Dithering

Example: "She applied a dithering filter to give her song a smoother sound."

Dithering is a process that can be applied to both digital images and audio files. For digital images, dithering adds graphical noise, or graininess to the image to smooth out the transitions between colors. With digital audio, dithering adds digital noise to audio tracks, which smoothes out the waveform and therefore the sound.

The process of dithering is typically used to improve the appearance or sound of low quality digital files. For example, a .GIF image that only supports 128 colors may appear less blotchy after it has been dithered. Similarly, dithering an .MP3 file may help the audio sound less choppy. Many image and audio editing programs include a "Dithered" option that allows you to add dithering when converting or exporting a file. It might be fun experiment to save a file with and without dithering and see if you can notice the difference.

Updated: June 5, 2010

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