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[Getting started] Why Headroom is Important

 
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Mike Levine

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Mike Levine
1063 posts
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1 Posted on 04/15/2014 at 16:09:21Direct link to this post
Why Headroom is Important
You’ve probably heard the term “headroom” thrown around a lot. What it is, essentially, is a margin of safety between the loudest peaks of your track — or tracks, in the case of a mix — and 0 dB on your DAW’s meter, where your signal starts to clip and digital distortion can rear its ugly head. The difference between the peaks and 0 dBFS is your headroom.

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Kronmeister

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Kronmeister
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2 Posted on 05/06/2014 at 00:23:28Direct link to this post
Very good article... on the money. Being an 'old head', I still think in terms of linear analog... but I'm getting into the 21st century!

Mike Levine

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Mike Levine
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3 Posted on 05/06/2014 at 09:52:26Direct link to this post
Thanks! I'm glad it was helpful. The idea of leaving so much headroom is definitely counterintuitive for anyone who started in the analog era. Even those who started recording when 16-bit digital was the standard were taught that getting as hot a level recorded to disk was advantageous from a signal-to-noise-ratio standpoint. Of course, you still couldn't exceed 0 dB without distortion, like you could with tape.
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