This sequence measures an audio amplifier’s Frequency Response, Gain, THD, THD+Noise, and Self-noise. It accomplishes this by playing a 1/3rd octave sine sweep through the amplifier. A HarmonicTrak™ analysis step calculates the fundamental frequency response curve as well as the distortion plots. The sequence then records and analyzes a spectrum of the amplifier’s self-noise.
This sequence measures the Max SPL of a transducer versus frequency that a device can play back with acceptable distortion. It is particularly valuable for designers using DSP algorithms to optimize the performance of their speakers.
It characterizes the Max SPL of a transducer by setting limits on specific metrics (THD, Rub & Buzz, Perceptual Rub & Buzz, Input Voltage and Compression) and then driving the transducer at a series of standard ISO frequencies, increasing the stimulus level until the one of the limits is surpassed. The sequence begins by measuring the frequency response and impedance of the DUT. The user is asked if they wish to use the -3dB from resonance frequency as the test Start Frequency or manually enter another value. The user is then prompted to enter a Stop Frequency, initial test level and limit values for the metrics of interest. The sequence then plays the stimulus Start Frequency in a loop, increasing the level +3dB with each loop iteration until one of the limits is exceeded. The stimulus level is then adjusted -3dB and the sequence continues to a second loop which increases the stimulus level +0.5 dB with each loop iteration until the limit is exceeded. At this point, the limit results are saved to an Excel file, the stimulus frequency is incremented by a constant multiplication step and the process is repeated until the Stop Frequency is achieved. Every time the main loop is completed, the individual SPL and Stimulus Level x-y pairs are concatenated to master curves. At the end of the sequence, the Max SPL and Stimulus Level curves are autosaved in .dat format.
In this paper, a mathematical definition of Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise suitable for testing high-resolution digital audio systems is presented. This formal definition of the “distortion analyzer” mentioned in AES17 defines THD+N as the RMS error of fitting a sinusoid to a noisy and distorted sequence of measurements. We present the key theoretical result that under realistic conditions a modern THD+N analyzer is well-described by a Normal probability distribution with a simple relationship between relative error and analysis dwell time. These findings are illustrated by comparing the output of a commercial distortion analyzer to our proposed method using Monte Carlo simulations of noisy signal channels. We will demonstrate that the bias of a well-designed distortion analyzer is negligible.
Authors: Alfred B. Roney The Mathworks, Inc. (formerly Listen, Inc.) Steve Temme, Listen, Inc.
Presented at AES 2018, New York, NY.