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Re: Digital Distortion

Subject: Re: Digital Distortion
From: Clifford Caruthers <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 10:51:44 -0700
I disagree here.  While recording practice does specify a standard
level, mistakes happen -- extra dynamic range allows for a greater
margin of error when out in the field at 4am, in the dark...  Also,
what about recording something like a thunderstorm, or a passing train
(not nature I know).  There are definitely times when that extra
dynamic range is a great asset.

So for me it's not about the ability of the ear to discriminate, but
the tendency of the brain to make mistakes....


On Monday, June 30, 2003, at 10:21 AM, Walter Knapp wrote:

> For the actual field recording I don't see much value in greater bit
> depth. With 16 bit you have some 65000 increments of sound intensity
> available. I know back when I spent several years doing hearing testing
> that the average person does not discriminate sound levels near that
> precise. And recording practice is to adjust recorders to use pretty
> much a standard level, regardless of ambient sound levels. The dynamic
> range of a 16 bit recorder nearly always exceeds the range of the
> environment, or the rest of the recording chain. Even after we allow a
> 10 - 20 dB safety pad.

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