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CD-R and Audio Hardware => Audio Hardware => Topic started by: Jan S. on 26 May, 2003, 02:57:54 PM

Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Jan S. on 26 May, 2003, 02:57:54 PM
For everybody fighting with occasional clipping (or perfectionists wanting to test everything) you should try the attached sample, udial.

Testing:The output will sound really weird if your settings clip.
Your output can occasional clip without you knowing/hearing it. But for us perfectionists this will theoretically give a better quality output.

ATTENTION: Play this sample at a low volume anytime, even if you hear nothing special! It can be very harmful to equipment and/or your ears.
It's strongly recommended to use some very cheap (PC) speakers if you want to test this,
otherwise you might really ruin your tweeters (it has happened several times already).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: grbmusic on 26 May, 2003, 03:03:30 PM
I'll try it and then I tell about it!!!
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: grbmusic on 26 May, 2003, 03:19:08 PM
It's a kind of joke??? With foobar is imposible to set for listen without the weird ugly distortion, even lowing the level of the soundcard to minimum. I only can listen normaly with Resampler (SSRS) plugin on (Resampler settings: Target sample rate: 48000, Internal Precision 64bit). With this settings I can set my soundcard to maximum levels (wave and play control) with any distortion.  . Note: for this test I disabled all DSP and Replay Gain except the Resampler (SSRS) plugin.
Jan S. tell me if I made well the test, thanks in advance.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: atici on 26 May, 2003, 03:25:04 PM
I listened to it OK with all my DSP plugins off, it sounded like it clips in the middle but there's no distortion. It sounds like someone dialing  I tried all volume levels and it sounded the same  with same clip in the middle. But then I turned on my DSPs and it sounded very different.  I don't know what you meant by weird but it wasn't like phone dialing anymore. Then my QCD player crashed  I use a stereo-link external USB audio device.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Jan S. on 26 May, 2003, 03:26:18 PM
Quote
It's a kind of joke??? With foobar is imposible to set for listen without the weird ugly distortion, even lowing the level of the soundcard to minimum. I only can listen normaly with Resampler (SSRS) plugin on (Resampler settings: Target sample rate: 48000, Internal Precision 64bit). With this settings I can set my soundcard to maximum levels (wave and play control) with any distortion.  . Note: for this test I disabled all DSP and Replay Gain except the Resampler (SSRS) plugin.
Jan S. tell me if I made well the test, thanks in advance.

what you can conclude from your test is that you should always use 48kHz.
With my soundcard I need to use 48kHz too.

btw.: did you need 64bit? isn't 32bits enough?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Jan S. on 26 May, 2003, 03:28:42 PM
Quote
it sounded like it clips in the middle but there's no distortion.

Tecnically it's clipping you should hear if something is wrong; but to me it doesn't sound like normal clipping but very distorted (not clean dialing sounds anymore).
If it does anything fishy and doesn't just sound like dealing something is not right.

edit: dealing --> dialing
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: grbmusic on 26 May, 2003, 03:44:29 PM
Quote
what you can conclude from your test is that you should always use 48kHz.
With my soundcard I need to use 48kHz too.

btw.: did you need 64bit? isn't 32bits enough?

I don't know why but only I can hear well with the Resampler plugin on and set to 48000 or up. I guess that my soundcard resample to 48000, it's an old SB 512 PCI. About the 64 bits setting, when I installed foobar in my system I was set to 64 bits and I just forget it  , but I can hear any difference between the two sets (32 and 64 bits internal precision) and I don't really knows what is the differences between both. Can you tell me about it? I try it resampling to 44100 or less and the sounds in horribly, only works with 48000 or more.
Another curiosity, when I listen throught my receiver with Dolby Surround Pro- Logic on, I can listen the dial sound in front and center channel, and another sounds (like a laser gun) coming from the rear channels but a few milisecs later. It's weird
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: boojum on 26 May, 2003, 03:54:46 PM
I am not sure about the distortion.  I do get the weird sounds regardless of volume level.  But it sure drives my dogs nuts.  They really freak.     
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 26 May, 2003, 04:47:04 PM
19.5 kHz !
At full power in headphones, I heard a 19.5 kHz sine 

...and my hearing doesn't go past 16 kHz 

Edit : be careful, don't fry your tweeters with this ultrasonic sample.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Thikasabrik on 26 May, 2003, 05:44:33 PM
Well... it looks as if it isn't clipping for me. Btw, if you want to know what it sounds like when it clips, I managed to get what I think is the correct effect by adding the soft clipping limiter dsp in foobar. The touch-tones get completely screwed up.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: ben on 26 May, 2003, 06:08:38 PM
Yeah, I just clipped my ears with the 19.5khz tone.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: outscape on 26 May, 2003, 10:25:03 PM
Quote
19.5 kHz !
At full power in headphones, I heard a 19.5 kHz sine  

...and my hearing doesn't go past 16 kHz  

Edit : be careful, don't fry your tweeters with this ultrasonic sample.

same here, except that i didn't need to hear it in full volume, and i can hear it pumping as well

if you're using headphones, do not turn up the volume 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Rizban76 on 26 May, 2003, 11:27:20 PM
I suppose my sound card is really screwed up. I can only hear the sample normallyy if I resample at 32000 Hz or below.  44.1 Hz and above and I get the "laser beam" sound at any volume.
I have a C-Media sound chip on my motherboard which is relatively recent.
Any ideas?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: fewtch on 26 May, 2003, 11:45:20 PM
MonkeysAudio is so annoying.  No separate WinAMP plugin?  Baah, I'm not installing a 3 meg package to play back this sample.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Mr. Mulder on 27 May, 2003, 02:29:50 AM
If you give me an email address I cand send you "MAC Winamp Plugin (PIMP).zip" (92,0 KB)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: anza on 27 May, 2003, 02:58:44 AM
When I have foobars resampler on and set to 48kHz or more, the sound I hear is WEIRD. It sounds like aliens trying to communicate with me  And on each samplerate the sound's different. With 44kHz and 96kHz I only hear a high frequency tone there, beginning a short time before one second mark (same position where the alien sounds come on other samplerates). Under 44kHz, the file sounds normal. My soundcard is an old SoundBlaster PCI128 and I'm using Kernel Streaming in foobar. I tried with DirectSound and I got nearly same results, only the alien sound was a little bit different, and I got a "humming" voice on the background when playing the sample.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LPTB on 27 May, 2003, 03:08:47 AM
Quote
I tried with DirectSound and I got nearly same results, only the alien sound was a little bit different, and I got a "humming" voice on the background when playing the sample.

Maybe they are getting desperate to reach you (the aliens I mean); LOL
Can't wait to get to work to try it out, at work I have some ultra cheep integrated sound chip, willl see how it fares.

EDIT: spelling
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: KikeG on 27 May, 2003, 03:13:39 AM
Ugh! I hear too annoying ultra-high pitched tones. That's strange, since the high pitched tones are at the region between 19.3 KHz and 20.4 KHz, and I can hear just up to 18 KHz or 18.5 KHz at insane levels. Now I'm playing with a mid-quality motherboard card. I think the tones may be getting audible due to some intermodulation distortion going on at playback, because I can hear those high freq tones just when the lower freq phone tones are sounding, but not when alone (Not true, see edit). I'll try at home, using a higher quality card, and also measuring the output of the card, and try to see what's going on.

FB2K resampler causes obvious audible distortion if you put the attenuator before the resampler, but not the inverse. I wonder why?

Edit: the low frequency phone tones have nothing to do, since filtering them the high freq tones remain audible.
Edit: the problem must be at the card I'm using now, because with it I can hear 19 KHz pure tones, and at home with my better card I couldn't, at least last times I tried.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Mac on 27 May, 2003, 03:30:29 AM
Ugh, you should put a warning when you post samples that sound horrible, listening to that loud makes me want to barf

Heh, my vile AC'97 chip plays it fine all the way up to winamp 100% & sound properties 100%.  No silly resampling options or 256 bit precision

I'd love to know what it sounds like when it's "wrong"... cuz that sounds more than a little unpleasant to me
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: freakngoat on 27 May, 2003, 03:45:10 AM
That is the craziest sample ever. How does it work?

When I first played it on my Audigy, I got the weird alien sounds. I discovered that removing the soft-clipping limiter filter in foobar removes the alien sounds. Not only that, the weird alien sounds sound different depending on if the filter is before or after the resampler filter. Also with the resampler off I get the alien sounds and crackling sounds, but they all go away when SSRC 48kHz resampling's on - attributing to the Audigy's crappy built-in resampler...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halcyon on 27 May, 2003, 04:29:57 AM
What a useful sample!

My results for Audigy 2 Platinum eX using WinAmp 2.91:

Asio 0.26i - no sound (can't get it to work at all)
DirectSound 2.2.26 - Horrible clipping distortion regardless of Creative Control Panel Master or Wave volume controls
Exp. DirectSound 1.37 - as above
Simple KS Output - as above
WaveOut 2.0.2a - as above
WaveOut 2.0.1 SSRC 48/16 - hi-freq distortion replaced by low-freq hum (kicks in after 0.7 secs or so)!
WaveOut 2.0.1 SSRC 48/24 - as above
WaveOut 2.0.1 SSRC 96/24 - as above

The results above stay mostly the same, if I switch to Foobar 2K. ASIO/KernelStream will not play 44.1kHz without resampling. Asio/KernelStream/WaveOut are either horribly distorted (at 44.1kHz or don't play) or get the low frequency hum artifact (when resampled to 48kHz or beyond). This is regardless of which output is selected.

Only DirectSound at 96 kHz resampling (32 or 64 bits) is ALMOST without the distortion AND completely without the low frequency hum. There is still tiny amount of high frequency distortion at these settings.

I can get rid of this last trace (I think) of distortion by reducing the Master volume control to c. 50% and the same for Wave/mp3 playback volume (both in Creative Surround mixer). These are not exact figures, as I didn't have time to test all percentile value combinations one by one. I still have to connect the Audigy 2 to my main testing rig to verify whether the distortion was just masked or truly eliminated. At least it's not horribly audible anymore.

My results for RME DIGI 96/8 PAD with FooBar 2K 0.62 using ASIO (no resampling or dsps active):

No clipping/distortion/hum regardless of volume, Attenuation or other controls in RME Digi Settings Control panel

I can conclude that the best of Creative right now (Audigy 2 Platinum eX) is still not good enough for critical listening if it produces artifacts like this. The difference between RME and Audigy 2 Platinum eX at default (or 'normal') settings is unbelievable.

One really has to hear it with their own ears to believe it.

regards,
Halcyon

PS My guess is that the aliasing intermodulation distortion in Creative's card is to blame for this artifact. Finally I have an example sample that I can give people to when they complain that RMAA IMD measurements are unfair (and 'theoretical') towards Creative products.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Garf on 27 May, 2003, 05:23:33 AM
Quote
Finally I have an example sample that I can give people to when they complain that RMAA IMD measurements are unfair (and 'theoretical') towards Creative products.

The sample itself is also largely theorethical. If present in real music, many people would be left with smoking tweeters.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 27 May, 2003, 05:59:28 AM
Great work! I knew before that my onboard VIA AC'97 sound needs 48KHz input, but now I know how Windows Volume sliders need to be set ... really nice.

Here some samples to compare (lowpassed versions of the test sample)

Correct (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/correct.mpc) - This is how it should sound.

The next samples are the the original sample amplified by +x.x dB to cause audible clipping and lowpassed afterwards.
Clipping +0.1 dB (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/clipping%200.1.mpc)
Clipping +0.2 dB (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/clipping%200.2.mpc)
Clipping +0.5 dB (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/clipping%200.5.mpc)
Clipping +1.5 dB (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/clipping%201.5.mpc)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Rasi on 27 May, 2003, 06:01:07 AM
the squirling reminds me of a bird singing.... guess thats not normal
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Gabriel on 27 May, 2003, 06:25:49 AM
On this computer I get a birdy sound, depending on the mixer configuration.
If I higher the overall volume but reduce the wav volume, it is ok
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: fragtal on 27 May, 2003, 07:42:32 AM
Does somebody have .flac version of this sample or can somebody recommend a small ape winamp plugin?

thanks, fragtal
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 27 May, 2003, 07:49:08 AM
udial.flac (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/udial.flac)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: fragtal on 27 May, 2003, 07:52:24 AM
Quote
udial.flac (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/udial.flac)

thanks! that was quick
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halcyon on 27 May, 2003, 08:15:16 AM
Garf,

Why is this sample theoretical? Can you elaborate? I'm not claiming it's not, but I'm interested in your opinion. Further, why would it result in blown tweeters? Do you think that aliasing intermodulation causing D/A-converters are so commonplace or is ther another reason? I'm willing to learn more.

Also, does anybody know the source of this sample?

Just out of curiosity I burned the sample to an audio cd and tried playback on my portable Panasonic SL-CT780 and my DVD player Philips SA-962. Panasonic has audible noise (static) in burst over the sample. Philips SA-962 plays back the sample faultlessly (at least to my ear).

This reminds me of another interesting sample I have on Digital Recordings' "CD-Check" cd. It also produces audible static type noise on most sound cards and on my Panasonic portable CD-player.

I can upload that, if anybody's interested.

I also tried the DirectSound Resampling plugin v.2.2.6 for Winamp 2.x and the results remain the same: horrible distortion regardless of volume settings.

Regards,
Halcyon

PS Monkey's Audio Winamp 2.xx plug-in without the full Ape 3.97 download (only 116 kB):

http://www.geocities.com/feedthedead/in_ape.zip (http://www.geocities.com/feedthedead/in_ape.zip)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 27 May, 2003, 09:10:55 AM
Quote
Why is this sample theoretical?

It contains a loud (somewhere between 0 and -1 dB I'd say) ~20000 Hz modulated sine tone. The audible dialing sounds are much lower volume, otherwise the combination of both would cause cipping in the file (not only during playback). So even if for some reason "real" music would contain similar high frequency tones, they'll hardly be louder than the audible signal (Why should anyone want to do this?* It'd just waste dynamic range).

Quote
Further, why would it result in blown tweeters?

If you set playback volume (of the relatively low volume audible tones) to a "normal" level the (almost) inaudible loud tone will be played back at a verry uncommon level, so tweeters might overheat ...

Quote
Also, does anybody know the source of this sample?

I guess CoolEdit (Pro) was used to create it. It can create DTMF signals and modulated sines (and mix both).
______________________
* I think, high pitched loud tones or noise could be used as kind of CD copy protection. Let's discuss this in another thread. ATM I'm creating some samples and will start the thread when I'm finished ...
[edit]
Done. High pitched noise = copy protection, against PC playback, mp3, lossless ... (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=1&t=9801&st=0#entry98488)
[/edit]
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LPTB on 27 May, 2003, 10:15:03 AM
Ok I did a test at work, with SoundMax integrated chipset on an intel board (don't know the exact version of the chipset) and KSC-35 headphones:

Results (using foobar), on all the tests setting the system volume to lower value didn't help in the sense that it only lowers the volume but the distortion is still there:
No SSRC: Dialing sound with horrific ultrasonic distortions (really loud)
SSRC @44100: same as above
SSRC @48000: Dialing sound with barely audible ultrasonic distortion (it now hides at higher ranges ~16khz+), however being barely audible didn't help since it still gave me headaches.

SSRC's slow/fast, 64/32bit modes didn't help in any variation. Using Soft clipping limiter made things way worse.
Same results apply to all three output methods (kernel, DirectSound and WaveOut).

So you won't catch me listening to this sample on the setup ever again!

(shitty soundcards)

EDIT: Actually this soundcard is so bad that Ella Fitzgerald sounds shrill on it (Ella is anything but shrill)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JEN on 27 May, 2003, 10:16:18 AM
Wow, that gave me a headache 

I can hear clicking, and humming.  I did not apply any resampling !
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Jan S. on 27 May, 2003, 10:42:08 AM
Quote
Wow, that gave me a headache  

I can hear clicking, and humming.  I did not apply any resampling !

Then maybe you should!
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: fragtal on 27 May, 2003, 11:13:39 AM
I have to pull down the master-volume (of the Crative Mixer)to one third and then this strange sound appears decent without distorsion or so. I'm using Winamp2.81 with DirectSoundOutput2.26 SSRC without resampling. The Audigy 2 Platinum upsamples to 96kHz.

I have not kept the master volume at this low level. When I try to listen to a not replaygained dvd-ogm-rip with Sennheiser HD600 Headphones I have to set the volume of the Headphone amp of my soundcard to maximum and even then it's sometimes hard to understand.

I hear up to 15kHz but sadly i couldn't make this fabulous experience of hearing 19kHz sine tones...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JEN on 27 May, 2003, 11:16:17 AM
OK,  I tried it with resampling and here are the results

8000  - even crapper quality, no humming or aliens
11025 - crapper quality, no humming or aliens
16000 - crap quality, no humming or aliens
22050 - a bit more higher pitch
24000 - perfect, but slightly higher pitch
32000 - sounds perfect
44100 - no clipping, humming and louder aliens
48000 - no clipping, but is humming and alien sound!
64000 - whistling sound?
88200 - humming, aliet, ambulance??
96000 - humming with slight alien sound

Does this mean I have a crap sound card?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: ViPER1313 on 27 May, 2003, 11:27:06 AM
Would anyone be willing to take the sweep.wav sample, resample it to 48000hz, and then normalize that 48000hz file to 100% ? I bet you will get the alien sounds as well. This was the test that I used a few months ago to see how high I could set the volume sliders on my SB-Live card. When I get home, I will see how my settings hold up against this sample.......
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Sachankara on 27 May, 2003, 12:11:57 PM
Ehh... What are you supposed to hear? It sounds like telephone ringing using Winamp 2.81 and a Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 sound card at 44.1kHz...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: grbmusic on 27 May, 2003, 12:20:27 PM
Jan S. you should advice that take the test with this sample with very care. Yesterday when I test mu sound card in my home theather system (jbl speakers around $1000), 2 tweeters of the satelites were fried  , and I crying now  . I can't buy a brand new, here in my country $1000 is exactly that I get for 6 month in my job, very expensive for me. And it seems to I can't repaired it too.      . Now I can listen music until about 8 khz only, sounds like shitty. My system never will sounds transparent like before  . So guys, I don't wish that this happen with any of us. Take care!!!
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: sony666 on 27 May, 2003, 12:41:53 PM
Quote
Jan S. you should advice that take the test with this sample with very care. Yesterday when I test mu sound card in my home theather system (jbl speakers around $1000), 2 tweeters of the satelites were fried   , and I crying now   . I can't buy a brand new, here in my country $1000 is exactly that I get for 6 month in my job, very expensive for me. And it seems to I can't repaired it too.       . Now I can listen music until about 8 khz only, sounds like shitty. My system never will sounds transparent like before   . So guys, I don't wish that this happen with any of us. Take care!!!

sorry to read that
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LPTB on 27 May, 2003, 01:01:26 PM
@grbmusic bummer man, sorry for your speakers...

