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Compatible Improvement of 16-Bit Systems Using Subtractive Dither

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This paper describes a practical technique and proposed standard for increasing the effective dynamic range of a 16-bit audio media such as CD to the equivalent of around 19-1/2 to 20 bits, by using a combination of noise shaping with subtractive dither. The proposed standard is fully compatible with playback via existing players without subtractive dither, and is operationally robust in studio applications. In studio use, it provides the equivalent to a 20-bit recording channel with 16-bit systems and a 24-bit channel with 20-bit systems.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society