All About Dynamic Range and Compression

The technology known as dynamic range compression is an audio method of compressing the signal produced by a piece of digital software. Compression is very regularly used while saving work, recording sound and broadcasting that beyond the software itself. If you are looking for a way to use dynamic range compression in your video software technology, then you will first need to understand what dynamic range and compression are, so that you can fully comprehend how these two elements can help you to save your work to a high quality.

Dynamic Range

The dynamic range, sometimes called DR, of an audio system is the audio ratio between the smallest and largest values of a sound recording device. For example, the human ear has a dynamic range of around 140 decibels, while the LCD display of most modern televisions has a dynamic range of 1000:1, while a camcorder has a dynamic range of greater than 90. These ratios affect how the viewer sees and reacts to elements within a film or piece of music. When applying this knowledge to a piece of music or a video recording, you have to understand that the ratio of the dynamic range is between the low-level hum of electronics and the high level sound of distortion.


In order to improve the sound quality of a piece of audio, or to reduce the amount of loud noise on the tape while still playing any quiet sounds, the audio file is put through a Compressor. This serves to limit the signal of a sound if it is above the dynamic range set for the software. Compressions can also smooth out the effect of the music being played. A Compressor reduces the amount of dynamic range that a piece of audio has, while this can be increased by using an Expander.

When compressing, there are a number of labels which you should become familiar with, as you may need to use them at some point. The term Threshold refers to the dynamic range level which has been set for the device. Anything above this threshold is reduced in sound. Attack the Release is the system by which the compressor controls the smoothness of sound coming into the compressor. The attack and release thresholds can be managed by the user, so you can decide how much smooth quality you need in a piece of work.

Using Compression in Dynamic Range

The idea of Compressing the dynamic range of a piece of music is to ensure that it gets the best quality of recording which is available to it. You can choose to have a large dynamic range threshold with limited reduction, but if you want to soften a sound, this should be done by using a low threshold with a lot of compression. If you compress your sound well enough, you can make the music in your video loud, without losing any quality.

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