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

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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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