I tried the same sample with my SBlive 5.1; The best setting (not surprisingly) was with SSRC at 48000Hz but even at this setting I could still hear some weird ambulance in the background (not like the super annoying ultrasonic I've experienced with SoundMAX) but weird all the same; With both cards I can't make it to sound like tigre's mpc.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JeanLuc on 27 May, 2003, 01:25:45 PM
Two chains in my system, both fed by a TerraTec EWX 24/96 ...

1. Digital chain ... EWX 24/96 (Wav Play Digital) - 10m Toslink cable - Sony MD Recorder MDS-JE700 as DAC - Sennheiser HD600

2. Analog chain ... EWX 24/96 (Wav Play Analog) - Normal Cinch cable - Denon PMA-700V Stereo Amp (10 years old) - Sennheiser HD 600

Used both SoundForge 6.0 and WinAmp 2.91 (out_ds.dll 2.2.6) for PB at 44,1 kHz ... no audible artifacts whatsoever ...

Seems that my Soundcard's DAC is pretty good with my current settings ... 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 27 May, 2003, 01:49:13 PM
Quote
Ehh... What are you supposed to hear? It sounds like telephone ringing using Winamp 2.81 and a Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 sound card at 44.1kHz...

Pure telephone dialing sounds without anything else ...

Earlier in this thread I provided samples about what it's supposed to sound and what it's not (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=1&t=9772&st=22&)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: outscape on 27 May, 2003, 01:52:35 PM
Quote
Jan S. you should advice that take the test with this sample with very care. Yesterday when I test mu sound card in my home theather system (jbl speakers around $1000), 2 tweeters of the satelites were fried   , and I crying now   . I can't buy a brand new, here in my country $1000 is exactly that I get for 6 month in my job, very expensive for me. And it seems to I can't repaired it too.       . Now I can listen music until about 8 khz only, sounds like shitty. My system never will sounds transparent like before   . So guys, I don't wish that this happen with any of us. Take care!!!

i'm very sorry about your speakers

surely the intent of this test was not to damage people's equipment

did you read the warnings posted by garf and pio?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LPTB on 27 May, 2003, 01:53:27 PM
@tigre
About the sample you provided, I can hear quite a lot of background noise about 1.5 seconds after the start, why is that?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 27 May, 2003, 02:07:27 PM
Which one?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LPTB on 27 May, 2003, 02:28:05 PM
The mpc sample you provided named correct.mpc.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 27 May, 2003, 02:45:47 PM
Quote
I hear up to 15kHz but sadly i couldn't make this fabulous experience of hearing 19kHz sine tones...

My HD-600 were plugged into a 80W amplifier.

Here are my results :

Windows XP, Winamp 2.90 (the Windows version might have an importance)

Marian Marc 2 soundcard :

WaveOut - Digital out : perfect
WaveOut - Analog out : perfect
DirectSound - Digital out emulated : No artifacts, but an incredible background noise, like with any other music (the Direct Sound support for this card seems broken with WinXP)
DirectSound - Analog out emulated : Same background noise, but with a police car yelling UIUIUIUIUI !

SoundBlaster SB 64 PCI V :
WaveOut : high pitched artifact, and clipping
Directsound : high pitched artifact, but no clipping
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 27 May, 2003, 02:52:52 PM
Quote
The mpc sample you provided named correct.mpc.

correct.flac (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/Test-Samples/files/correct.flac)

form 0.7 - 2.6 sec. there's some background noise that isn't there during the rest of the sample but that's also the case in the original sample. If it's less than in the .mpc file it could be a problem with your mpc decoder/playback. Here both (.mpc and .flac) sound the same.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LPTB on 27 May, 2003, 03:02:57 PM
Quote
If it's less than in the .mpc file it could be a problem with your mpc decoder/playback. Here both (.mpc and .flac) sound the same.

That's weird because I'm using foobar2000 for palyback and it doesn't have problems with mpc playbak AFAIK. BTW I decompressed the flac it it sound ok (without noise) as opposed to the mpc. What soundcard do you use?

EDIT: I just tried the mpc again, the problem was that it had replaygain that somehow changed the sound once I removed it the two samples sounded the same (with background noise (low))
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: grbmusic on 27 May, 2003, 06:37:51 PM
Quote
I tried the same sample with my SBlive 5.1; The best setting (not surprisingly) was with SSRC at 48000Hz but even at this setting I could still hear some weird ambulance in the background (not like the super annoying ultrasonic I've experienced with SoundMAX) but weird all the same; With both cards I can't make it to sound like tigre's mpc.

The same here with my SB 512 PCI and with my onboard (SIS 710) sounds worst.
Still I'm crying for my speakers  . Thanks of God I can get brand new tweeters (JBL Titanium) in my country but it's expensive yet, with a bit of luck I will can buy them the next month, only 2 of 5 weren fried 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: grbmusic on 27 May, 2003, 06:40:05 PM
Quote
did you read the warnings posted by garf and pio?

Yes but sadly after to fried my tweeter, if you take a look, I was the first in made the test and repply in this thread. 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LoKi128 on 27 May, 2003, 08:15:50 PM
Well, tested with Winamp and my shitty on-board soundcard (Yamaha DS1)... got tons of weirdness at 44.1kHz... sounds fine when I resample to 48kHz with out_ds_ssrc.

So... does that mean that my soundcard has a shitty upsampler? Is it windows (i run 2k)?

In any case, resampling makes my CPU usage go from 1% to a pretty steady 30%. I have a Celeron 400. So I won't be running the resampler all the time... Still good to have a test sample that actually SHOWS people the effects of clipping and or resampling.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: KikeG on 28 May, 2003, 04:25:08 AM
I tested again at home with my Audiophile, and heard same thing as with the motherboard sound card I used previously: A ultra-high pitched tone aside from the telephone dialing sound. It seems that the mb card  I used before (SoundMax, in a Compaq computer) is not that bad.

The strange thing is that doing some more additional testing at home, I could hear (or better say "feel" inside my head) tones up to 20.5 KHz or so, if played at enough loud level. I could swear that in previous tests I could not hear anything past 18.5 KHz. Maybe it's because of my strong hay fever causing congestion and ear side effects, or maybe some of the older equipment I used at my previous tests was rolling off these frequencies.

Again, if anyone wants to try this, I suggest that you use headphones, they are much less prone to fry, and even less if they are high impedance headphones. Also, use short, fade-in-fade-out, test tones.

...said that, yesterday at home, when playing these tones at loud levels, something started smelling burnt, and I saw some white smoke near the amp., I quickly switched it off. I think it was someting in the amp that overheated (or burned?), but I opened it and saw nothing wrong, and the amp seems to work fine. I have to check it more carefully.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 28 May, 2003, 06:59:47 AM
THIS is a killer sample 

Quote
I could swear that in previous tests I could not hear anything past 18.5 KHz.

Nor me above 16 kHz.
IMHO, it's just the playback level that is insane. The dial tones are so weak that we set the volume higher than we should.

Maybe it would be wise to record a 4000 Hz full scale sine just before, to prevent people from playing it at full volume 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: lucpes on 28 May, 2003, 07:38:26 AM
M-Audio Delta 410 card... dial tone + very high pitched noise... the udial sample was the best way so far to test the fuses that protect the tweeters in my Infinity RSII speakers (have 2 tweets/spk and would cost around USD 250-300 to replace all, IF I can find them). Fuses got burnt, everything's ok, besides my ears... 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: 2Bdecided on 28 May, 2003, 07:42:27 AM
In fact, there isn't a hard cut off limit in human hearing. What there is, is a steep rise in threshold. Below 12kHz, it's typically ~0dB SPL. Above 20kHz, it's typically ~100dB SPL. There's usually a steep rise from (approx) 20dB to 80 dB around (approx) 16-18kHz. This varies greatly with age and individual.

It's usually somewhere along that steep rise that we conclude we cannot hear any more. But, in fact, it's just the equipment that doesn't produce the sound loud enough. We can hear at that (high) frequency, but with a drastically reduced sensitivity.

I found myself hearing 18kHz the other day, after being convinced that I couldn't hear above 16kHz. As Pio says, it's the loudness that counts. Listen to a 1kHz tone at the same loudness, and then decide if it's useful hearing!

Cheers,
David.

P.S. Do a web search for ultra sonic hearing and you might find some info on hearing up to 50kHz and beyond by bone conduction. There's even a technique for making deaf people hear, by modulating speech at ~50kHz (IIRC), and touching the transducer to their skull: this works for anyone, and is perceived as "normal" pitch speech. It still works in people with some types of deafness, so can be very useful.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Moitah on 28 May, 2003, 09:18:26 AM
When using Winamp's DirectSound plugin (v2.2.6, included with Winamp 2.90), I hear the weird 'alien' sounds.  This is effected by changing the sample rate conversion quality in Control Panel, so this means Windows is resampling?  When I use the Wave Out plugin it sounds fine.  Also, the DirectSound output in foobar2000 sounds fine (as well as playing it thru Windows Media Player 9, which I assume uses DirectSound).  Why is this happening with the Winamp DirectSound plugin?

(Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/ latest beta drivers, Windows 2000 SP3)

EDIT: Found out from reading Halcyon's post that it's the "Allow hardware acceleration" checkbox in the plugin.  To allow the card to do the resampling, this has to be checked, and the "Hardware acceleration" slider in Control Panel must be on at least the 3rd notch (Standard or Full acceleration).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JeanLuc on 28 May, 2003, 10:16:14 AM
Quote
Quote
I tried the same sample with my SBlive 5.1; The best setting (not surprisingly) was with SSRC at 48000Hz but even at this setting I could still hear some weird ambulance in the background (not like the super annoying ultrasonic I've experienced with SoundMAX) but weird all the same; With both cards I can't make it to sound like tigre's mpc.

The same here with my SB 512 PCI and with my onboard (SIS 710) sounds worst.
Still I'm crying for my speakers  . Thanks of God I can get brand new tweeters (JBL Titanium) in my country but it's expensive yet, with a bit of luck I will can buy them the next month, only 2 of 5 weren fried 

Sorry for your speakers, man ... if I were you, I would mount the two remaining tweeters into the front main system or re-arrange your speakers (if front & rear are the same types) as a start ... that way you can still enjoy two-channel music ...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: jues on 28 May, 2003, 10:37:18 AM
Soundcard: Delta 410.

Christ that hurt - yeah, put something nice and loud at the start so that people don't crank this too high - at first I couldn't hear the sine wave, but I sure did when I reached for those faders.

I feel sorry for everyone who has blown their tweeters on this test.... :|
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DickD on 28 May, 2003, 11:28:55 AM
I have a Win NT4.0 machine with a 'Pro16V-A Pnp' soundcard at work which is rather limited. I already worked out that it can only work at 44.1, 32, 22.05, 16, 11.025, 8 kSa/s sampling rates.

With Microsoft Sound Mapper, sampling rates like 24 kHz sound like a 45 record played at 33 rpm as all the sound comes out slower. It purports to work at 48 kHz, but it's clearly downsampling to 44.1 kHz. "How well?" is the question.

Just to check how bad Microsoft Sound Mapper is, using FB2K I resampled to 48000 S/s, (even in Slow mode, 64-bit), and set the playback waveOut device to MSM. The sound broke up terribly after the first three tones, with a dirty sounding loud siren sound. This shows that there's practically no filtering going on in the downsampling, so as I suspected, I'm much better off using FB2K's Resampler to play 48 kHz content.

Listening on a plain WAV player or FB2K at 44.1kHz to the waveOut/'Audio Playback' device that doesn't support 48000 S/s, I hear the dialing tones plus a reasonably quiet and pure high pitched frequency-modulated varying tone over the four longer tone-dial tones. The frequency-varying tone sounds like an american cop show siren on helium, unrelated to the tone dialing frequencies. Musically, I guess it might have been about 9 semitones of variation from peak to trough, or a frequency ratio of 1.7.

Looking at the spectrogram in a WAV editor, it's 19-21 kHz frequency modulation and very intense, so I shouldn't be able to hear it all with the volumes my soundcard can reach, if any at all. So I guess my cheap soundcard isn't properly filtered and I'm getting beating between the 19 kHz and its image above the Nyquist limit, at 25.1 kHz, coming out at a 6.1 kHz difference frequency, with the 21kHz part of the sweep beating with a 23.1 kHz tone, causing a 2.1 kHz beat frequency.

Hmm, that doesn't sound quite right as it's more like 18.5 semitones - a ratio of 2.9 to 1. But alternating Add Location... tone://6100,0.3 and tone://6200,0.3 (both with volume set to about -45 dBFS by editing replaygain values) sounds plausibly about right for the extremes of the tone sweep at similar loudness, so I suspect that the brickwall filter is imperfect, but perhaps it's good enough to reduce aliased frequencies in the 23.1 to 25.1 kHz range to below -45 dB or so (very roughly).

I'm glad I don't have clipping in my signal chain, and I'd say for real music -45 dB intermodulation with aliases isn't going to be an audible problem (certainly not with the noise floor of this sound card and the noise of the computer fans), so I'm pretty darned happy with it.

Using the Equalizer to apply -20 dB to the 14 and 20 kHz bands, is enough to make it inaudible, even though I'm pretty convinced it's well below 10 kHz, so this backs up the idea.

By the way, to hear the effect of clipping on this sample in FB2K turn your Windows Volume down low and remove Advanced Limiter (or Soft Clipping Limiter if you use it) from your DSP list, then turn on ReplayGain but turn off clipping prevention. Alternatively, just listen to the musepack samples already posted (with clipping prevention turned on - perhaps those samples should have been manually edited in FB2K to set ReplayGain values to 0.00 dB).

Incidentally, a possible safety idea when posting potentially equipment-damaging files (e.g. sounds too quiet so you turn it up and fry your tweeters with the ultrasound) is to post the files in a password-protected zip file with a password such as 'warned' so the user has to acknowledge they've been warned before playing the sound and can't just play it with FB2K's archive reader either.

People should also be careful that perceived loudness is reasonably high before hiding messages such as text in the spectrogram's 18-22 kHz region, as some people were discussing after the Aphex Twin pictures in music thread. (This will also protect people's pets from hearing damage to a degree)

Do many speakers or headphones come with a fuse, circuit breaker or limiter to protect them from currents in excess of their design rating? (I've seen that lucpes' Infinity RSII speakers do).

Incidentally, the same effect of gradual reduction of sensitivity is true of vision. Red light is normally reckoned to be no more than about 670 nm, I can see a 790 nm infraredlaser (I used safety precautions and did this in a laser lab), but only if it's focussed to a small very intense spot (major dazzle on an IR viewer, way brighter than sunlight would be) will it be visible as a dull red glow on a piece of card in a reasonably dark lab. Also, the reason weak red light plus weak blue on a computer looks like indigo/violet is that the red cone response versus wavelength has a second peak, but at lower sensitivity beyond the green and towards the tail of the blue at short wavelengths.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 28 May, 2003, 01:33:35 PM
This (http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udialalias.jpg) is a picture of the aliases that can appear when the sample is resampled from 44.1 to 48 kHz. Here with SoundForge 4.5, quality 1, no antialias.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: fragtal on 28 May, 2003, 02:46:42 PM
I just downloaded the correct.flac and I'm really quite shocked:

After the first three or four dialing beeps there is horrible high-frequency noise/sound coming up that, according to correct.flac, shouldn't appear. Some of you (Creative-haters) will feel confirmed when I say that I've got an Audigy2. Reducing the master-volume with the creative mixer doesn't change anything. Also changing from ds ssrc 2.2.6 to waveout doesn't affect the quality (in this case I shouldn't speak of quality ) in any way.

I guess I should download actual drivers... Mines are datet 5.2.2003

and grbmusic, sorry for your speakers. That's something that really deeply hurts
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: ViPER1313 on 28 May, 2003, 03:24:51 PM
Sounds fine to me on my SB-Live value w/ 48khz SSRC resampling and master volume set to 50% in windows mixer (all other volume sliders set to max.) Yes, this is the same effect that the maximized sweep.wav file tests for (although the sweep is more through and wont hurt your ears quite as much  ) Peace.

P.S. - Equalizations done in the windows mixer can have drastic effects on this sample. The further I turn up my treble, the further I have to turn down my volume.... etc....
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: atici on 28 May, 2003, 03:39:44 PM
Quote
M-Audio Delta 410 card... dial tone + very high pitched noise... the udial sample was the best way so far to test the fuses that protect the tweeters in my Infinity RSII speakers (have 2 tweets/spk and would cost around USD 250-300 to replace all, IF I can find them). Fuses got burnt, everything's ok, besides my ears... 

I realized the very high frequency sound in the udial but neither my fuses burnt nor the tweeters in my Infinity Alpha 40s. How do you do a damage check?  I tried test tones up to 20k and it sounds as it used to. I hope it's alright. lucpes, do my speakers have any fuses too? How come they don't put a safety fuse to any speaker more expensive than $300? My amplifier AudioSource Amp Two has a peak limiter which I keep on. It says in the manual : "The peak limiter modulates high frequencies at high volume, protecting your speakers from damage or distortion. A red LED also indicates activation of this feature.".I don't know what saved them but I'm really glad.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 28 May, 2003, 03:50:27 PM
Quote
the sweep is more through and wont hurt your ears quite as much

Do you mean that this sample hurts ? In this case it's not played properly. You should hear 7 quiet dialup tones, nothing else.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: kritip on 28 May, 2003, 05:32:12 PM
Quote
Quote
the sweep is more through and wont hurt your ears quite as much

Do you mean that this sample hurts ? In this case it's not played properly. You should hear 7 quiet dialup tones, nothing else.

I really couldn't figure why it sounded so bad on my PC, i finally figured out that if i dropped the attenuation in Foobar2000 to about -18dB it finally sounded ok.
I thought this amount of attenuation was far too much, then i noticed i had replaygain enabled and the track gain for the file was abou +18dB. I disable replaygain, and when resampled to 48000Hz and now all i hear is a quiet (in relation to the dial tone) high pitched fluctuating noise!

Also, it din't make my eardrums feel like they had been scewered with cocktail sticks!!!

I didn't notice anyone point this out earlier in the thread, so i thought i'd let everyone know!

Kristian
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Stuv on 28 May, 2003, 06:56:13 PM
Quite interesting sample this one.
All ASIO, Wave and DS sound normal on my Aureon/Sky (master & wave maxed).
(my SB Live put up something like a cop chase in a pouring rain  ).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: ViPER1313 on 28 May, 2003, 11:23:45 PM
Quote
the sweep is more through and wont hurt your ears quite as much
Quote
Do you mean that this sample hurts ? In this case it's not played properly. You should hear 7 quiet dialup tones, nothing else.


