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Thread [Getting started] Why Headroom is Important

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Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
Premier post
1 Posted on 04/15/2014 at 16:09:21
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

Kronmeister

3 posts
New AFfiliate
2 Posted on 05/06/2014 at 00:23:28
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

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
3 Posted on 05/06/2014 at 09:52:26
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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