Dynamic Range doesn't really matter
Reply #4 – 2014-11-20 06:58:01
Surprisingly, the results failed to reveal any evidence of the effects of dynamic range compression on subjective preference or perceived depth cues. Perceptual data suggest that listeners are less sensitive than commonly believed to even high levels of compression.How is that surprising at all? This is what can be observed in the music business for 20 years now. People bought and still buy horribly mastered CDs. Average listeners do not know how it is supposed to or can sound unless they're trained in some way, e.g. being musicians themselves, or being aware of the effects of DRC. So yes, DR doesn't matter w.r.t. to music sales, but it's still noticeable to people who know about it. Have they used a control group of trained listeners to test whether the supposedly "high levels of compression" are even noticeable at all? EDIT: Ugh, since I cannot access the paper I read the comments, and 3.) Most concerning to me is the use of these commercial recordings. As the authors themselves note, whilst these "re-masters" involve dynamic range compression, this is usually accompanied by several other forms of processing, each of which could affect the sound quality perception of listeners. The experiment is therefore controlled in such a way that I fail to see how any conclusions relating to dynamic range compression can be drawn. The tracks being compared should have had one difference and one difference only - the degree of dynamic range compression.So they compared remasters to some older releases? That's a pretty obvious and serious flaw in the test. The journal is supposedly peer-reviewed, so how did this possibly pass scrutiny? This study doesn't investigate DR, it might investigate whether people can tell remasters from the original recordings, and the answer is to that is "probably not". That probably tells you more about the average listener than the music. I don't think it's just "artificial" compression. I think many musicians and bands compose and play with very little dynamic expression. There may be a quiet song here or there, or a song with a quiet part, but it's mostly constantly-loud. That's the current style.Yes, we already see the effects of young people growing up with music without any dynamics...
Last Edit: 2014-11-20 08:20:21 by Kohlrabi