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16.  Meters Matter  Part 2:  Keep Your Levels Strong.   7/19/12 by Dave Immer

With audio codecs, strong levels are key because of the nature of the coding process. Most algorithms “mask” bit-reduction noise within the waveforms. This psychoacoustic masking works much better when the signal is strong (but not too hot).

Look at your codec encode (input) meters. Adjust your input feed so the meters are peaking up near the top of the scale, around –6 or –4dB. This will minimize system noise and coding artifacts and will give the engineer at the far-end the best quality audio to work with. Avoid hitting the 0dB mark (end of the scale.)

Similarly, confirm that you are receiving a strong signal from the far-end.

Let me know if you have questions or comments about setting levels. Thanks,

-Dave