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post #1 of 112 Old 12-25-2006, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know why artists/record labels choose to record their stuff in 2 channel, instead of 5.1/7.1, etc..

Is it a financial thing? or something else?

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post #2 of 112 Old 12-25-2006, 02:34 PM
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1. Ignorance of the medium
2. Doubts about the formats
3. Uncertainty of a sufficient market
4. Increased cost

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post #3 of 112 Old 12-25-2006, 07:08 PM
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5. It sounds unnatural
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post #4 of 112 Old 12-25-2006, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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5. It sounds unnatural

Really?

I have heard some original DTS tracks (Boyz II Men), and it sounds amazing, better than 2 channel (Using ProLogic).

I was under the impression, the new studios these days were equipped with surrond equipment for them to master the record...

Kind of sad, IMO :-(
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post #5 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 06:05 AM
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magawake:
Also, the hi-end AND low-end (MP3) audio folks are largely two-channel. Depending on who the studio or artist see the audience as being, two-channel may be seen as more appropriate.

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post #6 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster View Post

5. It sounds unnatural

Sure, many use that excuse because they have heard a bad one. That, however, does not change the fact that MCH is more natural when done correctly.

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post #7 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

magawake:
Also, the hi-end AND low-end (MP3) audio folks are largely two-channel. Depending on who the studio or artist see the audience as being, two-channel may be seen as more appropriate.

See my point (1)!!

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post #8 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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What is "MCH" ?
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post #9 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magawake View Post

What is "MCH" ?

Multi-channel
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post #10 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster View Post

It sounds unnatural

Not as unnatural as hearing everything originate between two arbitrary points in front of the listener. Your personal preference for that limitation shouldn't be confused with how sounds are heard in nature.

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post #11 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Sure, many use that excuse because they have heard a bad one. That, however, does not change the fact that MCH is more natural when done correctly.

Can you suggest a good one? I haven't had any luck, but I haven't tried very hard. And other than J&R, do you know any good sources in NYC?
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post #12 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Not as unnatural as hearing everything originate between two arbitrary points in front of the listener. Your personal preference for that limitation shouldn't be confused with how sounds are heard in nature.

Sanjay

In a good system the speakers disappear.
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post #13 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 12:52 PM
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I don't know about sdurani, but if I go to a concert I hear all the sound from a couple arbitrary points that are set in front of me...

I've mixed music in 5.1 before and its horrible. The only way that I could get anything decent was to have no spacial reasoning whatsoever, just a mono signal sent to all speakers with a rolloff around 150hz for the sub. Music is best served in a 2.1 type system.
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post #14 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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there is MCH commercial music but its all in the upscale niche market (DVD-A, SACD, etc). The demographic who owns these formats are the same ones who own surround systems. The general public though has stereo only and buys the plain old CDs, so CD producers see no need to raise costs on something that won't be used the majority of the time. Its all about the money.
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post #15 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster View Post

Can you suggest a good one? I haven't had any luck, but I haven't tried very hard. And other than J&R, do you know any good sources in NYC?

I listen mostly to classical SACDs but my column (see sig) lists other genres from time to time. The most recent Ladysmith Black Mambazo SACD on Telarc/HeadsUp is excellent.

As for stores, J&R is as good as it gets, imho, so I do almost all my acquisitions from the internet sites.

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post #16 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post

In a good system the speakers disappear.

Sure but the sound still only comes from the front. And let's not pay attention to that hoary argument about the room's contribution; any such contribution is false (if comfortable) and not the ambience of the original performance.

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post #17 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jofmpls View Post

I don't know about sdurani, but if I go to a concert I hear all the sound from a couple arbitrary points that are set in front of me...

I've mixed music in 5.1 before and its horrible. The only way that I could get anything decent was to have no spacial reasoning whatsoever, just a mono signal sent to all speakers with a rolloff around 150hz for the sub. Music is best served in a 2.1 type system.

