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Bit Depth?

What does bit depth relate to?


dpd Mon, 10/09/2006 - 18:27
The maximum dynamic range that can be captured and expressed, roughly 6 dB per bit. Additionally, greater bit depths (e.g. 24 vs 16) allows the system to resolve smaller amplitude differences.

With 24 bit depth, one does not need to worry so much about recording 'hot' - 24 bit provides (theoretically) ~144 dB dynamic range. 16 bit ~96 dB. One can leave almost 48 dB of headroom and still have 16 bits of signal to play with. Leave a few bits (18-20 dB) of headroom with 24 bit and, depending on the quality of the rest of the recording chain, you have ample dynamic range beyond 16 bits.