No, I hear the 7 quiet beeps, and nothing else. I'm just saying that when this sample DOES clip (i.e. - When I max out the volume of my card...) the seven laser attacks can be painful to your ears. And your speakers  . The when the sweep.wav starts to clip, the laser attack sounds start soft (at least for me - my clipping is caused by the EQ settings of the SB-Live drivers) and increase as the freq. gets higher. Not to mention that a max volume sine wave is much more effective / thorough way to test for this sort of clipping, as it covers all frequencies, and allows for you to tweak your volume / EQ settings while the sample is on repeat play. This is what I was trying to say.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halcyon on 29 May, 2003, 04:09:18 AM
A quick note about Creative cards and audible artifacts with this sample:

If you think you are hearing this sample right, you may not be playing it back loud enough. I know, I know. You should NOT PLAY THIS SAMPLE LOUD. It can destroy your equipment. Be very careful.

However, I noticed that with resampling done "almost right" (in subjective terms) you may not get any ambulance / chirping / alien sounds, but you may get a static, lower frequency noise (or even hum) all throughout the duration of the 19.5 kHz tone. This for example, when you set your playback software to resample the output to 96 kHz.

If you play it at low enough volume, you will not be able to detect this noise, but trust me it's there on Audigy 2 Platinum eX and I'm quite positive that it is also there on any Creative Live/Audigy sound card. Once you've played it loud enough to notice it, it's much easier to spot it even at a slightly lower volume.

I don't really believe a single creative card passes this test at ANY volume setting (at least not on Winamp resampling plugins). I've tried it down to 10% in Creative Surround Mixer (for both master volume control and wave playback volume control). The distortion and/or hum (depending your choice of resampling) is always there, it's just harder to spot at lower volumes (you need to have quite a lot of clean / external amplification outside your sound card).

As a comparison. I've played this sample back at insane levels (considering the 19.5 kHz full amplitude tone) on using RME DIGI 96/8 PAD. I can hear a faint amount of noise at the background (either in the sample or in my playback gear), but it is so miniscule and only audible at insane playback levels that the noise WaveOut or DirectSound Resampling plug-in in WinAmp 2.x produces on Creative cards is imho, clearly more audible.

BTW, one additional comment about the DirectSound plug-in for Creative cards (in Winamp), which I learned myself only now:

With the WinAmp 2.xx DirectSound resampling plug-in I cannot make the chirping go away regardless of what sample rate/bit depth/dithering/noise shaping/mode I choose, UNLESS I uncheck the "Allow hardware acceleration" in the DirectSound plugin configuration. As such, I'd recommend leaving it unchecked for any critical listening, if you are using a Creative based sound card.

regards,
Halcyon
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: KikeG on 29 May, 2003, 04:37:19 AM
Quote
You should hear 7 quiet dialup tones, nothing else.

Well, in my case the sample was properly played, and I could "feel" the ultra-high pitched tones, even when the dialling sound was not very loud.

If someone hears something apart from the dialling tones, a high pitched tone at 19 or 20 KHz (the one that IS at the sample) sounds quite different from a 10 KHz or 15 KHz tone (possibly caused from intermodulation/resampling artifacts). In the first case, you really don't hear anything, but feel like somebody was pushing a needle inside your head, or some kind on nasty pressure inside your head. In the latter, you clearly hear someting, its an irritating high pitched note, but it's at your ears.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DickD on 29 May, 2003, 08:27:24 AM
Quote
I really couldn't figure why it sounded so bad on my PC, i finally figured out that if i dropped the attenuation in Foobar2000 to about -18dB it finally sounded ok.
I thought this amount of attenuation was far too much, then i noticed i had replaygain enabled and the track gain for the file was abou +18dB. I disable replaygain, and when resampled to 48000Hz and now all i hear is a quiet (in relation to the dial tone) high pitched fluctuating noise!

I think this was mentioned by somebody who hadn't enabled ReplayGain clipping prevention. If you enable that it should sound fine.

I'd suggest that if anyone posts this test tone in future, they manually edit the ReplayGain values to 0.00 dB in FB2K or similar, unless of course, it's supposed to be used to flag up "badly" set up ReplayGain (i.e. with no clipping prevention).

It's great to have a sample to really work out what's the best set-up for a soundcard/driver you're unsure about.

Pio: I think your picture of the aliases is pretty much what I was hearing on my Pro-16v-Pnp card, except the aliases (cop cars) were much quieter, due to my brickwall filter being fairly good (just not perfect).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: mrosscook on 29 May, 2003, 09:57:39 AM
I have an SB Live card and Harman-Kardon desktop speakers, and I don't hear any artifacts in the udial sample using any of the audio players that I have installed (about 12 in all, though I mostly use Winamp 2.81, and Media Jukebox 8 to a lesser extent).  I don't use DSP or equalizer plugins; I've played with them from time to time, but I prefer to have them always turned off by default.

I  hear only the seven quiet digital-phone dialing tones -- no sirens, ambulances, etc.  My ears are not golden by any means, but my wife can't hear any artifacts either.

Halcyon suggests that at sufficiently high volumes, I should hear artifacts, but I'm not going to test that out.  The only way that I know to "be careful" when increasing volume would be to do it gradually and to stop when I can smell my tweeters, or when the desktop bursts into flame, whichever comes first.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: LPTB on 29 May, 2003, 10:03:29 AM
KikeG, Halcyon
You're both correct this is exactly what happened with my SBLive (reviewed in one of the earlier posts), even when using SSRC with foobar I heard the high freq. wave, it was there at any volume setting but at lower volumes I could only feel it (uncomfortable feeling) and at higher volumes also hear quite painfully so I don't think it reaches 19kHz but it's close.

EDIT: The test was done using: SBLive-Marantz-HD580
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 29 May, 2003, 02:58:32 PM
I remember people saying their SB live was incredibly improved by the SSRC plugin, and other saying it made no difference. It depended on the OS, and the "sample rate conversion quality" of Windows settings. People having a bad sounding SB live got the same result setting Windows' sample rate conversion to "best", or enabling SSRC playback.
Thus this sample might also sound very different from an SB live setup to another.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JonPike on 29 May, 2003, 09:43:03 PM
Huh..  interesting.

On XP here,  can't remember if I had to adjust the XP controls for maximum quality, or they were by default,
soundcard is an Audigy I,  Winamp 2.91 with  DS 2.2.3 SSRC set at 16b x 48Khz,  sounds near perfect, only very low
level hiss.  Sliders don't seem to cause a sudden increase in noise, just make things louder.

Of course is ist death at 41.1Khz, and many others..  but 16b and 96khz is pretty quiet as well.

Oh, a fair amount of noise is caused by the good 'ol Winamp EQ being on..  but we expected that, right?

Hmmmm....  now Fubar .60 is wierd..  I get heavy "laser blast" sound effects on every one I tried,  (using DS and resampler, and no other DSP) except 32Khz!!  Even Audigy native 48Khz rate had bad noise.  What's going on here?

Guess I'll be irritating and say, "Hey, I'm sticking with Winamp,  for better sound!!"  };-)    Though it is Peter's earlier SSRC code.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: grbmusic on 29 May, 2003, 10:21:34 PM
Quote
Sorry for your speakers, man ... if I were you, I would mount the two remaining tweeters into the front main system or re-arrange your speakers (if front & rear are the same types) as a start ... that way you can still enjoy two-channel music ...

I made that already, it's a 5.1 speaker system, the 5 satellites are the same type, only 2 was damaged (smooking). I'm looking for new tweeters for reemplacement them, with a bit if lucky the next week I will can get it.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halcyon on 30 May, 2003, 02:51:35 AM
FYI. All of my test were done under WinXP Pro SP1, using latest Audigy 2 Platinum eX drivers (5.12.1.383), with Hardware acceleration set to full & Sample rate conversion quality set to best (both in Sounds and Audio Devices Control panel), all Creative crap (EAX, CMSS, equalizer, etc) disabled and using fairly high resolution playback equipment (Meier Audio Prehead amplifier + shielded low capacitance interconnects + Ultrasone HFI-650 / AKG K270s / Sennheiser HD600+Cardas cables) in a room with very low volume background hiss during night time.

I'd be glad if I could get rid of the remaining artifacts, but I haven't been able to do so. Not that it's a great loss with another working sound card in the machine, but if anybody finds a really working solution to this, I'd be really delighted to hear about it.

regards,
Halcyon
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DickD on 30 May, 2003, 08:31:15 AM
Quote
Hmmmm....  now Fubar .60 is wierd..   I get heavy "laser blast" sound effects on every one I tried,  (using DS and resampler, and no other DSP) except 32Khz!!   Even Audigy native 48Khz rate had bad noise.  What's going on here?

Guess I'll be irritating and say, "Hey, I'm sticking with Winamp,  for better sound!!"  };-)    Though it is Peter's earlier SSRC code.

You just haven't set up Foobar2000 adequately to cope with this sample (i.e. you've set it up to permit clipping) - and an imperfect setup is one thing this sample helps identify.

As mentioned above, you need to turn on Foobar's clipping prevention (Preferences/Playback/ReplayGain box) because the Replaygain is trying to boost this above full scale, seeing as the dial-tones are very quiet and the full scale ultrasound is inaudible. Replaygain causing clipping is very rare (esp in Album Gain mode). You can turn it off again after the test if you're want to let it clip.

The other (less likely explanation) is that you have soft clipping limiter turned on, and that's causing distortion (as it is supposed to) or you're running some other compressor/limiter DSP (except for Advanced Limiter which only distorts the signal when clipping will occur - it knows this by reading ahead by a number of samples) or are running a pre-amp or equalizer with positive gain values.

From what you say about Winamp, it sounds like you then simply need to set FB2K's resampler active in the DSP list (usu. at the top of the list of DSPs) and set it to 48000 S/s for your Audigy 2.

Then FB2K will sound fine.

Using the SSRC, you also have a good Winamp setup if you don't use the dodgy Winamp EQ, and probably couldn't tell the difference from FB2K in a blind listening test, unless you had very good equipment and environment or have tracks for which Winamp doesn't support Replaygain.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: mrosscook on 30 May, 2003, 09:08:09 AM
Pio,

Since there may be issues with the OS for Creative cards:  I run Win XP Home SP1 with my SB Live card.  Hardware acceleration set on Full, Sample rate conversion quality set on Best. (These are the defaults.)  My driver version is 3509.0.0.0.

Just about everything is set on default, except that I turn off any software options that look like they are trying to function as an equalizer or DSP, and I adjust the volume sliders from time to time when an aggressive player or other piece of audio software plays with them.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: lucpes on 30 May, 2003, 09:18:35 AM
Quote
lucpes, do my speakers have any fuses too? How come they don't put a safety fuse to any speaker more expensive than $300?

image (http://oellerer.net/infinity_classics/RS_II/RS_II_2.jpg)

Here's how the fuse that blew looks like in my case (1.25A). A good idea would be not using HF test tones to check for damage in tweeters... I once blow a tweeter on other speakers using a 19kHz sine so be careful!


Edit: Please don't post large pictures. Thanks.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Thikasabrik on 30 May, 2003, 09:26:34 AM
Well, having tested more thoroughly at different sampling rates with my SB Live 5.1 (Kx 3533 rc2), I have discovered the following...

48 khz ASIO: High freq. distortion (the dog-exciting kind). With volume pumped up, lower freq. hum is present - no more of this or i reckon my speakers 'll fry.

96 khz Dsound: High freq. again. Similar to 48
88 khz Dsound: Same.
64 khz Dsound: Very clear laser-effects.
48 khz Dsound: Almost the same.
44 khz Dsound: Less high freq. with fairly quiet laser-effects
32 khz Dsound: No problems at all.
24 khz Dsound: Same
22 khz Dsound: Same
16 khz Dsound: Same
11 khz Dsound: Same
8 khz Dsound: Same

Used foobar2000. Dithering was turned off, resampler at 64 bit precision, no replaygain calculated so no adjustment made. ...Just incase anyone is interested 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 30 May, 2003, 02:01:35 PM
Below 44.1 kHz, if the resampling is done with antialias, the 20 kHz sine is simply removed (max bandwidth 16 kHz) and the sample doesn't clip anymore.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Dave Hamaker on 30 May, 2003, 07:30:22 PM
I extracted the sample to a wav file.  I looked at it with Sound Forge to make sure it didn't have something like already-recorded clipping in it.  I set my SBLive wave device and master volumes to 100% since I know these are the unity volume settings (lower settings will raise the quantization noise floor).  Using a full-scale 1kHz test tone at 48kHz, I set listening volume properly to comfortable levels.  Then I played the sample and all I heard was soft touch-tone sounds.  My 19-year-old daughter, who should have hearing less-affected by aging, reported the same, despite the fact my soundcard is a poster child for the anti-resampling bigotry camp.

I think this sample is a trap for the unwary.  Since it contains soft audible sounds mixed with loud sounds beyond the normal range of hearing, it tempts you to turn the volume of your amp way up so you can hear what's going on, but that means you are going to be hearing stuff near or at the quantization noise level which is in practice inaudible.  In addition, you are feeding a lot of energy into the amp and amplying the hell out of it, which the amp's circuitry is not designed for.  Furthermore, if the software used to play the sample has software volume control, you could easily, in trying to set volume to hear the soft tones, badly clip the sample before it even reaches the soundcard, and this might happen on some of the software's settings and not others.

There are better ways to experience digital clipping (wav files with clipping in them), and I think stress-testing amps and speakers with high-energy sound at frequencies that don't tell you what's really going on is a very dubious thing to do.

-Dave
dwh@cfcl.com
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 30 May, 2003, 08:37:15 PM
The spectrum of the clipped sample has subharmonics of the 20 kHz tone, while the resampled one has also some reflected versions, that are upside down.

Thus it should be possible to generate a sample like a sweep, that would tell if there is digital resampling or not (inversion of the sweep), regardless of clipping.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Dave Hamaker on 30 May, 2003, 09:46:17 PM
Quote
The spectrum of the clipped sample has subharmonics of the 20 kHz tone, while the resampled one has also some reflected versions, that are upside down.

Thus it should be possible to generate a sample like a sweep, that would tell if there is digital resampling or not (inversion of the sweep), regardless of clipping.

What exactly are you referring to by the resampled one?  Any resampling algorithm?

-Dave
dwh@cfcl.com
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 31 May, 2003, 04:29:12 AM
Here are the results of two bad processes performed in SoundForge :

Resampling (http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udialalias.jpg) to 48 kHz, quality 1, no antialias. The result is similar with antialias. Switching to quality 2 (on a 1-4 scale) removes nearly all aliases.

Clipping (http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udialclip.jpg), applying a +3 db volume process.

The extra tones created look different. There are strong reversed images of the treble tone in the resampled version, but very weak, and low frequency ones in the clipped version. The frequency modulation is also constant in the resampling process, and not in the clipping process.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halcyon on 31 May, 2003, 06:37:23 AM
Quote
Switching to quality 2 (on a 1-4 scale) removes nearly all aliases.


I tried the same on Soundforge (WaveLab produce utterly horrible results), using different quality ranges.

Actually what I found out was that none of the resampling algorithms remove the problems.

With my crappy multimedia speakers I can hear a significant amount of hum/noise when the 19.5 kicks in.

With Ultrasone HFI-650 (which are painfully analytical headphones at times, imho) I can hear not only the increased noise, but ALSO a faint trace of the ambulance/chirping sound at the level or slightly below the noise floor. It's there, it's masked, but still clearly audible.

With AKG K271S I have to listen really attentively to hear the noise. I can't hear the chirping/ambulance at all. Increasing the playback volume I can hear the noise, but still not hear the chirping. If I pump up the Volume to 100/100, I get a new clipping sound that modulates in synch with the chirping sound (the chirping is not audible, only the clipping part of it is).

With Grado SR60 I can only hear the slightly elevated noise at similar playback level. If I increase the volume, I start to hear the original 19.5 kHz sound, the muted chirping/ambulance and the noise becomes more apparent. The chirping/ambulance is still clearly fainter than with Ultrasone, but then again the 19.5 kHz is clearly more audible. Clearly.

With Sennheiser HD600 I can hear the 19.5 kHz sound even at the same volume (very faintly), I cannot get the ambulance/chirping sound even at extremely high volume and the noise is very subdued, although audible at a higher volume.

I think this sample has much more use than just as a tool to:

1) estimate proper volume levels to avoid clipping
2) estimate the sample rate conversion quality of your software / hardware

Please note that the two above can be separated from each other. I can make the SRC almost ok, but destroy the results by pumping up the volume and causing clipping.

So we actually have two different artifacts working here at the same time. Aliasing intermodulation distortion due to sample rate conversion and clipping distortion.

In addition to the above, I think the sample is very useful in gauging differences between your sound reproduction gear. The high frequency analysis capabilities of my various heardphones become very apparent through the use of this sample.

I'm just afraid of destroying what's left of my very diminished HF hearing, by playing back this sample all over again too many times

I really recommend this sample (with precautions regarding hardware and your own hearing!) for testing 1) clipping, 2) sample rate conversion quality,  3) playback gear HF and dynamic reproduction capability.

regards,
Halcyon
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: indybrett on 31 May, 2003, 02:29:29 PM
Using Foobar through a Prodigy 7.1 soundcard.

Just some slight static with no DSP plugins. If I use the SSRC resampler (which I always do), it sounds perfect.

Yea for me

Edit: The Crossfeed DSP makes it sound like aliens attacking from space.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Dave Hamaker on 31 May, 2003, 04:50:16 PM
Quote
Here are the results of two bad processes performed in SoundForge :

Resampling (http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udialalias.jpg) to 48 kHz, quality 1, no antialias. The result is similar with antialias. Switching to quality 2 (on a 1-4 scale) removes nearly all aliases.

Clipping (http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udialclip.jpg), applying a +3 db volume process.

The extra tones created look different. There are strong reversed images of the treble tone in the resampled version, but very weak, and low frequency ones in the clipped version. The frequency modulation is also constant in the resampling process, and not in the clipping process.

I see.  If you want to make a graph of the Creative upsampling, isolated, you can download: http://pages.sbcglobal.net/udialsb.wav (http://pages.sbcglobal.net/udialsb.wav) (for awhile).

-Dave
dwh@cfcl.com
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JonPike on 31 May, 2003, 08:48:52 PM
Quote
Quote
Hmmmm....  now Fubar .60 is wierd..  I get heavy "laser blast" sound effects on every one I tried,  (using DS and resampler, and no other DSP) except 32Khz!!  Even Audigy native 48Khz rate had bad noise.  What's going on here?

