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Mark Handley

Audio Basics

Analog to Digital Conversion Sampling Quantization Aliasing effects Filtering Companding PCM encoding Digital to Analog Conversion

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Sampled signal is quantized into discrete values.Analog Audio Sound Waves (compression and rarefaction) Vocal tract (resonance) Larynx (vocal cords) diaphragm Analog voltage (proportional to air pressure) Simple Analog-to-Digital Converter Signal is sampled at sampling frequency f. Analog Signal Sample And Hold A Quantizer Digitized Codewords Sample Clock 2 .

CD: 44100 samples/sec DVD: 48000 samples/sec 3 .Sample and Hold voltage (amplitude) Voltage sampled and held to allow quantization. time Sampling Period (1/sampling rate) Sample Rate Sample Rate: the number of samples per second. Also known as sampling frequency. Telephone: 8000 samples/sec.

Sample and Hold voltage (amplitude) time Sampling Rate 4 .

Sampling Rate Low sample rate High sample rate High frequency information lost due to subsampling Real music example 5 .

sample rate must be ≥ 40. CD sample rate: 44.How fast to sample? Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem Formulated by Harry Nyquist in 1928 (“Certain topics in telegraph transmission theory”) Proved by Claude Shannon in 1949 (“Communication in the presence of noise”). Example: Limit of human hearing: ~20KHz By Nyquist.000 samples/sec.100 samples/sec. 6 . For no loss of information: Sampling frequency ≥ 2 * maximum signal frequency How fast to sample? For no loss of information: Sampling frequency ≥ 2 * maximum signal frequency For a particular sampling frequency: Nyquist frequency (or rate) is the highest frequency that can be accurately represented.

Human voice still intelligible when higher frequencies are lost. 4KHz pretty useless for music. Aliasing What happens to all those higher frequencies you can’t sample? They add noise to the sampled data at lower frequencies. 7 .Telephony 8KHz sampling used ⇒4KHz maximum frequency. and are useful for identification of the speaker. Human ear can hear up to ~20KHz. Higher frequencies convey some emotions.

Aliasing Noise (Real Music) Aliasing Noise original signal samples resulting aliasing noise 8 .

8KHz sampling: 1KHz alias Folding frequency is 4KHz. Example: 17KHz input signal.) Folding frequency: the frequency above which aliasing occurs.closest integer multiple of sampling freq. 8KHz sampling: 1KHz alias 17KHz .Aliasing Noise original signal samples resulting aliasing noise Aliasing Noise Alias frequency = abs(signal freq. Half the sampling rate. . Example: 7KHz input signal.(2 * 8KHz) = 1KHz 9 .

Filtered Analog Signal Analog Signal Low-pass filter Sample And Hold A Quantizer Digitized Codewords Sample Clock Quantization Sampled analog signal needs to be quantized (digitized). 8-bit linear. Signal is sampled at sampling frequency f. 16-bit linear. Sampled signal is quantized into discrete values. 10 .Analog-to-Digital Converter Low-pass anti-aliasing filter (cutoff at f/2) on input. Two questions: How many discrete digital values? What analog value does each digital value correspond to? Simplest quantization: linear.

Quantization Noise Quantization Noise Low amplitude components lost 11 .

Quantization Noise Quantization Noise High frequency noise introduced 12 .

How many levels? 8 bits (256 levels) linear encoding would probably be enough if the signal always used the full range. CD uses 16-bit linear encoding (65536 levels). Solution: use 8 bits with an “logarithmic” encoding. quiet parts will suffer from bad quantization noise (only a few levels used). loud parts will clip. Telephony 16 bit linear would be rather expensive for telephony. But signal varies in loudness. 13 . Pretty good match to dynamic range of human ear. 8 bit linear poor quality. irrespective of whether the signal is quiet or loud. Known as companding (compressing/expanding) Goal is that quantization noise is a fixed proportion of the signal. If full range is used for quiet parts. resulting in really bad noise. If full range is used for loud parts.

Linear Encoding Logarithmic Encoding 14 .

µlaw encoding µlaw encoding Input Signal (linear encoding) Output Signal (8-bit µlaw encoding) Small amplitude input signal coded with more code points than it would be with 8-bit linear 15 .

A-law used for International circuits. Both give similar quality to 12-bit linear encoding.711 8-bit A-law used in Europe for telephony Similar.µlaw decoding Input Signal (8-bit µlaw encoding) Output Signal (linear encoding) µ-law vs A-law 8-bit µ-law used in US for telephony ITU Recommendation G. Both are linear approximations to a log curve. 8000 samples/sec * 8bits per sample = 64Kb/s data rate 16 . but a slightly different curve.

7 in Europe 17 .µ-law µ is 255 in US/Japan A-law A = 87.

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