Many photonic sensors produce signals that are not a linear function of the stimulus. For example, radiation sensors' may produce an exponential decay response. Similarly, the Faraday current2, microwave3, Kerr voltage4, and VISAR5 sensors all produce a sinusoidal response. A perfect recorder system would reproduce the signal exactly. However, all real recorders introduce noise and bandwidth attenuation. The bandwidth response, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio of the decoded data depend on the manner in which the data are encoded. This paper will analyze the various encoding techniques and their effects on data recording. Both simulated and experimental data will be presented which illustrate the effects of encoding on the dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio, and bandwidth of a signal. The data will illustrate the advantage of recording phase encoded signals.