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Letter: A Tip for Tweaking Audio Files

I stumbled upon something that works quite well for me

page of Radio World with audio crisis storyThe author is production manager at 99.3 FM KTIA in Des Moines, Iowa

Hi Radio World, I read the Dan Slentz commentary about overly compressed audio (“A Quality Audio Crisis in the Music Industry”), which included a suggestion on how to “help/tweak” the audio file so it would be less compressed.

I stumbled upon something that works quite well for me.

Using Audition, or any DAW that has this option, try out the Multiband Compressor. I start with a preset, or one I’ve came up with, comparing the file with the plugin applied and then without it. You want to make the least noticeable change to the file, leaving it still acceptable in quality overall.

Once you find that point, process the file, even if the change is barely noticeable.

In my experience I end up with a file that is less compressed, even dramatically less compressed, than the original.

You can then adjust levels so you retain the dynamics and still meet a –1 dBTP point.

This has improved many overly compressed files for me with only a couple minutes of work on the file in question.