Guess I'll be irritating and say, "Hey, I'm sticking with Winamp,  for better sound!!"  };-)    Though it is Peter's earlier SSRC code.

You just haven't set up Foobar2000 adequately to cope with this sample (i.e. you've set it up to permit clipping) - and an imperfect setup is one thing this sample helps identify.

As mentioned above, you need to turn on Foobar's clipping prevention (Preferences/Playback/ReplayGain box) because the Replaygain is trying to boost this above full scale, seeing as the dial-tones are very quiet and the full scale ultrasound is inaudible. Replaygain causing clipping is very rare (esp in Album Gain mode). You can turn it off again after the test if you're want to let it clip.

The other (less likely explanation) is that you have soft clipping limiter turned on, and that's causing distortion (as it is supposed to) or you're running some other compressor/limiter DSP (except for Advanced Limiter which only distorts the signal when clipping will occur - it knows this by reading ahead by a number of samples) or are running a pre-amp or equalizer with positive gain values.

From what you say about Winamp, it sounds like you then simply need to set FB2K's resampler active in the DSP list (usu. at the top of the list of DSPs) and set it to 48000 S/s for your Audigy 2.

Then FB2K will sound fine.

Using the SSRC, you also have a good Winamp setup if you don't use the dodgy Winamp EQ, and probably couldn't tell the difference from FB2K in a blind listening test, unless you had very good equipment and environment or have tracks for which Winamp doesn't support Replaygain.

OK...  turning off Replaygain killed the laser noises.  Is this what you mean by "turning on Foobar's clipping prevention"?

I never changed it before,  it was set to "use album gain"  and "use peak info..." checkbox was checked.  Isn't the checkbox feature supposed to detect the highest peak and then use that as a maximum?  It can't detect a 19Khz (or whatever that high tone is) tone?

I had no other kind of limiter or other DSP,  just the Attenuator (don't know what this is, if not the volume control) and the Resampler, which I did have set to 48Khz for most of my tests,  since I have a Audigy 1.

So,  I guess Foobar's problem was completely caused by Replaygain scaling the track wrong..

Hmmm... thought I'd check this out by running no resampling and no replay gain to see the different effect of clipping and bad resampling, and Foobar just locked up..  Ok, no resampling is similar,  laser sound but quieter and raspier,  then with the replaygain changing it.

Only question I'm left with, is Replaygain supposed to catch a file like this and  use the peak info to rescale when the first pass at it still causes clipping,  like the checkbox mentions?

Maybe a second question,  did Peter ever make a resampling version past 2.2.2.3 for winamp2?  Not that I apparently have any problems with that one... 

I do noitce that Foobar now puts up the playing file when you're listening to a Shoutcast station,  but I'm still a sucker for the quick link to the homepage, and etc that you get with Winamp..
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JonPike on 31 May, 2003, 08:57:11 PM
"foobar2000 player v0.666 released

Changes:
- removed replaygain-scan-while-playing"

Hmmm... might this be why the "rescale-it-to-peaks-if-it-still-clips" feature isn't apparently working? 

Assuming that that feature is supposed to do that in a case like this..  (I can't say I really know what's going on there)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Differenciam on 31 May, 2003, 09:30:44 PM
Ack. My laptop made that sound quite painful. 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Chun-Yu on 31 May, 2003, 09:46:31 PM
Quote
Using Foobar through a Prodigy 7.1 soundcard.

Just some slight static with no DSP plugins. If I use the SSRC resampler (which I always do), it sounds perfect.

Yea for me

Edit: The Crossfeed DSP makes it sound like aliens attacking from space.

Really?  Should have gone with the Revolution!  No noise or anything with both resampling on and off.  Any volume setting, any output.

(Just kidding - I'm sure the Prodigy is also a nice soundcard).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halcyon on 01 June, 2003, 05:09:02 AM
Quote
Quote
Using Foobar through a Prodigy 7.1 soundcard.

Just some slight static with no DSP plugins. If I use the SSRC resampler (which I always do), it sounds perfect.

Yea for me

Edit: The Crossfeed DSP makes it sound like aliens attacking from space.

Really?  Should have gone with the Revolution!  No noise or anything with both resampling on and off.  Any volume setting, any output.

(Just kidding - I'm sure the Prodigy is also a nice soundcard).

I think the artifacts this sample produces with various settings on various sound cards using various playback gear are hard to compare.

I have demonstrated above (with my less than perfect hearing) that the ability to hear the artifacts from a sound card with this sample are very volume and playback gear dependent.

Hence, if you don't hear any artifacts and don't want to, then don't upgrade your playback gear

Then again, if you hear artifacts on your sound card and another person with the exact same sound card doesn't hear them, don't feel bad about it. If the settings are all equal, then either you have better hearing or more accurate playback gear (for this particular sample).

Please understand that I'm not saying that Revo (or any other card mentioned in this thread) is not faultless. It's just that testing the faultlessness is not necessarily easy. Even high quality equipment can mask some of the artifacts in this test.

I'm just trying to underline the point that whether you hear artifacts or not, is not only a function of your sound card, but also your hearing, playback volume and playback gear.

best regards,
  Halcyon
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DickD on 02 June, 2003, 09:36:29 AM
Quote
OK...  turning off Replaygain killed the laser noises.  Is this what you mean by "turning on Foobar's clipping prevention"?


No, I meant the "use peak info" checkbox being checked.

Quote
I never changed it before,  it was set to "use album gain"  and "use peak info..." checkbox was checked.  Isn't the checkbox feature supposed to detect the highest peak and then use that as a maximum?  It can't detect a 19Khz (or whatever that high tone is) tone?

I had no other kind of limiter or other DSP,  just the Attenuator (don't know what this is, if not the volume control) and the Resampler, which I did have set to 48Khz for most of my tests,  since I have a Audigy 1.


The latest FB2K (v0.666) does need you to scan the track for ReplayGain (which includes peak info) to apply any changes. The peak info is read directly from the sample values in the file, so it doesn't matter what frequency it is. It should measure the peak values accurately and therefore apply almost no gain (because the file is about to clip). I wonder if your peak value information was corrupted? If you right-click the file and erase the ReplayGain info, then right-click it and scan Track Gain, it ought to be OK.

Resampler could cause clipping and still be working properly, though I'd imagine it would be a very subtle amount of clipping, if any, given that.

Yes, Attenuator is the Volume Control.

Your clipping might be elsewhere - not in software, for example in the soundcard electronics or your amplifier, though the fact it didn't clip when you turned off RG seems to indicate a problem there instead.

Hardware clipping is likely to stop if you turn down the volume far enough.

Quote
So,  I guess Foobar's problem was completely caused by Replaygain scaling the track wrong..

Hmmm... thought I'd check this out by running no resampling and no replay gain to see the different effect of clipping and bad resampling, and Foobar just locked up..  Ok, no resampling is similar,  laser sound but quieter and raspier,  then with the replaygain changing it.

Only question I'm left with, is Replaygain supposed to catch a file like this and  use the peak info to rescale when the first pass at it still causes clipping,  like the checkbox mentions?


Yes, except that the first pass no longer scans for RG - you have to scan it manually from Foobar v0.666.

Quote
Maybe a second question,  did Peter ever make a resampling version past 2.2.2.3 for winamp2?  Not that I apparently have any problems with that one... 

I do noitce that Foobar now puts up the playing file when you're listening to a Shoutcast station,  but I'm still a sucker for the quick link to the homepage, and etc that you get with Winamp..


Yup, Winamp sounds very good, and rarely different from Foobar (unless you use the EQ!), so there's no imperative for many users to make the switch, and if you prefer some features, sure, stick with it.

P.S. Someone mentioned Crossfeed causing sirens. For me, Crossfeed DSP hasn't caused a problem with this sample (at 44.1 kHz).

P.P.S. I tried using FB2K to write out a 24-bit dithered 48000 Hz WAV (slow, 64 bit resampling) from this file (no noise shaping) and noted that the suggested track gain of the new file was 1 dB higher (19.2 dB). The peak value was now 1.000000, much as expected. Should the RG estimate change this much with good resampling?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JonPike on 02 June, 2003, 09:42:20 PM
Quote
The latest FB2K (v0.666) does need you to scan the track for ReplayGain (which includes peak info) to apply any changes. The peak info is read directly from the sample values in the file, so it doesn't matter what frequency it is. It should measure the peak values accurately and therefore apply almost no gain (because the file is about to clip). I wonder if your peak value information was corrupted? If you right-click the file and erase the ReplayGain info, then right-click it and scan Track Gain, it ought to be OK.


Ok, I'll try that.  BTW, what looks to be on the file now is:
track gain: +18,200000 dB
track peak: 0,997131

OK, now I'm back from erasing that and redetecting it.  Wierd..  First off, when I erase and rescan,  I get exactly the same value.
Second, with that value, or when it has no value,  there is no problem now,  even with replay gain enabled! ?!? 

Now I'm confused.  Maybe I changed something that didn't reset till Foobar got restarted?  Problem has gone away.

Another note,  even though I can't hear any thing,  I do get a "WARNING (CORE) : Clipping detected"  message in the console.  AND, I don't get it when I turn off Replaygain altogether.

Things that make ya go Hmmmm...

Still sounds great....


Quote
Resampler could cause clipping and still be working properly, though I'd imagine it would be a very subtle amount of clipping, if any, given that.

Yes, Attenuator is the Volume Control.

Your clipping might be elsewhere - not in software, for example in the soundcard electronics or your amplifier, though the fact it didn't clip when you turned off RG seems to indicate a problem there instead.

Hardware clipping is likely to stop if you turn down the volume far enough.


I have to have resampler on to avoid any sounds.
I can turn up my wave and main sliders all the way and have no added clipping.

Quote
Only question I'm left with, is Replaygain supposed to catch a file like this and  use the peak info to rescale when the first pass at it still causes clipping,  like the checkbox mentions?

Yes, except that the first pass no longer scans for RG - you have to scan it manually from Foobar v0.666.


Did it do it in .600? (my former version, I upgraded during testing this to see if there were any differences)

Arrgh..  locked up on me again, playing stream and poking around in Preferences..

Jon
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DickD on 03 June, 2003, 05:23:49 AM
[EDIT]This post has some factual assumptions that were incorrect, as pointed out by Garf in the next post. I think I found the root cause in the post after his[/EDIT]

The FB2K database (if enabled) may have needed refreshing, I guess.

When I started typing this post, I suspected the console message is referring to clipping detected from the Resampler output. The tiniest amount of attenuation (volume control -0.5 dB) would be enough to stop this.

The 20 kHz +/- 1 kHz frequency-modulated sine wave in the original is almost full scale (probably a bit less so it can add to the extreme values of the dialling tones and reach full scale but no higher). The sampling points at 44.1 kHz are below full scale (hence the track peak of 0.997...) because they don't happen to coincide with the peaks.

Assuming I'm correct about the target amplitude of the sine waves, a perfect (infinitely long) reconstruction filter when upsampling should generate a track peak of 1.000000 at most on every peak where the sampling point lines up perfectly with the peak of the sinusoid. I'd imagine the Resampler (SSRC) DSP plugin, even in Slow mode (long reconstruction filter window) and 64-bit precision, will still show some very subtle (inaudibly subtle) variation in loudness at frequencies so near to the Nyquist limit (22.049... kHz is the highest frequency that can be accurately represented by 44100 Sa/s sampling). This could cause tiny amounts of clipping, such as 1.00001, which would generate inaudible clipping distortion, even on this sample, yet would be just high enough to trigger the console warning.

(I actually tried resampling to 48000, WAV 64-bit floating point to test this, and found that FB2K's resampler doesn't cause clipping on this sample).

Using Resampler: Slow mode, 64 bit:
Track Gain = +18.210000 dB
Track peak = 0.997059

Fast mode, 64 bit (same for 32 bit):
Track peak = 0.997217

So (without using Preamp or Equalizer) these shouldn't clip on their own.

What about adding dither? Could that cause clipping?

EDIT: No, it can't, as Garf points out below, the ditherer won't add dither if the added noise would push the sample value beyond +1.000 or -1.000.

Assuming you use 16-bit playback (which I'm not sure of), setting dither to "strong ATH noise shaping (recommended)" the stronger high frequency content than "no noise shaping" can add about 31 (out of 32767) to a sample value at the peak - just now and again. That's 0.000946, which still isn't enough to exceed 1.000000 if you apply no replaygain.

However, you're using ReplayGain, so it would like to add 18.21 dB, then realises it can't from the peak value of 0.997131, so it's scaling
to get a peak of 1.000000 instead (a gain of about +0.024955 dB). You then add dither, which can take the peak to 1.000946 at most).

Edit: This is not true. Dither is not added if the sample would exceed 1.000000, so it must already exceed 1.000000. The culprit is identified in my next message.

That is just enough to clip, but it's so incredibly subtle (and probably incredibly infrequent) that it clips, that it no audible clipping distortion is heard. However, you do get the warning from FB2K.

I guess it would be a finishing touch for FB2K's clipping prevention (Replaygain) to have an option to take account of the dither type and bit depth by scaling the peak to just below 1.000000 so that dither can't cause it to exceed 1.000000. We could either enter the margin by hand, or FB2K could have a look-up table for dither type versus peak dither amplitude for each bit depth and sampling rate. This is overkill at normal bit depths, where it's inaudible, but for low bit depths like 8-bit, it would be useful if people used strong ATH noise shaping.

Also, Replaygain on real music (this udial sample is NOT real music!) rarely causes clipping if the target volume is 89.0 dB - it hardly ever has positive Album Gain values, and only occasionally has positive Track Gain values.

EDIT: Please see my next post for the real explanation.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Garf on 03 June, 2003, 05:32:37 AM
FB2K ditherer and noiseshaper should never cause clipping in any circumstance, the code protects against this. If it does anyway in latest version, please report it as a bug.

Edit: Peter just reported that the warning cannot be caused by ditherer/noiseshaper.

Scaling down to get dithering headroom at 8 bits audibly lowers volume, it was in the ditherer before but I'm not sure it's a good idea. I'd rather have the ditherer prevent clipping itself, even if that means it is not as effective. The user can still introduce additional headroom via the attenuator, which would allow ditherer to work with full effectiveness. Getting good quality output at 8 bit takes some tweaking anyway.

For practical use, it makes no difference because circumstances where this is an issue should be extremely rare. (Assuming ReplayGain or some kind of clipping prevention is in use)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DickD on 03 June, 2003, 06:34:07 AM
Thanks for the informative reply, Garf. I'll go back and edit my previous post to mention your detailed knowledge. It's comforting to know you thought of such extreme possibilities as dither causing clipping and designed to avoid them.

I haven't been able to test this myself because the machine I'm on right now doesn't support 48000 Hz. I have actually tested it using Microsoft Sound Mapper, which generates sirens, and didn't get a pop-up warning (I never have been warned of clipping because I use Advanced Limiter as well as RG).

I guess JonPike may have something else causing the warning. The only things that spring to mind are other DSPs. I know that the new Equalizer can have positive values, and the defunct PreAmp could too.

Ah, using diskwriter, 64-bit floating point, resampled to 48000 S/s with DSP enabled (Resampler 48000 S/s, fast, 32bit) AND with ReplayGain enabled (with clipping prevention), the WAV created, when scanned for RG, has:

Track Gain = +18.190000 dB  (correctly reflecting 0.02 dB gain applied with clipping prevention)
Track Peak = 1.000086

That is clipping, but only just, and inaudibly so. The 64-bit floating point WAV output is the same as the internal chain contains just before it dithers down to the playback format.

JonPike's clipping prevention followed by resampler presumably also generated this value. This is the sort of behaviour one might expect from a Resampler because it incorporates a filter. Any filter can cause differing peak values, as can a change of sampling rate.

The same method but with Slow resampling (but still only 32 bit precision), does not clip.

Resampler: 48000 S/s, Slow Mode, 32 bit precision:
Track Gain: +18.190000 dB
Track Peak: 0.999928

So, it's the precision of the long resampling filter window in Slow mode that makes it work more precisely in terms of peak amplitude. There's no audible difference in Fast mode, however.

So it's the combination of Fast mode resampling and ReplayGain going to the clip-prevention limit that generated the clipping warning.

So, JonPike, if you have the processor speed to spare, you could use slow resampling mode, but for sound quality, it's negligibly different, and Fast mode will sound just great. In real music, with Album Gain turned on and 89.0 dB RG target volume, you'll probably never see that warning message again.

There's no need to change your usual settings for real music because the minuscule clipping that did occur was inaudible to you, even on such an extremely sensitive test sample as this, but Slow mode resampling will give that final assurance of the utmost possible quality (albeit that it's inaudible). In real music with Album Gain, the warning message is extremely unlikely to ever be generated.

The only thing one could plausibly wish to add to the ReplayGain interface in FB2k is the facility to specify that RG's 'use peak values' feature could have a margining facility to enable the most pernickety users to ensure that full dither is applied and their resampler will not clip ever. An option of normalising the Album/Track to 0.999000 instead of 1.000000 if the respective album peak or track peak value would cause clipping ought to be sufficient for anyone using 16-bit audio or above, and would leave sufficient headroom for both 16-bit strong ATH noise shaping dither and fast resampling to 48000 S/s to hit their worst peaks simultaneously.

I do appreciate that it's almost certainly inaudible, except when the peak value is ultrasonic and the dither is required for audible sound sinking into the noise floor, so the lack of dither and lack of audible masking frequencies might cause truncation distortion to become audible. But surely nobody would be cruel enough to domestic pets to make a track like that!  Hmm, on second thoughts I wouldn't put it past Aphex Twin! 

Regards,

DickD
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halcyon on 03 June, 2003, 08:53:03 AM
I need help.

I have tried everything that I can think of in Foobar v.0.667 to fix the clipping/sample rate conversion problems with udial.ape on Audigy 2 Platinum eX (latest drivers).

I cannot make the aliasing artifacts go away whatever I try. Yes, it becomes lower in amplitude and slightly harder to spot, but it is always there. Clipping goes away with proper setting of volume/replaygain though (which is good). But it is disheartening to notice that it happens at all to the extent that it is audible on Audigy 2.

I have tried:

- Replaygain disabled/track/album
- Peak info to scale on/off
- Output data format16-bit/24-bit/32-bit
- Output data format dither: off/Strong ATH
- DSP Resampling: 48kz/96kHz
- Precision 32/64bit
- slow mode On/Off
- Attenuator: off/on (-9 dB)
- Directsound/WaveOut/KernelStream/Asio output

I either get the aliased sound going on like an ambulance and no clipping (WaveOut/KernelStream) or I get clipped noise bursts that modulate into the noise floor in synch with the aliased ambulance noise, without actually hearing the ambulance noise as such (DirectSound, much less nasty than Wave/Kernel). This all with Audigy 2 Platinum eX.

