APPLE INC. (Cupertino, CA)

This article describes a method that encodes and applies Dynamic Range Control/Compression gain values to sound program content. A set of DRC gains that are a representation of a DRC curve of a piece of content may be divided into frames that are the same as the frames within the content. The set of fields can be associated with an audio signal that represents the content. The additional fields can be used to represent DRC gain values by using linear or interpolation using spline. The additional fields may include : 1)) an initial gain value for each DRC frame, 2) an array of slope values for specific places in the DRC curve, 3.) an array of deltas in time for each consecutive pair of slope values, and/or 4) the gain delta value indicating the changes in DRC gain values within the DRC gain curve in relation to points of the slope values.

Dynamic Range Control/Compression (DRC) reduces the dynamic range of an audio signal by an amount through (1) making the soft components in the audio signal louder; (2) making loud parts in the audio signal less tinier or (3) both by making hard parts louder, and making more loud parts soft. The reduction in dynamic range can be desirable in various scenarios, such as audio playback systems which can only reproduce a small dynamic range but still maintain low distortions, listening environments that contain distracting sound, as well as in situations where the listener does not want to distract other listeners.

DRC is a crucial component of the audio codecs that we use today. However, a lot of the latest codecs aren’t able to include DRC. DRC is not supported in the Unified Speech and Audio Coding standard used by the Moving Picture Experts Groups (MPEG). Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), however, does include the DRC tool. However, the tool has limitations, such as limitations on time resolution and distortions due to aliasing.

This describes a method and method of encoder and applying Dynamic Range Control/Compression gain values to a piece of sound program content. In one embodiment, a set of DRC gain values representing the DRC gain curve of the piece of audio program content can be split into frames which correspond to the frames in the sound program’s content. A second field or set of fields can be added to an audio signal that represents the sound program’s content. Other fields can be used to represent DRC gain values by interpolation using spline or linear. In one embodiment the additional fields could comprise 1) an initial gain value for each DRC frame and 2.) an array of slope values at particular points within the DRC curve 3) the timedelta values for each consecutive pair of slope values and 4) the gain delta value representing variations in DRC gain values in the DRC gain curve that are correlated to slope values. The system and method hereinprovides an efficient method of coding and then applying DRC gain values for a piece of sound content in a program.

The above description does not include an exhaustive list of all the aspects of the invention described hereinafter. It is contemplated that the invention covers all systems and methods that may be used in every possible combination of the above-described aspects and also those that are described in the Detailed Description below and particularly highlighted in the claims filed with the application. Such combinations have particular advantages not specifically recited in the above summary.

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