[ardour-users] peak identifier

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Oct 4 17:30:59 PDT 2005

> But think of it this way: If 0db on a channel meter represents 100% of
> what the system can do then:
> 1) Is there any value at all to going higher?

when sending data to a physical output port, none.
for intermediate signal routing, sure. there is some loss of precision
when going over the 0dB level, but very little as long as you don't go
way over. for bus submixes, its an invaluable and by now standard way to
avoid digital clipping.

> 2) I can raise volumes on individual tracks so that they meter above
> 0db. Am I distorting that audio, or am I just going above some
> predefined level?

a 32 bit float has 24 bits available for the mantissa, so we can store
any 24 bit sample value without loss of any precision. if you mix two
maxed out 24 bit values together, we have to start to use the exponent
part (its no longer 1), and the precision starts to drop slightly.

> 3) If I'm not distorting that specific audio then how high can it go
> before I do?

louder than you can imagine before it actually clips. the theoretical
headroom is enormous.


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