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What is "time resolution"?
Axon
post Oct 5 2006, 21:50
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So I've become involved in a rather colorful argument (I'm Publius in the thread) with somebody on stevehoffman.tv. The original thread revolved around shooting down an old audiophile canard, about how subsample delays cannot be represented in PCM. In the course of that debate, I've begun to question a couple things.
  • Is it ever accurate to use the term "time resolution" in any sort of technical context? To the best of my knowledge, it has no universally agreed upon technical definition. Most of the times I've seen it used are either for SACD/DVD-A marketing fluff, or to describe FFT window lengths. I'm tempted to just go quasi-logical-positivist on everybody and say that it is a completely meaningless phrase.
  • Is there any meaningful time-domain constraint on audio quality that is directly related to the sampling period? Subsample delays (as I've shown above) are not meaningfully related. Bandwidth is a frequency-domain attribute. Pre-echo potentially gets more audible at lower sampling rates, but this is not a concern with sigma-delta ADCs, and it is of debatable audibility at 44.1 to begin with. Some DSP operations may be harder to implement at lower sample rates, but most of the issues involve seem implementation-related. I'm suspecting that there are no clear general limits as to what can and cannot be accomplished in PCM, except with respect to very domain-specific or system-specific situations; and so any claims of 44khz always being limited in ways different from bandwidth may be regarded with skepticism.
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MoSPDude
post Nov 17 2006, 00:21
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I've been trying to follow this as well, and especially reading 2Bdecided post which I think summarises primarily what ChiGung wants to test, this is how I understand the issue.

A lot of this seems to not have much to do with PCM but more sampling theorem in general, as a quick reference I've been using my books and notes, for an online reference - wikipedia (Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem) as it provides the mathematic descriptions accordingly. Theoretically, a band-limited signal sampled at greater than twice the highest frequency component when reproduced through the sinc interpolation, which requires knowledge of all samples over all time, is a perfect representation. Practically, we don't know all samples across all time and DACs use various methods to reproduce the signal, but not perfectly.

If we do these tests digitally, and the real-world source is band limited below the Nyquist frequency, then the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem will hold and values representing that signal will theoretically reproduce an exact perfect signal, including any sub sample shifts in peaks due to filtering. Quantisation will have an effect in terms of increasing noise. If the source signal was not band-limited, aliasing will occur - and the sampled signal will certainly not represent the original signal.

In terms of the peaks moving after a low pass filter etc, I was taught these such things were due to the phase characteristic of the filter where indeed the phase change specified at a specific frequency will give an exact definable time shift. As 2Bdecided said, it would be difficult to track EXACT peaks, but I imagine you could compare magnitude/phase plots of a set period of time with an arbitrary signal before and after an LPF or whatever filter, along with the magnitude/phase plot of the transfer function of the filter. What people are saying when they mention 'records' etc. is that a communication medium also has a transfer function and an appropriate magnitude/phase response - eg age/wear changes these responses.
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Woodinville
post Nov 17 2006, 00:40
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QUOTE (MoSPDude @ Nov 16 2006, 15:21) *
If the source signal was not band-limited, aliasing will occur - and the sampled signal will certainly not represent the original signal.

Very, very true.

And, as a dual, a signal that is reconstructed without a reconstruction filter will also mean that the resulting nonlinear system has worse time resolution than the system with the reconstruction filter.
QUOTE
In terms of the peaks moving after a low pass filter etc, I was taught these such things were due to the phase characteristic of the filter where indeed the phase change specified at a specific frequency will give an exact definable time shift.

That entirely depends on the signal. Suppose we have a gaussian pulse centered at time t1 whose substantial frequency components are above the cutoff, and another much smaller one at time t2 that is entirely in-band as far as the filter is concerned..

Doesn't matter what kind of filter you use there.
QUOTE
As 2Bdecided said, it would be difficult to track EXACT peaks,

Or, even define what an "exact peak" means, really, in the presence of noise, which is something that we always have, all the time, in the real workd.
QUOTE
but I imagine you could compare magnitude/phase plots of a set period of time with an arbitrary signal before and after an LPF or whatever filter, along with the magnitude/phase plot of the transfer function of the filter. What people are saying when they mention 'records' etc. is that a communication medium also has a transfer function and an appropriate magnitude/phase response - eg age/wear changes these responses.


You could go beyond that, and simply plot the Hilbert envelope of the signal at different bandwidths. I think you'd find that extraordinarily useful in this discussion.


QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 16 2006, 15:15) *
So Woody, your prediction is on record that no differences in timing (especialy in hand crafted gaussian pulses etc) will be observed.


No, that's not my prediction. You can abuse this, as I have already explained.

