Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » October 8th, 2020, 2:15 pm

It was said on the second page of this thread that this only happens in some games.

The recordings done for the DD2 track are not clear because one of them is too loud and two of them are too quiet, but all of them still show the discrepancy between CD and PSIO. Also explained pages ago.

Hopefully, we will have an official statement regarding this bug soon and this time nobody is going to obfuscate this problem with personal agendas. :)
Damn-Deal-Done wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 11:50 am
Cheers for the info, Ace. It makes sense now why these new recordings don't have clipping.
They DO have clipping, just at various levels.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Kito1984 » October 8th, 2020, 3:39 pm

Ace wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 10:35 am
You guys seem to be missing the one critical detail regarding excess clipping, and it's in plain sight on the screenshot Matt posted: it's present ONLY with games that use the ATV registers to apply extra gain on top of the existing raw audio samples on the disc.
Ace, do I understand you correctly and you are saying that Desctruction Derby 2 is not such a game and there is no excessive clipping there? We have chosen DD 2 because there was this one man who claimed that he perfectly hears the difference and in reality there is no additional clipping in DD 2 at all? :shrug

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Ace » October 8th, 2020, 5:22 pm

Destruction Derby 2 is not a game I'm familiar with, but I will take the opportunity to check how it should sound from the disc and what waveform it puts out, then compare that to the PSIO. I don't know if it uses the ATV registers at all, but if I do see more clipping occurring out of the hardware with the disc when the raw samples aren't clipped (or if the samples are clipped, they are further clipped by the ATV registers), you can be sure I'll take a closer look at this including on the PSIO, where I would expect to find even more pronounced clipping.
I should point out RockMan 4 and 5 Complete Works, the former especially, show significant clipping with the original disc, and this clipping is accentuated on the PSIO (one song in particular in RockMan 4 Complete Works is so badly clipped with the disc that it has significant crunch in the sound - I expect the PSIO to clip this even worse and make the crunch even more pronounced). I think V-Rally 2's higher music volume settings also produces extreme clipping on top of the existing clipping on the audio tracks, which I will confirm if this is the case in the coming days.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Kito1984 » October 8th, 2020, 5:41 pm

Ace wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 5:22 pm
Destruction Derby 2 is not a game I'm familiar with, but I will take the opportunity to check how it should sound from the disc and what waveform it puts out, then compare that to the PSIO. I don't know if it uses the ATV registers at all, but if I do see more clipping occurring out of the hardware with the disc when the raw samples aren't clipped (or if the samples are clipped, they are further clipped by the ATV registers), you can be sure I'll take a closer look at this including on the PSIO, where I would expect to find even more pronounced clipping.
Ace, thanks, it would be interesting to hear your expert opinion!

I want to test Rockman 6, where you have found clipping initially, today. Should I try to increase the record volume somehow to see clipping or clipping will be there with any volume? It says 100 % input level in the sound card settings, but maybe I can boost it in Windows or Audacity settings.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » October 8th, 2020, 7:14 pm

Destruction Derby 2 is a game that uses ATV registers to boost audio and it is noticeably more clipped on PSIO with certain tracks, especially the main menu music on its left channel if Stereo is set to ON. Of course, you need to set the CDDA audio in-game accordingly as well, so that the sound effects don't muffle it.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Ace » October 9th, 2020, 6:51 am

Kito1984 wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 5:41 pm
I want to test Rockman 6, where you have found clipping initially, today. Should I try to increase the record volume somehow to see clipping or clipping will be there with any volume? It says 100 % input level in the sound card settings, but maybe I can boost it in Windows or Audacity settings.
If you're using the audio input from an on-board audio solution, keep the volume in the 30-50% range. This could vary from board to board (some will induce phase inversion as well, which is something I personally noticed on the ASUS Strix B350-F's Line In, though that's not exactly relevant here), though at least when it comes to older PCI-based SoundBlasters (yes, PCI, not PCI Express), you can safely max out the volume (only thing to be aware of is that the Audigy 2's Line In at the card has phase inversion, maybe even the Live! and Audigy lineups that preceded the Audigy 2, but I can't confirm that yet).