This is a disappointing response. Someone who mixes music but seems oblivious to the reflections and reverberations that are unique to each performance site.

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post #18 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post

In a good system the speakers disappear.

They sound remains in front of you, meaning the recorded ambiance is still originating from the wrong direction.

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post #19 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 02:40 PM
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Well, everytime I've seen an orchestra, they are in front of me. So, unless the rear channels are used for the idiots with their cellphone/pda thingies, the guy arguing with his wife, and the old guy snoring, I have no qualms with someone using only 2-ch.

Besides, since every venue is unique in it's sound, does that mean the mixer now decides not only what, but where your listening? I mean listening to a concert in the Kimmel Center sounds nothing like listening to a concert at Tanglewood. Wouldn't you need to have a seperate release to simulate all the different types of listening environments?
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post #20 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jofmpls View Post

if I go to a concert I hear all the sound from a couple arbitrary points that are set in front of me...

Maybe at Anechoic Hall, but in every other concert venue you are actually hearing more of the room than direct sound from the performers, which cannot be reproduced using only two speakers.

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post #21 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lostsoldier View Post

Well, everytime I've seen an orchestra, they are in front of me. So, unless the rear channels are used for the idiots with their cellphone/pda thingies, the guy arguing with his wife, and the old guy snoring, I have no qualms with someone using only 2-ch.

What's behind you is the rest of the concert hall and its distinctive contribution to the overall sound that you clearly note below.


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Besides, since every venue is unique in it's sound, does that mean the mixer now decides not only what, but where your listening? I mean listening to a concert in the Kimmel Center sounds nothing like listening to a concert at Tanglewood. Wouldn't you need to have a seperate release to simulate all the different types of listening environments?

Why? If the concert is recorded at Kimmel, it should sound like Kimmel on my system and not like Tanglewood. That can be accomplished with MCH without relying on the spurious acoustical contribution of the listening room that is required for stereo.

Compare the LSOLive series with the RCO series with the SFSO series with the.....
It's all there to enjoy.

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post #22 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lostsoldier View Post

Well, everytime I've seen an orchestra, they are in front of me.

It's different when you hear an orchestra. Most listeners are sitting past the critical distance (critical distance = when more reflected energy than direct sound is reaching the listener).

The same is true from most home set-ups: more than 50% of what you're hearing is the room, not direct sound from your speakers. Notice the increasing interest in room correction (passive treatments and auto-EQ systems).
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Besides, since every venue is unique in it's sound, does that mean the mixer now decides not only what, but where your listening?

The ambience in a live recording comes from the specific venue in which it was recorded. The recording engineer doesn't try to simulate a different venue any more than he tries to simulate a different orchestra.

In surround playback, the recorded ambience originates from around you, just like at the live event. In 2-speaker playback, the recorded ambience originates from in front of you and is reflected off your room walls.

With surround, you are hearing spatial cues that mimic the original experience. With 2-speaker playback, the spatial cues are describing your room.

The difference can be best described as "they are here" (the performers are in your room with 2-speaker playback) versus "you are there" (you are at the concert hall with surround playback).

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post #23 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Why? If the concert is recorded at Kimmel, it should sound like Kimmel on my system and not like Tanglewood. That can be accomplished with MCH without relying on the spurious acoustical contribution of the listening room that is required for stereo.

You missed my point. If the argument for surround in recordings is that it's for the "ambience" and you are making a recording in a studio, then who determines what that "ambience" is? Since it's recorded in a studio, then the sound and effect is arbitrarily made by the mixer. What if I don't like his effect? Who is he to decide what the "ambience," should be?

Besides, as a music lover, I'm just as happy with a mono recording as I am with a 5.1 track. After all, it's about the music, not about some "ambience."
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post #24 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 03:50 PM
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Come to think of it, this "ambience" thing is what all the Bose commercials talk about.
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post #25 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by lostsoldier View Post

Come to think of it, this "ambience" thing is what all the Bose commercials talk about.

