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A measurement technique is proposed to characterize the nonidealities of digital signal processing algorithms which are induced by quantization effects, overflows (fixed point), or nonlinear distortions in one single experiment/simulation. The main idea is to apply specially designed multisine excitations in order to discriminate between the output of the ideal system and the contributions of the systems nonidealities. This approach allows the comparison and quantification of the quality of different implementation alternatives. Applications of this method include, but are not limited to, digital filters, fast Fourier transforms, and audio codecs.