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De-Boer, E.

1976

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 60(4): 960-963

Spectral transformations by an infinite clipper

Several manifestations of auditory nonlinearity indicate that the percentage of distortion does not vary much over a wide range of stimulus intensities. Accordingly there is some interest in essential nonlinearities (nonlinear devices of which the percentage of distortion is independent of level) for modeling purposes. The genesis of the cubic difference tone (CDT) by such a device was treated. The extreme case of an infinite clipper was chosen for reasons of simplicity. In the simplest case the stimulus signal has 2 components with frequencies f1 and f2 (f2 > f1) of which the upper one is the weaker of the two. This signal shows both amplitude (AM) and phase modulation (PM). The clipping removes the AM and the remaining PM causes the signal to have at least 3 components. The newly generated 3rd component is the CDT with frequency 2f1-f2. It is as if the original upper component is split into 2 components; one with the original frequency f2 and the other with the frequency 2f1-f2. Each of these has half the original amplitude, hence the infinite clipper produces 1 form of 2-tone suppression as well. The method by which the results are obtained suggests a generalization to multicomponent and to stochastic signals. This may allow a fruitful strategy to be developed for a comprehensive analysis of cochlear nonlinearity.
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