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post #271 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

How many speakers are you using in your set-up? The reason I ask is because I hear so much phantom imaging between fronts and sides that wide speakers seem the least important addition, based on how little difference they make (at least compared to other speaker locations). But that's based on my experience with several 7.1 (not 5.1) speaker set-ups. Also, the designer of DTS Neo:X envisioned an 11-speaker set-up using the standard 7-speaker layout with 4 height speakers (no wides). Likewise, the new Harman surround processing uses upto 12 speakers: standard 7.1 plus 5 heights (no wides).

That's good to know im hoping to add height speakers to my system one day.

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post #272 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

It's not so much about phantom imaging but about spaciousness. I did some tests with artificial reverberation and found wides at 60° most effective.
The 55°-60° angle has been noted for spaciousness by everyone from Hiyama to Toole. However, spaciousness doesn't diminish much when the surrounds are moved to the sides (80°-90°). So a speaker layout with a pair of surrounds already at the sides would benefit less from adding wides than compared to adding rears or heights.
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

For good localization I would think that more speakers near the frontal plane would be benificial. This is where phantom imaging works very badly.
Our ability to create phantom images in front of us "works very badly"? Compared to what: phantom imaging at our sides, behind us, above us?

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post #273 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Our ability to create phantom images in front of us "works very badly"? Compared to what: phantom imaging at our sides, behind us, above us?

No, phantom imaging in the front (and in the back) works pretty well. Phantom imaging to the sides doesn't work well. Therefore more speakers near the frontal plane are probably a good idea.

From Blauert - Spacial Hearing:

331

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post #274 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

No, phantom imaging in the front (and in the back) works pretty well. Phantom imaging to the sides doesn't work well. Therefore more speakers near the frontal plane are probably a good idea.

I don't follow; is not the logical conclusion to " Phantom imaging to the sides doesn't work well." that real imaging, i.e. speakers, should be placed at the sides?

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post #275 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 10:58 AM
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How many speakers might we consider are "enough" for a Home Theater equipped with some future Home Dolby Atmos technology?

Perhaps we could persuade Imm to make good on their 'hints' that they might offer a Home Theater version of their technology. If the HT layout were based on their "minimum theatrical configuration", 14.1, most people should be happy, as it looks to be a superset of the (full) DTS Neo:X | Audyssey DSX 11.1 configuration, and the Auro-3D 10.1 configuration, combining 7.1 Standard, a Front Wide speaker pair, both Front and Rear Height speaker pairs, and a Center Overhead speaker.


338


Based on the 'lowish' ceiling heights in my home (and I suspect in many others), I'm not anxious to install a Center Overhead speaker. I think I might instead prefer to 'lock in' centerline height sound with a Center Front Height speaker (such as might be found in the promised Harman-Lexicon QLS 12.4 configuration).

[I'm not sure just how many people might be willing to install a complete configuration this complex, so there had better be a good downmix mechanism associated with it to allow for speaker layouts with only 2, 3, or 4 upper layer speakers, plus between 5 and 10 middle layer speakers.cool.gif]
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post #276 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

It's not so much about phantom imaging but about spaciousness. I did some tests with artificial reverberation and found wides at 60° most effective.
You are talking about reverb (decorrelated) and not early proscenium reflections like DSX, right?

If so, were all your tests using single pairs of speakers? Did you try reverb from 4 speakers, L/R,Ls/Rs together? Wondering how that would compare with Lw/Rw.
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post #277 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

I don't follow; is not the logical conclusion to " Phantom imaging to the sides doesn't work well." that real imaging, i.e. speakers, should be placed at the sides?

That's what I'm saying (or trying to). Maybe my use of the term "frontal plane" is confusing?

419

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post #278 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

You are talking about reverb (decorrelated) and not early proscenium reflections like DSX, right?
If so, were all your tests using single pairs of speakers? Did you try reverb from 4 speakers, L/R,Ls/Rs together? Wondering how that would compare with Lw/Rw.

Just tested a single center with a speaker to the left and the right at various angles. The signal was simply a delayed version of the center signal, i.e. a strong first reflection. 60° was more spacious than 90°, so I'm not sure if surrounds at 90° are enough.

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post #279 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post

How many speakers might we consider are "enough" for a Home Theater equipped with some future Home Dolby Atmos technology?
A least 2 (as in a soundbar), with the right processing. wink.gif
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[I'm not sure just how many people might be willing to install a complete configuration this complex, so there had better be a good downmix mechanism associated with it to allow for speaker layouts with only 2, 3, or 4 upper layer speakers, plus between 5 and 10 middle layer speakers.cool.gif]_
Downmixing is not a problem with object-based audio, as each signal is rendererd afresh to whatever speakers may exist. That avoids the usual downmix foible where correlated sounds (panned to more than one channel) add more strongly (6 dB) compared with decorrelated sounds that add as 3 dB, which can throw off the mix balance.