You will see clipping differences between the PSIO and the disc at any volume level. That said, be sure to get a save file with everything unlocked as RockMan 6 Complete Works has a sound test, but it's locked by default.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Kito1984 » October 9th, 2020, 7:05 am

Ace wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 6:51 am
If you're using the audio input from an on-board audio solution, keep the volume in the 30-50% range. This could vary from board to board (some will induce phase inversion as well, which is something I personally noticed on the ASUS Strix B350-F's Line In, though that's not exactly relevant here), though at least when it comes to older PCI-based SoundBlasters (yes, PCI, not PCI Express), you can safely max out the volume (only thing to be aware of is that the Audigy 2's Line In at the card has phase inversion, maybe even the Live! and Audigy lineups that preceded the Audigy 2, but I can't confirm that yet).

You will see clipping differences between the PSIO and the disc at any volume level. That said, be sure to get a save file with everything unlocked as RockMan 6 Complete Works has a sound test, but it's locked by default.
I use AE-9 Toslink input via FirebrandX Digital Audio mod. I think now I should have asked that first, but are these tests good to detect clipping or we should test only analog line? I'm not professional (not even amateur, really), seems logical to me that if PSIO produces clipping, it shall be there even with digital connection.

Ah, so Damn-Deal-Done and Dinsdale Piranha were right all the time and the clipping shall be there no matter the volume. Thanks for clarification!

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » October 9th, 2020, 7:08 am

Ah, so Damn-Deal-Done and Dinsdale Piranha were right all the time and the clipping shall be there no matter the volume. Thanks for clarification!
In RockMan 6 Complete Works where the default ATV gain is so severe that it clips too much even from the CD-ROM.

In other games, the audio levels set for the recording will determine how much clipping is going to show.

There is no "pattern" here. It all depends on the game, which is why Matt might not have seen the excessive clipping if he tested with a wrong game.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Ace » October 9th, 2020, 7:42 am

Kito1984 wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 7:05 am
I use AE-9 Toslink input via FirebrandX Digital Audio mod. I think now I should have asked that first, but are these tests good to detect clipping or we should test only analog line? I'm not professional (not even amateur, really), seems logical to me that if PSIO produces clipping, it shall be there even with digital connection.
It doesn't matter if you get digital audio or analog audio, you'll see clipping if the game sets the ATV registers to a volume level that is too high for the audio samples on the disc.
Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 7:08 am
In RockMan 6 Complete Works where the default ATV gain is so severe that it clips too much even from the CD-ROM.
That's just one example, though really, the entire RockMan Complete Works series uses the ATV registers in such a manner. V-Rally 2 should do the same as well with its volume settings as very high music volume produces very noticeable distortion, and at least one audio track (Track 3) is clipped on the raw sample you find on the disc. I'm sure if you were to compare the output from the PlayStation using the disc with that of the PSIO while the music volume is maxed out, not only will both show more clipping than the disc, but the amount of clipping on the PSIO will be more significant.
Takehaniyasubiko wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 7:08 am
In other games, the audio levels set for the recording will determine how much clipping is going to show.
If the raw samples are already clipped on the disc but the ATV registers are left unused or attenuate the signal (gain below 1), you'll still see clipping, but when put side-by-side with the raw samples from the disc, the amount of clipping will still be the same. If, however, the game applies very high gain via the ATV registers in such a manner that this clipping is even more pronounced or the raw samples have no clipping to begin with, this is where you will notice the PSIO clips too early. Likewise, if the audio samples aren't clipped on the disc and the ATV registers are unused or are used to attenuate the audio samples, there will be no clipping visible with recordings from the hardware.

