Dynamic Range UN-Compression?

Having been fed up with so many new recordings that are heavily compressed (including many hi-res “reissues”), I was wondering if Roon can magically “un-compress” the dynamic range (in a similar way as upsampling?), readjust the average loudness, and play so I don’t have to adjust the volume for new records? I’m not technically knowledgeable enough on digital sound processing, so this is maybe just out of my wildest dream.

I understand that there is the “volume leveling” option, but I want a lossless method.

There are audio editors out there that try to reconstruct the peaks that have been compressed or chopped off. I tried one or two, to see what they did, and was not impressed. I think you really cannot put back what is taken away.

Dynamic range is the range between the loudest part of the signal and the softest part of the signal. Volume levelling makes the loudest parts of different tracks the same, but it doesnt (sfaik) affect dynamic range.

What you’re asking is a bit like colourising a black and white film. It can be done, but who knows whether it looks like what was in front of the camera or not ? It certainly wouldn’t be lossless, in the sense of bit perfect. Using the same metaphor, upsampling is like adding blackness all around the film to hide the sprocket holes.

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It is lossless.

@evand, Thanks for the information. I thought volume leveling drops a few bits to level the loudness. Could you explain how it can be lossless or point me to the place where it is explained?

Also, is the DSP volume control also lossless? Is there a benefit of using “fixed volume”?

Anyone remember these? :slight_smile:


What would be really great is to have a music data format that is created from the studio master and is (audio) compressed to enable traditional compressed audio listening in normal players, but has the compression settings encapsulated in a separate channel along the audio wave to allow for decompression as a perfect mirror of the compression by reversely applying the settings.
A new type of software player could recognize the encapsulated compression settings channel and offers the listener to reverse the compression. I imagine that the level of decompression could be freely chosen in a stepless way, to serve listeners that either prefer compressed “Rick Rubin” sound or full cathedral or arena dynamics and anything in between.

In our travels to achieve realistic music experiences that represent the live feeling accurately, I wonder why we audiophiles aim so much at the extremes of e.g. transient response, black background and lowest audible jitter, while the biggest distortion in distributed sound is intentional audio compression, for the understandable reason that we don’t have to listen at really loud levels at all times. If we do want more realism, however, it would be nice to have an option to dial the compression back to our preference, as a volume knob that increases dynamics instead of total volume.

I keep on dreaming, but MQA is also here…

Someone picking up the challenge?

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Use fixed volume if you mostly listen to albums and don’t mind volume changes between albums