Talk:dBFS

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Square or sine[edit]

Is the sine or square wave convention more popular? — Omegatron 20:47, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Sine wave s more conventional, since a true square wave requires infinite bandwidth in the analogue domain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Soundevolution (talkcontribs) 03:58, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Removed material[edit]

Although it could have taken place, making such claims need careful corroboration and it should be substantiated with evidence and not here say. This is not the first time the issues was raised at Wikipedia.

I propose speedy deletion of the following statement within 3 days. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources.

"The term dBFS was first coined in the early 1980’s by James Colotti, an analog engineer who pioneered some of the dynamic evaluation techniques of high-speed A/D and D/A Converters. Mr. Colotti first introduced the term to industry at the RF Expo East in Boston Massachusetts in November of 1987, during his presentation “Digital Dynamic Analysis of A/D Conversion Systems through Evaluation Software based on FFT/DFT Analysis”." Evinatea 05:41, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

We don't delete things just because they aren't sourced. Do you have reason to believe that it is wrong? — Omegatron 05:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Dear Omegatron, Your statement does not address the concerns. Please, understand that that text has no notability which is one of the 5 Wikipedia pillars. Evinatea 06:05, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

This is in reply to the helpme request. In fact, Evinatea is right: we do delete text that is not sourced. See the policy WP:ATT, which states: "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is whether material is attributable to a reliable published source, not whether it is true. (...) Editors should provide attribution for quotations and for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, or it may be removed. The burden of evidence lies with the editor wishing to add or retain the material." – Accordingly, I've provisionally deleted the contested text; please only reintroduce it when accompanied by a reliable source preferably in the form of a inline reference. Sandstein 06:26, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Dear Omegatron, I don't know what caused you to commit this error in judgment. Just because you are an administrator, it doesn't give you special privileges. Your status, however, does merit the benefit of the doubt.

You also need to explain to the Wikipedia community, why you believe that the definition on the dBDF page is not sufficient and that it's justified the inclusion of the external links that point out at a commercial business website, as well as, a "Jim" so and so engineer website.

These are serious issues that must be addressed right away. And thanks very much Sandstein for your reassertion of the Wikipedia terms. Evinatea 07:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're saying here, but it's obvious that you don't want Wikipedia to link to these sites. But read what Sandstein just said. Just having a Wikipedia page that says something is not really sufficient. We need to cite external sources.
While it is not, in fact, true that we delete text just because it's not sourced (we'd have to delete most of the encyclopedia!), it is very important to include references whenever possible. This allows errors in our articles to be spotted and corrected more quickly, and helps prevent vandalism or intentional deception from being interpreted as fact. — Omegatron 08:48, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


{{help me}}

Hello Omegatron, Thanks for admitting being wrong.

Now, to my next argument or point:

I have raised serious concerns of SPAM by 2 web sites. So, let me put it to you like this, since you are challenged to understand:

The text content offered by your link re-submissions do not add new definitions and in fact, they are redundant. You volunteered at Wikipedia to check for possible conflict of interests whenever external links are posted and so far, all you have done is to justify their inclusion without any other justification but your own POV.

The Jim Coletti claim issue is over and has nothing to do with the links re-instated by you also on yesterday.

And again, these reference links offer a redundant definition and might actually constitute a "conflict of interest" or SPAM.

See Wikipedia Internet guides:

Wikipedia articles should not exist only to describe the nature, appearance or services a website offers...."

The issue at hand right now is, why are those 2 links that point to conflict of interest relevant? One more thing, the JIMXXXX.com link points first at the definition dB not dBFS. Evinatea 15:52, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello - does anybody need help here? If you do, just add a question and tag with {{helpme}} again! --h2g2bob 16:06, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
As for the issue in hand, I feel the text is notable (assuming the page is) - many pages include mention of who coined the phrase. However, it could be trimmed to remove the waffle - I'd suggest "The phrase was first introduced by James Colotti during the RF Expo East in Boston Massachusetts in November of 1987." Unless you think the information is not true, I'd suggest tagging it with a {{fact}} (citation needed) tag, and someone will find a source at some point.
Wikipedia expects you cite sources for any facts which are likely to be disputed. However, as anyone can write web pages and blogs, these are not sufficient to verify the information is accurate. You should only cite reliable sources. --h2g2bob 16:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Dear H2g2bob,

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a publisher of original thought. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is whether material is attributable to a reliable published source, not whether it is true. Wikipedia is not the place to publish your opinions, experiences, or arguments.


