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Digital tracking with low levels = better...is this new???

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Michael Nielsen:
Hey Terry!  

WOW.  Thanks guys I'm gonna go read that other thread.

PaulyD wrote on Mon, 08 January 2007 22:51

A biggie though is 24-bit recording. Each bit in digital recording gives 6 dBFS of dynamic range, so a 24-bit system has 144 dBFS of internal dynamic range. The very best ADC's and DAC's have "only" about 120 dBFS dynamic range in their analog filters. Even accounting for the noise floor, that is more dynamic range than nearly anything most of us will ever record. So...the idea is to give up a digital bit or two to give the digital system some headroom. Like Paul Frindle says in the thread maxim referenced, this will give your plug-ins the headroom they need to do their math and the DAC the headroom it needs to reconstruct the final output samples without anything getting digitally flattened. It really works!


That's one of the best ways that i've heard it put. Also, Michael, consider that alot of engineers that were saying to track as hot as possible, also probably didn't turn out very good recordings in the infancy of digital. The biggest example that I can think of is Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms". I love that record, but that was one of the most famous all digital recordings ("DDD") that I can think of, and the mastering levels are low (even on Bob Ludwig's remaster), and it's quite a sterile recording, technically speaking. I don't think that the average listener hears that, though.

Michael Nielsen wrote on Tue, 09 January 2007 00:36

WOW.  Thanks guys I'm gonna go read that other thread.

NB:  The posted link to the DAW thread starts about halfway in, which is where the real action starts.  There are several pages before that though.

I'm just wagging here, but lets assume a +4 = -16 DBFS average set up. If your pinning your pres at a -10 DBFS average on your DAW meters - your running those pre's pretty damn hot. In many cases the pres themselves close up at those levels.

So perhaps part of the problem is how your work between the analog and digital domain. In the misguided effort to get those digital meters up there your actually killing yourself on the analog side.

What do you guys think?

Thomas Lester:
I asked this before, but I don't believe it was ever answered...

What dBFS level should be our equivalent to 0VU?  Is it -16 dBFS?  Is there a standard?  Should there be?



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