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Computer Generated Pure Tones and Noise and Its Application to Psychoacoustics

Psychoacoustics studies the hearing process in humans. Though this process is subjective, the goal is to study it as objectively as possible. Towards this end, the subject's responses are limited to yes-no or to a forced choice between intervals. The ability to ferret out the secrets of hearing depends, therefore, upon the sophistication of the applied signals. The pure tone masked by noise has proven a useful signal. Variations are possible in signal-noise ratio, bandwidth of noise, center frequency, duration, and envelope of both, and onset of one re: the other. Until recently these signals have been generated by electronic hardware. This paper describes programs for generation by computer and discusses advantages and necessary considerations.

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