Please refrain from making erroneous statements that may confuse the issue at hand.

{{help me}}


There were 2 issues:

First, administrator Omegatron undeleted the external links I removed several days ago because they offer a redundant definition and pointed coveniently at Rane Corp. and JimXXXX site.

Second, I took out of the page definition yesterday, a claim that had no verification (See history). Then, administrator Omegatron contentiously reverted my edit and stated: "We don't delete things just because they aren't sourced".

He has admitted being wrong on this second point but not the first one.

If you want to help H2g2bob, try to explain on behalf of Omegatron, why the use of those 2 top links (see article's external links) that were re-posted by him and which point to the Rane Corp. and an engineer's web site, merit their inclusion on the article. Period. If you can't, I politely request that you stay out of the discussion. Evinatea 17:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello again, Evinatea. Sorry for getting the wrong end of the stick. I'd support those two links being removed (per WP:EL). I don't see that the links are spam, but they add little of value, and there are probably better alternatives. What I write is my own personal view, I cannot speak for Omegatron. --h2g2bob 20:42, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Hello H2b2bob,

No problem at all. Your apology is accepted.

Please note that: "External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they can serve to identify major corporations associated with a topic

In the case of the dBFS page, the inclusion of those 2 links, do not add or expand the definition, and the Rane Corp. and Jim site are not notably related or identified with this audio engineering topic; which is in addition, a very general audio engineering term.

What we need to examine is, the need to have pages like these to exist at all.

Links like these make a small contribution, and they are also a convenient way to promote other web sites.

I propose this page to be merged as a section of dB or dBFS.

{{help me}}

This page (dBFS) has been sitting too long with these redundant links that only offer a convenient way to promote those sites and provide little value:

  1. Rane pro audio reference definition of dBFS
  2. Jim Price's "Understanding dB"

The definition of dBFS, is already covered by the page definition. Removal action is advised at once.

Administrator Omegatron has arbitrarily re-posted these links with no explanation other than he is an administrator (See his talk page on March 9) User_talk:Omegatron#dBFS.

Since he has failed to respond, and in order to avoid being blocked by this administrator, I ask another one to take a look at this and take immediate action. Evinatea 07:54, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Unexplained stuff[edit]

Can someone explain what direction the scale is in - if the clipping line is zero, does the scale go positive or negative above it? --h2g2bob 17:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

The Digital limit is -0dBFSD Evinatea 18:14, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Help request[edit]

It is not clear what whoever put the help request on this page wanted. Please put the help request on your user talk page, in a new section that carefully explains what you are having trouble with. --Selket Talk 08:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

I have deleted external links because I believe they do not provide a unique resource beyond what the article could if it were better developed. I am creating a new section here because the old discussion was getting out of hand, and I feel we should renew the discussion of the links and not each other's conduct de novo. I think these three links are a clear example of links normally to be avoided #1. If anyone disagrees, I would encourage him or her to state what "unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article" is contained in that external site. --Selket Talk 08:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Alleluia! Don't worry Mr. Selket, I am sure no one will challenge your wise decision. Best. Evinatea 08:57, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the links should be restored. They lead directly to glossary/definition pages that support the content of this page, and as such are general sources. They could easily be converted to specific citations. Can someone please reveal what the real issue is here? Those links are not generating all this heat because someone thinks they are unnecessary... John Cardinal 21:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what the real issue is. I deleted the links precisely because I thought they were unnecessary as I have done before. If these are meant to be references they should be an a "references" section, not an "external links" section and turned into inline citations and ideally replaced with more reliable sources. But as they stand (as external links) I would like to again ask the user who reverted my edits without discussion on the talk page, "what unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article" is contained in that external sites?" --Selket Talk 08:06, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello John Cardinal, If you think that those links elaborate and further expand the page definition, go ahead then, restore them. But, keep in mind that they don't add anything new to the definition and it fact constitute a clear example of links normally to be avoided #1. As soon as restore them, I'll bring it to the consensus of the administrators. Evinatea 02:04, 13 March 2007 (UTC)


If these are meant to be references they should be an a "references" section, not an "external links" section and turned into inline citations and ideally replaced with more reliable sources.

External links often serve as references, too. Just because something is formatted incorrectly doesn't mean you should delete it. Blindly deleting things based on a flawed and overly strict interpretation of guidelines is harmful to the value and credibility of the project. Please be more careful and use better judgment when deleting things in the future.

But, keep in mind that they don't add anything new to the definition and it fact constitute a clear example of links normally to be avoided #1.

