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Test your soundcard for clipping, with this sample
Jan S.
post May 26 2003, 19:57
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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).

Attached File(s)
Attached File  udial.zip ( 217.55K ) Number of downloads: 20594
 
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grbmusic
post May 26 2003, 20:03
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I'll try it and then I tell about it!!!


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grbmusic
post May 26 2003, 20:19
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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. smile.gif. 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.


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MPC: --quality 10 --xlevel (v. 1.15s) (archive/transcoding)
MP3: LAME 3.96.1 --preset standard (daily listening/portable)
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atici
post May 26 2003, 20:25
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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 biggrin.gif I tried all volume levels and it sounded the same huh.gif with same clip in the middle. But then I turned on my DSPs and it sounded very different. smile.gif I don't know what you meant by weird but it wasn't like phone dialing anymore. Then my QCD player crashed biggrin.gif I use a stereo-link external USB audio device.

This post has been edited by atici: May 26 2003, 20:27


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Jan S.
post May 26 2003, 20:26
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QUOTE (grbmusic @ May 26 2003 - 09:19 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.  smile.gif. 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?
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Jan S.
post May 26 2003, 20:28
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QUOTE (atici @ May 26 2003 - 09:25 PM)
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
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grbmusic
post May 26 2003, 20:44
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QUOTE (Jan S. @ May 26 2003 - 04:26 PM)
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 biggrin.gif , 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

This post has been edited by grbmusic: May 26 2003, 20:48


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MPC: --quality 10 --xlevel (v. 1.15s) (archive/transcoding)
MP3: LAME 3.96.1 --preset standard (daily listening/portable)
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boojum
post May 26 2003, 20:54
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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. wink.gif


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Pio2001
post May 26 2003, 21:47
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19.5 kHz !
At full power in headphones, I heard a 19.5 kHz sine blink.gif

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

Edit : be careful, don't fry your tweeters with this ultrasonic sample.
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Thikasabrik
post May 26 2003, 22:44
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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.
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ben
post May 26 2003, 23:08
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Yeah, I just clipped my ears with the 19.5khz tone.
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outscape
post May 27 2003, 03:25
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QUOTE (Pio2001 @ May 26 2003 - 03:47 PM)
19.5 kHz !
At full power in headphones, I heard a 19.5 kHz sine  blink.gif

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

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 blink.gif


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Rizban76
post May 27 2003, 04:27
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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?
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fewtch
post May 27 2003, 04:45
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MonkeysAudio is so annoying. No separate WinAMP plugin? Baah, I'm not installing a 3 meg package to play back this sample.


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Mr. Mulder
post May 27 2003, 07:29
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If you give me an email address I cand send you "MAC Winamp Plugin (PIMP).zip" (92,0 KB)


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anza
post May 27 2003, 07:58
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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 biggrin.gif 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.
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LPTB
post May 27 2003, 08:08
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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

This post has been edited by LPTB: May 27 2003, 08:09
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KikeG
post May 27 2003, 08:13
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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.

This post has been edited by KikeG: May 27 2003, 08:36
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Mac
post May 27 2003, 08:30
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Ugh, you should put a warning when you post samples that sound horrible, listening to that loud makes me want to barf smile.gif

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 smile.gif

I'd love to know what it sounds like when it's "wrong"... cuz that sounds more than a little unpleasant to me wink.gif


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freakngoat
post May 27 2003, 08:45
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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...
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Halcyon
post May 27 2003, 09:29
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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.

This post has been edited by Halcyon: May 27 2003, 09:33
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Garf
post May 27 2003, 10:23
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QUOTE (Halcyon @ May 27 2003 - 10:29 AM)
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.
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tigre
post May 27 2003, 10:59
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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. smile.gif

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

Correct - 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
Clipping +0.2 dB
Clipping +0.5 dB
Clipping +1.5 dB


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Rasi
post May 27 2003, 11:01
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the squirling reminds me of a bird singing.... guess thats not normal tongue.gif

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Gabriel
post May 27 2003, 11:25
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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
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