DATK - Distortion Analysis Toolkit


Several audio effects devices deliberately add nonlinear distortion to the processed signal in order to create a desired sound. When creating virtual analog models of nonlinearly distorting devices, it would be very useful to carefully analyze the type of distortion, so that the model could be made as realistic as possible. While traditional system analysis tools such as the frequency response give detailed information on the operation of linear and time-invariant systems, they are less useful for analyzing nonlinear devices.

Furthermore, although there do exist separate algorithms for nonlinear distortion analysis, there has not been - until now - any easy-to-use tool for rapid analysis of distorting audio systems. The DATK software allows the user to measure the distortion behavior of an effects device (distortion pedal, compressor, guitar amplifier, microphone preamp) or a software plugin.

  1. -Simple, easy-to-use tool for analyzing the distortion behavior of audio effects (devices and software plugins)

  2. -Requires a modern computer, a sound card, and a recording software (such as Garageband or Audacity)

  3. -Available for Mac OSX, Linux, and Windows

  4. -Includes five built-in distortion analysis techniques, more can be added by the user (requires Matlab)

  5. -Freely downloadable!



The DATK is available as a collection of Matlab functions, as well as standalone packages for Mac OSX, Linux, and Windows. Downloading the zip-package creates a directory that contains all the files that the DATK requires in order to work. For the standalone version, you will need to install the Matlab Compiler Runtime (MCR, included in the zip) before you can use the DATK. If you have MCR already installed to your system, you can download the standalone package without the MCR installer.