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Old 27 February 2018, 07:33   #1
Foebane
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Paula's audio range is 9 octaves

Um, isn't that the entire range of human hearing?

I read this in specifications of the Amiga back around 1989-1990 and it always impressed me that a sound chip could be so wide-ranging, considering how limited (less than half the 9 octaves) other sound chips were. Of course, when you consider that Paula uses sound samples and those can be anything in the audio range, and they're played at a very wide range of frequencies, then the range is justified, if not always the quality.

But when you consider what an octave actually is (I can only hum around three), surely 9 covers the entire range of human hearing? So in theory, Paula is the best ever sound chip ever devised by man?
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Old 27 February 2018, 08:23   #2
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I don't know if technically speaking Paula is the best chip around

I only use my ears and i LOVE his sound
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Old 27 February 2018, 08:47   #3
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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
So in theory, Paula is the best ever sound chip ever devised by man?
LOL

And no, there are other chips that can output higher frequencies, and thus have a higher range
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Old 27 February 2018, 09:40   #4
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So in theory, Paula is the best ever sound chip ever devised by man?
Before anyone else responds to this remark, please bear in mind that I was being sarcastic. Not every bit of sarcasm requires a smiley, you know.
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Old 27 February 2018, 09:48   #5
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please bear in mind that I was being sarcastic
Were you, though?
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Old 27 February 2018, 10:11   #6
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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
Before anyone else responds to this remark, please bear in mind that I was being sarcastic. Not every bit of sarcasm requires a smiley, you know.
When we read your 1st post, it's an evidence that you were serious, at 100% .
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Old 27 February 2018, 11:23   #7
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When we read your 1st post, it's an evidence that you were serious, at 100% .
Where was I? When I said other sound chips had half the octave range or less, I was referring to this same guide I read the "9 octaves" thing from. I can't remember what it was called, this guide, but it was some kind of "buyer's guide for computer buyers".

Also, I said that Paula covered the frequencies, if not always the quality.
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Old 27 February 2018, 11:33   #8
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But when you consider what an octave actually is (I can only hum around three), surely 9 covers the entire range of human hearing? So in theory, Paula is the best ever sound chip ever devised by man?
Paula covers wide range of sampling rates (from 54 samples per second when AUDxPER=65535 to 1.79MHz) - technically is able to play infra-sounds (mHz i.e. mili Hertz) to way more than just ultrasound - so it covers more than 9 octave audio range.
Nope, Paula has lot of limitations and for sure is not "the best ever sound chip ever devised by man" (it lacks 16 bit, limited DMA sample rate, physically combined channels without positioning across Left Right and many more).
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Old 27 February 2018, 11:53   #9
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I know that. As I said, I was being sarcastic.

I know that Paula is only 8-bit, has four channels that are locked two per side (honestly, why do people think it should position across left and right?) and that there can be this horrible shimmering effect in the sounds if the sample rate is too low, but what I love about Paula over other sound chips is that it does SAMPLES, and that means any possible musical instrument and vocals and anything, really.

I wanted to have a serious debate about if the "9 octaves" statement was true, or that it wasn't just made up by Commodore Marketing to make themselves look better than everyone else, but no, everyone locks onto my sarcastic statement.
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Old 27 February 2018, 11:55   #10
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LOL

And no, there are other chips that can output higher frequencies, and thus have a higher range
See post #9, Britelite.
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Old 27 February 2018, 11:59   #11
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I wanted to have a serious debate about if the "9 octaves" statement was true, or that it wasn't just made up by Commodore Marketing to make themselves look better than everyone else
If you want a serious debate, then you should present some real arguments instead of "I read something somewhere sometime". Without knowing which article you're even referring to, it's impossible to discuss anything related to it.

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but no, everyone locks onto my sarcastic statement.
Because honestly, with you it's impossible to know if you are joking or not. And to further add to the irony, you yourself don't seem to be too good on picking up on sarcasm (see your reply to malko).
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Old 27 February 2018, 12:29   #12
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Originally Posted by britelite View Post
If you want a serious debate, then you should present some real arguments instead of "I read something somewhere sometime". Without knowing which article you're even referring to, it's impossible to discuss anything related to it.
I also found this before I started the thread: http://www.amigahistory.plus.com/1000spec.html
Straight from the horse's mouth, it seems.