What would be required to really dig deep into this issue is compile a list of games that use the ATV registers in such a manner that the raw samples from the disc are clipped coming out of the console's audio hardware when the raw samples aren't clipped (or are otherwise further clipped compared to the already-clipped samples on the disc). This should show all games that do this producing excessively clipped output on the PSIO vs. using the original disc.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Takehaniyasubiko » October 9th, 2020, 8:06 am

Ace wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 7:42 am
If the raw samples are already clipped on the disc but the ATV registers are left unused or attenuate the signal (gain below 1), you'll still see clipping, but when put side-by-side with the raw samples from the disc, the amount of clipping will still be the same. If, however, the game applies very high gain via the ATV registers in such a manner that this clipping is even more pronounced or the raw samples have no clipping to begin with, this is where you will notice the PSIO clips too early. Likewise, if the audio samples aren't clipped on the disc and the ATV registers are unused or are used to attenuate the audio samples, there will be no clipping visible with recordings from the hardware.
Exactly, and with Destruction Derby 2 you have the raw CDDA main menu music track on the disc with very little clipping, but the game can add severe ATV gain depending on the volume settings, at which point it starts to clip strongly from both the CD-ROM and PSIO, but PSIO always has more clipping.

It's very important not to treat these games are some rule-setters. Each game will be different.

The one thing which is constant is that PSIO applies more clipping than the CD-ROM.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that.
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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Kito1984 » October 9th, 2020, 3:20 pm

Ace wrote:
October 9th, 2020, 7:42 am
It doesn't matter if you get digital audio or analog audio, you'll see clipping if the game sets the ATV registers to a volume level that is too high for the audio samples on the disc.
Thank you very much, it seems users can actually easily test this. I'll try to reproduce the bug.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Kito1984 » October 11th, 2020, 12:56 am

Okay, I've tested it today for several hours. The results are strange. First, I can't achieve Audacity to show clipping (with built-in tool) on any recording and playback levels in Rockman 6. I don't know how to boost audio though. And I couldn't make a record from CD, because this game uses some strange anti-mod chip protection. Plays perfectly on PSIO though :dance

For another thing, I finally have seen some real clipping - in V-Rally 2 (track 3). This track is heavy! But again, I don't know how to interpret the results. I can't compare amount of clipping because there is so much clipping the whole record seems to be clipped both on CD and PSIO. But I've compared spectrums, and they clearly show difference in volume. Again. I think PSIO is louder than CD approximately by 4-6 dB. Other than that, I don't see real difference. But I hope ACE can look at my records and voice his expert opinion. Here they are (both in aup and FLAC) - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-UWwxH ... sp=sharing.

And this is spectrums overlay of V-Rally 2 recordings:

Image

As for hearing test results, I still can't hear any real difference. Sometimes CD sounds better, sometimes PSIO, I've tried some blind tests and couldn't get consistent results. Then again, other people may hear difference. Anyway, this time PSIO was also louder than CD, so it would be nice if Matt can look at this some time, this is evident discrepancy that can be easily seen in software.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by ka55 » October 11th, 2020, 3:07 am

Kito1984 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 12:56 am
Okay, I've tested it today for several hours. The results are strange. First, I can't achieve Audacity to show clipping (with built-in tool) on any recording and playback levels in Rockman 6. I don't know how to boost audio though. And I couldn't make a record from CD, because this game uses some strange anti-mod chip protection. Plays perfectly on PSIO though :dance

For another thing, I finally have seen some real clipping - in V-Rally 2 (track 3). This track is heavy! But again, I don't know how to interpret the results. I can't compare amount of clipping because there is so much clipping the whole record seems to be clipped both on CD and PSIO. But I've compared spectrums, and they clearly show difference in volume. Again. I think PSIO is louder than CD approximately by 4-6 dB. Other than that, I don't see real difference. But I hope ACE can look at my records and voice his expert opinion. Here they are (both in aup and FLAC) - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-UWwxH ... sp=sharing.

And this is spectrums overlay of V-Rally 2 recordings:

Image

As for hearing test results, I still can't hear any real difference. Sometimes CD sounds better, sometimes PSIO, I've tried some blind tests and couldn't get consistent results. Then again, other people may hear difference. Anyway, this time PSIO was also louder than CD, so it would be nice if Matt can look at this some time, this is evident discrepancy that can be easily seen in software.
Use these gameshark codes that will disable rockman 6 complete works anti-modchip protection.


D006DA7A 1040
8006DA7A 1000

https://consolecopyworld.com/psx/psx_game_codes_r.shtml
PlayStation SCPH-1000 PU-7 and SCPH-5552 PU-18 :D

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Kito1984 » October 11th, 2020, 3:48 am

ka55 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 3:07 am
Use these gameshark codes that will disable rockman 6 complete works anti-modchip protection.

