Community member Sean Amann, who works in post production audio, sent us a question for the podcast asking if I would be willing to share my plug-in signal chain on my mix bus when mixing audio for broadcast. In part 1, I opened up my workflow for basic speech programs and in part 2, I showed how I handle music based documentaries and in this concluding part we are going to look at the thorny issue of dither.
To Dither Or Not To Dither?
With regard to dither I would recommend that you watch this excellent free tutorial from Paul Maunder in which he looks at the implications and considerations of using different session bit depths in Pro Tools.
- When should you use 32bit float?
- Under what circumstances should you apply dither?
- Does Pro Tools automatically apply dither when exporting from the Clip List?
However as all my sessions are at 16 bit I do not add another dither plug-in. In the early days of Pro Tools when the mixer didn't dither, I would use a Waves L1 and use the Dither option as well. But now Dither is taken care of within the Pro Tools mixer and because my sessions are 16 bit even though I use Export Selected As Clips, because I always Bounce To Track, I am not concerned about the old fashioned Dither being added because my session files are already 16 bit. But if you are running your sessions at 24 bit or even 32 bit float then Paul's advice regarding Dither is worth considering. That said the dither noise is around -90dB so in practice is that going to be a problem in our context? You decide.
So there you go, an insight into my workflows for mastering different kinds of speech based radio programs. What do you do? What is your philosophy and what plug-in chains do you use?