• The Audio Fool

    Your meta-search moment of the day

    • 2 Comments
    As of right now, a search on live.com for the term livewhacking returns exactly one result.
  • The Audio Fool

    A Blissful Installation

    • 2 Comments
    I've experienced software installer bliss. Here's the scenario: I went out and downloaded an application so I could test its compatibility for a dev. I ran the installer, which popped up a UAC dialog. I confirmed the install, and then got an incoming...
  • The Audio Fool

    The ADD Stove

    • 3 Comments
    As you well know, people with peculiar quirks can have special equipment needs. There are plenty of examples such as ramps for those with wheelchairs, closed caption for the hard of hearing, and reality TV for the thinking impaired. Those of us with the...
  • The Audio Fool

    You can't hear DC

    • 4 Comments
    Recently one of my team members found a bug in some old code while doing a code review. Our application was generating a sine wave to be rendered by the audio hardware. The sample format isn't important except to note that it is an unsigned value between...
  • The Audio Fool

    The Rules of Code Optimization

    • 3 Comments
    Steve Rowe recently talks about who you're really writing for when you write code. The argument he makes is essentially that your primary audience is not the compiler, but rather your primary audience is other developers. This is something I believe strongly...
  • The Audio Fool

    Youtube on the Loudness War

    • 1 Comments
    Larry pointed me to a really cool video that graphically and audibly demonstrates the effect of the Loudness War , and what happens to samples under excessive clipping. http://createdigitalmusic.com/2007/05/16/loudness-war-music-over-compression-demonstrated...
  • The Audio Fool

    Tweaking Legacy Installers

    • 0 Comments
    Last time I talked about legacy applications , I hinted at a hole in the UAC model that could be exploited by a social engineering attack. The issue lies in the "installers" category. Because it's a legacy app and doesn't have a manifest, Windows doesn...
  • The Audio Fool

    Categories of Legacy Applications

    • 5 Comments
    If you've used Vista, you've probably been exposed to the UAC dialog. It's the security dialog that pops up when the screen goes gray, and asks you permission to perform a task which requires admin-level elevation . The idea behind it is that once programs...
  • The Audio Fool

    More posts eventually!

    • 6 Comments
    It's that time of year, it seems. I was down with the flu last week, and I'm trying desperately to catch up this week. I promise I'll get more posts up soon. I'm doing some WASAPI playback library stuff right now and I'm just dying to do a couple...
  • The Audio Fool

    Digital Audio: Aliasing

    • 2 Comments
    Sampling a continuous waveform into discrete digital samples results in lost information. Discrete samples can only tell what the wave is doing at periodic instants in time, and not what's happening between them. The continuous sampled wave could be doing...
  • The Audio Fool

    Clipping in popular music

    • 6 Comments
    Aside from the distortion artifacts, one of the biggest problems that results from clipping is a loss of dynamic range. Remember that the dynamic range of a signal is effectively the difference between the maximum output level and the noise floor . When...
  • The Audio Fool

    Louder Sounds Better

    • 2 Comments
    Below is an example of the Fletcher-Munson Equal Loudness Curve . It is one of the most recognized graphics in audio engineering. The horizontal axis is frequency of tones, and the vertical axis is actual sound pressure in dBSPL. Each point on a curve...
  • The Audio Fool

    Vista Now Available

    • 3 Comments
    After months of waiting it's released. Go out and get yourself a copy already!
  • The Audio Fool

    How to drive on Snow and Ice

    • 15 Comments
    Ah, the winter storms are upon us once again. And once again, a disproportionate number of my extended neighbors are demonstrating their incompetence behind the wheel. It seems that no matter how many times the Puget Sound region gets snowed upon, people...
  • The Audio Fool

    Audio Fidelity: Clipping

    • 5 Comments
    In theory, an audio signal can take on any amplitude. There is no mathematical upper limit for how far from zero a sample can go, or how high the magnitude of a continuous wave can go. In practice, however, a digital signal's amplitude is limited by its...
  • The Audio Fool

    Of ground axes and long suicide notes

    • 9 Comments
    There's been an " analysis " floating around the 'net in the last few days from Auckland University's Peter Gutmann about how Windows Vista DRM will destroy computing as we know it. The article's penultimate soundbite comes in its Executive Executive...
  • The Audio Fool

    She said yes!

    • 4 Comments
    I would usually never bring any personal matters onto a professional blog, but in this case, I want to scream from the hills. On Christmas morning, during the unwrapping of gifts, my girlfriend Lisa became my fiancée. I'm a happy man.
  • The Audio Fool

    My program is the most important thing on your system, same as all the others.

    • 4 Comments
    Raymond had a really good post yesterday about programs that grab your attention inappropriately . I recommend reading it. The comments have some good examples of programs, mostly updaters, that take too many liberties. Of course, I completely agree that...
  • The Audio Fool

    If it doesn't just work, then it doesn't work.

    • 3 Comments
    I'm passionate about usability, even to the point that my co-workers accuse me of whining. I can't really help it. I have to applaud products and features that streamline a task, are intuitive, and fit well into the workflow. And when a feature unnecessarily...
  • The Audio Fool

    Feature request for the compiler team

    • 5 Comments
    I want to preface this by saying that the MS compiler team have worked wonders in improving developer productivity over the years, and can't be thanked enough for turning the C++ language into an enterprise quality platform that has lasted more than a...
  • The Audio Fool

    The difference between measuring DR and THD+N

    • 1 Comments
    I've talked here before about how noise and distortion are very similar concepts with very different causes. Noise is unwanted artifacts independent of the signal often caused by physical processes outside of a device. Distortion is unwanted artifacts...
  • The Audio Fool

    Audio Fidelity: Output Level

    • 1 Comments
    Output level is one of the simplest fidelity metrics to understand, but don't take that to mean it's not important. There are several occasions where you want to know the maximum, loudest value that a signal can get. On the digital side, that's pretty...
  • The Audio Fool

    And for my encore... Sleep.

    • 4 Comments
    As you've almost certainly heard by now, we've finished. Windows Vista has shipped , and our mantle has passed on to the manufacturers, who now have a little over two months to stuff a hundred million DVDs into boxes and put them onto store shelves everywhere...
  • The Audio Fool

    Honesty as a code metric

    • 0 Comments
    Of all of the programmers I've worked with over the years, I can name three who really stick out as the best. These people have earned my respect, and I will always listen to their opinions, even when I think they're completely off their rockers. I currently...
  • The Audio Fool

    Audio Fidelity: Latency

    • 1 Comments
    Relativity theorizes that there is no such thing as simultaneity between cause and effect. Effect happens after cause. All processes take a nonzero amount of time to complete. This delay has a name (of course). It's called latency . In audio, latency...
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