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Incorporation of Inharmonicity Effects into Auditory Masking Models

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In this work, the effect of inharmonic structure of audio maskers on the produced masking pattern is addressed. In most auditory models, the tonal structure of the masker is analyzed to determine the masking threshold. Based on psychoacoustic data, masking thresholds caused by tonal signals are lower compared to those produced by noise-like maskers. However, the relationship between spectral components has not been considered. It has been found that for two different multi-tonal maskers with the same power; the one with a harmonic structure produces lower masking threshold. This paper proposes a modification to the MPEG psychoacoustic model 2 in order to take into account the inharmonic structure of the input signal. Informal listening tests have shown that the bit rate required for transparent coding of inharmonic (multi-tonal) audio material can be reduced by 10% if the new modified psychoacoustic model 2 is used in the MPEG 1 Layer II encoder.

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