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Re: Re: Headroom for processing

Subject: Re: Re: Headroom for processing
From: Jeremiah Moore <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 19:52:29 -0700
There was an article in a recent Electronic Musician (if I'm not
mistaken?) about 32 bit floating point (which is a 24 bit mantissa
and 8 bit exponent) and 24 bit integer formats.

ProTools, fwiw, stores sound as 24 bit integer (or 16 bit, if you use
that mode) and mixes using a 56 bit accumulator.  There's an option
of a "dithered mixer" which uses a little extra DSP to dither the mix
before it's bumped back to 24 bit at the output.

Not a DSP whiz, so I leave someone else to interpret.

>  > Dan Dugan, in a reply to Klas Strandberg (about digital manipulation, =
>>  especially w.r.t normalization), wrote
>>  > In intermediate steps, you need headroom
>>  > for processing.
>>  My question: I've always assumed that most digital manipluations were d=
>>  as floating point (thus giving
>>  more headroom than even long integers could require.) Is this true? If =
>>  what are the problems with using
>>  floats?
>FWIW my own PC-based editor, Samplitude, by default performs all
>calculations in a 32-bit space, I don't remember if it's FP or integer.
>But the upshot is you never run out of headroom, signals can get much
>hotter than 0db and never clip.  It's only when the mix is 'bounced' down
>to 44/16 for CD delivery (for example) that you need to normalize so that
>no signal is hotter than 0 db...
>  aaron
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jeremiah lyman moore | san francisco | sound+media | organic, mechanized, organized sound


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