testing dynamic range of cds

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jonathan Dagmar, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    I am interested in testing the dynamic range of a few of my cds. Basically I want to see the waveform so that I can see how much of the available dynamic range my my recordings are actually taking advanatge of.

    I want to do this because I have a feeling that much of the current dis-satisfaction with CD sound compared to DVD-A and SACD has to do with the poor, ill concieved practice of compressing the dynamic range of cds to make them seem LOUDER.

    Can anyone recomend a (free) app that will do this that isnt difficult to understand?
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Cool Edit, which is now Adobe Audition, could do it. They've got a tryout version, but I don't know what it's limitations are
     
  3. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    If you just rip a CD to wav files and then view them with the Sound Recorder program included with Windows, then it's pretty easy to see if a recording is dynamically compressed as the wave peaks are all consistently high.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    A simple easy-to-use method might be a cassette deck with a high-resolution level meter (more likely to be found on a single-well deck). Or even better, an old one with analog meters. It's easy to tell the difference between say, a good CD and FM radio - much more meter fluctation with the former.

    I agree, I suspect much of the sonic improvement of SACD or DVD-A has to do with greater attention being paid to the final product. I read in Audio years ago that even though CD was capable of - I forget, either a 16- or 18-bit noise floor, 12-bit was more typical of what we were getting, because of the limitations in studio recording equipment. So yes, if compression was introduced at the mastering stage instead of at the recording stage, they very well could use the relatively uncompressed master tapes to give us a later product with less compression.

    Another thought - with the various vocals and instruments dispersed to additional channels, that leaves each channel less "cluttered" and more "open" than what you would get with two-channel. That by itself could account for some of the perceived improvement.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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    Cool edit is really good. I have used it some and like it.
     
  6. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    the casette deck option is interesting, but costly. hese days casettes decks are something of a specialty item...

    Also, I want a PC based solution so that I can take screencaptures.
     

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