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Measurements and Perception of Nonlinear Distortion—Comparing Numbers and Sound Quality

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The discrepancy between traditional measures of nonlinear distortion and its perception is commonly recognized. THD, two-tone and multitone intermodulation and coherence function provide certain objective information about nonlinear properties of a DUT but they do not use any psychoacoustical principles responsible for distortion perception. Two approaches to building psychoacoustically-relevant measurement methods are discussed; one is based on simulation of the hearing system.s response similar to the methods used for assessment of codec.s sound quality. The other approach is based on several ideas such as distinguishing .low-level. versus .high-level. nonlinearities, low-order versus high-order nonlinearities, and spectral content of distortion signals that occur below the spectrum of an undistorted signal versus one that overlaps the signal.s spectrum or occurs above it. Several auralization examples substantiating this approach are demonstrated.

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Scott Dorsey
Scott Dorsey

Comment posted March 17, 2018 @ 16:22:50 UTC (Comment permalink)

There's no new research in this paper, but it is absolutely great overview of all the existing research on the audibility of distortion (both harmonic and non-harmonic) up until 2007.  There is a discussion of the relative audibility of various
order harmonic products and of masking effects.  Really a nice overview of why THD and IMD aren't sufficient to characterize a system.

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