False ambience is what Bose is about. If you cannot see, or do not care about, the difference, buy Bose.

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post #26 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lostsoldier View Post

You missed my point. If the argument for surround in recordings is that it's for the "ambience" and you are making a recording in a studio, then who determines what that "ambience" is? Since it's recorded in a studio, then the sound and effect is arbitrarily made by the mixer. What if I don't like his effect? Who is he to decide what the "ambience," should be?

Ah! Point noted. However, I am mostly concerned with recordings done in a concert hall, with or without an audience. The ambience is natural there.

Studio recordings rely, as you point out, on the establishment of a confortable ambience and setting by the producers for the recording. Most have enough concert experience to do OK. However, they must do that for stereo and mono recordings as well. (Or would you have contact microphones on each instrument as the only inputs?)

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Besides, as a music lover, I'm just as happy with a mono recording as I am with a 5.1 track. After all, it's about the music, not about some "ambience."

Just as happy? Not I. I just finished listening to some dandy older recordings (only from the 50's) and enjoyed them thoroughly. Would I prefer to hear these performances in better sound? Unquestionably. I would hear more of the music.

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post #27 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by lostsoldier View Post

You missed my point. If the argument for surround in recordings is that it's for the "ambience" and you are making a recording in a studio, then who determines what that "ambience" is? Since it's recorded in a studio, then the sound and effect is arbitrarily made by the mixer. What if I don't like his effect? Who is he to decide what the "ambience," should be?

Most classical music is recorded in concert halls. Recording the ambience and natural acoustics of those halls, and reproducing them accurately, is what surround concert recording is all about. These recordings, done right, are far, FAR more accurate than a 2-channel recording made in the same place and time could ever be.

If music is recorded in a studio, then the odds are that there is no "stage" at all. A stereo panorama is no more accurate or natural than a surround mix -- and the surround mix is much more likely to enable the listener to uncover detail and nuance that are often masked in two-dimensional mixes.

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Besides, as a music lover, I'm just as happy with a mono recording as I am with a 5.1 track. After all, it's about the music, not about some "ambience."

Yes, it's about the music, and when technology enables me to get further inside it, to hear that detail and nuance, to have either a more immersive or a more deeply analytical experience (because surround enables both), or both... I embrace it.

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post #28 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

(Or would you have contact microphones on each instrument as the only inputs?)

Been there. The only way to record directly to CD in college bars!!!! Good times, when the beer cost more than the equipment

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Just as happy? Not I. I just finished listening to some dandy older recordings (only from the 50's) and enjoyed them thoroughly. Would I prefer to hear these performances in better sound? Unquestionably. I would hear more of the music.

Better sound(cleaned up, remastered, filtered. etc.), sure, but they could still be in mono. Multichannel sound does nothing for me. Higher quality sound, no matter if its 1 or 100 channels would work just fine. Besides, there really should only be one speaker, it should be a ring with you sitting at the center, and the sound coming from the entire ring.
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post #29 of 112 Old 12-26-2006, 07:25 PM
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I am anything but an audiophile...built my theater for movies solo, or so I thought. On a whim I set up my universal player with analog outputs and tried out a multichannel disc (it was Sting I recall). Since then I can not get enough of it. Maybe the problem is that everyone is debating its use with classical music, and while I have some classical MCH discs I agree classical sounds just as good on a 2-ch system. But for newer music where you can experiment with different instument locations and effects (like Nine Inch Nails) I think the improvement is quite impressive. Kind of off topic from the OP's original question I know. My 2 cents.
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post #30 of 112 Old 12-27-2006, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses...

I think I have a better understanding now. The reason why artists don't record in "MCH" is because it does not make sense to recreate a concert scene since you will be viewing the orchestra/singer/performes from the front. There should no sounds from the sides, back or crowd noise--ambience.

So, I guess I should ask, "Why DO artists record in MCH?" :-)
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