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Re: Digital Distortion

Subject: Re: Digital Distortion
From: "Raimund Specht" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 19:46:57 -0000
--- In  "Rich Peet" <> 
> Many already know this stuff and can disregard this post.
> But for the ones out there that are fairly new to digital 
> take note that distortion in the digital world does not sound the 
> same as distortion sounds in the analog world.
> In fact there are some well sold "famous" CD's out there on the 
> commercial market in natural sound that have a lot of digital 
> distortion.  Sometimes you have to know the critter to identify 
> the recording is distorted and sometimes the people doing the 
> final "master" don't have a clue what a critter sounds like.
> Linked is a stereo 400kb wave download that is distorted on both 
> tracks.  One track is clearly more so but looking at the spectral 
> display can make you wonder a long time how the computer made the 
> bird sound like that. 
> I hope this post helps someone avoid recording that perfect sound 
> that ends up being more techno-garbage.
> Rich Peet

Hi Rich,

It seems, that this recording was originally recorded with a 
MiniDisk system (or subsequently saved as a MP3 file). This can be 
seen on the spectrogram from the boxy "noise reduction" patterns at 
higher frequencies. I guess, that the clipping already occurred 
during recording in the analog path of the pre-amplifier. When an 
over-modulated sound is fed into an A/D converter and then encoded 
using ATRAC, the resulting signals may sound very strange. 
Obviously, the analog clipping created very intensive broad-band 
noise which was then further distorted by the MiniDisk data 
reduction system.



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