Strap yourselves in, this article has some nerd stuff in it. But don't worry, we'll take it slow, and by the end, you'll be an audio geek like all of us, with amazing sound pumping into your ears.
Okay, crash course in music streaming and compression: high quality music has to be represented by huge amounts of digital data. This is all fine and good when you’re downloading an album for later listening, where speed isn’t the main factor. But with streaming, rapid response is absolutely key. If you had to wait for a streaming song to buffer for 10 or more seconds, every single time you swapped to a new track, how long would you tolerate that service before switching to something with better performance?
In order to gain speed and convenience, you have to make trade offs. For streaming, this means selectively dropping bits of audio data to make the file smaller. Smaller files mean faster transfer, and faster transfer means that your audio never stutters or buffers. But smaller files can’t be as detailed as larger ones. If I asked you to describe a picture in only ten words, then again in one hundred words, the latter will undoubtedly tell me much more about the original picture.
Now, let’s be clear: FxSound can’t add back any data that’s been cut. There are extremely talented people working on the issue of interpreting missing audio using intelligent software, and the results are anything but fast. What FxSound can do, though, is maximize the quality and listening experience you can achieve using streamed audio. By avoiding the bottlenecks that come with your PC’s built in hardware and software, you can get the most from your sound.
The audio data that is cut for streaming isn’t deleted evenly across the file’s frequency spectrum. The compression algorithms target frequencies deemed most expendable, most often the extreme high end, the lowest bass, and portions of the midrange that don’t correspond to most instrument and vocal’s hotspots.
The basic idea of the music will still come across. You will still understand the words, groove to the drums, be enthralled by guitars, and appreciate resonant keys. But in each of these cases, some of the vibrancy of the audio will be lost. Voices won’t have any airy, clear quality. Drums may not have as much punch. Rhythm instruments will be a bit flat and one dimensional.
FxSound may not be able to restore bits of data, but it can enhance what is there. The cut frequencies still exist, just quieter and less accurately. With some help, they can be restored to their former glory.
FxSound’s dynamic boost and background processing targets frequencies most commonly cut by file compression. It applies a much greater boost to these areas, while lifting the other areas by less. This rebalances your audio, and brings back some of the quality you’ve been missing this whole time. You can also give your EQ a bit of love too, and play with bringing up and down some frequencies until the music sounds 'right'. It doesn't matter what the rules are, if you love your sound, it's correct. FxSound wants to put you in control. And finally, for those with bad laptop speakers or shit headphones, FxSound works as a volume booster like none other (the others out there will distort the hell out of your audio).