This post has been edited by Woodinville: Nov 17 2006, 00:41


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Posts in this topic
- Axon   What is "time resolution"?   Oct 5 2006, 21:50
- - benski   Subsample delays are relatively easy to implement ...   Oct 5 2006, 22:04
- - Axon   Well, duh. I showed in that thread that 1/20,000 ...   Oct 5 2006, 22:19
- - krabapple   QUOTE (Axon @ Oct 5 2006, 16:50) So I...   Oct 5 2006, 22:28
- - Mike Giacomelli   QUOTE (Axon @ Oct 5 2006, 13:50) Is it ev...   Oct 5 2006, 22:57
- - ChiGung   Yo, that was me (felimid) QUOTE Is there any meani...   Oct 5 2006, 23:07
|- - Axon   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 5 2006, 17:07) Yo, t...   Oct 6 2006, 00:11
|- - legg   AFAIK, time resolution is most commonly used to re...   Oct 6 2006, 00:28
- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Axon @ Oct 5 2006, 13:50) So I...   Oct 5 2006, 23:20
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE ("woodinville")The first issue is ...   Oct 6 2006, 00:46
|- - Mike Giacomelli   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 5 2006, 16:46) QUOTE...   Oct 6 2006, 02:10
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Mike Giacomelli @ Oct 6 2006, 02:1...   Oct 6 2006, 04:30
||- - Mike Giacomelli   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 5 2006, 20:30) QUOTE...   Oct 6 2006, 06:27
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 5 2006, 19:46) QUOTE...   Oct 6 2006, 06:21
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 5 2006, 16:46) Howev...   Oct 6 2006, 08:26
- - Woodinville   Well, considered for Guassian vs. Gaussian, dt * ...   Oct 6 2006, 00:35
- - kjoonlee   Does "higher sampling rates mean higher tempo...   Oct 6 2006, 00:47
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (kjoonlee @ Oct 6 2006, 00:47) Does...   Oct 6 2006, 00:57
|- - kwwong   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 5 2006, 18:57) QUOTE...   Oct 7 2006, 05:12
- - 2Bdecided   ChiGung, You can prove sub-sample time domain acc...   Oct 6 2006, 10:30
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE We're assuming the signal is band limite...   Oct 6 2006, 16:32
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 6 2006, 11:32) I can...   Oct 6 2006, 16:54
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE But perhaps for starters, you can describe i...   Oct 6 2006, 17:08
||- - krabapple   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 6 2006, 12:08) QUOTE...   Oct 6 2006, 21:11
||- - MedO   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 6 2006, 18:08) Look....   Oct 7 2006, 10:43
|- - Mike Giacomelli   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 6 2006, 08:32) QUOTE...   Oct 6 2006, 20:54
- - Axon   Okay, so this has gone completely f*cking off topi...   Oct 6 2006, 17:49
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Axon @ Oct 6 2006, 12:49) Okay, so...   Oct 6 2006, 20:51
- - Canar   QUOTE Ask yourself: "is there any meaningful ...   Oct 6 2006, 21:20
- - Canar   Exactly, kwwong. ChiGung, consider this: In the co...   Oct 7 2006, 08:04
- - cabbagerat   QUOTE (MedO @ Oct 7 2006, 01:43) No, ther...   Oct 7 2006, 18:00
|- - MedO   QUOTE That assumption is a bit of a problem, in my...   Oct 7 2006, 18:42
- - cabbagerat   QUOTE (MedO @ Oct 7 2006, 09:42) Of cours...   Oct 7 2006, 20:57
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (MedO @ Oct 7 2006, 09:42) Of cours...   Oct 7 2006, 23:18
|- - MedO   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 8 2006, 00:18) the p...   Oct 8 2006, 00:13
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (MedO @ Oct 8 2006, 00:13) QUOTE (C...   Oct 8 2006, 00:28
- - Canar   ChiGung, it is increasingly apparent you are not i...   Oct 8 2006, 00:26
- - Canar   I've provided a mathematical example of why yo...   Oct 8 2006, 01:05
- - cabbagerat   For your viewing pleasure, here's a quick demo...   Oct 8 2006, 08:07
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (cabbagerat @ Oct 8 2006, 08:07) Fo...   Oct 8 2006, 15:02
- - Canar   So because sinc() interpolation is weird, PCM fail...   Oct 8 2006, 15:28
- - cabbagerat   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 8 2006, 06:02) This ...   Oct 8 2006, 15:51
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (cabbagerat @ Oct 8 2006, 15:51) I ...   Oct 8 2006, 16:10
- - KikeG   As others have said, time resolution of PCM is the...   Oct 8 2006, 17:59
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (KikeG @ Oct 8 2006, 17:59) As othe...   Oct 8 2006, 18:14
|- - KikeG   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 8 2006, 18:14) So yo...   Oct 8 2006, 18:24
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (KikeG @ Oct 8 2006, 18:24) Resolut...   Oct 8 2006, 18:55
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 8 2006, 10:14) So yo...   Oct 8 2006, 19:37
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Oct 8 2006, 19:37) Y...   Oct 8 2006, 19:57
