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Dynamic Compression and the "Lay Person"

2580 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  avaserfi
I thought this would interest a few people here. As we all know dynamic compression, almost always sucks. I decided to do a little study on the preferences of the "lay person" or non-audio nuts.

I took an extremely dynamic Steely Dan song and compressed it (just dynamics) and then perceptually level matched the original song and the compressed version and started testing on my reference headphones (chosen for their linearity in frequency response). Right now the study is in its pilot stage (the reason why I am not going into full details). I will say though so far even if the participants consistently fail an ABx test between the two files and hearing differences it is statistically likely that in a blind comparison the subjects do prefer the uncompressed file. Due to this being a pilot study the results aren't generalizable enough yet, but I am working on that.

Hopefully, next semester when I have more time to commit to this project I will get more subjects and perhaps even the recording companies will listen, but that is probably being idealistic.

Lastly, sorry if I have posted in the wrong forum, but music seemed the perfect place for this as its ruining our music as I am sure most of you know!
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CARS. Unless people stop listening to analog radio and CDs in their cars, or on the train, bus, etc. this won't change.

BTW - Be careful you don't clip. Compression makes it much easier to clip your amp.
Didn't know that about radio stations. But the argument I've always heard for why compression is done is specifically for stuff like radio stations, where you want to make sure everything is loud, and loud as or louder than everything else.

If the PCM signal generated by the redbook audio on the CD is clipped, then it'll try to drive your amp with that signal, causing the amp to clip (not due to hitting the ceiling, so perhaps I should not have used clip), and then possibly damaging your speaker, no?
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