With RME DIGI 96/8 PAD I get no aliasing modulated ambulance sounds nor do I get any clipping.

Regardless of what settings I use (resampled/replaygained/dithered or not), I always get problems with Audigy 2.

I also tried resampling to 96kHz (no requantization, still at 16 bits) in SoundForge at quality level 4 (using anti-aliasing filter during resampling). This sample is much better, but still has sound that sound like a wailing ambulance siren clipping, when played back on Audigy 2 from SoundForge.

Playing back the same Soundforge sample rate converted sound on RME card produce a very faintly audible trace of something modulated into the noise floor.

What on earth is going on with the Audigy 2 card?

I thought that only the Audigy's SRC/volume control was problematic, but even if I do the resampling elsewhere I still get the nasty ambulance sound, but only on Audigy 2 not on RME 96/8 card.

OffTopic:

On a related note, I tried the various Output device options and recorded the lowest/highest peak cpu utilization with each output option (on RME). Each device was tested ten times in a row (player wasn't restarted in between, no other processes sans system ones were running in the background, no network activity, no dsp/replaygain/dither active = straight 44.1kHz/16-bit playback):

DirectSound        24-35% (bad quality, I mean really horribly bad)
WaveOut            10-15%
Kernel Streaming  (not testable as it was not available for RME)
Asio (Buf:0, Time Critical) 8-13%

I know, it's not scientifict at all, but perhaps other people could chime in on their findings on the issue. What is the best output method to use in F2K regarding cpu usage (now assuming that there was no difference in sound quality)?

My own personal testing (I have spent a lot of time with this sample) leaves me to conlude for now that in WinAmp/Foobar with Audigy, one should use DirectSound with resampling for maximum quality (at least for this sample) and in Foobar with RME I can use Asio or WaveOut (no resampling needed for excellent quality), but ASIO seems to offer the lowest CPU usage levels.

regards,
Halcyon

PS This is not the most important thing in the world for me as I have A2 for games and not for critical listening. As such, this problem is more of academic interest to me, but perhaps more interesting to those using Creative cards for serious work.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: KikeG on 03 June, 2003, 09:04:06 AM
If the card runs natively at 48 KHz, I think that resampling to 48 KHz + attenuation of up to -3 dB + directsound w/hardware mixing enabled, flat dither, 16 bit, should yield best results. Also, set your wave slider at the windows mixer at max.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DickD on 03 June, 2003, 10:44:42 AM
I agree with KikeG that 48 kHz should be the best you can get. The 96kHz you tried was almost certainly being resampled back to 48 kHz in the card/driver so it's compatible with the mixer.

If your card's analogue output filters (reconstruction filter) don't cut out adequately, I guess you'd get a 48kHz version of what I heard at 44.1 with my Pro-16v-Pnp card (about the second page of this topic). That's probably a quiet high-pitched ambulance sound (about 40-50 dB quieter than the heavily clipping sound, and quiet than the dial tones), instead of the loud ambulance siren with a different frequency range. I'd estimate that certain components would be sweeping in the 3-5 kHz range if this is the case. If you have an analogue HiFi component with a graphic equaliser, you might be able to demonstrate this, to show you're not able to hear the 19 kHz stuff.

Personally, I happy this sample is so extreme that the quality of real music in the audible range is still very good, and I know I don't have clipping. So despite having a cheap soundcard at work that's rather noisy and doesn't support 48 kHz, I'm happy to trust its reproduction, knowing that real music doesn't contain such loud ultrasound, and for even the highest ultrasound you'd find in real music, it would usually contain much louder audible sounds than this test sample, thereby masking the audibility of the aliasing artifacts at lower frequencies, which I know are suppressed by about 40-50 dB.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: dgover2 on 10 June, 2003, 07:01:16 AM
Has anybody tried this sample with a Terratec DMX 6Fire LT? (I assume the card is identical to the DMX 6Fire but without the breakout box)?

On my system with the 'Front' speakers slider at max I get a barely audible high pitched ambulance kind of sound if I have my headphones near max volume. If I lower the volume slightly it gets less but I assume its still there but my headphones or ears aren't good enough to reproduce or hear it.

I really wasn't expecting this because according to the manual and Terratec support the card does no resampling at all, unless the "Sensaura 3D" option is enabled. The strange thing is that if I enable Sensaura 3D the "ambulance" sound is gone.

Driver details as follows:

Software:     Version 1.00.00.128   (DMX6FIRE.EXE)
Interface:     Version 1.03.26.128   (DMX6FIREAPI.DLL)
Driver:         Version 5.00.2000.128(DMX6FIRE.SYS)

It sounds pretty bad on my N-Force 2 on-board sound. Very clearly audible (but lower freq) ambulance sound.

I also found a bug with the Terratec drivers. If I slowly lower the volume of the front speakers, the volume of the Rear/Mid/Sub slowly increase.

Slightly dissapointed with my sound card now
-dave
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Glassman on 10 June, 2003, 02:42:35 PM
Quote
Well... it looks as if it isn't clipping for me. Btw, if you want to know what it sounds like when it clips, I managed to get what I think is the correct effect by adding the soft clipping limiter dsp in foobar. The touch-tones get completely screwed up.

yeah, that's it! I were unable to hear anything wrong on my Revo in any situation, resampler->96kHz, crossfeed, DSP or none, at any levels I couldn't hear any difference - until switching this Soft limiter on, wow that was funny 

think Revo is okay here.. what a surprise, it's the M-Audio B)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 11 June, 2003, 06:55:17 AM
Quote
On my system with the 'Front' speakers slider at max I get a barely audible high pitched ambulance kind of sound if I have my headphones near max volume. If I lower the volume slightly it gets less but I assume its still there but my headphones or ears aren't good enough to reproduce or hear it.

This must be analog distortion caused by the headphone ampli. It might completely disappear if you lower the volume.

Edit : added caused by
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: dgover2 on 11 June, 2003, 09:43:40 AM
Quote
This must be analog distortion caused by the headphone ampli. It might completely disappear if you lower the volume.


Yes it does but I assumed it just wasn't audible to my ears at a low volume. I also have the same thing on my Yamaha amp as well (through the headphones output, I'm not risking the health of my speakers on this sample).

Why do you say "is must be". Is this very common?

Thinking about it again - it doesn't happen when I have the Sensaura 3D option enabled, so it can't be the headphone amp.

-dave
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 11 June, 2003, 01:05:07 PM
"It must be", because when you play loud a full scale signal, there should be some distortion. For example when I play a 6 and a 18 kHz sine at high volume, I can hear a 12 kHz intermodulation, but when I play the 6 kHz in one speaker and the 18 kHz in the other, I get no intermodulation.
And when udial.wav is distorded, there should be an ambulance sound.

If there is no ambulance with sensaura on, there can be two explanations.

-Sensaura lowpasses under 20 kHz
-Senasaura uses non resampling drivers

I've read the user manual of the Terratec DMX 6fire/6FireLT

It should resample anything under normal conditions.
For me, the way to avoid resampling with this soundcard is to use the digital output, and set the digital output setting to "wave playback". I don't think it can avoid resampling if it is set to "mixer". Windows might resample too, according to the DirectSound/WaveOut options.

Sensaura is a option for multichannel playback, does it mutes the CD and line inputs ? This would explain why it doesn't resample (if it doesn't).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: dgover2 on 11 June, 2003, 01:59:08 PM
> "It must be", because when you play loud a full scale signal, there should be some distortion.

Will there be distortion in every case? I'm sure some people have said in this thread that it sounds fine with their sound card.

> If there is no ambulance with sensaura on, there can be two explanations.

> -Sensaura lowpasses under 20 kHz
> -Senasaura uses non resampling drivers

Assuming that the card doesn't do any resampling at all, as the manual (and Terratec support) have told me, doesn't that mean that there should be no ambulance sound whether Sensaura is enabled or not?

> Sensaura is a option for multichannel playback, does it mutes the CD and line inputs ? This would
> explain why it doesn't resample (if it doesn't).

It doesn't mute the CD & Line inputs.

BTW Terratec support told me to keep Sensaura disabled to avoid resampling but the way they told me was very hard to understand so maybe I misunderstood.

cheers
-dave
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 11 June, 2003, 04:20:04 PM
Quote
Will there be distortion in every case?

Everytime you can set the volume high enough for something to be overloaded (ampli / headphones / speakers). This should be possible on any hifi power amplifier, but not necessarily with a soundcard.

I also forgot an obvious thing (d'oh)  : the ambulance sound can be caused by clipping (analog or digital). Sensaura may avoid clipping.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 11 June, 2003, 04:26:19 PM
To know if you never get resampling, try to open two sessions of Winamp, set both to waveout, and select your soundcard in the wave out properties. Then play a 44.1 kHz file in one, and a 48 kHz file in the other one.
If your soundcard really never resamples, you should either get an error message saying that the "audio device is already in use by another application", or hear one of the tracks completely out of tune (slowed down from 48 to 44.1, or speeded up from 44.1 to 48).
Another possible test : record something through the line in at 48 kHz, while you listen to an MP3 at 44.1 kHz. Either you shouldn't be able to listen to both at the same time (you then record without hearing), either a message about sample rates mismatch will be displayed, either the MP3 will play out of tune (too fast), either the recorded 48 kHz file will be out of tune once you save it, load it into Winamp, and play it.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: /me on 16 June, 2003, 02:45:50 AM
 No distortion here, just some clip at the 19.5 freq part.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CiTay on 16 June, 2003, 07:27:38 AM
Best results for Hercules GTXP, latest Hercules drivers, Win XP: Main windows volume set to ~55%, foobar output "Directsound", not allowing HW mixing, Active DSPs "Attenuator" and maybe "Advanced Limiter". This way, there are no sirens to be heard, only some humming. "Crossfeed" causes siren galore. Main volume above 55% produces siren sound (clipping). Resampling to 48 KHz also makes the humming disappear for the most part, but the difference isn't that big. There's no difference between slow/fast resampling and 32/64 bit. Using WaveOut also sounds good.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: ogg on 17 June, 2003, 03:25:45 AM
Soundcard: Hercules Gamesurround Fortissimo III 7.1
Player: foobar2000 0.667
Output: Kernel Streaming, also tried DirectSound w/ hardware mixing
DSPs: disabled
Master volume: 100%

0 audible distortions, sounds like clear phone dialing.

When I tried it with DSPs, I noticed soft clipping limiter and crossfeed cause siren sounds, advanced limiter corrects them.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JohnV on 17 June, 2003, 04:12:48 AM
Quote
I need help.

I have tried everything that I can think of in Foobar v.0.667 to fix the clipping/sample rate conversion problems with udial.ape on Audigy 2 Platinum eX (latest drivers).

I cannot make the aliasing artifacts go away whatever I try. Yes, it becomes lower in amplitude and slightly harder to spot, but it is always there. Clipping goes away with proper setting of volume/replaygain though (which is good). But it is disheartening to notice that it happens at all to the extent that it is audible on Audigy 2.

I have tried:

- Replaygain disabled/track/album
- Peak info to scale on/off
- Output data format16-bit/24-bit/32-bit
- Output data format dither: off/Strong ATH
- DSP Resampling: 48kz/96kHz
- Precision 32/64bit
- slow mode On/Off
- Attenuator: off/on (-9 dB)
- Directsound/WaveOut/KernelStream/Asio output

I either get the aliased sound going on like an ambulance and no clipping (WaveOut/KernelStream) or I get clipped noise bursts that modulate into the noise floor in synch with the aliased ambulance noise, without actually hearing the ambulance noise as such (DirectSound, much less nasty than Wave/Kernel). This all with Audigy 2 Platinum eX.

With RME DIGI 96/8 PAD I get no aliasing modulated ambulance sounds nor do I get any clipping.

Regardless of what settings I use (resampled/replaygained/dithered or not), I always get problems with Audigy 2.

I also tried resampling to 96kHz (no requantization, still at 16 bits) in SoundForge at quality level 4 (using anti-aliasing filter during resampling). This sample is much better, but still has sound that sound like a wailing ambulance siren clipping, when played back on Audigy 2 from SoundForge.

Playing back the same Soundforge sample rate converted sound on RME card produce a very faintly audible trace of something modulated into the noise floor.

What on earth is going on with the Audigy 2 card?

I thought that only the Audigy's SRC/volume control was problematic, but even if I do the resampling elsewhere I still get the nasty ambulance sound, but only on Audigy 2 not on RME 96/8 card.

I tested Audigy2. There was no distortion with udial if I used foobar2000 and the following settings:

- Resampling 48khz
- Output 24bit
- Directsound output
- Enable "Allow hardware mixing"
- Press the "default" button in the Creative Surround Mixer, so that there's no treble amplification
- Make sure you don't have any CMSS 3D or other effects enabled

This way I get no distortion with both master and wave volume set to max.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: joey_m on 18 June, 2003, 09:42:34 PM
EDIT: It seems this test was flawed, as I re-did this test and got consistent results (post here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=9772&st=149&#)). I guess I had the main volume slider up to 100% while perfomring some of the tests.

Hi!

I was very interested in this test tone, so I downloaded and played it on my system. I have an Audigy2 (latest official drivers, WinXP Pro, Athlon 1800+, 768 MBytes RAM) connected to a Sony STR 840P (multi channel and digital coaxial inputs used on the receiver, Audigy mixer wave and main volume set to max, all else set to default, no CMSS or EAX effects, speakers configured as 2/2.1) Using some fairly cheap Technics headphones (RP-F300), I get inconsistent results:

I'm using fb2k 0.667, and while I don't understand many of the options, I'll try to reproduce everything I've done. Only active DSP's are Attenuator and Resampler. Replaygain disabled, recommended dithering setting, 16 bit output (should I use 24 bit here?)

Fisrt "run":

In the Audigy Device Control, digital output sampling rate was set to 48 kHz.
I got the "ambulance" with the resampler at 44.1 kHz, and just the ringtones (and some noise, which I guess is the aliased noise Halcyon mentions) at 48 kHz. Different "laser" sounds appeared all the way up to and including 96 kHz, using DS, KS, and Wave Out (same results on all 3). When switching to digital input, the "laser" effects were less notorious (lower volume, while the ringtones remained at the same volume), but they were there nonetheless. 32 or 64 bit processing doesn't seem to affect the ouput.

Second "run"

In the Audigy Device Control, digital output sampling rate was set to 96 kHz.
I get very similar results as those outlined above, but with the resampler at 96 kHz, I get no "laser" effect, using the multi in or the digital in on the receiver. Same results using either DS, KS or Wave Out.


Third "run" (here's where things start to get weird)

Digital output sampling reset to 48  kHz
Resampler at 44.1 kHz, DS: I get a mix of loud ambulance and "alien sounds", seems to be a lot of clipping. Volume of the "alien ambulance" drops a bit when hardware mixing is enabled.
WaveOut: Very loud "ambulance" sounds,
KS: Somewhat lower volume ambulance sounds

Resampler at 48 kHz, multichannel out:
DS: "Nicer" sounding ambulance, no apparent differences with hardware mixing enabled
WaveOut: Ditto
KS: Same as above, a bit lower in volume.
Digital out: no high frequencies, just the ringtones with all 3 ouput options.

Resampler at 96 kHz, multichannel out:
DS: No high frequency, just the ring tones and the noise after the 4th tone. "Ambulance" comes back if hardware mixing is enabled.
Wave Out: Same as 48 kHz above
KS: Same as 48 kHz above
Digital out: DS has only the ringtones plus noise, WaveOut and KS have 3 short "lasers"

If I switch back to 96 kHz digital output sampling, I get mixed results again (and a pretty bad headache, I might add!). Any clues as to what I'm doing wrong?


Cheers, Joey.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: rpop on 19 June, 2003, 01:16:14 AM
Finally! A sound annoying enough to wake me up in the morning! Many thanks!
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Mguel on 27 November, 2003, 06:20:44 PM
Quote
... with my SB Live 5.1

96 khz Dsound: High freq. again. Similar to 48
88 khz Dsound: Same.
64 khz Dsound: Very clear laser-effects.
48 khz Dsound: Almost the same.
44 khz Dsound: Less high freq. with fairly quiet laser-effects
32 khz Dsound: No problems at all.
24 khz Dsound: Same
22 khz Dsound: Same
16 khz Dsound: Same
11 khz Dsound: Same
8 khz Dsound: Same

Quote
8000  - even crapper quality, no humming or aliens
11025 - crapper quality, no humming or aliens
16000 - crap quality, no humming or aliens
22050 - a bit more higher pitch
24000 - perfect, but slightly higher pitch
32000 - sounds perfect
44100 - no clipping, humming and louder aliens
48000 - no clipping, but is humming and alien sound!
64000 - whistling sound?
88200 - humming, aliet, ambulance??
96000 - humming with slight alien sound

Does this mean I have a crap sound card?


First of all sorry for posting on this old thread, but I get here through the Forum FAQ, and have some basic questions (maybe stupid ones  )

I have similar results as both quotes with SBLive 5.1 (Win2k) using foobar; when resampling to 32000 I can hear only the dial tones and no distortion no high pitches.

After re-reading all the thread I'm still not sure if this means that I should always use this setting? This will make the less clipping/best quality output with normal music or this is only for "alien music"  ?

Thanks in advance.

PS: Another strange thing is that with winamp 2.78 I never got the alien laser noise...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CiTay on 27 November, 2003, 07:06:20 PM
Quote
I have similar results as both quotes with SBLive 5.1 (Win2k) using foobar; when resampling to 32000 I can hear only the dial tones and no distortion no high pitches.

After re-reading all the thread I'm still not sure if this means that I should always use this setting? This will make the less clipping/best quality output with normal music or this is only for "alien music"  ?

This is because of the Nyquist Theorem, which states that only frequencies up to half of the sample rate can be stored. The alien/laser/whatever effect stems from signals in the 19.5-20.5 KHz frequency range. At 44.1 KHz sampling rate, we get effective 22.05 KHz, but at 32 KHz we only get up to 16 KHz, so that strong high-frequency signal isn't played back at all. There can be no aliasing from those signals and everything will sound fine (but that doesn't mean it's better). This shows you that testing below 44.1 KHz is pointless. The signal in question isn't even reproduced, how can there be a problem.

For SB Live or Audigy, you should get good results by using foobar's resampler (in DSP manager) to resample to 48 KHz.


Quote
PS: Another strange thing is that with winamp 2.78 I never got the alien laser noise...

