Question re: levels in digital audio

Subject: Question re: levels in digital audio
From: Phil Thomson (
Date: Wed Oct 19 2005 - 22:26:27 EDT

Hi all,

I should probably know this, but I have a question about levels in
digital audio. In my own work, I've always normalized my digital audio
stuff to 0 dB or similar levels, and have never had any problem with
distortion or clipping while running my levels at close to 0 dB, but
lately I've been hearing that -12 dB is the maximum level that you
should shoot for, because clipping is introduced at even -6 or -8 dB.
Is this only true of DAT or DV, or is it the case for digital audio
across the board? I've *never* heard any clipping in my own work (on
the computer), but the video folks I'm hanging with now claim that -12
dB is the new 0 dB. What's up?


Phil Thomson, BFA, MFA

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