Dynamic Range DR vs R128 DR

Guys, stop staring on numbers and start listening to music.
I love the r128 method used by roon, because now the volume leveling is perfect.
A big thanks to the roon developers for implementing it.


Does kind of remind you of when Homer lost the peanut under the cupboard doesn’t it.

I think it’s worth looking at some of the other threads on here about how long Roon 1.3 takes to perform the Audio Analysis, which is exacerbated by larger libraries …which is a function of that R128 is a much more stringent and resource hungry method of measurement of DR

The Crest method of measuring DR was chosen by Foobar and other tools several years ago…purely because it was easier to measure and less resource hungry…not because it was more “accurate” or informative

The bottom line is that R128 is a more informative method of measuring DR…as well as being far more useful for volume levelling

IMHO, we should be encouraging Roon to use the most informative tools available…and encouraging ourselves to “learn” and understand this newer information…rather than asking Roon to revert to using a less informative, less useful and many times simply misleading measurement, just because we are more comfortable with it

If we asked Roon to follow JRiver’s / iTunes lead on these issues, where would Roon be in terms of its offering…Progress and Change usually leads to short periods of discomfort, followed by much longer periods of satisfaction once we fully understand why those changes were beneficial to all


You have misread the post. I requested, maybe a year ago, to implement R128 over Replay Gain, and still all for it. The request is not to remove R128, it’s to display standard DR rating over R128. There’s a big difference here.

I disagree, standard DR is more intuitive way to represent dynamic range than R128 DR, for purely displaying score purposes. Otherwise, the whole ‘loudness wars’ means nothing. R128 DR shows modern pop CDs have more dynamic range than most 80’s and 90’s pressed cds. It’s contradictory to what we perceive to hear.


Actually, I disagree. The LU DR Roon chose to use does not provide me with what I am looking for; and that is, a quick and easy way to check the relative compression between differing masterings. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but I know, if I see a 7 on the crest DR that the mastering it is going to be compressed. The Roon LU DR does not provide this.

Take this for example.

Betty Who
Album Roon LU DR of 7, and a creast DR of 6. The album is good but a modern compressed mess.

Chicago II
Steve wilson mix
Album Roon LU DR of 7 as well and a crest DR of 12. So both are LU DR of 7 in Roon. It is NOT a compressed mastering.

So, Is 7 a good DR? A bad DR? Can’t tell and that is the problem. Especially since, one really is a compressed mess and the other is not. Lets take a look at a specific track from each, and compare LU DR, crest DR, and its waveform courtesy of Audacity.

Betty Who. Track has an LU DR of 4.4 and a crest DR of 5 and this is its waveform:

Seems like it is in line to indicate bad compression, DR 7 and all. However,

Here is a track from Chicago II Steve Wilson Remix, it has a LU DR of 3.8 (worse than the Betty Who track) but a crest DR of 12 and this is its waveform:

Seems like a much less compressed waveform. But you can’t tell that from Roon’s LU Readings. In fact, they would indicate that the Betty Who track has LESS compression than the Chicago track.


EXACTLY! thank you for the waveform to prove this.

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I think Danny says it best above…

Even a quick look at the links in this thread and others, shows that R128 numbers HAVE to be read in Conjunction with the Waveform…whereas for several years now, many listeners have become used to hanging their proverbial hat on DR’s above 12 as “good” and below “10” as bad…and that simply is not the case, necessarily

Please, please read more about R128…about how and why it has to be read hand in hand with the Waveform…and not used like Crest DR as some kind of false absolute measurement…I think the more you read about it, the more convinced you will become about why R128 is the way forward…and why Crest DR doesn’t deserve the solo position that it has built up

what does the DR 128 value with the waveform tell us about the Chicago song that the wavefrom would not tell us on its own. What is this read in conjunction that you refer to?



I disagree, and yes I understand 100% about DR range. This is to DISPLAY DR, nothing to do with, or changing the algorithms for R128 volume processing.

It’s because people have become used to using just ONE tool [Crest DR] to describe Dynamic Range…which is wrong because that DR number can and often is misleading

On the other hand, R128 essentially encourages us to use BOTH the Waveform AND the R128 value to be used alongside each other

Take the Chicago track Waveform above…the Waveform shows that Peaks don’t approach Clipping [which is obviously a good thing]…whilst the R128 shows us the Dynamic Range [time weighted over the track duration]…using the Waveform and R128 values TOGETHER will give us a more accurate picture of our music…rather than relying on the Crest DR method on its own, as it can be misleading…for the reasons stated by Danny and the other links posted

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Yes and the points I raise have nothing to do with Volume Levelling either

If Roon had decided not to incorporate Volume Levelling, then I still think R128 plus Waveform is the way forward

But equally I could use the argument that most people think that Volume Levelling based on R128 than when using Crest DR…to show that obviously R128 does a better job of measuring how we PERCEIVE Loudness…which in of itself should be persuasive of why R128 is more informative about perceived Loudness and DR

Loudness and DR are two different things…but they are linked…which is why R128 PLUS the Waveform is more informative…and therefore more effective at volume levelling as well [which you seem to accept by the way]

Maybe we need to start displaying peak as well as DR… that info is in the file info menu right now… Only :frowning:

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May I suggest, if displaying/analysing standard DR be difficult to implement, then a request for the ability to chose to display R128 Album Gain as well, or instead of R128 DR.

Oh, please don’t do that or make it an option.
I don’t want that numbers in my face all the time. Same for bitrate and other stuff.
After I decide to have an album in my collection, I want to enjoy the music, maybe get some background nformation about the album or the artist. BUT NOT about technical details of the files. I can understand that it can be important for buying the right version of an album. But after that it’s only music, not nerdy numbers.

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So, I’m wondering if we are all confused because we haven’t figured out the basic aspects of what the numbers and the waveforms are telling us.

When a track’s “true” dynamic range is expanded (and sadly brickwalled–meaning it is stretched out so much that it clips and the true peaks are now beyond the top limit) the average level is higher (louder) so a low Crest dynamic range correlates to loudness and compression.

The R128 DR standard is less sensitive to the “average” level and is meant to capture only the dynamic range of the track. That’s why a brickwalled track and a well-mastered track can have similar DR’s even though they sound different. This goes to show that R128 DR is a poor metric for actually determining the loudness and compression of the track (which it is not intended to be) and why the Crest DR might be better for that purpose.

However, in theory, DR should not be used as a surrogate for measuring compression and loudness. It seems a measure of DR relative to the average level would be a better measure of the compression. So, in the case of the brickwalled track when you see a low R128 DR number and a high average volume level that should be a warning sign! A low DR but low average volume level is probably ok. I’d like to think that If the R128 DR is large you likely don’t have a compressed track but Adele’s “Hello” easily proves this wrong. It shows an R128 DR of 17 but it is clearly compressed to hell (it seems R128 DR is skewed by the relatively long quiet portion of the track). So, again, DR relative to volume level might be a better choice…a high DR and a high average volume level is likely compressed. A high DR but low volume level is probably ok.

With the R128 standard, volume level seems to track pretty well to the track gain. I’m finding Roon’s volume leveler works pretty well.

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I’d love an explanation of what volume leveling does to an album. How does it alter the original?

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If R128 DR and R128 Program Loudness are shown together I think you’ll have informative data points…how many DB dynamic range across the album, and how loud is it. The louder the more compressed and/or limited the proram.

nothing magical. it just changes the volume that we play the track at

Hi Danny

Is your volume leveling without sound quality degradation?

I always thought that features like that degrade the sound quality significantly…

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