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unsure about dither/quantize procedure

Kay von Randow

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Hi, I’d appreciate some help re going from a 24-Bit Logic project (5 tracks) .... to a burnt Audio CD.


I know that in order to comply with Red Book standards,

the finished file needs to be 16-Bit, 44100 Sample Rate


I also know:

I need to dither

I should dither only once


I’m unsure about the dithering:


On the Output Bus I’ve used Waves Plug-ins such as the Linear Phase MultiBand or L3 MultiMaximizer. The Linear Phase MB has a Dither option, and the L3 has a Dither, and Quantize as 24/22/20/18/16 option. I’ve set Dither to OFF, and Quantize to 24 Bits at present.


I’ve seen that Logic also has the option to dither when I bounce, and to convert to 16-Bit.


I’m unsure about the normalizing option in Logic. Do I need to use this if I’ve used the Waves plug-ins ?


My intention is to finish mastering each track in Logic and then import them into Waveburner to assemble the CD, cross-fade the tracks, insert pauses and then burn it.


So I’d appreciate help with: if I dither and convert from 24-Bit to 16-Bit at the time I bounce to an audio file in Logic, prior to exporting these to WB should I also change the options in the Waves plugins to ‘Dither’ and ’16-Bit’ or would that mean I’m doing the procedure twice ?





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I don't dither in Logic myself (I use Ozone 6) but of this I'm certain.


1. Only dither once (as you say).

2. The dither is the very last step in the production chain so do not dither in a bounce and then touch the bounced file in any way, (no volume changes, trimming for length, compression, etc.).


Perhaps Lagerfeldt or other great ones can join in the discussion.

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I use Ozone 5 only.


Dithering is the last and ultimate last step. Use Ozone to truncate to 16bit and dither. Then leave Logic's dither off and just bounce a 16bit 44.1kHz file. This file you can then burn. You can also use Waves plugins.


Just make sure the plugins that dithers/truncates is the last in the chain.

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Do the number of times you bounce affect the final sound quality ?


If I start with 5 Logic Projects, each 24-bit, then bounce these to wav. format with 24-bit. Then assemble each wav. file in another Logic Project to apply final compression/limiting as needed across the tracks so the final output level is similar, and THEN bounce each track again as 16-bit and with dither, that's two bounce processes.


Will this affect the quality ? And should I choose offline or realtime to bounce ?

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You can neglect the influence in this scenario. Just don't apply dither to the 24bit files. Or you will increase the dithers volume when you compress/limit (heavily) the 5 files/songs.


A mastering engineer won't do anything else when mastering an album. He will get e.g. 12 files/songs that he processes. Those 12 files/songs were bounced (to 24bit ideally, or maybe 32bit) already before he gets them. Finally he'll render 16bit files for the CD-production.


Offline or realtime bounce is not different.

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The mistakes I sometimes get is that e.g. the delays are not in sync. But that happens only with some plugins and not every time, rather just rarely. But besides of those 3rd party plugin "bugs" I've never encountered "errors" because of offline bounces. That was maybe an issue with older DAWs and computers. I also must admit that I never made a scientific test like bouncing the same track twice (real time and offline) and then playing both at the same time (of course exactly time aligned) while reversing the phase on one of them.
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