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Thread: Negative Compression

  1. #1
    Axeaholic YeahDoIt's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Florida, Atlantic ocean

    Negative Compression

    Is there another name for a negative compression effect? This effect would make louder sounds louder and softer sounds softer. It's the opposite of compression.
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  2. #2
    Axeaholic Hu Duck Xing's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Hmmmm,,,, You might need an Envelope Follower, or maybe a Noise Gate,,,,, hmmmmm,,,,,
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  3. #3
    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Duncan, British
    Years ago, DBX used to have a Dynamic Range Expander for home audio that was designed to do part of what you want....making the loud sounds sound louder....but I don't know of anything that does the opposite. I suspect Xing's got more experience with the sort of processor that you're asking about.
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  4. #4
    Axellent Member Braindancer's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    East Kootenays
    Range expander it is...used to be known as companding, and was usually a two-part system.

    This is actually fairly widely available today. Alesis' budget 3630 stereo rack compressors have it, as does Behringer's Composer compressor/gate rack unit...those are the only two I know for sure, because they're the only compressors I've owned in the last 10 years and both had expanders.

    I've been told - can't verify - that newer "maximizer" effects use a type of range expansion in addition to compression...I don't know how they do both in the same effect chain, but that's what I understand...that volume maximizing involves more than just compressing the signal to Helen Gagne.

    Back in CB days, they used to use compression on mic signals, and identical expansion in receiver signals, as a way of quieting the noise from circuitry and interference that crept in elsewhere in the signal chain. The idea was to boost the volume of the meaningful stuff in the signal without boosting the volume of the noise. dbx actually developed a very good noise reduction system around just this idea...all it did was compress on input and decompress on output, different amounts for different frequency bands, and it resulted in cassette decks with signal-to-noise ratios of 90dB when the best that Dolby C could do was about 76-78. dbx must have asked too much for licensing, because it never caught on...I had a Teac deck with it, that I absolutely LOVED, but probably the only reason I was able to get that in my Teac deck was because the parent company licensed dbx for their Tascam portastudio recorders.

    Dolby, by the way, also uses companding tech (in all flavors of Dolby, from what I understand), but adds other things to the recipe to get their noise-reduction effects.


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