Official Winamp 5.8 apparently has non-optional heavy compression on the output

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CodeLurker

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I downed the official 5.8 when it came out, and had been using it for some months.  I noticed that on John Petrucci's "Damage Control", that at about 3:30 in, he has a part where he gives two quick chords, followed by silence, and then repeats both.  On 5.8, there is an instant of very loud output after the silence both times.  This indicates that heavy compression can be heard on it.  On re-listening to it, I found that I can also hear other heavy pumping artifacts.

Modern music production professionals often decry the overuse of compressors.  It limits dynamic range, and introduces said pumping artifacts.  It can also cause unwanted over-amplification of the noise floor.  As to just what the appropriate use should be, varies considerably by taste, but overuse and misuse are often a sign of an amateur production.  This is not to say that Winamp should apply no compressors, but that they must be optional, if used.

When I play "Damage Control" and hear those artifacts, I've pointedly disabled anything that should be able cause it.  My output plugin is Direct Sound.  My DSP/Effect is "(none)".  I've temporarily disabled "Use Replay Gain".  The equalizer and limiter are disabled on the Playback|Equalizer tab.

This is a stopper for me.  I posed a message about this in the Winamp general discussion yesterday; but it hasn't as yet been approved for posting.  I don't detect the problem in WACUP.  They say that 5.8 is their final desktop update; but it appears to be fatally flawed in this regard.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 08:47:26 AM by CodeLurker »

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CodeLurker

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After some further testing, I found out that this heavy compression occurs on FLAC and AAC files, but not on WAV files.

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MourningStar

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...  I don't detect the problem in WACUP.  ...
Then why post here? Or is this simply an f.y.i.-type post? If so, thx for the info.

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dro

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I've kept meaning to reply to this after also having a look at the thread on the other forum (painful reading at times) & it could be due to a number of reasons though really there shouldn't be a difference between a 5.666 based install & what was supposedly done for the 5.8 beta (some over there seem to be intentionally skipping that detail since it was released as that).

As it seems like you're using a new install, it's possible that maybe some of the default settings have changed (as did happen) vs what had been used previously. The second is that as it's happening on a range of formats, it's more likely related to the output plug-in that's being used or something to do with the clipping / replaygain aspects but even that shouldn't be messing things up based on how the issue is described.

I also don't know if they changed the default output plug-in under 5.8 beta (I've intentionally never downloaded it) but that's another area that could be leading to a difference & might not be related at all to what Winamp is decoding & sending to the output.

The final possibility which might be it based on the file types noted is due to differences in the decoding libraries used. As 5.666 uses an older version of libflac whilst WACUP uses a current version (built to better make use of newer cpu features) & I don't know what 5.8 beta is using. However AAC is done differently between 5.666/WACUP & 5.8 beta with it relying on the OS provided support I believe with the 5.8 beta instead of the Fraunhofer provided libraries that were included up to 5.666 (and which WACUP is still using currently due to it installing 5.666 for you & then applying changes, etc over the top of that).

So maybe one of more of those aspects is what's causing the issue you're experiencing between the versions & if it's due to the libraries then that's something you can test out by trying to copy over the respective plug-ins from 5.666 into the 5.8 beta install & seeing if that makes a difference or not.

-dro