The measurement of magnetic transitions in a digital recording system through the application of digital signal processing is presented. The observability of the magnetization waveform in the presence of uncertainties in the readback parameters of the head is discussed. The effect of noise on the deconvolution process and algorithmic techniques for minimizing the resulting measurement errors are outlined. Finally the measurement is demonstrated for an experimental head/disk system. A procedure for inferring the dead layer depth in a Mn-Zn head is discussed and the measured is compared with some popular models.