'Normalization' of PCM audio - subjectively benign? 2006-08-30 01:47:13 Hi All,A thread back in March discussed whether normalization of WAV files is 'lossy', and I remember that no-one thought to point out that operative word is actually 'destructive'.Digital processing of PCM audio such as normalization, compression (or expansion), equalisation, etc' is 'destructive', not 'lossy', although both mean 'irreversable'. It has to be said, this seems as much a matter of semantics or even philosophy as much as exact engineering terminology.Anyway, this is of some interest to me, I'm using a 24-bit ADC to record from vinyl (and taking it pretty seriously as an archiving project - I get one shot at some discs, so I want to do it right), and as it happens there is insufficient gain on the line from the phono-amp I'm using to it to get close to 0dB with some discs, many peak at -6, -8, even -12 dB.However, even -20 dB or more in 24 bits is greater than 16-bits of resolution. A 24-bit recording which peaks at, say, -16dB, can be 'normalized' to 0dB, and will *still* have information below digital silence in 16-bits, and ideally require dither on conversion.Obviously I could use a preampifier in addition to the phono-stage to get around the level issues, but I'd rather keep to the 'minimal' signal path I'm using now.What I'd like to ask people here is; in their experience, is normalization completely 'benign', sonically? Are the algoritms used in different applications much the same, or are some better than others?R.