What's Dynamic Range Compression

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JeremyErwin, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

    Feb 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Even though I've been on the forum for a bit, I still feel that this is a newbie type question:

    I was flipping through the menus of my atsc reciever, and noticed a certain feature:

    Enable Dynamic Range Compression

    The manual, as is usual for a samsung product, is a bit light on details, but I gather that it can sometimes be used to equalize volumes from various dolby digital sources.

    A similar feature can be found on my Mac's DVD player.

    The trouble is, I don't know whether this is a desirable option. Compression reminds me too much of improperly mastered CDs, with a compressed dynamic range. I'd like as much dynamic range a possible-- my receiver's (Onkyo TX-SR502) dolby midnight modes can be enabled if I don't want to tick off the neighbors.

    So, what does DRC do? Is it useful? Or is it an attempt to placate less discerning ears?
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Jan 18, 1999
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    DRC is just as you imagine: a feature which allows the dynamics of a soundtrack to be reduced so the loud stuff doesn't seem as loud: similar to midnight mode, only midnight mode usually adds bass reduction and some other changes.

    DRC is based on flags in the digital stream, so it might not work with every disc, but if you are looking for the full uncompressed soundtrack, you should leave it off.


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