always welcome.

    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    Most of my samples are coming from external machines, so all I do is record them in Nuendo at 48khz.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    Most offline sample rate conversions are near transparent. The one in Sound Forge is very good, and I suspect the "save as" in Cubase would be on par.

    Video formats are almost always 48k.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    I like to work at 44.1 too. I just convert anything in Logic to 48 k before I deliver. It's quick and effortless.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    I do all my work at 48khz from the getgo. It makes sense to work within that sample rate since 100% of my work is going to video of some form. I think that conversion algorhithms have gotten so good that even something like iTunes does an incredible job at converting the sample rates seamlessly.
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    First thing to say - dither and sample rate are inter-related, but they are not the same thing. Dither relates to adding a noise component during reduction of the word-length (most often 24bit to 16bit) in order to keep quantization error/distortion under control. Sample rate is about the interval at which the sound is recorded, which affects the highest frequency (Nyquist) that can be recorded as well as putting a hard limit on the ability to accurately represent the original waveform (phase and transient response). Converting the sample rate can introduce errors to the detriment of the final sound just as the lack of or innappropriate choice of dithering.

    Starting the project at the right sample rate within the host is best, regardless of whether your core sample libraries are recorded at 44.1kHz. The positives of effects and gain changes at the "core rate" more than compensate for any internal sample rate conversion errors inside of a sampler/VI.

    As for SRC in hosts, there was an extensive thread on it in the Nuendo forum, with much lively discussion and analysis. I believe the comparison started with projects rendered at the sample rate of the project (48K->48K) versus changing the project sample rate and then rendering to the original rate(41K->48K) and flip-phase-comparing the two resulting renders. It turned out the some hosts fared better than others, but all created more errors than most people liked. The most satisfactory sample rate conversion was with Voxengo's R8Brain, which is a standalone sample rate conversion tool - and freeware, to boot. But I only use it when I've got something "in the can" and don't want to bother with going back to the host and loading the project.

    In your scenario you should feel comfortable with letting the project dictate the sample rate, not the sample library.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    I've been through this issue many times since everything thing I do is for video and must be delivered at 48k. I now do all my sample work at 44.1 becuase I could hear a clear difference in the VSL violins between projects in Logic at 44.1 and 48. I think this is because the EXS converstion on the fly was not too happening. When I'm ready to go to ProTools, I simply import and have the setting on "Tweek Head" which is the slowest -- go get a coffee, come back, it's ready. If you don't have ProTools I'm still sure there is a way to determine the quality of the conversion -- always go for the highest quality.

    Dithering is really for going from 24bit to 16bit. I can't say I've ever really heard this in action, but it's quite easy to do on the master fader as the last step.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Paris, France

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    Another (CPU extensive) solution, is to start the project at 96k, then downsample the mixdown to 48k.
    (and at last dither from 24 to 16 bit if necessary, but it's another story)

    In this case, "on the fly" samplerate conversion from samplers (44.1=>96) is not a pb anymore because the result will be re-filtered by a (good) 96k=>48k conversion.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    I find that although I get smoother mixes at high res, it doesn't otherwise matter what sample rate I work at as long as I dither absolutely last. And, btw, even if you work at 16-bit, you can still apply dither so long as its only done once and as the absolute last step. It's fully possible, for instance, to work at 44.1/16, resample the mix to 48/16, and then apply dither to the 48/16 output file. Some people think this approach has a thickening effect on the mix. Btw, I used to swear by UV22HR dithering but now use PowR3.

    I advise against counting on video people to do anything important. I used to deliver with an alternate audio CD till I caught one of them ripping and importing without bothering to resample. Now I usually deliver a DVD plus an alternate CDR with 48K audio files.


  10. #10

    Re: OT: Dithering to 48kHz when delivering for video

    Quote Originally Posted by howardv
    I advise against counting on video people to do anything important.
    Yeah - like washing their hands before they walk out of the john...
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

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