[chuck-users] Heavy distortion/clipping in Windows (Kassen)

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 14:18:26 EST 2015


> This very same code would cause hideous distortion on a Windows/
> Linux machine, because those audio subsystems have a hard limit
> on the amplitude that can be sent into the dacs.  Mac seems to have
> figured out a how to deal with this in a very different (floating point)
> way.
Yes, I think we are on the same page, here. In general I think this is very
nice and practical and it probably results in higher sound-quality when
sending audio between processes.
However, I also think it is the same thing Tomasz Kaye found; When
something generating extreme amplitudes happens, like a unstable filter
"exploding", while we are on sensitive headphones plugged into such a
system, turning down the volume to a comfortable level won't help against
that explosion. Our ears will get the blast at the full volume the hardware
dac can muster.

For that reason I think it may still be beneficial to employ a limiter.
Just to state the obvious in case it helps save somebody's hearing; in
cases like that a compressor set to some reasonable value like a 1:8 ratio
won't help. The max of the floating point range is so big that turning it
down to a 8th of the original volume will still be extremely loud.

We talked about that before, but hearing damage isn't always curable, so I
thought I'd talk about it again.

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