Experiments were performed to determine under what conditions quasi-frequency-modulated (QFM) noise and random-sideband noise are suitable comparisons for AM noise in measuring a temporal modulation transfer function (TMTF). Thresholds were measured for discrimination of QFM from random-sideband noise and AM from QFM noise as a function of sideband separation. In the first experiment, the upper spectral edge of the noise stimuli was at 2400 Hz and the bandwidth was 1600 Hz. For sideband separations up to 256 Hz, at threshold sideband levels for discriminating AM from QFM noise, QFM was indiscriminable from random-sideband noise. For the largest sideband separation used (512 Hz), listeners may have used within-stimulus envelope correlation in the QFM noise to discriminate it from the random-sideband noise. Results when stimulus bandwidth was varied suggest that listeners were able to use this cue when the carrier was wider than a critical band, and the sideband separation approached the carrier bandwidth. Within-stimulus envelope correlation was also present in AM noise, and thus QFM noise was a suitable comparison because it made this cue unusable and forced listeners to use across-stimulus envelope differences. When the carrier bandwidth was less than a critical band or was wideband, QFM noise and random-sideband noise were equally suitable comparisons for AM noise. When discrimination thresholds for QFM and random-sideband noise were converted to modulation depth and modulation frequency, they were nearly identical to those for discrimination of AM from QFM noise, suggesting that listeners were using amplitude modulation cues in both cases. (C) 2000 Acoustical Society of America.