I’ve not used Ardour much, but am begining to look at it. I saw the meters, and it appears that the meters go up to 0, then to something above 4. In my ‘simple’ familiarization test, I got peak values that were above 0…
So, what is the meaning of this indicator?
The meters in Ardour do represent dBFS values. However, Ardour represents sample values internally as 32-bit floating point values, where 0dBFS is represented by a sample value of +/-1.0. In contrast to a representation using integer types, it is possible to have values above 0dBFS using floating point. In fact, you have several hundred dB of headroom available.
The only caveat is that your signal must somehow be reduced below 0dBFS before it reaches your D/A converters, or the output will be clipped.