Re: Question re: levels in digital audio

Subject: Re: Question re: levels in digital audio
From: Chris Leon (
Date: Thu Oct 20 2005 - 00:14:31 EDT

It depends on the medium that you are outputting to. When I mix for TV
or Beta tape I have to keep things below -12db so as not to clip.
Broadcasters have their own specs and will refuse anything that is not
at the right level. So your video friends are half right.

here is an article on metering from sound on sound....

On 19-Oct-05, at 11:58 PM, Louis Dufort wrote:

> Don't ever believe video guys ;-)
> -12 dB (digital audio) = 0dBVU in the analog world. But "au
> contraire" in
> digital audio you want to use all those bits to gain more resolution
> of your
> signal, so from -12 to 0 dB is perfect in the digital world. Where in
> analog, from 0 to +6 dB may give some saturation and eventually
> clipping.
> So basically it's all the way around.
> BTW, you should try to always record your digital audio as much near
> possible the 0 dB to avoid any normalization. The more you leave your
> file
> alone (no dsp) the best result you have.
> cheers
> louis
> le 10/19/05 10:26 PM, Phil Thomson à a
> écrit :
>> 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?
>> PT
>> --
>> Phil Thomson, BFA, MFA
>> 0101000001101000011010010110110000100000010101000110100001101111011011
>> 01011100
>> 110110111101101110

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