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The loudness war and restoring dynamics Dynamics Plugins
Old 15th December 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

The loudness war and restoring dynamics

I've wondered about this for a while. How exactly do you restore dynamics to super compressed songs? I know it won't be the same as if the material wasn't so compressed in the first place, but it's worth a shot even if I can fake a little something back.

First looked into Izotope RX's declipper as others were doing, but it's really made for clipping, not dynamic expansion. And then a further comment talked about how it wasn't made for how amplitude is changed during compression as well.

Learned a little about transients and their role in punch so been trying out Voxengo TransGainer. Today I also found Flux's Pure DCompressor II which is made to "restore the original dynamics of a sound", so it looks like exactly what I need! And then there was also Waves C4 with it's uncompressor preset that I heard of but never had a chance to try.

But really, I'm quite a newb with the basics of audio in general and not really sure where to start either. There really are not many topics on restoring dynamics and the limited knowledge I have doesn't help either. TransGainer is already confusing enough (it's manual leaves much to be desired too) and DCompressor is way more complicated as well.

So I was just wondering if anybody has any other product suggestions or potential things I could try or learn. Simple things would be nice but more I could always try in time. If things only had better RMS values in the first place this wouldn't be necessary. Wishful thinking: songs encode restoration data through code/pictures embedded in the beginning/end of a waveform which is then read by a plugin. It wouldn't be a format. It would be any kind of audio stream. I was thinking something like writing the data into the waveform directly, like those pictures Aphex Twin put into some of his songs. There would also be an "image" too, except it would contain data relevant for the restoration plugin. People could hide the information in the beginning, pauses, or fades so it wasn't so noticable either. Got the idea from QR codes.
Old 15th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaks View Post
Wishful thinking: songs encode restoration data through code/pictures embedded in the beginning/end of a waveform which is then read by a plugin.
There would be no need to do that. If you're going to bring a new format into the picture that held the missing dynamics data, I would suggest simply using a surround sound FLAC. Put the "squashed" stereo image in the front left and right channels and put the "good" stereo image in the rear left and right channels. Then write a Winamp (or whatever) plugin to decode either just the front or just the back into a regular stereo recording.

But throw that on the "wishful thinking" pile as well.
Old 15th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaks View Post
It wouldn't be a format. It would be any kind of audio stream. I was thinking something like writing the data into the waveform directly, like those pictures Aphex Twin put into some of his songs. There would also be an "image" too, except it would contain data relevant for the restoration plugin. People could hide the information in the beginning, pauses, or fades so it wasn't so noticable either. Got the idea from QR codes. Oh well.
Well...it would be a new "format" in that it would need a new plugin to use the data. So might as well go ahead and put a totally different master on 2 tracks of an existing multi-track format and write a plugin to sort that out.

But that Aphex Twin face is pretty cool indeed.
Old 15th December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Ok, we're mostly getting off topic here though.
Old 15th December 2010
  #5
Gear Addict
 
acorneau's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I can't remember if it was here or on PSW (pretty sure it was PSW) where there was a challenge to take "Living la Vida Loca" and give it some life and dynamics again. A bunch of us did our best and then posted up the results and what we did to get it there.

Might be an interesting thread for you to read through while listening to the files.
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