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hollowman
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The Dynamic Range Database

To make the Loudness Wars issue better known, this user-submission-based database -- call it DRD for short --  apparently now has over 49,000 entries. 

You can search for (or browse thru) entires by artist/album. You can sort on Year, DR (track, album, max) and source (lossless, etc). The color coding makes reading/absorbing results/trends easier.

It's not entirely accurate, but it's mostly accurate. E.g., I got slighly better results for Stereophile CD 1 (1990) than the ones shown at DRD:

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=&search_album=stereophile

Vinyl rips, MFSL (and other audiophile labels) and pre-1990s stuff does seems overall better.

Download the free DIY tool Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1) using links under "Software:" on upper right. I use the version for Foobar2000. When you install it, it's fun to go thru your music and see how well it does (and how your hearing/perception) (dis)agrees with its results. You can keep logs, and even submit them to DRD to help further build the database. 

Now, DR -- per the mathematical design of THIS tool -- isn't everything as many hard-core anti-loudness folks want to believe. Certainly, many of the early (pre-loudness-era) CDs, so cherished by these folks, have that early-CD hardness/glare that's difficult to ignore. That said, the DRD and its DIY tool is quite useful and practical for a music attribute so fundamental. 

==== Edit ===

Below is my DR log data for Stereophile Test CD (1990). It was EAC ripped to WAV.

foobar2000 1.1.11 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1

log date: 2013-11-17 13:41:44

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Analyzed: ? / ?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

DR         Peak         RMS     Duration Track

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR15      -0.44 dB   -23.51 dB      0:36 ?-01 - Channel Identification

DR15      -3.20 dB   -24.09 dB      0:47 ?-02 - Channel Phasing

DR18       0.00 dB   -22.00 dB      3:39 ?-03 - Acoustic Drum Solo

DR20      -2.11 dB   -26.43 dB      3:08 ?-04 - Acoustic Guitar Solo

DR14      -3.89 dB   -24.63 dB      0:58 ?-05 - Igor Stravinsky- L'Histoire du Soldat (excerpt)

DR11      -2.29 dB   -17.27 dB      7:01 ?-06 - Sergei Prokofiev- Flute Sonata in D, Op. 94, Allegro con brio

DR12      -9.76 dB   -24.84 dB      4:37 ?-07 - Franz Schubert- Ave Maria

DR13      -0.58 dB   -19.31 dB      3:39 ?-08 - Traditional (arr. Charlie Caranicas)- St. James Infirmary

DR10     -14.08 dB   -27.27 dB      5:14 ?-09 - J.S. Bach- Trio Sonata BWV 525, Adagio

DR20     -15.28 dB   -45.55 dB      1:02 ?-10 - Mapping the Soundstage

DR15      -9.09 dB   -30.81 dB      5:24 ?-11 - Brahms- Intermezzo, Op. 117, No. 1 in E-flat

DR13     -12.13 dB   -29.42 dB      0:46 ?-12 - Beethoven- 'Mozart's Minuet in G'

DR16      -2.29 dB   -24.82 dB      7:10 ?-13 - Edward Elgar- The Dream of Gerontius, Part I (conclusion)

DR10      -6.38 dB   -20.70 dB      3:16 ?-14 - Corey Greenberg- Eden

DR12      -8.77 dB   -20.97 dB      1:24 ?-15 - Pink Noise at -20dBFS L+R (uncorrelated from 0-42)

DR3      -16.44 dB   -19.82 dB      2:47 ?-16 - Bass Decade (200Hz-20Hz) 1,3-octave warble tones at -20dBFS

DR4      -15.93 dB   -19.81 dB      2:32 ?-17 - Midrange Decade (250Hz-2KHz) 1,3-octave warble tones at -20dBFS

DR3      -16.14 dB   -20.00 dB      2:32 ?-18 - Treble Decade (2.5KHz-20KHz) 1,3-octave warble tones at -20dBFS

DR5       -6.30 dB   -11.85 dB      1:19 ?-19 - Music Articulation Test Tone

DR3       -7.00 dB   -10.90 dB      0:24 ?-20 - The Harmonic Series, 500Hz fundamental, at -10dBFS (L+R)

DR3       -7.11 dB   -10.20 dB      1:42 ?-21 - Second harmonic histortion A,B Test (L+R)

DR1       -7.10 dB   -10.05 dB      1:42 ?-22 - Third harmonic distortion A,B Test (L+R)

DR3       -7.13 dB   -10.30 dB      2:02 ?-23 - Seventh harmonic distortion A,B Test (L+R)

DR2       -7.26 dB   -10.44 dB      0:32 ?-24 - Typical amplifier distortion signatures (L+R)

DR0       -9.70 dB   -11.01 dB      0:22 ?-25 - Harmonic & sub-harmonic distortion (L+R)

DR0      -10.11 dB   -11.76 dB      0:49 ?-26 - Jitter demonstration track (L+R)

DR0      -20.00 dB   -20.10 dB      6:16 ?-27 - Spot frequency tones at -20dBFS (L+R)

DR0      -10.96 dB   -14.75 dB      0:52 ?-28 - De-emphasis test tones at -20dBFS (L+R)

DR1      -49.89 dB   -57.66 dB      1:03 ?-29 - Noise Modulation Test Tones with dither (L+R)

DR3       -0.10 dB    -6.91 dB      0:22 ?-30 - 19 + 20KHZ at 0dBFS (L+R)

DR0        0.00 dB    -5.14 dB      0:30 ?-31 - 20KHz at 0dBFS & -20dBFS (L+R)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Number of tracks:  31

Official DR value: DR8

 

Samplerate:        44100 Hz

Channels:          2

Bits per sample:   16

Bitrate:           1411 kbps

Codec:             PCM

================================================================================

hollowman
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Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:59pm
Further notes on Stereophile Test CD 1

The low DR tracks at the end are that way by design, as they are test signals. The highest DR tracks (DR20) are considerably more dynamic than most loudness-free tracks I've tested (mosly classical).

hollowman
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HDTracks and high-rez

Stereophile, several years back ("What's Going on Up There?", Oct. 2000), reported that certain high-rez releases (DVD-A and 24/96 DVDs, I think) were not spectrally extended, as high-rez allows.

Not sure about freq. spectrum, but the DRD reports several titles where HDTracks releases are dynamically "compressed" compared to other  mostly older releases, or LP rips, of the same album, of course.

The DR Meter tool, noted above, is quick/easy to use ... and including DR in the product description by HD Tracks or other downloads-seller, helps keep the mastering engineers "in check".

hollowman
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Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:59pm
Missed Ariel Bitran article

Just found it after the fact ... this thread's topic has already been mentioned by Stereophile, back in May 2012...

http://www.stereophile.com/content/unofficial-dynamic-range-database

... seems to be a decent write-up on this topic. And the below-blog comments are extensive and intelligent.

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