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Thread: Resolution of sound decreases by pulling down faders .....is there any such concept ?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by several folks
    each bit represents 6dB
    So I know the bitwise math on that: adding one bit doubles the range of numbers you can represent (e.g. 4 bits is 0-15, 5 bits is 0-31)

    I'm still a little lost on the 6 dB thing. A "bel" is defined as a perceived doubling in volume, so a decibel is 1/10th of that. But 6 dB is a doubling of the signal strength on the line then? 3 dB is supposed to be double the air coming out of the speaker or something too, isn't it?

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    "I'm still a little lost on the 6 dB thing. A "bel" is defined as a perceived doubling in volume, so a decibel is 1/10th of that. But 6 dB is a doubling of the signal strength on the line then? 3 dB is supposed to be double the air coming out of the speaker or something too, isn't it? "

    "Six dB" in this context referrers to a signal voltage (decoded output) "Three" dB is a doubling of power or intensity (10 log.ratio instead of 20log)

    We perceive sound loudness as sound pressure and that is analogous (Boom! Boom!) to voltage.

    Dave.

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    A Bel is the unit of measurement that Bell Labs created to measure changes in sound pressure. It's named Bel as a tribute to Alexander Graham Bell. Basically all they did was lose one of the "l's" but kept the capital "B" intact to indicate a proper noun.

    They found it too big to be convenient to use so they created the decibel, or dB as one tenth of a Bel. (Imagine measuring the diameter of guitar strings in kilometers) On its own it's simply a logarithmic ratio of change. It means more when you apply it to a specific scale - dBu, dB SPL, dBfs etc.

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    The real truth is that rounding errors do affect all of our signals, not just the quietest ones. The following is not exactly how it works, but close enough if you squint.

    Assume our signal swings between -1 and 1. Assume our chose bit depth allows us 5 decimal places of precision - about like 16bit. The largest signal we can represent short of all the way on is going to be 0.99999. Turn that down 20db, and we have 0.09999. Turn it back up 20db, and you've got 0.99990. That's a rounding error. You really have decreased the the dynamic range of the signal by 20db. You might not really hear that noise on louder signals because it's small compared to everything else going on, but it's there, and at -80db, it's starting to be noticeable.

    But a 32 bit floating point mix engine gives us 19 decimal places! In order to "reduce the resolution" back to the "16 bits" we had above, we have to turn it down by 260db and then turn it back up. In some of my noise work, I do stupid shit like that, but in the real world you'll never notice it.

    To the OP - the gain plugin (or whatever gain control is available in your DAW) does exactly the same thing as the fader, so adjust it where it makes sense to you. There are good reasons to shoot for keeping your faders around 0, but loss of resolution is not one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    So I know the bitwise math on that: adding one bit doubles the range of numbers you can represent (e.g. 4 bits is 0-15, 5 bits is 0-31)

    I'm still a little lost on the 6 dB thing. A "bel" is defined as a perceived doubling in volume, so a decibel is 1/10th of that. But 6 dB is a doubling of the signal strength on the line then? 3 dB is supposed to be double the air coming out of the speaker or something too, isn't it?
    A 2:1 power ratio is 3dB. A 2:1 voltage ratio is 6dB. It's tied up with voltage/current/power relationships.

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  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt
    But a 32 bit floating point mix engine gives us 19 decimal places! In order to "reduce the resolution" back to the "16 bits" we had above, we have to turn it down by 260db and then turn it back up. In some of my noise work, I do stupid shit like that, but in the real world you'll never notice it.
    Until you write the output file back to fixed point. That's where dither is handy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow lizard View Post
    Until you write the output file back to fixed point. That's where dither is handy.
    But you aren't playing with faders after that point, so it doesn't have much to do with the OP's concerns.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farview View Post
    But you aren't playing with faders after that point, so it doesn't have much to do with the OP's concerns.
    Agreed. Again, keeping the faders at zero for "resolution concerns" sounds like a myth.

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    Home recording is surrounded and infiltrated by myths that become legends.
    Knowledge of maths helps with understanding but in the end those without the maths need to rely on experience and/or someone they trust.
    At least the OP had somewhere to ask the Q though it wasn't pressing enough a matter to return to quickly.
    I see Garww was off the leash long enough to do what he does best - make no sense whatsoever.

  11. #30
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    I've haven't see ANY link to where this fader thing came from, so I'll stick with peak to peak. I would enjoy Mr. Tutorial's explanation about the gain plug, though

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