XO Wave is now discontinued
as we prepare to bring you the next generation
Digital Audio Workstation called
This site remains available for anyone who
purchased XO Wave in the past.
However, please keep in mind that as discontinued software:
- This site may not contain up-to-date information.
- Technical support is discontinued, though we will do our best to continue to provide
email support, especially to anyone who purchased recently.
XO Wave: Dither in XO Wave (Technical Note)
This page describes how dither is managed in XO Wave. For
more info on dithering in general, see our article A Bit about Dither. You may
also want to see our technical note on Resolution in XO Wave.
Default Dither Type: XO Wave uses a high-quality,
noise-shaped triangular dither by default. This
dither is less audible than plain "white" noise, because its
energy is distributed primarily in frequencies that our ears are
less sensitive to.
Custom Dithering: Dither can also be added manually
by using the Dither/Noise effect.
Combining the Dither/Noise effect with other filters on a
dedicated track enables the creation of dither fine-grained control.
When Dither Is Used by Default: By default, dither is applied
when outputting 16-bit and 8-bit AIFF
and WAV files. It is not applied when creating QuickTime files
because the QuickTime software does bit-depth
reduction, and so it is usually not appropriate to add dither before passing audio to QuickTime.
It is also not applied to 24 and 32-bit files because it is not
needed at high resolutions. Dither is not applied to recorded audio,
because the audio resolution provided to XO Wave usually matches
the resolution of your sound device.
When Manual Adjustments Are Needed: When exporting
files and creating CD Masters, it is rarely necessary
to alter the default dither settings. For playback, however,
the default is not always adequate because XO Wave
may not be able to detect the resolution of your sound
device, and because XO Wave's output may be manipulated
by the operating system or device drivers. For example,
XO Wave's output may be sample-rate converted, combined with
output from another source, or have its overall level altered
before its resolution is reduced. This may be the case in Mac OS X,
and on Linux when using the ALSA and Jack interfaces.
Because XO Wave cannot know what will later be done to the audio it produces,
it can be useful to manually
modify the output dither settings in the
Settings window. By default, XO Wave adds dither appropriate
for 16-bit output. If your audio hardware is 16-bit, this is
generally correct, although the results may not be optimal
if the device is shared with other software or sample rate
conversion is being performed. If your audio hardware supports
a higher resolution, you may want to simply turn dithering off,
since dither is rarely needed for resolutions above 16 bits.
You will want to use the 8-bit setting when your hardware is
8-bit, or you are planning to
output 8-bit files and wish to hear how they will sound.
You may also wish to turn off dithering if absolutely no processing
is taking place and you wish to maintain bit transparency.