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Windows 7: Dynamic Range Compressor

15 Sep 2018   #1
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 
Dynamic Range Compressor

I recently had to replace my beloved Corsair SP2500 speakers when the sub died. One thing I really loved about the SP2500 was it had a setting that compressed the dynamic range of music being played. Most of the music I listen to (Classical) has a wide dynamic range that can go from a whisper to ear splitting (and neighbor disturbing) and that dynamic range compression was a Godsend. Sadly, none of the replacements I considered (I chose a pair of self-powered JBL 305P MkII studio speakers) had provisions for dynamic range compression like the SP 2500 did. None of my player software has dynamic range compression. I currently use Media Monkey for music but plan on switching to the Plex Media Server someday for playing all my ripped music and movies.

Does anyone know of a software or hardware solution for getting dynamic range compression that is compatible with both Win 7 and Linux?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Sep 2018   #2
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Hi,
Do you ever use Windows Media Player at all? Media player has some useful Enhancements. One of those Enhancements is called Quiet Mode, and it does just about what you are asking.

By default, Quite mode is switched off. But once it is switched on, you can select between two levels of audio softness.
Quite mode in Windows Media Player:
Dynamic Range Compressor-quite-mode.png

Windows Media Player > Now Playing > Right-mouse click> Enhancements > Quite Mode.

Alternatively, take a look at something like the Edifier Studio S2000 2.0 Speakers. These Speakers include listening Presets (Monitor, Dynamic, Classical and Vocal). That might be more what you are searching for.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2018   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iko22 View Post
Hi,
Do you ever use Windows Media Player at all? Media player has some useful Enhancements. One of those Enhancements is called Quiet Mode, and it does just about what you are asking.

By default, Quite mode is switched off. But once it is switched on, you can select between two levels of audio softness.
Quite mode in Windows Media Player:
Attachment 405335

Windows Media Player > Now Playing > Right-mouse click> Enhancements > Quite Mode.

Alternatively, take a look at something like the Edifier Studio S2000 2.0 Speakers. These Speakers include listening Presets (Monitor, Dynamic, Classical and Vocal). That might be more what you are searching for.
Thanks but, unlike Windows Media Center, I do not like Windows Media Player. I find it's GUI to be clumsy (polite term). Also, since I plan on switching to Linux by 2020, that would be a stopgap solution at best (obviously, I will have to kiss WMC goodbye as well).

I recently shelled out $300 on new speakers so I'm not in the market for any new ones. The Edifiers you suggested have a few issues, the worst one being the sloped front of the case. My speakers are mounted to wall mounts fairly high up on the wall. They are already angled down to the maximum the mounts will allow to properly aim the sweet spot for where my head is when seriously listening to music. The sloped front of the Edifiers would make them impossible to aim correctly.

Weight is another consideration. My speakers only weight a little over 10 lb. each. The weight for the pair of Edifiers is a bit over 43 lb. While the mounts themselves can handle that, the structure the mounts are fastened to also supports the weight of six 24" monitors, a 43" TV, and a bulletin board and is fastened to the wall bridging a window that was in the way of everything. Because of that stupid window, I was able to anchor the structure (I "affectionately" call it The Bridge) to only two 2x4 studs (I live in an older mobile home and the framing is not particularly sturdy). I sweated bullets over cantilevering my two 10 pound speakers onto The Bridge; trying to hang another cantilevered 23 lb. on The Bridge would probably give me a stress induced heart attack unless the structure pulled away from the wall first, in which case it would maim or kill me.

I did download the manual for the Edifiers and it appears the Dynamic setting is to increase dynamic range, not reduce it.

I did some research yesterday and VLC player has the ability to compress dynamic range to a far more acceptable level than no compression. The bonus is VLC has a Linux version. I haven't fooled with it yet because I do not like VLC's GUI for anything other than directly playing DVDs from the ODD. I much prefer the GUI for Media Monkey and, although I have yet to try it, Plex (which also has a Linux version) had an even better GUI, especially for reading menus from my TV screen.

VLC can be reskinned but I have yet to find a skin that I like. However, I found out that there is a program that simplifies designing a custom skin so I may look into that. I still would prefer switching to Plex since it is compatible with my TV tuners for recording OTA TV (sadly, Plex does not offer dynamic range compression). A hardware solution, similar to the Dragonfly Red USB DAC I'm currently using might be a better solution but I haven't been able to find one yet that wasn't too bulky (I simply don't have room to park something like a preamp, for example).

Another option would be to use something Virtual Audio Cable (I think that's what it is called) to internally route sound from whatever player I prefer, such as Plex, to VLC for dynamic range compression which then would output via USB to the DAC. However, Linux equivalents I've seen so far seeem to be dodgy at best, based on what people report about them (it would halp if I learned something about Linux but I have other priorities right now that demand my attention).

I still appreciate the suggestions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Sep 2018   #4
ceo54

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You should consider using VST's. Here's a top-notch plugin

FabFilter Pro-MB - Multiband Compressor

You don't need any cables to host the VST's for the applications that don't natively support VST's. A simple wrapper would do the trick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2018   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ceo54 View Post
You should consider using VST's. Here's a top-notch plugin

FabFilter Pro-MB - Multiband Compressor

You don't need any cables to host the VST's for the applications that don't natively support VST's. A simple wrapper would do the trick.
It's not compatible with Linux. It would be obsolete for me in a year and a half or less.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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