Join Date: May 2002
Location: Serving GTA & Southern Ontario
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This topic piques my interest.
Compression exists throughout many stages of the recording processes. With the final mastering of music recordings, the louder the tracks, the more dynamic range compression exists. Dynamics are crushed so the whole CD/digital file is playing close to peak levels. This is thought to be more desired listening to music in a car or on headphones where there's competition with other noise. (It's also thought to increase sales). During playback, the user doesn't need to turn up the volume very high to have loud, in-your-face sound. Pick up any "remastered" music release, and you'll notice they're dynamically compressed compared to the original.
On the other hand, music titles that are less compressed sound "quieter" at first listen, require a raise on the volume control compared to their dynamically compressed cousins. But snare hits, cymbal crashes, guitar solos, and vocals all come out more dynamically at different moments, as the whole soundtrack have greater dynamic range throughout. These are the sought out editions that anyone who cares about sound quality seek out. They sound wonderful in the home but may present some challenges while driving with the sunroof open. Thus, there should always be two editions of an album (or compression technology enabled in each portable device). Loud, compressed music on a home system is fatiguing, brittle, often bassless, has fat vocals, and, well...not musical sounding.
I don't own any of the movie titles in question but I'll pick one up just to find out what the noise is about.
If these soundtracks appear lower because they offer more dynamic peaks throughout, I'm on board and I hope all releases follow suit. But if it's a dynamically squished soundtrack that's lowered erroneously then there should be a fix.
Home theaters - especially those that don't compete with other household noise - greatly benefit from soundtracks that deliver significant swings in dynamic range. Dynamic range compression - where most sounds have little difference in volume and present as loud all of the time - is not a practice that I want on film soundtracks.
Last edited by Michael Osadciw; 03-09-2019 at 07:14 AM.