R/E/P > Reason In Audio

Digital summing saturation = myth?

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Andy Peters:
Hanjong Ko wrote on Sat, 28 February 2009 18:52
So regardless of how many tracks are used on a digital bus, as long as not clipping, there isn't quality loss?  Because there are people who says "When you mix digitally in your PC, you can lose information and sound quality."  I am actually quoting that from Dangerous 2-BUS product overview on their website.


It's the same thing as mixing in analog.

At some point, if you want to mix two or three or four dozen inputs (depending on console design), you need to keep the channel faders down so that you don't overload the summing amps. It really is as simple as that.

Dangerous just wants to sell you their little mixer. Excuse me, "summing bus."

-a

Hanjong Ko:
I think I understand now.  Thanks all!  Some really good threads here.

Ian Visible:
How does "in the box" or digital summing work?

I can imagine how it works in the real world in air but I can't get my head round digital summing...or I'm trying to make it more complicated than it is.

jimmyjazz:
It's arithmetic, but unlike arithmetic with a pencil and paper, arithmetic in a computer has a maximum allowable value, since numbers have a finite length (# of bits) in that world.  Add too many numbers together and exceed that length?  Clippage.  

Imagine going to the grocery store with $200, but you take $210 worth of groceries to the cashier.  You ain't getting that 12-pack of Sierra Nevada, and consequently, you distort.

(I am actually ashamed of my simplistic explanation and my lousy metaphor, but hey, I'm watching college basketball and this was all I could muster.)

Steve Hudson:
jimmyjazz wrote on Thu, 19 March 2009 13:41
Imagine going to the grocery store with $200, but you take $210 worth of groceries to the cashier.  You ain't getting that 12-pack of Sierra Nevada, and consequently, you distort.


Brilliant analogy. And my favorite beer.

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