Variable-rate converter

A new type of digital recording, marketed by Kinetix, which attempts to provide very high resolution sound without resorting to a static increase in bit depth and sampling rate. Typical linear systems divide audio signals into equal quantums of amplitude and equal quantums of time, producing serially correlated sampling errors, or, errors which are necessarily related to one another and are, therefore, not only not random, and therefore not mutually cancelling, but potentially mutually reinforcing at specific bands within the audio frequency, making them more noticeable. Briefly, a variable-rate converter wobbles at random between 44.1kHz and 48kHz to distribute the sampling errors over a wide frequency range, with the general result that they are inaudible. The Kinetix converter also randomizes the quantization steps so that each successive sample is quantized differently. This renders quantization distortion is redistributed as (Gaussian) noise where it is shifted into the 15-18kHz range on output where it is unlikely to be audible. Variable-rate converters provide low bit-rates, do not require dither or compression, produce less background noise and distortion, with increased the audibility of low-level signals and enhanced stereo imaging. The downside is that the variable clock frequency causes problems for interfacing to other digital systems which is why the current Kinetix product includes its own recorder.

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