A novel, non-uniform PCM audio quantizer is described, employing a time-domain computational auditory masking model. The model utilizes the concept of Signal Dependent Compression to produce an internal representation of the input signal so that via the use of a decision device a time-domain masking threshold can be derived. Based on this model, for inputs the reference audio and its quantized versions, the proposed quantizer derives masked / unmasked regions of the signal, so that by using an iterative process, the desired variable bit allocation can be achieved on the audio samples. Results indicate high quality quantization for an average rate of 6.5 bits / sample, the quantizer having low-computational complexity and very low latency.
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