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Quantifying the distortion products generated by amplitude-modulated noise

J Acoust Soc Am 106: 2709-18

Authors/Editors: Wiegrebe L
Patterson RD
Publication Date: 1999
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 1976 - 2000
When sinusoidal amplitude modulation (SAM) is applied to noise or tone carriers, the stimuli can generate audible distortion products in the region of the modulation frequency. As a result, when bandpass-filtered SAM noise is used to investigate temporal processing, a band of unmodulated noise is typically positioned at the modulation frequency to mask any distortion products. This study was designed to investigate the distortion products for bandpass noise carriers, and so reduce ambiguity about the form of this distortion and its role in perception. The distortion consists of two distortion-noise bands and a distortion tone at the modulation frequency. In the first two experiments, the level and phase of the distortion tone are measured using two different experimental paradigms. In the third experiment, modulation-frequency difference limens are measured for filtered SAM noise and it is shown that performance deteriorates markedly when the distortion tone is canceled. In a fourth experiment, masked threshold is measured at low frequencies for bands of high-frequency, unmodulated noise with the same levels and spectra as the SAM noises in the earlier experiments. The results confirm that unmodulated noise also produces quadratic distortion which may explain some aspects of earlier reports on remote masking.

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