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overriding Dynamic range Compression

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Jason O'Hara
overriding Dynamic range Compression
on Oct 27, 2010 at 2:37:16 am

I am using Compressor to create files to author a DVD with DVD Studio Pro, and understand that to maintain the full audio dynamic range as it appears on my Final Cut timeline, I must change the default export settings:

changing Compression Preset from "Film Standard Compression" to "None"

AND

Dialog Normaization from -27 dBFS to -31 dBFS

This works perfectly, however, the problem is that most DVD players then apply their own Dynamic Range Compression to the AC3 bitstream upon decoding it, as the default setting for DVD players is to apply such DRC - this basically re-applies exactly the same effect I sought to remove with the above settings? Sure, I can turn off DRC on my own DVD player, however I cannot expect everyone else to. Is there any way to override the DRC that is occuring on playback so the audio stream will ALWAYS play as I intend it, ie. with the full dynamic range - irrespective what setting the user has on their DVD Player?

Or should I simply opt for an AIFF file instead of compressed AC3? I have room on the DVD - will it raise the total bitrate too high, or will DVD players all manage to playback the image + uncompressed AIFF without choking?

Your insights are much appreciated.


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Mark Spano
Re: overriding Dynamic range Compression
on Oct 27, 2010 at 2:23:06 pm

[Jason O'Hara] "s there any way to override the DRC that is occuring on playback so the audio stream will ALWAYS play as I intend it, ie. with the full dynamic range - irrespective what setting the user has on their DVD Player?"

No. Try as we might, we can't disable these features from disc authoring.

[Jason O'Hara] "Or should I simply opt for an AIFF file instead of compressed AC3?"

Won't make a difference. The player features (like "Night Mode" or whatever) work on any audio playing from the disc.



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Ty Ford
Re: overriding Dynamic range Compression
on Oct 28, 2010 at 12:31:16 pm

Hello Jason and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Mark has provided excellent insight. Thanks Mark!

A caution about dynamic range. You can have too much of a good thing. I'm not saying this is a problem with your production, just taking the thought and running with it a bit.

Some years back when mixing stages got really quiet, Skywalker to be exact, it was found that mixes had too much dynamic range for DVD home viewers. I heard somewhere where they actually used a noise generator to raise the noise floor to simulate the average home viewer's environment. In doing so, they mixed the dialog and low level sounds higher.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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