Winamp is probably using WaveOut and foobar2k is using DirectSound?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 27 November, 2003, 07:09:41 PM
Quote
I have similar results as both quotes with SBLive 5.1 (Win2k) using foobar; when resampling to 32000 I can hear only the dial tones and no distortion no high pitches.

After re-reading all the thread I'm still not sure if this means that I should always use this setting? This will make the less clipping/best quality output with normal music or this is only for "alien music"  ?

Thanks in advance.

PS: Another strange thing is that with winamp 2.78 I never got the alien laser noise...

No. Using 32kHz spoils the test, as max. sound frequency is 16kHz, while the tones causing the awful sounds are > 16kHz and therefore filtered out when using 32kHz sampling rate.

Try this:
- Set resampling to 48kHz
- Disable all other DSPs
- Disable replaygain (for testing)
Now
- try different output methods (WaveOut, DirectSound) and
- lower output level, either using foobar2000's volume DSP or windows sound control panel (wave slider). Hopefully you'll find a setting where the nasty sounds are gone.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: fewtch on 27 November, 2003, 08:19:03 PM
Interesting sample... no distortion with my card, and I can hear the clean high frequency tones on the last four DTMF tones (Sennheiser HD600 headphones) at a higher volume (except now I have tinnitus  ) .

I don't understand the comments here about amps -- any decent amp should be able to handle 19.5 or 20 KHz tones at 0 to -1dB without having problems, it should be no different to the amp than 1 KHz or 5 KHz.  Tweeter issues... that one makes sense... 

P.S. SSRC resampling to 96/24 is fine with Peter's WaveOut v2.0.2 SSRC resampler on WinAMP v2.91 (Win98SE).

(Edit -- removed comments on WinAMP equalizer, they weren't valid)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Druid on 27 November, 2003, 11:50:53 PM
Hi, people. Stop testing soundcards with this sample! 
Strange sounds in this sample are the result of sampling rate limits. Frequences about 20 kHz CAN NOT be adequately present in 41kHz sampling. Only pure sine tones might be. Any comlex sounds (modulated etc) are generating various interference. Nature of this interference is subject of various factors (starting sample for instance).
As an illustration of this effect test analogous process in graphics: create 1 pixel stripes and then resize this image to size of few pixel more. Resulting image would contain not only original frequency of stripes, but additional frequences (result of interference). Exact view of additional frequences is subject of various factors (resize algorithm for instance).

sorry for language
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Chun-Yu on 28 November, 2003, 01:04:21 AM
Quote
Strange sounds in this sample are the result of sampling rate limits. Frequences about 20 kHz CAN NOT be adequately present in 41kHz sampling. Only pure sine tones might be. Any comlex sounds (modulated etc) are generating various interference. Nature of this interference is subject of various factors (starting sample for instance).

No, they aren't.  Play it on a good soundcard --> no strange sounds.  Frequencies above 20 kHz that are "complex sounds" may have frequencies > 1/2 sampling rate of 44.1 kHz sure, but that is irrelevant since we have a sound thats sampled at 44.1 kHz already so therefore it ONLY contains frequencies it can represent (although some *could* be aliased from higher ones).  But that is clearly not the case because if you look at a spectral view of the sample, there aren't any aliased frequencies (at least, I don't remember any :B ).  Therefore, any aliasing you hear is from bad playback. 

Sorry...tired..explaination probably doesn't make too much sense.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Druid on 28 November, 2003, 01:33:41 AM
example of same ALIASING:
start Sound Forge, new file 48kHz 16bit. Tools-Synthesis-Simple 19000Hz -1dB. View-Spectrum Analysis. one peak -10dB at 19000Hz and many peaks -100dB at 17000Hz, 15000Hz, 13000Hz, 11000Hz etc. If you hardware power enough to hear -100db - play this sample. typically you would hear all peaks below 17kHz.

this is NOT ALIASING  this is simple bad representation of analog signal in limited digital form. exact distribution of this artefact peaks depends on many factors and should not be considered GOOD or BAD.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Chun-Yu on 28 November, 2003, 02:04:27 AM
No, that must be from Sound Forge's spectral display or sine wave generator.  Do the same thing in CoolEdit (oh, excuse me, "Audition") and there is no such effect.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Druid on 28 November, 2003, 02:31:31 AM
Quote
No, that must be from Sound Forge's spectral display or sine wave generator.  Do the same thing in CoolEdit (oh, excuse me, "Audition") and there is no such effect.

General effect is the same: artefacts on various frequenses at about -100dB. As i say "exact distribution of this artefact peaks depends on many factors". You can change a bit any parameter and artefacts would be completely different. That means only one: we are close to limits and exact behavior are undefined. But, on the other side: this test absolutely synthetic. Real music have dynamic range no more than 80dB and frequency no more than 10-15kHz and artefacts could be hidden.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Chun-Yu on 28 November, 2003, 02:44:47 AM
Those "artifacts" are a result of FFT window and window length.  Use a large enough window and a window such as the Blackmann one and they'll disappear.  Plus, with 16-bit audio -100 dB is already past the noise floor.  Real music most definitely has a larger dynamic range and frequency range than what you give - especially orchestral music.  Pop music like Britney Spears or something doesn't, but it still has many frequencies > 15 kHz.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 28 November, 2003, 04:40:51 AM
Quote
this test absolutely synthetic.

Yes. If there are no audible problems in the test with certain soundcard/player settings you can be sure that there'll be never related problems with real music. That's the point.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Mguel on 28 November, 2003, 06:36:26 AM
Thanks CiTay and tigre for your answers 


Quote
Quote
PS: Another strange thing is that with winamp 2.78 I never got the alien laser noise...

Winamp is probably using WaveOut and foobar2k is using DirectSound?


Yes and no. Winamp was with waveout and foobar with DS at first... but then changed winamp to DirectSound and it still played fine 
Changed also foobar to Waveout, DirectSound, DS2, and kernel streaming, but the same laser noise on 44100 and 48000...

Later when I have more time I'll try what tigre told me to test.

Thanks again, best regards,
Mguel
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: KikeG on 28 November, 2003, 08:23:14 AM
Quote
General effect is the same: artefacts on various frequenses at about -100dB.

Another possibility is that what you are seeing is quantization distortion. If it is, it should happen also when generating a lower freq. tone, because it is independent from sampling frequency. Quantization distortion happens due to the quantized nature (limited bitdepth) of real-world sampling, and can be fixed by the adequate use of dither. If you generate the tone at 32 or 24-bit resoluton, and then convert to 16 bit using dither, you shouldn't see such artifacts, at any frequency.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: AndyMutz on 28 November, 2003, 02:12:16 PM
Quote
For SB Live or Audigy, you should get good results by using foobar's resampler (in DSP manager) to resample to 48 KHz.

in my case, it doesn't matter if i set the foobar resampler to 48 khz or leave it turned off, i can clearly hear the "ambulance" effect on my audigy. i can still hear some noise of the effect when setting resampler to 64 kzh. the noise is completely gone, when using resampler with 88,2 or 96 khz (resampler slow mode always turned off).
does anyone know why it's like that? i thought that resample everything to 48 khz on live and audigy cards should be the optimal playback setting..
and does anyone know if it has any negative side effects resampling to 96 khz? at least, i don't hear any..

-andy-
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CosmoKramer on 28 November, 2003, 03:16:22 PM
Turn down the main volume to below 80%.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CiTay on 28 November, 2003, 03:20:15 PM
Quote
Turn down the main volume to below 80%.

Yes, that can help, i had to set it as low as 55%, even though i don't own a Live/Audigy (anymore).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CosmoKramer on 28 November, 2003, 03:30:12 PM
Well I do have an Audigy2... 

Not only can it help but it does completely eliminate the ambulance sound so that it sounds identical to my Revolution. I am of course assuming that SSRC is used here - out of the box there is no way to get udial to playback correctly with a Live/Audigy.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: germanjulian on 28 November, 2003, 04:22:57 PM
HELP!

  utter confusion.

so ok i listen to the sound sample and sure enough i get the phone dialing and some bad as high pitched siren sound.

I play around with foobar etc etc. now the sound is gone and i just hear the phone.

ahhh I cant get the bad high pitched sound to come back?! all dsp is off and I tried all the settings and restarted foobar dozen of times and no joy.

well it works now just dont know why
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: germanjulian on 28 November, 2003, 05:52:32 PM
ahh now its back. ok dont know what happened.

anyway with audigy 2 sz (or whatever the second edition is called) and latest drivers the alien sound is always there except when i resample to 48Khz using foobar dsp!
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CiTay on 28 November, 2003, 06:19:04 PM
In the first post, what do you think this is for:

Quote
ATTENTION: Play this sample at a low volume anytime, even if you hear nothing special! It can be very harmful to equipment and/or your ears.


You probably almost destroyed some part of your audio equipment, but it recovered after a while. Next time read the instructions or at least some more of the thread...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: ScorLibran on 28 November, 2003, 08:20:08 PM
Here's what happens with my Echo Indigo, playing the file in Winamp5rc8 with waveOut output v2.0.2a SSRC (out_wave_ssrc.dll), using each of the Indigo's supported sample rates.  Master volume was initially set to 100%.

32000Hz, 24bits --- Normal (touch-tones only)
44100Hz, 24bits --- Normal
48000Hz, 24bits --- Normal
88200Hz, 24bits --- Moderate but obvious "siren" effect during playback
96000Hz, 24bits --- More pronounced "siren" effect during playback

When I set the volume to -1dB (in the Indigo Console), the "siren sound" is moderately attenuated relative to overall volume.  When I set it
-2dB, the "siren" sound is greatly attenuated relative to the overall volume, and I have to physically turn up my speaker volume to hear it at all.  Lowering the volume in the console further results in no significant change in the volume of the "siren" relative to the overall volume.

When I use the ASIO output plugin, the effect is very similar to using waveOut.  But using DirectSound output v2.2.8 SSRC (out_ds_ssrc.dll), the "siren" effect is barely audible even with the console volume set to 0dB (no attentuation).  Lowering the console volume seems to not affect the volume of the "siren" sound relative to the rest of the sound when using DS output.

Two questions...

-1- Why would DS not play the "siren" effect nearly as loud relatively at a 0dB console volume compared to waveOut or ASIO?

-2- Since the Echo Indigo is supposed to provide "true 96/24 playback", why wouldn't all of the output plugins result in no such distortion during playback at this sample frequency and bps?  Is it a software output problem, or an Indigo problem?

I'll try it with foobar2000 later.  And if anyone wants output samples from me, just tell me how to save output from these plugins, because the only way I've done it before was using the DiskWriter plugin, and I don't know how to specify more than one output plugin (ASIO --> DiskWriter, for instance).  And the version of DiskWriter I have for W/A only resamples up to 48000Hz for PCM.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: germanjulian on 29 November, 2003, 05:35:48 AM
Quote
You probably almost destroyed some part of your audio equipment, but it recovered after a while. Next time read the instructions or at least some more of the thread...

no CiTay, cause when I played it with windows media player it was still there. 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: fewtch on 29 November, 2003, 05:53:19 AM
A sample like udial shouldn't damage headphones (unless the drivers are distorting) and definitely not soundcards.  Playing too loud, too long could certainly damage hearing AFAIC.  As far as speakers, it's probably safer not to play it at all with any that have tweeters.

Edit -- someone mentioned power amps (or amps in general) and I'm really unclear on how udial could damage an amplifier.  I've never heard of any combination of frequencies or tones damaging an amp before, although I suppose anything's possible.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: JeanLuc on 29 November, 2003, 06:04:19 AM
Quote
Edit -- someone mentioned power amps (or amps in general) and I'm really unclear on how udial could damage an amplifier.  I've never heard of any combination of frequencies or tones damaging an amp before, although I suppose anything's possible.

Amps can be damaged with low-impedance load (below 1 Ohm,  on low frequencies) if the amps are not properly protected ... The Infinity Kappa 9 went down to 0,8 Ohms at 30 Hz and has definitely fried some Amps

Undistorted (!) udial should be safe for an amp, though ... and most modern tweeters with properly designed crossovers (12dB/Octave minimum with fs high enough - double crossover frequency from tweeter's own resonance) should be safe as well ... as long as they are not loaded with some 100 Watts high frequency energy

EDIT: By the way, I fried my tweters once with some ugly high-frequency feedback from my DAT ... idiot that I was, i turned the volume knob right instead of left ... it was a classic coil meltdown in both tweeters
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: zima on 30 November, 2003, 02:31:32 PM
Who'd have thought that Aureal Vortex SQ2500, that I use for listening music right now (in winXP with default drivers & fbk with ds2.0), doesn't resample...anyway the sample sounds the same with resampler on or off, no clipping. And some weird sample that is...I think I have a headache (or at least earache) right now, though I'm not 100% sure that's because of it. And I definitely hear (luckily, just slightly), apart from dialing, some high pitched noise (even when at the beginning I didn't know what to expect - didn't read the thread) especially at the beginning of each dialing tone (though after leaving almost only this high sound with eq I heard it "longer", weird is that it isn't very dependant on volume level - interestingly direction in which my head was pointing has much bigger influence in perception of this sound)

So...I guess that what matters is that I don't hear differences (which means my current setup is ok...) - and slightly hearing this high pitched sound is nothing to worry about - probably because I just can hear such sound at this level of volume or my amplifier etc. alters something, right?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 30 November, 2003, 09:01:48 PM
Quote
And I definitely hear (luckily, just slightly), [...] especially at the beginning of each dialing tone [...] direction in which my head was pointing has much bigger influence in perception of this sound

According to your description, you seem to hear the real sound (you've got a very good hearing then), not resample or clipping artifacts. Tigre has posted some simulation of how it should sound above in this thread, IIRC.

Quote
As far as speakers, it's probably safer not to play it at all with any that have tweeters.

It should be even more dangerous with speakers without tweeters. Wideband speakers have a tendancy to have their wires easily melt by high frequency tones (the two wires glued on the cone).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: K. Shaytan on 02 December, 2003, 07:47:19 AM
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: tigre on 02 December, 2003, 08:53:17 AM
Quote
What the hell? 

For someone not knowing you well it's hard to figure out what you're trying to say ...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: K. Shaytan on 02 December, 2003, 10:50:55 AM
Quote
Quote
What the hell? 

For someone not knowing you well it's hard to figure out what you're trying to say ... 

this was the frequency analisis of the sample mad with adobe audition...
I've never seen a spectrogram like this ! 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: nbv4 on 02 December, 2003, 11:34:30 AM
Quote
What the hell? 

thats actually pretty cool
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: rutra80 on 02 December, 2003, 02:33:57 PM
I have an integrated CMedia 9738 audio chip on my mobo, and here are my results:
For playback I used fb2k with all DSP disabled. I get no clipping, changing volume in windows doesn't change anything (except volume of course), switching between KernelStreaming & WaveOut & DirectSound doesn't change anything, changing bit depths doesn't change anything (except 8-bits which sound like 8-bits). But, I have an issue with the emergency-alarm-alike background sound (or rather foreground because it's louder than dialing tones), I think that this "siren" sound doesn't reach frequencies higher than 16KHz here.
I enabled Resampler (SSRC), and here are my results for different settings:
8KHz-32KHz - clear dialing tones without siren
44KHz - siren issue
48KHz - siren issue
64KHz - lower & faster & loudest siren issue
88KHz - siren issue
96KHz - louder siren issue

I don't know how to conclude it, what do you think?


EDIT: My chip doesn't support bit depths higher than 16, and I'm not sure if it supports 48KHz sample rate (I mean, I'm not sure if it doesn't resample 48KHz to 44KHz), 44KHz it supports for sure (or maybe it resamples 44KHz to 48KHz?).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CiTay on 02 December, 2003, 02:52:40 PM
Quote
I have an integrated CMedia 9738 audio chip on my mobo, and here are my results:
For playback I used fb2k with all DSP disabled. I get no clipping, changing volume in windows doesn't change anything (except volume of course), switching between KernelStreaming & WaveOut & DirectSound doesn't change anything, changing bit depths doesn't change anything (except 8-bits which sound like 8-bits). But, I have an issue with the emergency-alarm-alike background sound (or rather foreground because it's louder than dialing tones), I think that this "siren" sound doesn't reach frequencies higher than 16KHz here.
I enabled Resampler (SSRC), and here are my results for different settings:
8KHz-32KHz - clear dialing tones without siren
44KHz - siren issue
48KHz - siren issue
64KHz - lower & faster & loudest siren issue
88KHz - siren issue
96KHz - louder siren issue

I don't know how to conclude it, what do you think?


EDIT: My chip doesn't support bit depths higher than 16, and I'm not sure if it supports 48KHz sample rate (I mean, I'm not sure if it doesn't resample 48KHz to 44KHz), 44KHz it supports for sure (or maybe it resamples 44KHz to 48KHz?).

Testing below 44.1 KHz is pointless, because of the reason mentioned above. About your onboard AC '97 solution, well, it resamples to 48 KHz. Resampling to over 48 KHz is pretty pointless too. I think it's just a bad implementation on your motherboard. Unless you can find newer drivers from C-Media or something, you're pretty much stuck with that... I would buy a real soundcard.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: AstralStorm on 21 January, 2004, 11:26:07 AM
Terratec Aureon 7.1 w/o Sensaura, 24 bps padded to 32bps int
No dithering
Listening gear: Sennheiser HD-497 & some old Polish 3-way speakers+amp

Code: [Select]
            Aureon 7.1 Space

           Software:    Version 5.01.2600.14    (TTP9MIXER.EXE)
           Interface:      Version 5.01.2600.14    (TTP9API.DLL)
           Driver:      Version 5.01.2600.14    (TTP9.SYS)
           Sensaura:    Version 5.10.00.3506    (TTP9SENS.SYS)

           System Information

           Windows:        Windows XPDodatek Service Pack. 1 (5.1 Build 2600)
           DirectX:        Version 9.0  (4.09.00.902)
           Wave Mapper:    Aureon Wave    (Playback)
           Wave Mapper:    Aureon Wave    (Record)            


DirectSound resampling quality set to Best.

I've tested only >=44100 Hz

Kernel Streaming:
W/o anything: no siren (I've heard HF tone on slow dialtones (unpleasant), but no siren)
Foobar2k SSRC 0.7.7b: no siren on all settings (?)
DirectSound: same as above.
"IP Voice" mode: no problems (weird, it should use DirectSound resampling...)
WaveOut: no problems (only up to 48kHz supported)
with Headphone amp on: no problems
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: joey_m on 23 January, 2004, 07:26:56 PM
(LONG post, sorry!)

