"Improvement" Request: Dynamic Range

Hi, Audirvana team

I know this will sound like a weird request, and maybe it’s a feature request more than an improvement request, but it would be nice if there were more “attack” in the reproduction of the sound envelope. I’m using Studio 2.0 and I find the attack softer/rounded in comparison to another software I use frequently. Or, perhaps it’s the overall dynamic range of a track that makes it seem the Audirvana sound is less dynamic: cymbals bite less, piano is less sharp, etc. Either way, Audirvana does sound more full tonally, but the attack sounds muted. It’s not as sharp as the intensity of the other software.

This impression comes from listening to classical music, acoustic instrument recordings, with standard Red Book FLAC and ALAC files. I will note that in most all of my listening tests with upsampling, I find that going to “far” also causes this dynamic “rounding” so that is why I mainly listen to the original recording resolution (which is Red Book for probably 80%+ of what’s available).

Also for what it’s worth, my system is very transparent in this way so I feel this suggestion is a reasonable one if possible. The intensity and dynamic range of sound are two of the things that make a recording feel more like live sound, so I hope this is something you’d consider adjusting in a future update.

The construct of “attack” is purely subjective in nature… Your individual interpretations are only valid on your system…

If you are upsampling… the settings of the filter and the algorithm you choose will have influence on the final assessment of sound-quality elements at playback… the synergy of these settings and any filtering that you are employing in your DAC, will be the result that is actually assessed in the listening experience… Also, the dynamics are encoded in the original ADC (Analog to Digital Conversion) signal and this signal is always modulating in amplitude in relation to the varying bit-level of the recording…

Maximum Dynamic range in digital-audio is a function of bit-depth in the case of PCM signals… where this is calculated as the numbers of bits, multiplied by amplitude in decibels (6dB = 1 bit) + the voltage factor of 1.75mv… Therefore a 16 bit file has a theoretical dynamic range of 98 db [ 16 x 6db + 1.75 = 97.75db ] In the case of DSD the dynamic range is a function of the FIR noise-shaping filter algorithm…

Another factor that maybe playing into this is if you are not reducing the level before up-sampling and perhaps your DAC is being overloaded and may be truncating the signal…

However, because your system is a unique amalgamation of components and tweaks in your listening environment, there are too many variables to pin it all on Audirvana… What makes you think the other players were not adding a level of distortion to the encoded digital-audio bit-stream signal? Cognitive bias is certainly always at play and we become accustomed to the sound of our systems… Preferences are purely personally subjective at best…

My personal experience is that Audirvana Studio reveals the most subtle of micro-dynamics… I was just last night auditioning an album of Mozart piano sonatas and could hear the pedals and dampers being activated and released and the character of the hammer strikes on the strings… I modulate all PCMxxx and DXD 352.8kHz to DSD 128 via r8Brain…
:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

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Yup, gotcha. Nonetheless, if a dev is reading this forum, maybe you’ll consider attack and DR for future adjustments? Thanks for reading.

There is nothing to alter… this is purely in your court… You are asking them to alter the original encoded bit-stream signal… Frankly… How do you measure and define “attack” and dynamic-range in your definition so that any digital-audio software designer could quantify this, if there were rationale to do so? :roll_eyes:
:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

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Just Do It !

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