It’s probably THE single most common source of confusion I see in discussions of audio.
People say things like:
“The compression on YouTube really kills the dynamics”
“To get a good encode the music needs to be compressed really hard”
“I hate the sound of compression. mp3s sound really squashed”
Now, all of those statements are based on real opinions about music and sound quality, but they’re all also horribly confused.
Which is understandable, because they’re all talking about compression – but in audio, we commonly talk about two completely different types of compression !
They do different things, they have different purposes, and they have different effects on the sound. But people still refer to them both as “compression”, without saying which one they’re talking about. Sometimes it’s obvious from the context – but often, it’s not.
So, this my infographic is my latest attempt to help people sort out the difference – if you know someone who might find it helpful, please share !
(Click on the image above to see a higher-resolution version, or to download a PDF copy, click here)