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Full Code

A phrase used in digital audio applications that means a full digital signal. Digital devices (in theory) have a very finite and exact amount of dynamic range depending upon how many bits are used in recording (8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit, etc). A Full Code signal is the maximum theoretical output of a given digital device. This is when all of the one’s and zero’s of the digital signal become one’s for a given sample. There is no room for any more amplitude once Full Code is reached. If any more level is applied to A/D converters once Full Code has been reached they will produce numeric values that will result in massive distortion of the signal. Of course, you must remember that there are over 44 thousand such samples per second (depending upon your sample rate) so any one sample going over Full Code is not going to be audible. A few hundred or thousand clipped samples, however, is quite audible.

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