Dynamic compression and sound quality of music

R.A.J.M. Lieshout, van, W.M. Wagenaars, A.J.M. Houtsma, E.F. Stikvoort

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Amplitude compression is often used to match the dynamic: range of music to a particular playback situation in order to ensure, e .g ., continuous audibility in a noisy environment or unobtrusiveness if the music is intended as a quiet background. Since amplitude compression is a nonlinear process, it is potentially very damaging to sound quality. Three physical parameters of the compression process were investigated for their influence on sound quality: the degree of compression. a time constant for sound reduction, and a time constant for sound enhancement. A subjective, multidimensional comparison experiment with several subjects suggested that only the two first named are perceptually significant. By means of a multidimensional scaling experiment, with the original (uncompressed) signal as a reference, optimum values were determined for these parameters in two simulated acoustic environments. Finally, these optimal values were tested with a variety of music material.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-19
    Number of pages6
    JournalIPO Annual Progress Report
    Publication statusPublished - 1984


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