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Measuring Dynamics: Comparing and Contrasting Algorithms for the Computation of Dynamic Range

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There is a consensus among many in the audio industry that recorded music has grown increasingly compressed over the past few decades. Some industry professionals are concerned that this compression often results in poor audio quality with little dynamic range. Although some algorithms have been proposed for calculating dynamic range, we have not been able to find any studies suggesting that any of these metrics accurately represent any perceptual dimension of the measured sound. In this paper, we review the various proposed algorithms and compare their results with the results of a listening test. We show that none of the tested metrics accurately predict the perceived dynamic range of a musical track, but we identify some potential directions for future work.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society