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Dynamic Range Control for Audio Signals Using Fourth-Order Level Estimation

The human auditory system has been shown to be more sensitive to transient signals than stationary signals given the same energy. Conventional second-order measurements based on energy or root-mean-squared value cannot adequately characterize the auditory perception of non-stationary audio signals. A fourth-order dynamic range control (DRC) algorithm is proposed in this study. The perceptual quality and the dynamic range reduction effectiveness are evaluated for both second-order and fourth-order DRC algorithms. Evaluation results show that our proposed fourth-order DRC algorithm offers better balance of perceptual quality and dynamic range reduction than the conventional second-order approach.

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