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I found an artifact, can you help me identify it?


Patreon Donor
Mar 5, 2019
Atlanta, GA

I have been doing ABX testing as part of a CD vs Hi-Def comparison I am running for my own edification and sanity. I unexpectedly came across a strange artifact in one of my test tracks. I assumed that I had found an issue in one of the versions. Upon checking, I was surprised to immediately identify it in the other as well. My two audio files are from different sources. I ripped the the CD quality FLAC from disc. The Hi-Def FLAC (24/96) came from HDTracks.com. I was able to identify the artifact with both headphones and monitors as well as with two separate DACs, so I'm pretty sure I'm not hearing things.

I extracted a couple seconds from the clip to isolate the artifact and attached it. It sounds to me like an intermittent hum or buzzing. To my ears, it sounds exclusively on the left channel. As a newbie, I'm pretty curious what it is that I'm hearing and how it correlates to errors or faults in the reproduction process (ADC or DAC). For the curious, this clip is from "Te Lucis Ante Terminum, Festal", track 1 of Eventide by Voces8 at almost exactly the 1 minute mark.

I'm not really sure if this is a reasonable request, but perhaps someone might be able to identify it and speculate as to a cause?


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