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What is dither?


Dither is random noise combined with a signal to improve linearity and reduce distortion at low levels and extend resolution well below the theoretical noise floor for a particular bit width. The noise is added either as an analog signal prior to A/D conversion or as a digital signal prior to truncation1.  In both cases, dither randomizes the quantization process to produce an undistorted signal at the expense of a slightly higher noise floor. In practice, the true benefits of dither are heard when it is applied to low-level signals which typically occur with signal fades and decaying reverberation tails.

The LynxONE implements the digital form of dither, which is applied during recording or playback to reduce truncation distortion.  


Record Dither - Enables the addition of dither during recording of 8-bit or 16-bit files or when the record Volume Fader is set below full-scale.  Dither is not added to the signal for 24-bit or 32-bit files when the Volume Fader is at full-scale.

Play Dither - Enables the addition of dither during playback when the play Volume Fader is set below full-scale. In this case, dither is added to reduce distortion artifacts caused by volume processing.


None - Dither is disabled.  Volume processing utilizes rounding prior to truncation.

Triangular - Enables the addition of triangular probability density dither. This type of dither is free of data-dependent noise modulation effects, but decreases signal-to-noise ratio by 4.8 dB. Triangular is the preferred dither type in most cases.

Shaped Triangular - Enables the addition of shaped triangular probability density dither. This type of dither is essentially high-pass filtered triangular dither that places most of the dither energy at higher frequencies making it less audible to the human ear. Shaped triangular dither also decreases signal-to-noise by 4.8 dB.

Rectangular - Enables the addition of rectangular probability density dither. This type of dither decreases the signal-to-ratio by 3 dB (less than triangular), but is less desirable because of its noise modulation effects.

1 Truncation is the process of reducing the number of bits used to a represent a digital signal by discarding the least significant bits. 

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