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

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Thu Feb 26 08:33:30 EST 2015

Hey, Robert!

On 26 February 2015 at 06:50, Robert Poor <rdpoor at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 11:18 AM, Kassen <signal.automatique at gmail.com>
>  wrote:
> > [on windows] turning down the volume to a comfortable level won't help
> against that explosion
> Are you saying there's no way to turn down the *output* of the DACs?
Let me first clarify; where you wrote "[on Windows]" I meant in systems
using a floating point internal sound router. In our case that is really
only OSX.

Clearly you can turn the dac up or down using dac.gain( float).

What I meant is that we have some sort of issue in our code that sends a
signal with a huge amplitude, let's assume some signal with 10 digits worth
of amplitude, it is hard to turn that down in a meaningful way. If we set
the dac's gain to 0.1 then there will still be 9 digits worth of amplitude
left; still orders of magnitude louder than what our hardware can deal

Under normal conditions we would not make such a mistake, but runaway
feedback, such as we might encounter in a unstable filter, will rapidly
approach the max of what can be expressed in double-precission floats.

There ways to deal with that. We could use a limiter or clipper. You can
also use a external hardware gain and leave your system volume at 100%.

I hope that clarifies how I believe it all works. If you are on Windows or
Linux I don't believe this will matter to you, sorry if I was unclear there.

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