Yeah. "Links to be avoided", on a guideline page. Not "Prohibited links to delete and revert war about" on a policy page.
Guidelines are not set in stone, do not apply in all circumstances, and should definitely never be used as a rationale for disruptive behavior. There are much better things you could be doing with your time than deleting useful information from our articles.
Before you do something, think: Is it harmful or beneficial to the quality of the encyclopedia? That is the fundamental, overruling principle behind all our policies and guidelines. — Omegatron 17:08, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Alternative wording[edit]

To get back on the task of actually writing an encyclopedia article, here is a proposed change in the wording that we should consider. I already added part of it. — Omegatron 17:10, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Just be aware of copyvio issues -- unless of course you are John Phillips. -- Selket Talk 21:18, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

dBov[edit]

dBov or dBO is another measurement in decibels related to the overload level. Is this similar enough that we can cover them in the same article? — Omegatron 21:00, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict) To be honest, the decibel system is the logarithmic measuring system of signals compared to some reference. dBov, dBfs, etc. are just different ways of specifying what the reference is. They should probably all be merged with and redirected to decibel. --Selket Talk 21:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Decibel is a huge article that needs to be split. It already has summaries of each of the units, but many have enough detail to merit their own articles. dBFS, dBov, dBO are all essentially the same thing, though. — Omegatron 23:43, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Relationship to analog levels[edit]

Though any relationship to analog levels is of course arbitrary, there are apparently standards for certain types of equipment:

  • In Digital-Analogue conversion, a number of different conversion levels have become more-or-less standard. The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) have defined 0dBFS digital to mean +18dBu analogue after conversion. The USA prefers that 0dBFS = +24dBu because that provides 20dB headroom above 0VU. A few dissidents prefer +25dBu as that's 1dB better than +24...........

    CD players have evolved a standard output of 2v analogue for 0dBFS, but as far as I'm aware, there is no official standard for this.

    — [1]


Gentlemen, Wikipedia can not establish conventions, only cite them. I was in favor of deleting the external links from the dBFS page simply because they didn't add further value to the meaning of the term (Sorry Omegatron), and the websites providing "reference", well, someone else can argue that his/her website have a better definition (Even though it would be in essence the same) and therefore should be also listed. With that logic, soon enough , you'll see 1000 links from websites explaining the same meaning on and on. When does it stop?

And who has the "authority" to decide who's in and who's out. It just doesn't make any sense. My point is use the KISS principle .

So again, I would like to see a dB page listing all the possible known derivatives like dBFS in one page, as a simple solution. Evinatea 02:19, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

That page is Decibel#Typical_abbreviations. — Omegatron 03:33, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

You created the dBFS page knowing that there was a dB page with all the derivatives? You know what? Do whatever you want. Evinatea 14:35, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Of course. What's the problem? — Omegatron 21:27, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
For the record, this is a perfectly normal way to organize articles, similar to Wikipedia:Summary style. — Omegatron 14:33, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

dBFS vs full scale[edit]

Could someone please explain the difference between dBFS and Full scale? Are they the same thing? Should they be merged?

Straussian (talk) 14:13, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

"Full scale" includes analog signals while "dBFS" does not. Inclusion of the other topic in "See Also" is probably enough. Binksternet (talk) 02:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

"A signal that reaches 50% of the maximum level would peak at -6 dBFS" - huh?[edit]

Is this statement correct? If the reference value is L, 50% of maximum level will be 0.5L, so the level will be: 10log(0.5L/L) = 10log(0.5) = -3.01 (approx). Am I right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.161.71.242 (talk) 11:29, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

You are getting -3.01 because you are using a natural logarithm instead of a base 10 logarithm, but that statement is still poorly explained. The varying conventions mean that a measurement in dBFS can't be as abstract as the example implies. If the example signal is arbitrary and the convention is unknown, then you can't say accurately that the highest peak will be at -6dBFS. "Maximum level" doesn't mean anything. Radiodef (talk) 19:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually, my bad. The log button on the calculator I used did not label the base and I assumed that meant base e. That is what I get for blindly punching numbers in and not reading the documentation. In any case, power = coefficient of 10, amplitude = coefficient of 20. RMS is still a measure of amplitude, and still uses 20. My observation is that level is not a technical term and peak is not a generality. They are really only put together on meters, and most meters only tell you half of what they are actually doing. Radiodef (talk) 01:33, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
You're using a power equation. The equation for level is 20log(0.5). See Decibel#Field_quantities. -—Kvng 18:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)