[sdiy] Digital is more analog than analog... and it has 319 dB headroom...

Gordonjcp gordonjcp at gjcp.net
Sun Mar 3 11:59:55 CET 2024

On Sun, Mar 03, 2024 at 10:11:04AM +0100, cheater cheater via Synth-diy wrote:
> Twelve thousand decibels of dynamic range. Another ridiculous number.
> And that's BEFORE dithering. This shows you how insipid it is to even
> think in this manner.
> This hopefully brings the point that you shouldn't be talking about
> what floating point numbers will or won't do unless you really *do*
> know, have checked the technical references, have experience and
> check your estimations at every step.

I can tell you for certain that all the really high-end audio kit uses 32-bit float for its DSP. The sort of stuff that, well, you know some people have car stereos that are worth more than the car they're fitted to, right? Did you know that you can do that with even quite a large house?

It's all 32-bit float, and that's fine. No need to go double-precision, that's just showing off. It's only going to get compressed to 128kbps MP3 and played out over a PWM DAC into inexpensive earbuds into someone's 32kHz 12-bit ear anyway.

I always think it's a bit like the folk that wax lyrical about the benefits of using "magic" capacitors, how much better their kit sounds now it's using Nichicon capacitors throughout. I guarantee you there isn't a Nichicon capacitor anywhere else in the signal chain - the gorgeous analogue desk it was mixed on is using whatever cheap off-the-shelf electrolytics Rupert Neve ordered out of the RS catalogue in a bag of 1000 that particular day.

But folk love to kid themselves on that they hear something special.


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