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Because honestly, with you it's impossible to know if you are joking or not. And to further add to the irony, you yourself don't seem to be too good on picking up on sarcasm (see your reply to malko).
Good point, I didn't.
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Old 27 February 2018, 12:47   #13
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Anyway, to answer your question

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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
I read this in specifications of the Amiga back around 1989-1990 and it always impressed me that a sound chip could be so wide-ranging, considering how limited (less than half the 9 octaves) other sound chips were.
Both the SID and AY-3-8910 have a range of about 8 octaves (which, as you may notice, is not half the 9 octaves), so the claim of Paula outputting 9 octaves seems correct.
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Old 27 February 2018, 12:59   #14
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Even if it has a range of 9 octaves, that doesn't say anything about the audio quality. It is well known that the DAC produces a lot of overtones which the analog low pass filter is meant to attenuate. If this filter is disabled, you cannot play back a low frequency tone without very clear distortion. With the filter enabled, the frequency range is much limited and surely much smaller than 9 octaves.
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Old 27 February 2018, 16:00   #15
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The one thing you are all forgetting, is that The Amiga sound chip was the best once!! At least when it was first introduced. Back then, Amiga sound was supremacy!
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Old 27 February 2018, 16:15   #16
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Interesting thread. But I thik the range of human hearing is higher than 9 octaves. Humans are regarded as hearing from about 20Hz to 20,000Hz. Octaves relate to a doubling of frequency, so:
C0 = 16.35Hz <- Not many people can hear this low a frequency
...
C8 = 4186.01Hz <- This is a high-pitched C note
C9 = 8372.02Hz <- This is another octave up
C10 = 16744.04Hz <- Very squeaky - almost painful for some!

But Eb10 = 19912.12Hz, which is really high-pitched. You could probably find folk with hearing sensitive enough to go even higher. Not sure if Paula can pull this off, but if she can, then we could sample Bjork!!
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Old 27 February 2018, 16:25   #17
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9 octaves seems to be advertising bullshit. Practically you where limited to only 3 octaves (C-1 to C-3 = Protracker notes) with C-1 = ~4kHz and C-3 = ~16kHz. Limit was around 28kHz (B-3). This was the default in the past. With double scan screen modes you can double the frequency = 56kHz max.. C-4 =~32kHz and C-5 = ~64kHz. Count the "octaves". With DigiboosterPro for example you can use C-1 to C-8 (but here C-5 is ~16kHz).
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Old 27 February 2018, 16:35   #18
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9 octaves seems to be advertising bullshit. Practically you where limited to only 3 octaves (C-1 to C-3 = Protracker notes) with C-1 = ~4kHz and C-3 = ~16kHz.
That refers to the playback sampling frequency. If you have a 100 sample long single period of a sine wave and you play it back as C-1, it would produce a tone of 40 Hz.
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Old 27 February 2018, 16:51   #19
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What about Scream Tracker sounds/Mods, they are that good that I would say it was on par with Sound blasters, of the past!
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Old 27 February 2018, 16:59   #20
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Originally Posted by britelite View Post
Both the SID and AY-3-8910 have a range of about 8 octaves (which, as you may notice, is not half the 9 octaves), so the claim of Paula outputting 9 octaves seems correct.
Do they say what POKEY's range is? I think the guide described it as the lowest at 3.5 octaves (I think) and as much as I loved my Atari 800XL at the time, I had to grudgingly admit that was true.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't SID and the AY have a pitch range of something like 0-65535? All I remember was that POKEY had 0-255, and I've experienced for myself and read so often that a lot of the notes were out of tune, the increments were so large. I would imagine Paula has the 0-65535 range as well, for such fine pitch control in things like racing games for the engine sound.

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9 octaves seems to be advertising bullshit. Practically you where limited to only 3 octaves
That's what I thought, as I said before I can only hum a pitch at three octaves at most, without straining my larynx. I thought back then it seemed a bit much, but then it occurred to me that the samples themselves could be low and high frequencies, so maybe that's how the range was increased.

Last edited by Foebane; 27 February 2018 at 17:10.
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