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What does "Dynamic" Mean To You?

Playing music at 85dB average with 15-20dB peaks, which is more dynamic?

  • Other Definition: Dynamic means lively/high volume/not the difference between loud and soft sounds.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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stevenswall

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Do speakers generally act as a dynamic range compressor when operating well within their limits? Do some act as dynamic range expanders? Is high SPL an indicator of what sounds more dynamic? Even when not approaching limits?

Most forums seem to have people who describe dynamics is a term meaning lively, lifelike, energetic, etc. but I'm curious if that is different here using a poll as those terms are more subjective and can't be scrutinized with measurements.

For me, dynamic range is the difference between loud and soft sounds in a recording, and dynamic isn't a word I use to describe speakers often since most go from "too soft" to "too loud" without noticeable compression or distortion when I'm listening.

For those who need high SPL levels talking about dynamics makes sense in the context of approaching limits and engaging compression or having too much distortion, but for most of us with shorter listening distances or lower SPL needs, if we aren't pushing a speaker to the limits, dynamic range isn't something to be concerned about.

Looking at they Dynamic Range Database, it looks like a lot of music is around 10-15dB of dynamic range, so 15-20dB peaks were chosen to encompass a very large segment of all recorded music with dynamic range measurements. https://dr.loudness-war.info/
 

Pennyless Audiophile

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The Dynamic Range is in fact the difference between low and high, but non techies often use the term in an artistic sense "that suggests movement".
 

RayDunzl

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Do speakers generally act as a dynamic range compressor when operating well within their limits?

That's not indicated from the measurements I've taken of mine.

As they surpass their undistorted SPL limits, yes, compression (a defect that produces measurable distortion and SPL limitation) occurs.

Played within limits:

1625682965168.png


Ambient noise affects the measurement of lower frequencies at lower levels.
 
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sergeauckland

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To me, dynamic means 'derived from a dynamo' i.e. a moving coil, as in a microphone or loudspeaker driver. In that respect all magnetic loudspeakers are dynamic.

Dynamic range is the difference in dBs between loud and soft.

I don't ascribe other meanings.

S
 

Frgirard

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OMG
The dynamic word has a precise definition. The gap between the lower and higher sound.

40 to 60 Db =dr 20.
220 to 238= dr 18.

The cachalot can generate clicks at 238 dB.

To measured the sensation, you need to used the Lufs unit.

What is lufs?
 

Katji

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I realise I'm somewhat vague... I thought it was more frequency range but also quieter/louder, SPL range.

^^^"loud and soft" - why...ok, can't say loud and quiet because quiet means silent. Hard and soft...no, not gonna work.

Most forums seem to have people who describe dynamics is a term meaning lively, lifelike, energetic, etc. but I'm curious if that is different here using a poll as those terms are more subjective and
Yes, lively - change, which implies movement. Changing tempo and rhythm.
 

Wes

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it's like kinetic - ya know like it's got a good beat and you can dance to it
 

Katji

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To me, dynamic means 'derived from a dynamo' i.e. a moving coil, as in a microphone or loudspeaker driver. In that respect all magnetic loudspeakers are dynamic.

Yes, dynamo, bicycle lights, first time I heard the word.

Basically I think of it as meaning changing according to influence of...whatever energy, not static. It usually comes to mind when people talk about their "culture." - Which definitely happens more often these days.
 
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stevenswall

stevenswall

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That's not indicated from the measurements I've taken of mine.

As they surpass their undistorted SPL limits, yes, compression (a defect that produces measurable distortion and SPL limitation) occurs.

Played within limits:

View attachment 139646

Ambient noise affects the measurement of lower frequencies at lower levels.

This is what I've suspected. Seems that sometimes it comes across as "high sensitivity speakers have a multiplier effect as the volume goes up" and that isn't the case.

I think it's being used as an artistic term or by people as a euphemism for "my speakers is louder" which few outside of car audio and those at large listening distances seem to care about.
 

abdo123

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I voted for the 'Can't tell' option, but at that point we're talking about Revel Performa F238Be and better so it's not exactly an easy requirement.
 

DVDdoug

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Musicians sometimes use the term dynamic contrast which is the difference between the quiet and loud parts of the program/music. And that's also usually want a music producer or mixing or mastering engineer means.

Musicians don't usually use decibels or any precise units of measure. There are various ways to measure dynamic contrast (in dB) but no perfect way to measure or define it. A "highly dynamic" recording might be quiet for the 1st half and loud for the 2nd half, or it could have a short quiet intro and then be loud for for the rest. Or, it might have a loud drum-hit every measure and/or a loud cymbal crash every once in awhile, etc. Drum hits and accents are often called micro-dynamics. A modern over-compressed "loudness war" production will be constantly loud (virtually no dynamic contrast).

Dynamic range generally refers to the equipment (or the storage or transmission channel). It's the difference (in dB) between the noise floor and the maximum (or nominal) level. The equipment usually needs to be much better than the music range because if the quiet parts of the music are at -20dB and the noise is at -20dB you'll still hear the noise and of course you'd hear the noise between songs.


P.S.
LUFS (a measure of digital loudness) is often used as a proxy for dynamic contrast. There is some logic behind that because digital can only go to 0dB and it LUFS is near 0dB you have no dynamic contrast. Or if you compress/limit and the boost the loudness you are compressing the dynamics. So a high LUFS often indicates compression (low dynamics) . But you can lower the overall level and get a low LUFS and of course, that doesn't increase/expand the dynamics, and a low LUFS doesn't prove there are high dynamics.

