The effect of dynamic range compression on the psychoacoustic quality and loudness of commercial music

Campbell, William, Paterson, Justin L. and Toulson, Rob (2010) The effect of dynamic range compression on the psychoacoustic quality and loudness of commercial music. In: Proceedings of the Internoise 2010 Conference, 13-16 June 2010, Lisbon, Portugal.

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Abstract

It is common practice for music productions to be mastered with the aim of increasing the perceived loudness for the listener, allowing one record to stand out from another by delivering an immediate impact and intensity. Since the advent of the Compact Disc in 1980, music has increased in RMS level by up to 20dB. This results in many commercial releases being compressed to a dynamic range of 2–3 dB. Initial findings of this study have determined that amplitude compression adversely affects the audio signal with the introduction of audible artifacts such as sudden gain changes, modulation of the noise floor and signal distortion, all of which appear to be related to the onset of listener fatigue.

In this paper, the history and changes in trends with respect to dynamic range are discussed and findings will be presented and evaluated. Initial experimentation, and both the roadmap and challenges for further and wider research are also described and discussed. The key aim of this research is to quantify the effects (both positive and negative) of dynamic range manipulation on the audio signal and subsequent listener experience. A future goal of this study is to ultimately define recommended standards for the dynamic range levels of mastered music in a similar manner to those associated with the film industry.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Computing
Music
Music > Record production
Depositing User: Justin Paterson
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 13:48
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2016 15:46
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2068

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