It seems my previous test was flawed (I think I had the main volume slider at 100% during some of the tests), but here are my latest test results. Apparently, with my setup (not a freshly formatted system, BTW), the only setting that produces 0 artifacts with this sample is 48 kHz resampling with SSRC. The apparent conclusion is that there's no way to bypass the Audigy 2's internal resampling

System:

Athlon XP 1800+
Win XP Pro SP1
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
Latest Creative Drivers (downloaded file:SBA2_EAX4DRV_031031.exe)
Default settings in Creatve Surround Mixer (WAV volume 100%, MAIN volume aprox. 80%)
No effects in EAX Console
foobar2000: 16 bit fixed-point, strong ATH noise shaping dither.
Onkyo TX-SR 500 receiver (Analog in: Multichannel inputs (RCA), Digital in: Coax)
audio-technica ATH-M40fs headphones

Test results:

Audigy 2 Analog Out:

No SSRC
Wave Out: Aliens ()
DS w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Aliens
KS: Aliens

SSRC 44.1 kHz (slow mode unchecked in all cases)
Wave Out: Aliens
DS w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Aliens
KS: Aliens

SSRC 48 kHz
Wave Out: No aliens
DS w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: No aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: No aliens
KS: No aliens

SSRC 64 kHz
Wave Out: Very faint aliens
DS w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens (had to push the volume very high to hear them)
DS w/hardware mixing: Very faint aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Very faint aliens
KS: Very faint aliens

SSRC 88.2 kHz
Wave Out: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
KS: Short and faint "alien bursts"

SSRC 96 kHz
Wave Out: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
KS: Short and faint "alien bursts"


Audigy 2 SPDIF Out:

No SSRC
Wave Out: Aliens
DS w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Aliens
KS: Aliens

SSRC 44.1 kHz (slow mode unchecked in all cases)
Wave Out: Aliens
DS w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Aliens
KS: Aliens

SSRC 48 kHz
Wave Out: No aliens
DS w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: No aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: No aliens
KS: No aliens

SSRC 64 kHz
Wave Out: Very faint aliens
DS w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens (had to push the volume very high to hear them)
DS w/hardware mixing: Very faint aliens
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Very faint aliens
KS: Very faint aliens

SSRC 88.2 kHz
Wave Out: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : Almost imperceptible aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
KS: Short and faint "alien bursts"

SSRC 96 kHz
Wave Out: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
DS2 w/o hardware mixing : No aliens
DS2 w/hardware mixing: Short and faint "alien bursts"
KS: Short and faint "alien bursts"


Cheers, Joey.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Mono on 06 December, 2004, 03:41:56 AM
Anyone know why I get the ambulance/alien/screech when playing udial immediately after a different sound file?

If I play udial immediately after opening fb2k or after playing the file again then I hear no audible distortion, just the dial tones. However I do hear the distortion if I play udial after playing a different sound file, or after playing udial when it sounded distorted. This is without changing settings of any kind. Upon looking at the fb2k console, the distortion seems to occur after fb2k closes a stream and creates a new one.

Pertinent specs:
foobar2000 0.8.3
no DSPs enabled
DirectSound 2.0 with hardware mixing
SB Audigy 2 Platinum eX
Code: [Select]
INFO (CORE) : startup time: 250 ms
INFO (CORE) : opening file for playback :
INFO (CORE) : location: "file://D:\udial.flac" (0)
INFO (foo_out_dsound_ex) : Created stream: 44100Hz 24bps 2ch
INFO (CORE) : opening file for playback :
INFO (CORE) : location: "file://D:\sine002-1-philemon-war_is_peace.mp3" (0)
INFO (CORE) : opening file for playback :
INFO (CORE) : location: "file://D:\udial.flac" (0)
INFO (foo_out_dsound_ex) : Created stream: 44100Hz 24bps 2ch

In that instance, fb2k was opened, played udial (no distortions were heard), played another file, and then played udial again (this time, there were distortions).
Code: [Select]
INFO (CORE) : startup time: 219 ms
INFO (CORE) : opening file for playback :
INFO (CORE) : location: "file://D:\udial.flac" (0)
INFO (foo_out_dsound_ex) : Created stream: 44100Hz 24bps 2ch
INFO (CORE) : opening file for playback :
INFO (CORE) : location: "file://D:\udial.flac" (0)
INFO (CORE) : opening file for playback :
INFO (CORE) : location: "file://D:\udial.flac" (0)

In this instance udial is played repeatedly without distortions.

So, what's the verdict?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: matth6546 on 07 December, 2004, 01:16:57 PM
i play the file without hearing anything other than the dialing phone. so i guess my set up is good. i played it in foobar without any audio settings or anything. i then applied replaygain and played it again. the dialing was louder and the second half of the file was weird static or something.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Compact Dick on 15 February, 2005, 01:51:40 AM
Tested with E-mu 0404 using foobar2000 at 44100 Hz, and with the PPHS resampler at 48000, 96000 & 192000 Hz. No sirens or aliens, all equipment still working.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: SamK on 20 February, 2005, 06:21:37 AM
Tested on my rio Karma (as a flac file) : no siren.

Not even when I set the karma's EQ at +10dB .. And this is strange, as it's quite clear a few dB is enough for the clipping to be very strongly audible.

What is the karma doing ? soft-limiting after the EQ ? That would mean the karma does EQ on numbers longer than 16 bits (can an ARM proc do that ?).

Oh my sweet, sweet, karma ! 



My SbLive! plays this sample very well too.
With or without SSRC to 48kHz, I get no siren (unless I add a +1dB gain, or set the front Wave setting in any of the highest positions - they're all marked as being +x by the Kx Mixer anyway, so it's pretty obvious those 5 highest settings do digital scaling and can cause clipping, even if the master setting is at 20%..).
I don't know if this good behaviour is due to my using the Kx driver, being clever about the mixer setting, or using trustful WaveOut instead of DirectSound.

As a side note : to test resampling artifacts, I find it more adequate to use a plain sine wave (19.5 kHz shows the sBlive! resampling artifacts *very* audibly).

On this file, no resampling artifact audible (and I wouldnt turn the volume up to see if there's any low leveled artifact noise, that doesnt make any sense. If the resampling artifacts are *that* low, that means the resampling was good enough on this sample, period.)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: SamK on 20 February, 2005, 06:33:16 AM
Quote
Anyone know why I get the ambulance/alien/screech when playing udial immediately after a different sound file?


didnt look the details, but it's most surely due to DirectSound.
It's designed to automagically choose audio settings adequate to what you  play, and mix all the stuff you feed it.
Once your first file is done and you feed another one (without making a pause in the audio output), DirectSound can not reset the card's settings (that would make a slight pause), so it does whatever conversion required to play the new audio signal on the current card settings *in software* (or maybe uses features of the card to do them. It can do anything, as long as it doesnt introduce a pause in the output).

My knowledge of DirectSound doesnt go further than that. I could imagine DirectSound clients have ways to ask for reset of precise audio output parameters, and that foobar can use DirectSound in a better way than what I described.

But the scenario I described is , IMO, very probably what's happening.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: MrEnergizer on 20 February, 2005, 10:28:38 AM
Played with Foobar using M Audio Audiophile 2496
Plays dialling tones  fine very slight humming halfway through sample but I can live with that
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: zidanax on 22 May, 2005, 03:44:09 AM
Tried this sample with my E-MU 0404.  I don't get any "alien" sounds or other high-pitched noises.  However, I get a quiet buzzing sound, which doesn't go away unless I downsample the audio to 32KHz or below.  Is this normal?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Defsac on 22 May, 2005, 09:14:27 AM
On my Yamaha DS-XG card:
No DSP: Aliens, no humming
SSRC 48khz: no aliens, no humming
Stereo > Mono: high pitched aliens, no humming
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: cyborg on 24 May, 2005, 10:08:11 AM
I tested the "udial.ape" on foobar2000 0.8.3. My soundcard is VIA AC'97. I tried it first without resampler and there was distortions. When I adjusted the "Preamp" to -3 dB there was no distortions. Next I tested it with three resamplers: SSRC, PPHS and SRC (Secret Rabbit Code v1.01). I upsampled the file to 48 kHz with all resamplers and all combos. All produced a variable amount of distortions, except SRC's "Sinc Fastest" quality in normal and slow mode. The distortions disappeared completely in that quality and in normal and slow mode.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Defsac on 25 May, 2005, 09:40:16 AM
I just found a program called YMFTools for Yamaha cards, one of the options is "High quality 44.1 kHz Mode" so I enabled it and now I get very faint high pitched alien noise without resampling. I'm not entirely sure what it did but it seems to have reduced clipping.

Edit: Now when I use SSRC to 48 kHz it produces an extremely high frequency sine wave. At first I wasn't even sure I was hearing it but it's definitely there.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Mr_Rabid_Teddybear on 25 May, 2005, 10:42:33 AM
Quote
I tested the "udial.ape" on foobar2000 0.8.3. My soundcard is VIA AC'97. I tried it first without resampler and there was distortions. When I adjusted the "Preamp" to -3 dB there was no distortions. Next I tested it with three resamplers: SSRC, PPHS and SRC (Secret Rabbit Code v1.01). I upsampled the file to 48 kHz with all resamplers and all combos. All produced a variable amount of distortions, except SRC's "Sinc Fastest" quality in normal and slow mode. The distortions disappeared completely in that quality and in normal and slow mode.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=300154"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Strange!    I got an old SB Live! (CT4760). Udial produce a noticeable ambulance siren without resampling. Seemingly it was gone with resampling to 48kHz. But I now tried it more extensively and found that I still get some high pitched squeaking with resamping to 48kHz on my speakers when I yank the volume up a bit (but not on my headphones...). Except when, as cyborg found, using Secret Rabbit Code resampler with "Sinc Fastest" (normal and slow). Then I only get the dialing tone. The other qualities of SRC, and all qualities of SSRC and PPHS produces the squeaking... Wonder why? Well, guess I'm using SRC "Sinc Fastest" normal mode for playback hereafter....
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: HisInfernalMajesty on 31 May, 2005, 04:57:15 PM
Hello, I just wanted to say that I can't open the udial.zip for some reason. WinRAR spits out an "Unexpectied end of archive" when I try to open it.. I've tried a lot of things, but I just can't seem to open it... And I don't think the file is currupt because no one else has complained of it.. anyways, just thought I'd like you know.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Jan S. on 31 May, 2005, 06:18:23 PM
Quote
Hello, I just wanted to say that I can't open the udial.zip for some reason. WinRAR spits out an "Unexpectied end of archive" when I try to open it.. I've tried a lot of things, but I just can't seem to open it... And I don't think the file is currupt because no one else has complained of it.. anyways, just thought I'd like you know.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=302229"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The zip works. Re-download.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: unfortunateson on 31 May, 2005, 08:54:22 PM
No odd noises/buzzing at all, using an EMU 0404.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Acid8000 on 23 June, 2005, 07:06:32 AM
Sorry for the bump but I thought I may add the strange results I observed playing this sample.

Okay, I just tested this sample with my cheap/old Creative SoundBlaster PCI 4.1 Digital and my old (1970s) Pioneer SA-5300, as well as cheap Koss KSC10 Stereophones. Strangely enough no screeching or other weird noises at all noticed when using all output methods even when all the sound cards outputs are maxed. No noises either until I turn up the amp to unreasonably loud levels. I did not need to use any resampling, and I know my card resamples to 48000Hz.
Despite not hearing any 'ambulance' (I had to use the soft clipping limiter in Foobar to hear what that sounded like at first), I could definitely hear the high frequency/ies (perhaps because I'm still a teenager). Using tone generators up to 21000Hz or so I can hear a similar effect so I think its more a case of sensitive hearing rather than limited equipment.
On another note, I'm hoping that listening to such loud high frequencies wont harm my hearing down the line.

Edit: Perhaps I should test this sample in Linux to see whether the resampling behaviour is any different in that operating system. Unfortunately it won't be a 100% accurate replication of the test as maxing the volume in Linux results in very obvious clipping (not sure if by hardware or software) with normal music.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: mat128 on 29 June, 2005, 08:46:58 PM
Quote
Hello, I just wanted to say that I can't open the udial.zip for some reason. WinRAR spits out an "Unexpectied end of archive" when I try to open it.. I've tried a lot of things, but I just can't seem to open it... And I don't think the file is currupt because no one else has complained of it.. anyways, just thought I'd like you know.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=302229"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm getting the same shit  thought I was alone hehe... And I have to subscribe to Yahoo Groups to get the samples mirror (I subscribed but its awaiting approval...)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Caleb_ on 26 July, 2005, 06:09:10 PM
I have SB Live Value. kx drivers 3537. My DSP is cleared - I have there only two src (one is FXBus 0/1, another is AC97 Microphone) and k1lt. I tested this file on foobar2000 0.8.3. On every output (DS, wave, ASIO, Kernel Streaming) is good - without "aliens", resampling to 48khz isn't needed (but i use it). Everything was doing with clear DSP in foobar, but when i add soft clipping limiter i have distortion. So I shouldn't use soft clipping limiter?

update: I've tested this on my Creative MuVo. I made mp3 from lame 3.90.2 --alt-preset insane (320kbps) - on computer it sounds like original, but when i listen to this on my MuVo when high frequency was it sounds like clicking or wheeze but this wasn't "alien sounds" like on computer. Something little different.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Acid8000 on 27 July, 2005, 04:46:03 AM
Quote
I have SB Live Value. kx drivers 3537. My DSP is cleared - I have there only two src (one is FXBus 0/1, another is AC97 Microphone) and k1lt. I tested this file on foobar2000 0.8.3. On every output (DS, wave, ASIO, Kernel Streaming) is good - without "aliens", resampling to 48khz isn't needed (but i use it). Everything was doing with clear DSP in foobar, but when i add soft clipping limiter i have distortion. So I shouldn't use soft clipping limiter?

update: I've tested this on my Creative MuVo. I made mp3 from lame 3.90.2 --alt-preset insane (320kbps) - on computer it sounds like original, but when i listen to this on my MuVo when high frequency was it sounds like clicking or wheeze but this wasn't "alien sounds" like on computer. Something little different.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=316121"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Forget using this sample with a lossy encode. It's pointless. Instead of using the soft clipping limiter, use the advanced limiter. The soft clipping limiter was designed to clip before the sound card does to prevent worse sounds coming from certain sound cards I believe.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Caleb_ on 27 July, 2005, 04:53:02 AM
I used mp3, because MuVo didn't read wave
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Acid8000 on 27 July, 2005, 05:45:06 AM
Any modification of this sample will cause it to not function as intended.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Caleb_ on 28 July, 2005, 05:08:39 PM
I've tested this sample on another computer (Yamaha OPL3SA2 on ISA slot). Results are impressive - with windows drivers with volume at full level, without any DSP in foobar and RG - no clipping. On every outputs (DS, wave, Kernel) and every sample rate (44100, 48000). Only when soft clipping limiter was on, there was "alien sounds". I'm impressed, because this sound card has many years (I have it for about 8 years) and sounds better than newest sound card from Creative. OS - XP HE
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Shade[ST] on 28 July, 2005, 05:57:14 PM
Quote
I've tested this sample on another computer (Yamaha OPL3SA2 on ISA slot). Results are impressive - with windows drivers with volume at full level, without any DSP in foobar and RG - no clipping. On every outputs (DS, wave, Kernel) and every sample rate (44100, 48000). Only when soft clipping limiter was on, there was "alien sounds". I'm impressed, because this sound card has many years (I have it for about 8 years) and sounds better than newest sound card from Creative. OS - XP HE
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=316490"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

maybe because it's not ac97 compatible?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Acid8000 on 29 July, 2005, 04:29:09 AM
What's with the AC97 codec resampling bullshit?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: cyborg on 29 July, 2005, 01:12:03 PM
Quote
What's with the AC97 codec resampling bullshit?

If you mean my earlier post:
Quote
I tested the "udial.ape" on foobar2000 0.8.3. My soundcard is VIA AC'97. I tried it first without resampler and there was distortions. When I adjusted the "Preamp" to -3 dB there was no distortions. Next I tested it with three resamplers: SSRC, PPHS and SRC (Secret Rabbit Code v1.01). I upsampled the file to 48 kHz with all resamplers and all combos. All produced a variable amount of distortions, except SRC's "Sinc Fastest" quality in normal and slow mode. The distortions disappeared completely in that quality and in normal and slow mode.

Then I assure you it's not "bullshit". It did work in my AC'97 soundcard.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: TedFromAccounting on 29 July, 2005, 02:05:40 PM
If you use the Simple Spectrum visualization (set to mixdown) for foobar, you can easily see if there are any distortions, without blowing your speakers.  SRC on Sinc Fastest worked best for me also with my SB Live! 5.1.  Simple Spectrum still showed some small distortions, though I could not hear them.  Resampling to 32kHz with any resampler resulted in no audible or visual distortions w/ simple spectrum.

See Here (http://home.centurytel.net/jabba/test.png) for a little image I made of the various resamplers on Simple Spectrum.

1 is with no resampling, normal Creative drivers on my SB Live! 5.1
2 is SSRC set to 48kHz
3 is PPHS set to 48kHz
4 is SRC Sinc Fastest at 48kHz
5 is any resampler at 32kHz
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Acid8000 on 29 July, 2005, 09:50:26 PM
Quote
Quote
What's with the AC97 codec resampling bullshit?

If you mean my earlier post:
Quote
I tested the "udial.ape" on foobar2000 0.8.3. My soundcard is VIA AC'97. I tried it first without resampler and there was distortions. When I adjusted the "Preamp" to -3 dB there was no distortions. Next I tested it with three resamplers: SSRC, PPHS and SRC (Secret Rabbit Code v1.01). I upsampled the file to 48 kHz with all resamplers and all combos. All produced a variable amount of distortions, except SRC's "Sinc Fastest" quality in normal and slow mode. The distortions disappeared completely in that quality and in normal and slow mode.

Then I assure you it's not "bullshit". It did work in my AC'97 soundcard.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=316682"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I was just in the mood to type that word.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Xenion on 14 August, 2005, 03:24:20 PM
foobar (no dsps) => kernelstreaming => m-audio revo=> SPDIF => RME adi2 standalone dac

= phone sound + very high tone

there is no clipping when i look at the spdif levels in the mixer

all volumes are set to 100% (i have no chance to set them to another level in digital out mode)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: legg on 14 August, 2005, 04:14:26 PM
If the tone is present then it should be played back, I made a 19.5kHz test tone and played it back, the volume I perceived was about the same. Does that mean the soundcard is clipping? I'd say no, I'd say it is just doing the job of playing back what is recorded.

