Can someone recommend compression settings for movie audio?

The audio streams in some Bluray movies have an insane amount of dynamic range, the quieter parts virtually inaudible and the loud parts wall-shaking. My surround sound system does not have a “night mode” feature. I’ve had some success demuxing such movie and compressing the audio, but I’m wondering if there is a plugin for Audacity that boosts signals only in the weaker range. If such a plugin is not available, I’d be interested in what compression settings others might use to contend with the problem. Below is what I have been using:

Threshold: -4 dB
Noise Floor: -70 dB
Ratio: 6:1
Attack Time: 0.2 sec
Decay Time: 1.0 sec
Make-up gain…: Yes
Compress based on Peaks: Yes

That’s Dolby Dial Norm or a version of it. Properly applied it will accurately reproduce thunderstorms and jets landing. Jury’s out on what happens to a jet landing during a thunderstorm. It can be a problem if you aren’t searching for the theater experience.

You should try Chris’s Compressor.

His goal when he designed it was to be able to listen to opera in a noisy car. Normally, when he adjusted for orchestra and chorus tutti, the fiddles in the south forty are a complete lost cause. It’s an intelligent compressor. It tries to understand the music and adjust passage volumes so they make sense.


After reading about Chris’s compressor, I see that it does not have the ability to boost the weak signals exclusively, leaving the spikes intact. So I guess I’ll have to stick with the built in compressor. Thanks anyway.