Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 550–559

The Haskins Laboratories’ pulse code modulation (PCM) system


  • D. H. Whalen
    • Haskins Laboratories
  • E. R. Wiley
    • Haskins Laboratories
  • Philip E. Rubin
    • Haskins Laboratories
  • Franklin S. Cooper
    • Haskins Laboratories
Computer Technology

DOI: 10.3758/BF03204440

Cite this article as:
Whalen, D.H., Wiley, E.R., Rubin, P.E. et al. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers (1990) 22: 550. doi:10.3758/BF03204440


The pulse code modulation (PCM) method of digitizing analog signals has become a standard both in digital audio and in speech research, the focus of this paper. The solutions to some problems encountered in earlier systems at Haskins Laboratories are outlined, along with general properties of A/D conversion. Specialized features of the current Haskins Laboratories system, which has also been installed at more than a dozen other laboratories, are also detailed: the Nyquist filter response, the high-frequency preemphasis filter characteristics, the dynamic range, the timing resolution for single- and (synchronized) dual-channel signals, and the form of the digitized speech files (header information, data, and label structure). While the solutions adopted in this system are not intended to be considered a standard, the design principles involved are of interest to users and creators of other PCM systems.

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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1990