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 8 2006, 11:57) Yeah ...   Oct 9 2006, 18:00
- - Canar   ChiGung, despite your frequent reassertions to the...   Oct 8 2006, 20:08
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Canar @ Oct 8 2006, 20:08) I would...   Oct 8 2006, 20:28
|- - ChiGung   I think that it is being claimed, almost unanimous...   Oct 8 2006, 21:44
|- - legg   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 8 2006, 15:44) I hav...   Oct 9 2006, 01:32
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (legg @ Oct 9 2006, 01:32) QUOTE (C...   Oct 9 2006, 02:16
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Oct 8 2006, 21:44) The e...   Oct 9 2006, 15:08
- - legg   Fine forget about the code and do try to provide m...   Oct 9 2006, 03:27
|- - MedO   If I understand you right, you are saying that the...   Oct 9 2006, 09:35
|- - ChiGung   Hello all, I left this discussion in a tizz and ha...   Nov 15 2006, 01:16
|- - kwwong   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 14 2006, 19:16) 44kH...   Nov 15 2006, 09:50
|- - kwwong   QUOTE (kwwong @ Nov 15 2006, 03:50) QUOTE...   Nov 16 2006, 10:24
- - 2Bdecided   Here are some nice pictures... I worked at 16-b...   Oct 9 2006, 15:24
- - cabbagerat   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 9 2006, 06:08) It...   Oct 9 2006, 16:54
- - Axon   So I was mainly pissed off in my earlier post beca...   Oct 9 2006, 17:30
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Axon @ Oct 9 2006, 09:30) The form...   Oct 9 2006, 18:41
- - 2Bdecided   ChiGung, Your experiment wouldn't work. By kn...   Nov 15 2006, 13:00
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Nov 15 2006, 12:00) .....   Nov 15 2006, 13:45
- - 2Bdecided   So, in short, you want to run an experiment to see...   Nov 15 2006, 14:29
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Nov 15 2006, 13:29) So...   Nov 15 2006, 14:45
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 05:45) QUOT...   Nov 15 2006, 19:42
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Nov 15 2006, 18:39) ...   Nov 15 2006, 19:56
||- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 10:56) Nice...   Nov 15 2006, 20:01
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Nov 15 2006, 19:01) ...   Nov 15 2006, 20:30
||- - AstralStorm   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 20:30) It i...   Nov 15 2006, 22:43
||- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 20:30) Im f...   Nov 16 2006, 14:22
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Nov 16 2006, 13:22) My...   Nov 16 2006, 17:10
||- - SebastianG   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 16 2006, 17:10) The ...   Nov 16 2006, 18:22
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (SebastianG @ Nov 16 2006, 17:22) Q...   Nov 16 2006, 18:51
||- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 16 2006, 09:51) I be...   Nov 16 2006, 22:48
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Nov 16 2006, 21:48) ...   Nov 16 2006, 23:32
||- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 16 2006, 14:32) ...   Nov 16 2006, 23:44
||- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Nov 16 2006, 22:44) ...   Nov 17 2006, 00:15
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Nov 15 2006, 18:42) ...   Nov 15 2006, 20:14
|- - Garf   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 20:14) The ...   Nov 15 2006, 20:18
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 11:14) Im n...   Nov 15 2006, 23:35
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Nov 15 2006, 22:35) ...   Nov 16 2006, 01:20
- - cabbagerat   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 05:45) It i...   Nov 15 2006, 15:22
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (cabbagerat @ Nov 15 2006, 14:22) T...   Nov 15 2006, 15:51
- - 2Bdecided   I wish you understood the theory CG, because witho...   Nov 15 2006, 16:18
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Nov 15 2006, 15:18) It...   Nov 15 2006, 17:01
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 17:01) QUOT...   Nov 15 2006, 18:06
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Nov 15 2006, 17:06) Yo...   Nov 15 2006, 18:31
- - SebastianG   I also don't see the point in checking the pos...   Nov 15 2006, 16:48
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (SebastianG @ Nov 15 2006, 15:48) I...   Nov 15 2006, 17:16
- - SebastianG   I happened to code a subpixel detector for "x...   Nov 15 2006, 17:30
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (SebastianG @ Nov 15 2006, 16:30) I...   Nov 15 2006, 17:53
|- - SebastianG   QUOTE (ChiGung @ Nov 15 2006, 17:53) It w...   Nov 15 2006, 17:59
|- - ChiGung   QUOTE (SebastianG @ Nov 15 2006, 16:59) Q...   Nov 15 2006, 18:21
- - MoSPDude   I've been trying to follow this as well, and e...   Nov 17 2006, 00:21
- - Woodinville   QUOTE (MoSPDude @ Nov 16 2006, 15:21) If ...   Nov 17 2006, 00:40
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