There is a measure of dynamics (related to the EBU R128 LUFS standard) called Loudness Range (LRA). Like I said, there is no perfect measure but IMO this is good way, and it's an international standard.
 
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BrianP

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I voted for speaker sensitivity, which is usually highest with horns so I voted for them too. And of course high sensitivity horn speakers tend to produce lower distortion as a percentage of output, at any output level. Even with terrible on-axis frequency response, and worse off-axis, horns nail that transient SNAP or "jump factor" that other types of transducers just can't get. For this reason alone, they can often sound more "lifelike." If a recording contains a lot of dynamic contrast, high sensitivity speakers will convey that contrast better.
 

daftcombo

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For me, you need a track with quiet passages and loud ones to experience dynamics. And a speaker is dynamic when you can play that track and it sounds as good in quiet and loud parts.

Something you can experience with a pair of DBR-62 fed by TPA3255 cards at @renaudrenaud 's.
 
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stevenswall

stevenswall

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I voted for speaker sensitivity, which is usually highest with horns so I voted for them too. And of course high sensitivity horn speakers tend to produce lower distortion as a percentage of output, at any output level. Even with terrible on-axis frequency response, and worse off-axis, horns nail that transient SNAP or "jump factor" that other types of transducers just can't get. For this reason alone, they can often sound more "lifelike." If a recording contains a lot of dynamic contrast, high sensitivity speakers will convey that contrast better.

In what way will the transient peak better considering both speakers are playing it at the same dB level, and it's jumping from the same dB level? If there is ringing, distortion, etc. then that is the issue, not how "dynamic" the speaker is.
 

Offler

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My understanding of dynamics comes from dynamic range in digital photography.

There are 256 different states of light intensity which can a photosensitive sensor record. If you take a picture where the darkest pixel is 0 and most bright 255 then you used all of the dynamic range possible by your camera... (considering 8bit monochromatic camera)

I have similar idea about loudness of sound. 16bit accurately allows for 96dB range and if the soundtrack hits 0db on its loudest and -96dB on its silent part.

Then I compare different tones to different colors as both are matter of frequency.

So to me... a speaker+amp with frequency range 20Hz-20KHz perfectly flat from 0 to 96dB has full dynamic range of 16bit audio, in a similar manner as a computer display with sRGB 100% gamut can properly display 24bit color depth - media content with given parameters will be played/displayed with losses close to 0%.
 

KSTR

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My view is that dynamic properties are multi-facetted. First there is macro-dynamics, the sheer maximum to minimum signal range before the output gets (too) compromised. But we also have "micro-dynamics", basically "resolution" which comes from lowest distortion of all kinds plus low and linear/continuous damping of the moving parts, and generally a high-stability operating point.

And as I see it, good high efficiency drivers have all of this, one important reason is the the ton of headroom for "everything" under normal operating conditions, filling a normal listening room with 100dB++ peaks at the listening position and still almost idling (expect for the low bass, maybe). Horn-load everything and get another reduction of operating levels and a very welcome overproportional reduction of cone excursion, working into a resistive air load now.

A personal light-bulb moment was when I first heard an ultra-high efficiency 8" paper fullrange driver with whizzer cone in a front-loaded horn, with reasonable EQ applied.
A second such moment was when I had a chance to listen to an arena install base on Danley SH50's.

A point now specifically for ASR is that I think these properties can be accurately quantified ("measured") but currently there doesn't seem to be a standard procedure. What we know is that we can extract the full error signal with an arbitrary stimulus by subtracting the recorded signal from the convolution of the stimulus with the impulse response obtained with high precision and reasonable operationg point (or a multitude thereof). The difference signal then can be analyzed, the first thing we will see is gross distortion and power compression, also dynamic instabilites of various kinds, parameter drifts and all that. Somewhere in the "fine print" we might also isolate the micro-dynamics/resolution differences (assuming that they really exist, that is).
 

RayDunzl

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Musicians sometimes use the term dynamic contrast which is the difference between the quiet and loud parts of the program/music. And that's also usually want a music producer or mixing or mastering engineer means.

A somewhat dynamic recording - The Rite of Spring and Les Noces - Stravinsky - Redwood Symphony - viewed in Audacity.

The light blue represents the average, dark blue the peaks for any given section of the piece.

Represented as voltage:

1625695999829.png



Represented as Decibels - not extremely dynamic at around 40 dB difference between soft (just louder than the ambient noise in the venue or electronic background) and the peaks, some of which were clipped or otherwise limited by the engineer:

1625696318364.png
 

pseudoid

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Dynamic is to a Tortilla as Dynamic Range is to a Burrito ...made with that tortilla.
Are you (we?) talking about making a burrito or eating one?
Consider that tortilla as the noise floor (dithered or otherwise). Then, consider (measure?) the height of that burrito you make (re: tortilla being your zero reference). Bamz!
per Audio Precision: "Dynamic range is usually measured by stimulating a device with a full scale sine wave and measuring its output level, then stimulating the device with a sine wave that is -60 dB below full scale and measuring the level of the noise and distortion products that remain after the fundamental is removed from the output of the device with a notch filter. The dynamic range is the ratio of the two, usually expressed in dB. "
 
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