But then I see you guys quite convinced about it and made me doubt. So here goes the naive question:  How is it that if you only hear the dialing and NOT the high freq tone then everything is fine?.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Caleb_ on 14 August, 2005, 06:01:48 PM
Everybody has different ears, so not everybody hear 19khz tone or not every speakers can produce 19khz tone. Only when you hear "alien sounds" it menas that sound card has clipping.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 16 August, 2005, 06:48:16 AM
It doesn't necessarily mean that it clips. Resampling can produce alien sounds.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: legg on 16 August, 2005, 11:59:51 AM
ok, then my soundcard and my hearing is OK
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: rutra80 on 17 August, 2005, 02:23:25 AM
Quote
It doesn't necessarily mean that it clips. Resampling can produce alien sounds.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=320440"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But wouldn't it still be caused by clipping in the resampling process?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Bobjua on 17 August, 2005, 07:20:15 PM
i think there is something wrong with my soundcard, and i was coming to look for help on the forums. and i saw this topic, so i checked it out. i can hear the dialing fine. there is no clicking. and i can hear this really high pitch piercing noise, but thats supposed to be there right. im pretty sure i have no DSP's turned on, and my volume control is at its max.

so is there something wrong with my soundcard or not?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: rutra80 on 18 August, 2005, 09:27:29 AM
You didn't write why you think that there's something wrong with your soundcard.
udial isn't about finding out if soundcard is damaged, it's rather to check its quality. You should start a separate topic.
As for what you hear, it's good that you don't hear clicking, but you shouldn't hear high pitched sound either - it's way too high to be heard (you could "sense" it in the best case), if you hear it then it means that your soundcard has low-quality resampling/clips (so the sound is aliased to lower frequencies). Try lowering the volume, use resampler, and different output modes until you hear clear dialing only.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Bobjua on 18 August, 2005, 01:24:21 PM
yeah i guess i 'sense' it, because im the only one in the room who notices it, and i can notice it from outside the room when its still playing.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: XoR on 18 August, 2005, 05:57:35 PM
There's what I get for soundcards I tested:

Creative SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit
- Buzzy sound when Allow Hardware bla bla Enabled in DSound plugin in Winamp and SSRC disabled.
- Perfect with "Allow..." with SSRC @ 48KHz
- Perfect without "Allow..." with SSRC @ 48KHz
- Good without "Allow..." in DSound with or without SSRC !!!!!!!
- Good on all WAVE programs, even on old "sndrec32.exe" (don't know how this program is in english cos I always used polish windows  )

But there is one strange thing! These are new results, not old. In the past (2-3 months ago) udial.wav sounded perfect witn SSRC@48 or 96. WAVE things produced fizzy-wizzy sound that are as much annoying as Crazy-Frog  Some time ago I installed Win2k3 Server and there first I saw that without SSRC I can have clear sound withoud any buzzing, aliens, ambulances or other artefacts  Now I have XP SP2

Volume 100/100 for Master/Wave

NVIDIĀ® nForceĀ™ Audio (SONATA)
- Aliens atackt @ evere settings except SSRC @ 48KHz
- With SSRC @ 48KHz sounds to me quite good and I havent heard any arifacts or noises with my headphones.

Volume 100/100 for Master/Wave

Creative SoundBlaster 128PCI
Maybe this card's old but noone can tell me that Live! on emu2k1 are better! RMAA usually get better for sb128pci and look @ this:

- No artifact at all in any mode I used to play!

I don't remember that I used 100/100 for volume, but used 100 for Wave for sure! So I think it was 100/100 but not 100% sure

Some shitty card on Cmedia 9xxx which I know has output to 5.1 systems

- buzzing and fizzing on all settings I used for testing!

One word I can say bout this card : "SHIT

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I used WinAmp 2.91 cos it's the best  with out_ds_ssrc.dll 2.2.6 SSRC and foobar2k with SSRC @ 48KHz. Both speakers and headphones (plugged directly to card to avoid my shitty ampligfiers that noising at higher freqences  )

I hadn't tested my ALC650 (nForce Audio) on standard Realtec drivers (that has worse audio quality that nvidia ones) on udial.wav but I'm sure it should sound good and without artefacts @ 48KHz (if realtecs drivers can produce "good" sound by any meaning )

ps. If you have ALC6xx try installing nVidia drivers (if it's possible) , cos those have way better sound (quite easy to check by ears  ) and aprox. 10dBA in Dynamic Range diffrence in RMAA
ps2. In BWGen I can clearly hear 19.5KHz sine as in udial.wav, but that program isn't perfect for that frequences so I will do tests on others better for that purpose programs
ps3. Sorry for my english
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Acid8000 on 18 August, 2005, 11:32:09 PM
Quote
Creative SoundBlaster 128PCI
Maybe this card's old but noone can tell me that Live! on emu2k1 are better! RMAA usually get better for sb128pci and look @ this:

- No artifact at all in any mode I used to play!

I don't remember that I used 100/100 for volume, but used 100 for Wave for sure! So I think it was 100/100 but not 100% sure
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=320966"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hehe why do you think I still use that ancient card over my onboard Realtek?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Pio2001 on 19 August, 2005, 07:35:18 PM
Quote
Quote
It doesn't necessarily mean that it clips. Resampling can produce alien sounds.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=320440"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But wouldn't it still be caused by clipping in the resampling process?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=320657"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


No. Here's udial's sonogram :

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=443eaff9b23f8b363311f374a08f5255" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udial.png)

Here's what happens when it clips (aliased harmonic distortion) :

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=c732dc27f679476d11c8082e17c1d35a" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udialclip.jpg)

And here's what happens when it is resampled (alias only) :

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=038ee137ef470ffa496133abd92ec42b" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://perso.numericable.fr/laguill2/pictures/udialalias.jpg)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: zima on 27 October, 2005, 10:36:24 AM
I'll probably add to my system second audio card for general use/music listening, so I'll have, apart from Aureal Vortex SQ2500 (still few A3D 2.0 games here  ), also Turtle Beach Santa Cruz (much better for music, right?), that I'll get extremelly cheaply.
And I've read, using Search HA, that Santa Cruz does resample, however much better than Creative. So, my question: is this sample enough to determine if resampling is absolutelly good and if it would be preferable or not to do it in software?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: micmac on 02 November, 2005, 11:17:05 AM
I tried with my Audiophile 2496 a few minutes ago.

I used fb2k, no resampling (the audiophile can take almost every frequency), no DSPs (not even volume), DirectSound 2.0 output. In my Audiophile mixer all levels up to 0 (highest).

I can clearly hear the dialing. In addition to that I can hear a high tone in parallel to every dial from and including the fourth.

Code: [Select]
dial: . . .  - - - -

high:        x x x x


I'm using headphoes. The high tone comes from the right side. Now when I flip the headphones I can't hear the high tone anymore. So I guess my left ear isn't that good anymore  (yes, my girlfriend is the only one with a drivers license and I'm not living in the UK ).
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: zima on 02 November, 2005, 12:19:10 PM
Quote
...
So I guess my left ear isn't that good anymore
...


Not necceserilly. When I was going through listening tests (medical background) using some wierd/very quiet sounds, very often (depends on the sample) the sound was percieved in the opposite ear to which it was played. So perhaps your right ear isn't that good anymore 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: DillPickle on 30 January, 2006, 01:50:32 PM
I was convinced this test tone was worthless, since testing on my AC97 onboard sound I couldn't eliminate the high frequency no matter what volumes I tried or what resamples I did (using Adobe Audition).  Then I tried with my low-budget Logitech USB-350 headset, and it immediately worked as intended, heh.  A simple volume adjustment and all was well.  I know nothing about the details of this set, but it's apparently got an "internal soundcard" (there's a a little bulge along the cord which is smaller than a remote car door opener) which dominates this crap I've got on my mobo (NForce3 chipset).

Sadly, I just ordered some Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones because I wanted the fully encompassing earpads (the Logitechs sit on the ear and make you sore after long use). The Logitech model is excellent for gaming communications with it's nice clear microphone and the plug and play aspect, but I wanted something better for music.  But now it looks like I better get a soundcard to go with the headphones, or I'll actually be taking a step backwards by plugging Sennheisers into this trash...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: elenhil on 27 October, 2006, 07:44:26 AM
I have clear dialing + high tone with this sample whenever I turn Noise Sharpening DSP off (turning in on causes audible distortion in this sample). The question is: should I stop using this DSP module altogether, of is it a purely theoretical sample, and no actual music would be ruined by Noise Sharpening?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Halide on 22 December, 2006, 10:18:46 PM
I'm pretty sure I fried my tweeter playing this sound... it clipped my amplifier and my tweeter now has a scratchy sound to it. Yes, I did read the warning about damaging equipment and I didn't even play it at half volume but it still seemed to damage my $30 tweeter. 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: latuman on 03 January, 2007, 03:03:16 PM
I heard a greatly distorted "siren" with 44,1khz. Foobar resampled it to 48khz by my command, and it almost disappeared.

Now if I yank up the volume, both in windows and from the speakers (I use headphones plugged in), I get this really piercing tone, thats not so much as a sound anymore, than it is a needle in my brain. Am I supposed to hear this? The tone is clear and not distorted at all. I use Audigy Player and no other DSP:s. Should I hear this tone? Is it absolutely, completely impossible to hear? This clear tone is all distortion or something then?

Still, I hear it.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: CiTay on 03 January, 2007, 04:45:51 PM
I'm pretty sure I fried my tweeter playing this sound... it clipped my amplifier and my tweeter now has a scratchy sound to it. Yes, I did read the warning about damaging equipment and I didn't even play it at half volume but it still seemed to damage my $30 tweeter. 


I will add a note to get some really cheap PC speakers if you want to test this. I don't want to see any more stuff getting blown...
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: odyssey on 03 January, 2007, 05:56:55 PM
Trying this with my onboard nForce4 sound chip creates the distortion - no matter what I try: Resampling to 48khz, putting down WAVE volume does decrease the distortion, but it's definately still there!

I tried it on my X-fi... No distortion at all, and it even resamples to 48khz onboard (i have a hard time forcing it to use the bitmatched playback on the flexijack connection). I guess this shows, that Creative did something right on the resampler on this card ;-)

Btw, where do I find the soft limiter, that was mentioned early in this thread?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: master on 03 January, 2007, 06:26:06 PM
I tried it on my X-fi... No distortion at all, and it even resamples to 48khz onboard (i have a hard time forcing it to use the bitmatched playback on the flexijack connection).

You can set your X-Fi to Audio Creation Mode if you want bit-match playback, even in Analog connection.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: odyssey on 04 January, 2007, 03:18:16 AM
I tried it on my X-fi... No distortion at all, and it even resamples to 48khz onboard (i have a hard time forcing it to use the bitmatched playback on the flexijack connection).

You can set your X-Fi to Audio Creation Mode if you want bit-match playback, even in Analog connection.

That's why I wrote "i have a hard time forcing it". The settings are correct, and it works perfectly from the front panel - Only a few times it has worked through flexijack though. They should fix their drivers.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: maiki on 06 February, 2008, 09:01:30 AM
I have tested UDIAL.WAV encoded into 320 kbps MP3 with original resolution and sampling rate with these results:

Pioneer VSX 516 - straight from USB flash disc on its input - distorted
PC AD1988A - XP Professional - Winamp - analogue output - distorted
PC AD1988A - XP Professional - Winamp - SPDIF VSX 516 - distorted
notebook AD1981 (not sure which version) - Vista Basic - Goldwave - analogue output - distorted
notebook AD1981 (not sure which version) - Vista Basic - Winamp - analogue output - CLEAN, not distorted

distorted = I can hear cracking (clipping?) AT ANY VOLUME LEVEL

What is going on here?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: lvqcl on 06 February, 2008, 12:14:57 PM
I have tested UDIAL.WAV encoded into 320 kbps MP3 [...]
distorted = I can hear cracking (clipping?) AT ANY VOLUME LEVEL
What is going on here?

This clipping is the result of encoding into MP3, nothing with your hardware.
Download LAME 3.97 and encode UDIAL.WAV as

"lame.exe -b 320 -k udial.wav udial.mp3"
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: nonreality on 07 February, 2008, 12:31:38 AM
Just thinking about how many people might have accidentally left this in their library over the years and had it come on when listening to random music with the sound cranked up. 
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: WonderSlug on 07 February, 2008, 02:21:26 AM
Hello all.  New member and decided to respond to this thread with my first post. 

Anyway, I downloaded the original APE file in the first post and tested it on my system.

Here is my setup:

Windows XP SP2
Creative Soundblaster Live! PCI Value
DirectX 9.0c

All Windows XP Updates as of February 2008 except for DirectX (I don't have DX10 installed yet).  I also have the latest drivers I could get for all my hardware.


Software Media Player:  XMPlay 3.4.2.1 (by Un4Seen Developments) with Monkey Audio Plugin (xm-ape.dll)

using Output Device:  DirectSound - SB Live! Audio [D000] with 16-bit stereo.

Also, using a set of "average" on-the-ear headphones plugged into the SB Live!  They are "average" because I spent just $25 on them.  So I guess they are "mainstream consumer" headphones.  They are rated at 16 Ohm impedance and frequency range 20 - 22000 Hz with a SNR of 98 dB.

I turned off all reverb/chorus/equalizer and any other DSP effects in XMPlay.  I also set the main WIndows Mixer volume to 50% with Wave volume to 100%.  Within XMPlay I set the volume slider to 10% and then moved it up slowly until I reached a light comfortable listening level which was achieved at 30%.

With the regular non-altered 44100 Hz output, I get the starting 3 "beeps" of touch tone dialing and then a really high pitched razzing noise, like a ray gun firing or alien spaceship, that overpowers the rest of the beeps.

However, if I tell XMPlay to resample to 48000 Hz, that razzing noise goes away and I get only the touch tones, which I presume is the 'correct' sound.


If this is correct, then XMPlay's resampling to 48000Hz for Creative cards works very well.  Before this test, I have always had XMPlay resample all sounds to 48000 Hz before outputting to the sound device because I had already read about the subpar upsampling that many Creative cards do.


My motherboard also has a built-in C-Media Wave AC'97 sound device, but I rarely use that thing so I didn't test it.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: krabapple on 08 May, 2008, 12:09:22 PM
The old links to udial.flac don't work, so I'm rehosting the file  (I converted this to flac from the .ape file, whose link still does work)


udial.flac (http://www.m-ideas.com/sullivan/audio/udial.flac)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: v.43 on 14 July, 2009, 05:40:28 PM
audigy 2 zs, windows vista, foobar direct sound output, PPHS resampler. it sounds ok only if resampled at 32KHz OR if replaygain clipping prevention is applied and the volume is then lowered of about 20db
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 15 July, 2009, 07:07:03 AM
For everybody fighting with occasional clipping (or perfectionists wanting to test everything) you should try the attached sample, udial.

Testing:
  • play the sample in your favourite player (decoded or not, having disabled all DSPs and EQs that can interfere)
  • if the output sounds weird at any time you should:
    • lower the output vol. in your soundcard config (should be the speaker icon in your system tray).
    • For some soundcards 48kHz is better (audigy 2 etc.).
    • lower the vol. till the sample doesn't sound weird at any time.
The output will sound really weird if your settings clip.
Your output can occasional clip without you knowing/hearing it. But for us perfectionists this will theoretically give a better quality output.

ATTENTION: Play this sample at a low volume anytime, even if you hear nothing special! It can be very harmful to equipment and/or your ears.
It's strongly recommended to use some very cheap (PC) speakers if you want to test this,
otherwise you might really ruin your tweeters (it has happened several times already).


*pedantic hat on*

Well yes it works, but it begs the question what sort of a signal makes the best possible audible test for clipping.

IMO the best possible test is the one that gives a clear audible indication with the least possible clipping.

I've long thought that the best way to do this would be to mix two tones that are < 22 KHz but high enough to be *every* hard to hear when they are pure tones. When clipped, there would be numerous spurious products smack dab in the middle of the the range where the ear is most sensitive.

I was just playing with such a pair of tones that I quickly generated in CEP/Audition.  I could easily hear a difference when  just 2,000 of 400,00 samples were clipped.  Intrestingly enough, no single spurious response was above - 90 dB FS, but there were a lot of them.

With Udial, I had to clip about six times the percentage of samples before I could detect clipping as easily. The problem with Udial was that the stimulus tones were in the same frequency range as the spurious responses, and clearly audible. So they tended to mask their own distortion  The spurious responses were few in number, but only about 40 dB down.


Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: bandpass on 15 October, 2013, 05:19:48 PM
I found it useful for detecting (and then eliminating) low-quality play-back chain resampling.

However, there were a few things I didn't like about it, so I made a new version, uploaded here. (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=103029&view=findpost&p=847331)
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: stv014 on 16 October, 2013, 04:01:00 AM
Here is another clipping test for inter-sample peaks:

Code: [Select]
sine 0 15 11025 45 0.8918058 0.8918058
sine 0 15 15017 0 0.369398 0.369398


It can be compiled with the "testgen" utility from here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=100099&view=findpost&p=829489). The sample rate should be 44100 Hz. Note that this is a very loud high frequency signal, and can be dangerous if not played at low volume. It has a peak level of about +2 dBFS when reconstructed, which is about the maximum I have found in music. Some sound cards can actually play this without significant clipping (for example, my Xonar D1), but most have a hard limit at 0 dBFS at full digital volume.
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: Nimos on 21 February, 2014, 01:39:19 PM
Hello, i thought of testing my lumia 520 smartphone with this sample.

1. Converted this flac as wav, to test if 520 is resampling to 48k, as WP8 not support flac.
2. Resampled this sample to 48k and 96k using sox foobar plugin. To test bad resampling to 44.1k.
please advice me if this is not the correct way to test bad resampling to 44.1k.

All the 3 samples are playing fine in my 520 at all volumes.

I tried these samples in Samsung note(think first version), i heard sirens for 48k version.
I read people say android has fixed sampling rate, so I tried neutron player since it advertises about resampling quality.
I selected audiophile resampling option, but still I can hear the siren.

My question, is WP8 really good in resampling? Is neutron players resampling not worth its claim? Or is android resampling the good signal from neutron with its bad algorithms?

Has anyone tried this on your lumia?
Title: Test your soundcard for clipping
Post by: bennetng on 23 February, 2014, 07:04:38 AM
Free flac app. Not very useful because files must be uploaded to skydrive first then download to the phones' internal memory, no SD card support. But for testing it suffices for your needs.
http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/ap...ab-6963eb624f2b (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/flac-player/7624b8fb-798a-4f48-84ab-6963eb624f2b)

I have a Lumia 520 and could not find any resampling artifacts in playing 44.1k flacs by using RMAA, which means the performance is indistinguishable from 48k. Also, udial is not a suitable tool for testing resampler performance because it can clip easily and generate artifacts which are not related to bad resampling. The title of this thread says "Test your soundcard for clipping" therefore you should not use it to test resampling quality.