Final Cut Pro 6 - Analog Versus Digital Meters

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Analog Versus Digital Meters

The way you set your levels with a digital meter is different from the way you set levels on
an analog meter. Compare a traditional analog audio meter with a digital audio meter:

A digital meter displays the sample values of a digital audio signal. The scale on the
meter is known as digital full scale, and the signal is measured in dBFS. On this scale,
0 dBFS represents the highest-possible sample value. Any samples above 0 dBFS are
clipped, distorting the original shape of the audio waveform. Once a signal is clipped,
the original shape of the waveform cannot be recovered.


VU meter


audio meter





















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Chapter 3

Evaluating Levels with Audio Meters




Final Cut Pro can handle digital audio levels above 0 dBFS by internally

using 32-bit floating-point resolution for all audio processing. However, when you
export or output to tape, the bit depth of your audio is usually reduced to 16 or 24 bits,
so you still need to be aware of the 0 dBFS limit.


Too much gain
causes clipping.

Clipping remains
after gain is reduced.

0 dBFS

0 dBFS

0 dBFS