You wrote *"**unless it's made in an anacholic chamber"*
I think you meant "anechoic".
An alcoholic chamber is where they used to record Dean Martin :-)
2012/10/19 Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> Hi Henry:
> My rules of thumb when transferring from analog sources:
> 1. don't overdo levels at any stage of the analog chain. Know your gain
> stages, know your headroom on all pieces of equipment, work accordingly.
> 2. always transfer at high resolution, 96/24 seems to be the resolution
> specified in most grant-funded projects on which I've worked. I believe it
> is the standard specified by NARAS. Working at 24-bit allows you to be
> conservative with ingestion levels.
> 3. since almost all DSP effects ultimate digital levels, you want to leave
> plenty of headroom in your raw ingestion file. I never go above -6dBfs peak
> level, and usually stick well below that. I am conservative with DSP, so
> I've never had a problem where something like NR, EQ or tick and pop
> removal brings the peak level anywhere near digital zero. If you're more
> heavy-handed, give yourself more headroom to be safe.
> 4. final "master" product should be peak-normalized. There has been some
> controversy about this over the years, mainly because cheaper-design CD
> players' post-DAC analog stages have no headroom and thus audibly distort
> before digital zero, plus there are problems with "rips" to MP3 and other
> lossy formats. Being conservative, I normalize peak levels to -1dBfs for
> non-dynamic content (ie rock music) and -0.5dBfs for very dynamic content
> (ie well-recorded classical music). There were some "toothpaste-compressed"
> analog products back in the day, especially rock albums late in the LP era.
> Those sources are best normalized to a peak level of -2dBfs so they seem a
> little bit less "super-loud" when played back with other material or
> combined into iPod playlists. They'll still seem "too loud" compared to
> well-produced audio.
> So one question that comes up in all of this is "what is 0VU on my console
> as far as dBfs in my DAW"? Assuming 0VU = +4dBm, and you have your mixing
> console set accordingly, I think you're safe with 0 = -12dBfs, but I think
> one more conservative standard out there calls for 0 = -14dBfs. I can't see
> how that hurts in a high-resolution digital environment, so nowadays I'd
> advise go for the more conservative standard. In reality, there is NO
> content that's really "90dB" unless it's made in an anacholic chamber, and
> no one would want to listen to it. The best classical music has about a
> 30-40dB dynamic range as far as audible ppp to audible fff (yes, it's
> possible to get 60dB in a good quiet venue using digital recording, but
> very few listeners will be able to hear that without riding the volume
> control). Well-recorded jazz can be in the 12-15dB dynamic range, sometimes
> a bit more. Rock music rarely has dynamic range of more than 6dB ("half as
> loud to twice as loud"). Toothpaste-mastered stuff literally has less than
> 1dB dynamic range, it's just an annoying onslaught of sound.
> I'm interested in other comments. Are others operating under very
> different rules of thumb?
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Henry Borchers" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 9:51 AM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Analog to digital dBFS standards
> Hello all,
> I've been hitting a brick wall with my research and I was hoping that with
> all the experts here, someone could point me in the right direction. Iím
> currently looking for research done on digital reference levels. I am
> particularly interested in looking for references related to the amount of
> headroom standards digital audio archivists and audio digitization
> technicians use in their digital masters and the digital level dBFS that
> analog equipment have been calibrated to. Iíve been able to find a lot of
> references about dBFS standards when it comes to audio for DVD, TV, and
> cinema (such as SMPTE standards) but not much for the digitization of audio
> only content. I have been having trouble locating good research regarding
> this area and I was hoping someone here could point me in the right
> Henry Borchers
> Broadcast Media Digitization Librarian
> University of Maryland
> B0221D McKeldin Library
> College Park, MD 20742
> (301) 405-0725
*sent from my ringing donkey*