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A Worst-Case Analysis for Analog-Quality (Alias-Free) Digital Dynamics Processing

A fundamental problem of digital dynamics processing is that distortion products are produced that alias below 20 kHz. An analysis of sinewave clipping shows that a 5 MHz internal sampling rate is required to effectively attenuate aliasing components. A test signal consisting of a pair of closely spaced sinusoids that are slowly swept in frequency is suggested as a means of revealing aliasing distortion in typical digital audio systems. Many current digital audio products produce audible aliasing distortion when passing this test signal. It is suggested that there is a correlation between the amount of aliasing distortion produced in digital dynamics processors and their sonic qualities.

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