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Term: Bit depth (audio)

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Term: Bit depth (audio)

Bit depth (aka "word length") fixes the encoded dynamic range of an audio event or item. 24-bit audio provides a dynamic range that approaches the limits of the dynamic ranges of sound encountered in nature; in contrast, 16-bit audio, the CD standard, may be inadequate for many types of material especially where high level transients are encoded, such as the transfer of damaged discs. When reformatting, the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) recommends a bit depth of at least 24 in order to ensure that the transfer process captures the full dynamic range.
Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Objects, August 2004 (IASA TC 04)
See also:
Dynamic range