Navigation:  Record Control > Concepts of Digital Audio >


Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

After measuring an analog input signal at fixed time intervals we have a stream of samples. The samples exist in terms of a voltage measured at a certain point in time. The voltage can usually be one of an infinite number of possible voltages within the legal voltage range. Computers cannot accurately describe every single one of the infinite number of possibilities, so it is necessary to divide the voltage range of interest into fixed sized regions. All voltages within one region are given a certain number during the quantization process. If we have a large number of regions which implies a larger number of discrete voltage levels, we can describe a voltage more accurately than with fewer voltage levels. The audio CD is quantized with 65536 voltage levels, which is the maximum number of levels possible to archive with a binary number with 16 bits. Thus we say that the Audio CD has 16 bit resolution. Modern recording studios are frequently using 24 bit resolution or even higher during the mastering process.