With the advent of low bit-rate coding in studio and consumer applications, multiple generations (tandem) coding becomes reality. It is reported that depending on the algorithms and bit rates employed, the final sound quality may decrease significantly. The noise-to-mask ratio (NMR) perceptual measurement is capable of evaluating the margin toward audibility. The results of numerous measurements on typical tandem combinations will be presented, and the consequences on multiple generations coding will be discussed.
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