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The Non-Flat and Continually Changing Frequency Response of Multiband Compressors

Multiband dynamic range compressors are powerful, versatile tools for audio mastering, broadcast and playback. However, they are subject to certain problems relating to frequency response. First, when excited by a time-varying narrow-band input such as a swept sinusoid, they create unwanted magnitude peaks at the band boundaries. Secondly, and more importantly, the frequency response continually changes, which may have unwanted effects on the long-term average spectral balance. This paper proposes a frequency-domain solution for the unwanted magnitude peaks, whereby slight adjustments to the band boundaries prevent sinusoidal peaks from being midway between two bands. For the second problem, a real-time spectral balance compensation may be implemented in either the time or frequency domain.

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