downsampling to cd format from a pro tools session

hello! i have some underground tracks from a deceased artist that were never released retail. apparently the songs were transferred in studio using something called protools and were given to me in wav format. however, these wavs are not in proper cd format - a few are in a 32 bit depth as well as a few being in 24. i also have one in proper 16 bit depth, but it’s in 48000hz sample rate.

now, using audacity i can downsample these to proper cd format (16/44000), however, am i supposed to apply something called dithering in order to avoid artifacts/distortion? i’ve read a bit on google about the subject, but i’m not sure how it applies to my situation… i don’t know if these songs were already dithered, whether they’ve already been converted from even another bit depth/sample rate before now, etc. in other words i don’t know what’s already been done to them. they are however of course wav’s so i’d like to preserve their quality, as well as convert them properly. should i dither in tjis situation, or just render them to cd format straight up?

i’m using audacity 2.2.2 on w7 home.

Dither is enabled by default in Audacity, so assuming that you’ve not changed that, you don’t need to worry about it.

  1. Import the files into Audacity.
  2. Set the “Project Rate” (lower left corner of the main Audacity window) to 44100 (note, this is the standard sample rate for CDs, not 440000)
  3. File menu > Export > Export as WAV. The default is “WAV (Microsoft) signed 16-bit PCM”, which is correct for audio CD.

By default, the “Metadata Editor” will pop-up, but you can just click on “OK” because CDs don’t use the metadata in WAV files.
The default settings in Audacity give extremely high quality resampling, so provided that you’ve not changed defaults, that’s all there is to it.

thanks for replying, as well as the instructions. just to clarify, it is indeed necessary to dither in this case of downsampling of either the bit depth or sample rate, correct? in other words, disabling the audacity dithering and exporting with cd format settings isn’t sufficient as it will result in quality loss, am i right?

it is indeed necessary to dither in this case of downsampling of either the bit depth or sample rate, correct?

It’s not “necessary”, since you are not likely hear the difference either way. (It’s only for bit depth, not sample rate.)

in other words, disabling the audacity dithering and exporting with cd format settings isn’t sufficient as it will result in quality loss, am i right?

Dither is added noise, but it’s supposed to sound subjectively better with dither, and it’s considered “good practice” to dither.

great, thanks doug. i always get quality, thorough replies here… good stuff!