Thursday, February 5, 2009

Signal Level Management on Digital Consoles -- Part 2

The Search for Agent 0

There is a big difference between the meters on most analog and digital consoles. The meters on most digital consoles are dBFS (Full Scale) and represent how much headroom you have left in the signal path. When you reach the "Over" (red) point on your digital meters, you have no headroom left in the signal path and the signal will clip. On the other hand, when you reach the "Peak" (red) point on your analog meters, you still have about 3dB's of headroom remaining before the signal begins to clip.

So where is the unity point on my digital meters?

The unity point on your digital console will vary by manufacturer. However, on almost all of the newer Yamaha digital consoles, the unity point is found at -20dBFS. The only exceptions are the DM1000, DM2000, and 02R. On these units, the unity point is found at -18dBFS -14dBFS.

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