Setting active speaker levels

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of [XAP]Bob [XAP]Bob 6 years, 7 months ago.

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    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    Post disappeared…

    Oh well – here it is again (ish)

    I agree in a recording situation – where levels are generally consistent enough to squeeze lots of bits 😉 (and you want those bits in order to do uncountable numbers of post processing steps to the audio).

    In a live environment then I could/should probably run more compression, but there is much more scope for musicians to be energised by the crowd/congregation/spirit and drastically increase their output (usually vocalists, but others suffer as well)

    The current bit depth (24bits) is 2^8=256 times greater than the dynamic range of the human ear (which is the ultimate target).
    I’ll happily sacrifice quite alot of that to give myself an excess of headroom (which is used when someone screams one line…)

    There is also the question of how hot to run preamps/ADCs as opposed to buses internally and the final DAC… I tend to have to set the preamps early in the soundcheck and then not touch (in ear users get rightly cross), so I have to give a judged amount of headroom.

    Is the QU 24 bits fixed internally – or is that just the external interface and it’s really 48 bit fp internally? I don’t know…

    Profile photo of JD

    I don’t know digital, but it would seem of there were not a benefit to running the gain / level / output above some nominal level – say above some minimum – then that option would not be needed, that is, just get it in the green and be done. Instead, we have quite a range barely between getting in the green – through all the amber until into the red. All that mid-range would be of no value … but it’s there so I’m going to assume that like analogue, there is a value to maintaining a strong – but not clipping – signal.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    There is, don’t get me wrong. There is also a difference between analogue and digital in the failure mode when that red light comes on.

    CDs are 16 bits deep because that more than covers the human ear. We can use deeper bit depth for head room when live and to push the noise floor down for when we are going to do hundreds of post processing tasks in a recording environment…

    Because I almost exclusively do live work I tend towards buying headroom with my bit depth, rather than buying a deeper noise floor for post processing.

    It’s not that one is right and the other wrong – They are different things that can be achieved with the tools available.

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