Forum Topic: Does Dynamic Range Compression (DRC) preserve reference volume?

Is DRC just for late at night?

by Mark Hodgkinson Jun 7, 2017 at 6:42 AM


  • Here’s an interesting topic posted by AVForums member, BondJames, who has recently come across the Adaptive Dynamic Range Compression features on his Yamaha receiver - after a mere 4 years.
    The setting adjusts the level of dynamic range compression relative to volume and at reference (0db) level there’s no compression. It is generally advised for late night/low volume listening but BondJames (could it really be 007?) contends that ‘low volume’ listening could be considered as anything below reference which, as they point out, is just far too loud for the typical living room in the UK – especially if you have neighbours within a hundred feet.

    Bond previously didn't apply DRC because he felt it would keep the whole range preserved in the original mix and after some reading around concluded that it might be the case that the mix is best preserved using DRC when listening below reference level.

    So, to cut to the point of the thread, BondJames’ question to AVForums readers and members is: Shouldn't some form of DRC be applied when we're not listening at reference level?

    There have already been some excellent responses including this from ‘flyingalbatross’:

    My feeling is that DRC on is probably better when listening below the reference level.

    The human ear responds to different frequencies at different volumes. Frequencies 2-4kHz are perceived as louder than other sounds, even at the same dB leve (SPL). Changing the volume of a sound changes your perception of it relative to other frequencies.

    I think DRC is likely to compensate in some way for this change of loudness perception.”

    What are your experiences of using DRC controls when listening below Reference?

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