Solving The Problem Of Winamp With A Volume Compressor

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    If you’re getting a Volume Compressor Winamp error, this article should help.

    After playing around with Winamp’s real-time relational compressor plugin, I was able to get into the idea and try to decide which one is actually better. I’m not an expert on audio compression/limiting (usually stickmewithneedles is a good candidate for this), but thought I’d share what I found while working with Ars.

    Runners:

    – AudioStocker Pro 0.08 Beta (no longer available on the developer’s website, where it became part of the improved Octimax project, but you can also download it from me, albeit from winamp.com)
    RockSteady 2.1
    – TomSteady 1.5
    – Zyrax’s Evil Volume Normalizer

    Test with some songs that I chose Beware Travis’ The Invisible Band and therefore the Canadian brass playing Bach’s Contrapunctus I. I tested sequential paths to see how softer background music (especially non-pop music) can bring a brand new song to life along with a contemporary composition. I also chose Safe because it consists of a dynamic range and still contains a lot of the typical compressed passages. (Oh, by the way… the upper part of eachthe bottom of the image is the left tube, the lower part is the right channel)

    volume compressor winamp

    About the different compressor presets: I won’t explain them and therefore they don’t make sense, it goes without saying you need to try the plugin. Display image: /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

    In short, both songs are effectively reset (actually, Contrapunctus I was pre-boosted by a few decibels, as the entire album is quite quiet and doesn’t use the full dynamic range of the CD). Safe at first, and Contrapunctus starts at about 4:23.

    TV view: http://www.coldleaf.org/images/compressors/original.gif
    Original waveform, reliably tracked by Contrapunctus I

    First Audio Storer:

    Info: http://www.coldleaf.org/images/compressors/audiostocker_defaultsettings.gif

    AudioStocker, default presets (soft compression, 18 dB, flat EQ)

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  • For “soft compression” it is specially compressed, in my opinion, a little. Overall not too bad, but too much compression that doesn’t have much flavor. Some soft parts at the beginning of Safe are louder than they should be.

    See announcement: http://www.coldleaf.org/images/compressors/audiostocker_verysoft_12dB.gif

    AudioStocker, very soft pressure,12 dB flat EQ

    I think AudioStocker can do a very good job here. However, some early parts of Safe are too loud, but I think this is the best setting for audio storage. The overall amplitude is lower, but adjusting the volume of these speakers or adjusting the volume in Windows solves the problem.

    volume compressor winamp

    Next RockSteady:

    View image: http://www.coldleaf.org/images/compressors/rocksteady_defaultpreset.gif

    RockSteady, default preset (-1dB, 25%, 6000ms, 18dB, total stereo, 75ms, 100%, 37 samples.)

    RockSteady does some things incredibly well, like supporting true gain throughout the song (i.e. fluctuates too much during my song). However, the song doesn’t start well. When the song starts playing, it takes a few seconds (depending on the gain you set). It’s not the best deal, but way worse than some of the other compressor plugins. Another thing… to get enough sound on some very quiet tracks, you have to turn it up terribly, which can make other recordings too compressed. The higher you findIf you’re on the RockSteady side, the more settings you’ll need to tweak to hopefully imagine what you like. The soft-side compression preset is very similar, just a bit quieter in places, so I won’t look at it. I played with the specific “full gain” setting, the “max gain” setting, and the “gain, time” setting, but the differences weren’t huge. Rocksteady is good, but it’s not enough for me.

    Tom Steady:

    View image: http://www.coldleaf.org/images/compressors/tomsteady_49_noboost_smooth10.gif

    TomSteady, 49% vol, 10 volume, smooth, HQ mix (no audio boost)

    TomSteady only has parameter 1 for “sound boost” but cannot adjust the strength of the gain setting for optimization. Of course, you can move the “desired overall volume” slider, but that dampens the neck. So the image below is initially unenhanced. The desired volume is set to half, and therefore we see that the answer, namely this one, has a decay behind the loud parts of the initial part. Unfortunately, there is a delay in the damping and you can loudly turn on the two noisy parts associated with Safe, but, withoutdoubts, silence them to a quieter degree for a few seconds (1:32 and 3:00). I find it a little odd that the louder parts of the song are actually less loaded in terms of actual waveform richness than the earlier “quieter” parts of the song. I suspect it has to do with the RMS measurement, which is why most of the “quieter” parts of the background music have higher amplitudes. Naturally aspirated, there is no quieter Contrapunctus supercharging.

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