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Low Sampling Rate 1 Bit Audio Enhancement, For Use on Older Machines
post Nov 25 2011, 05:26
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Here is my situation. I am trying to playback sampled audio on an old Mattel Aquarius. The computer has the ability to put out only a high value or a low value to the audio channel. It is very similar to the PC speaker in this regard. I have been toying with different ways to get sampled audio out of the machine, using a PC, Cooledit and a program that I wrote to do conversion and playback. The absolute max sampling rate that I can get out of the machine is 50,700 Hz, although at that rate I really am not allowing the audio signal to max out so it can be very quiet. I have created a 1 bit encoder that takes an 8 bit unsigned .RAW file as an input.

The first thing I do is downsample my target audio to 8 bit mono, then save it as a raw, my converter then takes that raw file and converts it to a 1 bit audio data stream. I want to create audio files that I can use with my video player, and since I am limited to 1 megabyte of storage total (bankswitched cart) and I need to use most of the data storage for my video frames, I really need a way to create half-way decent sounding 1 bit audio. In addition, I would like a method to optimize higher sampling rate audio for other purposes (or to just see how "good" the audio could get) but I will limit this question to the task at hand. First, lets start with my source file:


You'll recognize it as the imperial march. For my needs I had to downsample it to 7,061 hertz (that is not a type) and 8 bit:


So, straightforward enough... Now here is the output from a simple program that takes every 8 bit unsigned value greater than 127 and makes it a 1 and every value at 126 or lower and makes it a 0. No distribution of the error or dithering is performed. In order to play it back effectively, I converted the output to an 8 bit wave with values of 0 and 255 respectively:


Inside my program I built in the ability to distribute the quantization error. It works like this:

Quantize the current sample (to 0 or 255) and take the difference.
Add the error to subsequent samples prior to their quantization, distributing various amounts.
I also have the ability to add dither in the same manner, random noise at up to 255.
I have tried to learn about noise shaping and dithering, etc, but frankly, at this low a sampling rate I am not sure what applies.
Here is an example where I take 1/3 of the quantization error and apply it to the next sample, or in the form of



Obviously it doesn't sound very good. I have a lot of degrees of freedom for quantization error distribution, but frankly, I just can't figure out the right coefficients to use.

Here is my final example where I distribute the quantization error equally across the next 200 samples or:

k=1 to 200


Here is what I would like to know. Given a frequency of f (in this case, f=7,061) how do I get the quantization noise to be more focused at a more inaudible frequency. I understand that at 7,061 the max frequency I have is 3,500 hz, but I know from looking at human ear frequency response curves that there is a dip at around 3,000 hz (if I understand it correctly) and I would like to "push" the quantization distortion to the frequency.

Anybody have any good ideas? Also, any thoughts on a different way to approach this would be great.



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post Nov 25 2011, 17:25
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So at a sampling rate of 7061 I am toast - unless there is someway to move the noise BELOW 100 Hz - is that even possible? At this point all I have done is played with trial and error, and I realize I won't get perfectly clean sound, but I'd like to figure out how to optimize it - some super sound genius must know how?
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post Nov 25 2011, 19:04
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QUOTE (chjmartin2 @ Nov 25 2011, 16:25) *
So at a sampling rate of 7061 I am toast
Yes. No point moving the "noise" down towards DC IMO - it won't change per sample so will make things worse.

What you can do is process the signal before re-quantisation using DRC, EQ etc to make it as loud as possible beforehand, so maximising the limited SNR.

If you were using 50kHz, or anything close, then you could use noise shaping quite effectively - though the amount of ultrasonic energy you might create could damage the speaker. There would be less damaging but still quite effective compromises though.

EDIT: if parts have to be quiet, a little dither might help. Not the right amount (you don't have room for it!), but just a little.


This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Nov 25 2011, 19:07
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Posts in this topic
- chjmartin2   Low Sampling Rate 1 Bit Audio Enhancement   Nov 25 2011, 05:26
- - Canar   QUOTE (chjmartin2 @ Nov 24 2011, 21:26) I...   Nov 25 2011, 06:09
- - chjmartin2   Ok - so where is it least sensitive then???   Nov 25 2011, 07:41
- - dhromed   At the edges of the spectrum. See Equal loudness ...   Nov 25 2011, 09:31
- - chjmartin2   So at a sampling rate of 7061 I am toast - unless ...   Nov 25 2011, 17:25
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (chjmartin2 @ Nov 25 2011, 16:25) S...   Nov 25 2011, 19:04
- - [JAZ]   What you say remind me of what some old audio prog...   Nov 25 2011, 19:03
- - chjmartin2   For just playing back audio - I could use the 50,7...   Nov 25 2011, 20:28
|- - googlebot   Are you sure that binary on/off is your only optio...   Nov 25 2011, 23:31
|- - chjmartin2   QUOTE (googlebot @ Nov 25 2011, 17:31) Ar...   Nov 26 2011, 01:56
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (googlebot @ Nov 26 2011, 00:31) Ar...   Feb 28 2012, 11:19
|- - KMD   You need to dither the 16 bits down to 1 bit for a...   Feb 28 2012, 12:37
- - Canar   If you can actually run at 50.7kHz, that provides ...   Nov 26 2011, 17:00
- - chjmartin2   Ok, so, lets talk specifically about how to accomp...   Nov 26 2011, 17:19
- - benski   What if you were to convert to 50,700 Hz Direct St...   Nov 26 2011, 20:56
- - chjmartin2   I think that is a great idea - how would one conve...   Nov 27 2011, 00:24
- - chjmartin2   For those who were reading this thread. With some...   Feb 27 2012, 19:14
- - Canar   Given what you're working with, that's qui...   Feb 27 2012, 19:41

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