Of course that does not do much for retaining the spatial properties of the mix, which will collapse as fewer speakers are used. However, another advantage to object-based rendering can be illustrated by a sound bar scenario (2 narrow speakers), where you might want music/ambience to spread wider, but direct sounds like dialog (even if panned L/R) should remain clean/untouched. This is easy when the objects are separate and their locations explicit, as the post processing can be applied selectively. Even a 7.1/11.1 system would benefit--think how that would help DSX avoid dialog smearing.

Or maybe there is a way to process sound with HRTFs or the like to create an illusion of height. That could be isolated again to only those sounds needing it, improving the spatial contrast to other sounds.

What I am saying is that while there will be full-tilt home theaters that go the 14+ speaker route, I expect there will also be alternatives that enable fewer speakers to impart the sense of an object-based 3D mix more successfully than possible with today's channel-based playback.
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post #280 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Just tested a single center with a speaker to the left and the right at various angles. The signal was simply a delayed version of the center signal, i.e. a strong first reflection. 60° was more spacious than 90°, so I'm not sure if surrounds at 90° are enough.
A delayed signal is a pretty narrow interpretation of "artificial reverberation." Would it not be better to explore something more representative of complete early+late reverb returns?
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post #281 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

A delayed signal is a pretty narrow interpretation of "artificial reverberation." Would it not be better to explore something more representative of complete early+late reverb returns?

Well, "more complete" would be something Naqvi did - or better, what he tried to do. Why would I spend that kind of money and time for something the industry should have done decades ago?

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post #282 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

That's what I'm saying (or trying to). Maybe my use of the term "frontal plane" is confusing?

To me "frontal plane" implies primary interest in the front soundstage.
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

It's not so much about phantom imaging but about spaciousness.

Perhaps I didn't understand the context of your remark, but IMO surround is about two things - spaciousness and phantom imaging of discrete objects.

If I had to choose one, it would be spaciousness, but I don't believe it's anyone's intention to have to choose.

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post #283 of 1289 Old 06-25-2012, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

No, phantom imaging in the front (and in the back) works pretty well. Phantom imaging to the sides doesn't work well. Therefore more speakers near the frontal plane are probably a good idea.

From Blauert - Spacial Hearing:

331
But that shows localization accuracy, not the spaciousness you were talking about.
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

That's what I'm saying (or trying to). Maybe my use of the term "frontal plane" is confusing?

419
It was confusing until you posted the diagram. So "frontal plane" is a circle at ±90° from directly in front?
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Just tested a single center with a speaker to the left and the right at various angles. The signal was simply a delayed version of the center signal, i.e. a strong first reflection. 60° was more spacious than 90°, so I'm not sure if surrounds at 90° are enough.
That sounds more like testing image shift based on level and delay than testing spaciousness using reverb.

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post #284 of 1289 Old 06-26-2012, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

But that shows localization accuracy, not the spaciousness you were talking about.

I was referring to why I think locating more speakers near the frontal plane might be a good idea. This somewhat mitigates the lack of localizability of (phantom) sources.

Now you could argue that localization of discrete sources works different than localization of phantom sources. This is probably true but there's some correlation as studies have shown that phantom source localization to the sides doesn't work very well.
So, if phantom source localization to the sides doesn't work well, we need to place more speakers there but only as many speakers as necessary. For example, 3 speakers at 85°, 90° and 95° will probably create very similar (or even the very same) directional perception.
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

It was confusing until you posted the diagram. So "frontal plane" is a circle at ±90° from directly in front?

More like a circle to the left, top, right, bottom around you:

309
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

That sounds more like testing image shift based on level and delay than testing spaciousness using reverb.

That's exactly what I wanted to test. But I also found that I couldn't get image shift without image spread and added spaciousness. The only difference was that it either sounded more artificial (one could argue that this is the sensation of image spread without spaciousness) or more real.

There is a distinct reflection pattern that makes something sound real or artificial. In everyday life we experience lots of problems localizing sounds but this never creates the same feeling of ambiguity as in common stereo (or multichannel) sound reproduction, it simply creates a feeling of realism. Unfortunately there's no research looking at this very important issue.

Markus

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post #285 of 1289 Old 06-26-2012, 09:42 PM
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I attended the atmos theater in Kansas City last Saturday with a couple fellow AVS members Archaea and pennynike1. We went to the late show and it was slow so we got to chat with the Dolby representative for 20-30 minutes before the show. I will try to post some of what I can recall to my, he seemed very informed on atmos.

He thought they had 4 subwoofers up front and 2 in the back. Upon entering I could see the two in the back upper corners. He said the subwoofers were given material independent of each other not a split signal. During one of the demos the use of the rear subwoofers was evident. Upon inspection the surrounds were QSC and he stated each speaker and sub had its own independent amplification. Each theater is programmed so that atmos knows were the speakers are, so presentation is maximized for different theater room sizes and speaker layouts.

