Linear pulse-code modulation

Linear Pulse-Code Modulation

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Linear pulse-code modulation

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Linear pulse-code modulation (LPCM) is a method of encoding audio information digitally. The term also refers collectively to formats using this method of encoding. The term pulse-code modulation (PCM), though strictly more general, is often used to describe data encoded as LPCM.


LPCM is a particular method of pulse-code modulation which represents an audio waveform as a sequence of amplitude values recorded at a sequence of times. LPCM is PCM with linear quantization.

LPCM represents sample amplitudes on a linear scale. LPCM specifies that the values stored are proportional to the amplitudes, rather than representing say the logarithm of the amplitude (e.g., compandingA-law/u-law), or being related in some other manner (e.g., DPCM or ADPCM). In practice these values will be quantized.

LPCM audio is coded using a combination of various parameters – such as resolution/sample size (e.g., 8, 16, 20, 24 bit, etc), frequency/sample rate (e.g., 8,000, 11,025, 16,000, 22,050, 24,000, 32,000, 44,100, and 48,000 Hz / "samples per second", etc), sign (signed or unsigned), number of channels (monaural, stereo, quadrophonic, etc) and interleaving of channels, byte order (little endian, big endian). If the sample is 16-bit signed, the sample range is from −32768 to...
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