Clipping in popular music

Aside from the distortion artifacts, one of the biggest problems that results from clipping is a loss of dynamic range.  Remember that the dynamic range of a signal is effectively the difference between the maximum output level and the noise floor.  When you clip a waveform, you lower the maximum sample value, which lowers the output level and…


Louder Sounds Better

Below is an example of the Fletcher-Munson Equal Loudness Curve.  It is one of the most recognized graphics in audio engineering. The horizontal axis is frequency of tones, and the vertical axis is actual sound pressure in dBSPL.  Each point on a curve has about the same subjective “loudness” to the human ear.  The low parts…


Vista Now Available

After months of waiting it’s released.  Go out and get yourself a copy already!


How to drive on Snow and Ice

Ah, the winter storms are upon us once again.  And once again, a disproportionate number of my extended neighbors are demonstrating their incompetence behind the wheel.  It seems that no matter how many times the Puget Sound region gets snowed upon, people never learn how to drive in it.  To that end, I’ve put together…


Audio Fidelity: Clipping

In theory, an audio signal can take on any amplitude.  There is no mathematical upper limit for how far from zero a sample can go, or how high the magnitude of a continuous wave can go.  In practice, however, a digital signal’s amplitude is limited by its number of bits, and even electrical components can…


Audio Topic index

I write a lot about audio concepts, and about audio fidelity in particular.  This is an index into audio related posts. Audio Fidelity Series – Articles covering some particular aspect of what makes audio sound good Dynamic RangeDistortionCrosstalk Frequency ResponseLatency Output Level Clipping  Digital Audio Series – Similar to my Audio Fidelity Series, these delve…


Of ground axes and long suicide notes

There’s been an “analysis” floating around the ‘net in the last few days from Auckland University’s Peter Gutmann about how Windows Vista DRM will destroy computing as we know it.  The article’s penultimate soundbite comes in its Executive Executive Summary: The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history…


She said yes!

I would usually never bring any personal matters onto a professional blog, but in this case, I want to scream from the hills. On Christmas morning, during the unwrapping of gifts, my girlfriend Lisa became my fiancée. I’m a happy man.


My program is the most important thing on your system, same as all the others.

Raymond had a really good post yesterday about programs that grab your attention inappropriately.  I recommend reading it.  The comments have some good examples of programs, mostly updaters, that take too many liberties.  Of course, I completely agree that popping something up in my face completely unrelated to the task I’m performing is among the most annoying…


If it doesn’t just work, then it doesn’t work.

I’m passionate about usability, even to the point that my co-workers accuse me of whining.  I can’t really help it.  I have to applaud products and features that streamline a task, are intuitive, and fit well into the workflow.  And when a feature unnecessarily complicates the task, I have to call it out.  Poor usability goes…