He said this is a new way to mix for playback and that they have been working on perfecting it for I believe he said 2+ years. He said that some of the theaters had come to them at that time that were building new or upgrading at the time and asked them how to prepare for the future. Dolby told them to wire for lots of surrounds as that is what they were working on perfecting and got them prepared for the atmos upgrade. When asked if this could be applied to the home theater setting, he smiled and simply stated "Absolutely."

He stated that the producer of Brave was a bit skeptical about what exactly all this off screen sound action could add to the movie. His first screening with the atmos touch was apparently very positive and that his interview will probably be up on the dolby site soon. The Dolby rep highlighted on how much is really going on in movie scenes off camera and how this really puts you there in the middle of the film.

Another thing I appreciated in speaking with him was he gave up several heads up to listen for in the demos and during Brave. Minor spoiler alert for a few of the scenes I recall. The demos of atmos before the feature presentation were amazing. I particularly enjoyed the one with the son, father, and grandfather that starts off with them on the boat to highlight the surround and subwoofer mix. Now not all dialog has to come from the center channel, and one scene in particular is when the Queen Elinor is walking on the balcony above and talking with Merida below. The Queen's voice comes around the screen and is presented from above. Some of the audio is so subtle and well presented in the mix you don't even realize it, but it really creates a sense of immersion into the film. Some of the best parts is when it is a quiet scene and ambiance's of the setting come from all around you. There were a few scenes, the speech by Merida at the end of the movie comes to mind, that they had her voice coming from several of the surrounds as well as the center. It sounded a bit off to me and sounded like there were multiple Merida's speaking at once with the loudest voice coming from the center.

With what they can do with this with sound mixing and the transfer to the home scene, well the skies the limit I think. The way that it the system can process depending on how many speakers and where they are is amazing. I mean could you imaging setting up your system with something like this in a 3d space.

http://gearpatrol.com/2012/04/23/magicplan/

You could put in room boundaries, speaker placements, seat placements (also labeling seats used for room correction and MLP seat), and input this into the atmos processor so it maximizes playback for your individual system. I am getting ahead of myself but that would be very cool.

My take, well this was one of the funnest experiences I have had out of the house seeing a movie in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed Brave and had a great time experiencing the future of movie audio. I thought they had the system perfectly balanced. I am not completely sold on 3D and rarely make it out to see a movie after falling head over heals into AVSforum. Well as long as I as its a movie that I want to see and in the atmos theater, in the words of the Terminator, "I'll be back!"
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post #286 of 1289 Old 06-27-2012, 04:31 AM
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post #287 of 1289 Old 06-27-2012, 04:35 AM
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post #288 of 1289 Old 06-27-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Now you could argue that localization of discrete sources works different than localization of phantom sources. This is probably true but there's some correlation as studies have shown that phantom source localization to the sides doesn't work very well.
Sure, because the opposite ear is the acoustical shadow of the head, making phantom imaging at our sides more difficult AND less stable. While localization of discrete sources works differently than localizing phantom images, it's close enough to often fool the listener. One difference is when we make small involuntary head movements to double check location: that's one of the times where a discrete source would have the advantage, especially at the sides.
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So, if phantom source localization to the sides doesn't work well, we need to place more speakers there but only as many speakers as necessary. For example, 3 speakers at 85°, 90° and 95° will probably create very similar (or even the very same) directional perception.
Agreed, but in a 7.1 layout, there's already a pair of speakers at the sides. Maybe since my side speakers are slightly forward of the listening area, where they provide good spaciousness AND stable lateral imaging, I don't feel the need for wide speakers. What allows me to place my side speakers at that location is having another pair of speakers behind me to anchor the surround field. Because of this, I think the best addition to a 5.1 set-up is another pair of surrounds. As I've mentioned in the Audyssey thread, this makes my priorities (rears, heights, wides) the opposite of their's (wides, heights, rears).

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post #289 of 1289 Old 07-03-2012, 07:05 AM
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I just found out about this last night and am eager to get to Kansas City to see the film.

Do you have to see the 3D to hear Atmos? Does the Dolby Rep hang out for every showing, if so, how long will they be here?

Guess who has the next few days off!!!!!

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post #290 of 1289 Old 07-03-2012, 08:09 AM
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The AMC Barrywood in Kansas City is no longer showing 'Brave' in Atmos (Monday was the last day). The ETX theatres that were converted to Atmos are showing 'Spiderman' as of Tuesday.

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post #291 of 1289 Old 07-03-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

The AMC Barrywood in Kansas City is no longer showing 'Brave' in Atmos (Monday was the last day). The ETX theatres that were converted to Atmos are showing 'Spiderman' as of Tuesday.

Darn. I'll cancel my flight! wink.gif

Saw Brave in Atmos this past Sunday (made the hour drive to Burbank). