0db: 20vpp?


not sure about the text on voltage standard VCV Manual - Voltage Standards

To output 0db (i.e. 1.0/-1.0 in digital) the signal should be ±10v? I.e. 20vpp?

Isn’t rack standard on hardware module 10vpp (i.e. ±5v) for audio signal?

Thanks for the infos


Also correct. That means that a sine oscillator should be -6.02 dB peak.

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This is kind of a different convention between “digital” and “analog”. Analog used to have headroom above 0 db - quite a lot of it! So you would see things that clipped at +12, event +20 and higher.

Unfortunately for us, 16 bit (and worse) digital audio made everyone move to 0 db is clipping - no headroom at all.

This no headroom thing had been an abomination that continues to this day. Luckily standards like k-12 and even k-20 are brining headroom back.

If you turn down your master level before sending it to VCV Audio, you can have tons of headroom. The dynamic range of float32 is… 1500dB or something ridiculous. And most 24-bit DACs have ~100dB dynamic range so you’ll rarely hear a noise floor with 24dB or so peak headroom.

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Yes, of course, but a lot of modules won’t work right with -20 db signals, will they? That was always the problem with daws. They work down there, but vu meters, compressors, wave shapers may not work well or at all with super low levels.

Isn’t that why many plugins have input gain knobs?

There is no need to reduce signals you process with Rack modules until you send the signal to VCV Audio. The Output Saturation standard says that modules should either model analog saturation or not clip at all.

All DAWs I’ve used will not clip audio until sending audio to an audio interface. You can even send a +24dB audio signal to a VST plugin without clipping if it’s designed to handle signals that hot.

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