Is analog and digital compression the same?

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– Usually not. When someone refers to ‘analog compression’ they are usually referring to compressing the dynamic range (the difference in volume between loud and soft passages), also known as ‘level compression’ and historically, this has been done using analog compression hardware, or these days, emulated compression via a digital plug-in.

– This is not the same thing as compression to MP3 and other similar formats. Analog compression continues, mostly in analog radio and TV broadcasting so that more of the music can be heard above the background noise (it makes the loud passages quieter and the quiet passages louder).

– The down side is that while more of the music is audible, the loss of dynamic range causes the music to lose much of its natural life-like qualities.

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