D006DA7A 1040
8006DA7A 1000

https://consolecopyworld.com/psx/psx_game_codes_r.shtml
Thanks, I'll try that! Main question though, why I don't see any clipping in Rockman with PSIO?! If it's not there with PSIO, there won't be any clipping on CD too. Maybe Ace knows the answer.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Ace » October 18th, 2020, 3:17 pm

Kito1984 wrote:
October 11th, 2020, 3:48 am
...why I don't see any clipping in Rockman with PSIO?!
That's because you can't rely on Audacity's Find Clipping function to tell you when there's clipping unless the sample itself is actually exceeding 0dB. If you were to rip the same audio sample from the disc, you'll see the PlayStation itself clips all of the music due to applying too much gain via the ATV registers.

You used digital audio for your recordings, right? The distortion from the extra clipping is clear as day to me in both V-Rally 2 and RockMan 6 Complete Works (this one produces the exact same distortion I get from my own PSIO and SCPH-5501 PlayStation's analog output). The Destruction Derby 2 sample doesn't exhibit any clipping whatsoever (it does, however, seem like your digital recordings are a bit too loud compared to the raw samples).

Now let me show you the clipping differences between your PSIO RockMan 6 Complete Works sample, my own samples from my PSIO and running the disc on the system, and the raw samples from the disc, all volume-matched to the raw sample.

Here's the waveform of the raw sample from the disc:
Image

Now here's the waveform out of the PlayStation's audio hardware using the disc (SCPH-5501 system used) - notice how much of the sample is clipped:
Image

Using the PSIO on the same system produces a waveform with even more clipping like so:
Image

And the waveform from your own sample produces the same amount of clipping as my PSIO analog capture:
Image

This is the sort of thing to look out for when investigating excess clipping as a result of the ATV registers applying too much gain to a game's streaming audio. With V-Rally 2, if you want to compare how severely the music is clipped, you can use audio track 3 to do so, but put the music volume to maximum as that causes extremely heavy clipping. Any discrepancy in clipping between the PSIO and the disc will be visible in same way as it's visible in RockMan 6 Complete Works.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Kito1984 » October 18th, 2020, 5:01 pm

Ace wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 3:17 pm
That's because you can't rely on Audacity's Find Clipping function to tell you when there's clipping unless the sample itself is actually exceeding 0dB.

The Destruction Derby 2 sample doesn't exhibit any clipping whatsoever (it does, however, seem like your digital recordings are a bit too loud compared to the raw samples).

This is the sort of thing to look out for when investigating excess clipping as a result of the ATV registers applying too much gain to a game's streaming audio.
Aha, it's sad, but I think I understand why after your explanation.

So we tested the wrong game from the start :( Well, at least we know that now.

Thank you very much for you detailed explanation. I thought that the problem was not in the recordings, but in my inability to correctly interpret them. I don't remember, but have you written about core reason of this PSIO problem? Is this because ATV volume is incorrect or because ATV registers apply too much gain? Or is this bit integers problem or something? This would be useful information for Matt, I think.

I may record something else, if that's required, but I guess the information above is as comperehensive and simple as it can be, even I got that :D

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Ace » October 19th, 2020, 4:33 am

Kito1984 wrote:
October 18th, 2020, 5:01 pm
Is this because ATV volume is incorrect or because ATV registers apply too much gain?
No, the amount of gain applied is fine; the volume between the disc and the PSIO is the same. The problem appears to come from clipping being applied at a lower maximum volume than what the PlayStation applies, and you can see this in the waveforms between the disc's raw XA file, the audio produced by the PlayStation's hardware from the disc and the audio produced by the PlayStation's hardware with the PSIO. Both hardware recordings are clipped, but the extent to which the clipping occurs on the PSIO is greater than what you would get running the original disc despite the output volume being identical between the two. You will see exactly this if you use that code to bypass the modchip protection and run that same song using the disc.

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Re: Excessive audio clipping with CDDA/XA music

Post by Matt » October 19th, 2020, 4:39 am

We'll look into the clipping issue once we fix the other serious issues that have been reported at the moment. Appreciate the information and work that has gone into this! It will help us track it down.

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