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Dynamic range compression, AAC/MP3 lousy compression or other?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello, wasn't sure which section to ask this in so figured help seemed appropriate.


I am wondering if anyone can definitively tell me if the cause of this distortion is from dynamic range compression, lousy AAC/MP3 compression or some other cause.


The song is John Dreamer - Becoming A Legend.


From 1:47 you hear a solo string come into play which is quite loud and high and there is quite a bit of distortion.


When I first heard the song it was on a 360 youtube so it was only 128k MP3 quality at best and I just figured it was from the lousy MP3 compression. I purchased the song on Itunes as a 256K AAC and while the distortion isn't as bad it's still there, it's not your typical MP3 swish type distortion, on the lower quality youtube video (and HD ones) it sounds more like screeching reverb while on the Itunes file it doesn't sound as loud and more like a crackling.


Anyway I still figured it was just because of the lousy AAC compression even though it was higher bitrate.


Then I got to reading more about dynamic range compression and changed my mind to maybe it was that. I'm no expert but have known for a long time about dynamic range compression though always thought it was simply making all the sounds in the song sound the same loudness, I hadn't thought about the already loud sounds getting clipped in the process.


So for a while I was thinking that was it, but after more reading the majority of things I read implied that while there is clipping, you don't tend to hear any distortion unless you play the song quite loud and with this song even if you have it down so you almost can't hear it you can still clearly hear the distortion and i have other songs with similarly loud and high strings or vocals causing a somewhat similar distortion so I then switch back to it had to be lousy AAC/MP3 compression causing it as surely they wouldn't release the song if after applying the dynamic range compression you could clearly hear the distortion at any volume on any equipment in any format... they wouldn't be that silly would they :confused_face:


But then yet again, one of those other somewhat similar songs, I actually have the CD for and even on the CD you can still hear the distortion so it's obviously not the lousy MP3 compression on that song and it got me thinking again that on this song it wasn't the lousy compression but the dynamic range compression


Anyway i'd love to have the song without the distortion but I can't find it available anywhere in a lossless format and I don't like buying CDs from overseas (not even sure if it is available on CD).


If I knew for sure the distortion is only caused by the AAC/MP3 format and it does not exist on the CD though then i'd make an exception and purchase the CD if it was available on one.


So does anyone have the song on CD and can say if it distorts or can otherwise say for certain what the actual cause of the distortion is?

post #2 of 2

Dynamic range compression won't cause clipping unless a large amount of gain has been added.

I had a listen on youtube and that whole section sounded pretty bad. I guess the only way to know would be a CD version.

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