Multichannel fast-acting dynamic range compression hinders performance by young, normal-hearing listeners in a two-talker separation task

M.A. Stone, B.C.J. Moore, Christian Füllgrabe, A.C. Hinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fast-acting amplitude compression is used extensively in the professional audio industry. Such compression can impede perception of the independent sound sources within a complex signal. However, listeners may partially compensate for this by using greater mental effort. To test this idea, young, normal-hearing university students were required to report the keywords from two simultaneously presented sentences, either with or without a secondary task. The sentences were uncompressed or were compressed by moderate or severe amounts. When the secondary task was required, the time taken to perform the tasks increased with increasing amount of compression, demonstrating that the listeners were near
the limit of the mental effort that they could expend. Measured effects disappeared gradually with increased experience of the tasks.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)532-546
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Audio Engineering Society
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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