Another suggestion regarding dither...

Most of the time when I use Audacity I am editing an existing 16/44 file, e.g. trimming excessive head or tail. When doing so, I have set all dither to off. Every so often, however, I record needledrops with Audacity at 32/44 and, after any post-processing, save these as projects. It would be useful to add a control to the “Export” and “Export Multiple” dialog boxes that for that operation only allows changing the dither setting. When I export 32/44 to 16/44 tracks, I want to dither. This option would be easier – and more likely to be remembered – than having to go into Preferences. Thanks.

Automating when to apply / not apply dither has been a much discuss, and difficult to resolve issue.

The core of the problem is that Audacity always uses 32-bit float internally, so any export to 16 or 24 bit involves reducing the bits per sample from Audacity’s internal representation of sample values to the format on disk.

An obvious but impractical solution is for Audacity to check the sample values that will be exported, immediately before export, to see if they are all exact 16 or 24 bit numbers. That’s impractical because it almost doubles the time to export (which can be very significant for long files).

A simple solution would be to always provide an option in the Export / Export Multiple dialog to enable / disable dither. The downside is that users then have to remember to check that it is set appropriately for each export.

Another option could be to provide an option in the track drop-down menu in addition to the “Format” option ( for “Format No Dither”. Audacity could then automatically export without dither in the case when (and only when) all tracks being exported are the same format as the export file target.

No, surely it would default to the prefs setting for dither - but in the Export dialog the user could the temporarily over-ride it for that export, and only that export.

I would support such a change.


I’d support that, but this is where we run into problems about different use cases wanting different things.

As soon as we add a “one time override”, there will be users saying: “I nearly always want NO dither, and I want to be able to enable dither only when I need it.”, and “Why can’t it remember my choice?

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Exactly! I suppose this checkbox could be made sticky so it would satisfy the “nearly always dither/nearly never dither on export” user.