• Reference Levels Analog and Digital Scales meters and Dynamic Range
  • Started by MrBouzouki
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« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 19:44:19 by MrBouzouki »
Following on from my last metering post here is an interesting graphic i discovered that tries to compare Analog and Digital metering systems.

It demonstrates how the sweet spot for recording in the analog realm equates to - 18dBFS on the European EBU scale and -20dBFS on the American SMPTE scale.

It shows how moving from 16 bits to 24 bits gave us more headroom before digital distortion and how the old analog VU meters were calibrated to act as a guide to

A modern DAW often processes sound using 32-bit float that uses an extra 8-bits to give you even more headroom.  If a recording would otherwise be distorted using 24-bits, those extra bits allow you to turn down your over-hot signal and get the peak of the waveform back.  So your flat-top waveform becomes OK again. However, it's good practice to use those extra 8-bits as a safety net and stay in that sweet spot if you can.

It's worth noting too that I believe most Pro -equipment and plug-ins are designed to work best in and around that sweet-spot.



I've also included some Sound on Sound images for additional reference. As their Technical Editor (Hugh Robjohns) said ...

Quote
When working with 24-bit digital systems, it makes absolute sense to maintain a very similar gain structure and headroom, for both technical and operational convenience. That means building in typically about 20dB of headroom above the nominal signal level, with most peaks reaching no higher than about -10dBFS. Only the rarest fast transients should kick up above that. When working in this way, the system noise floor will still be a good 90-100dB below the nominal level, which is directly comparable with a good-quality analogue console.



"Love and Life is all about connections"


So much to learn! @MrBouzouki  Iím grateful for a place like the Kitchen to make the learning easier.

Thank you for sharing 🙏



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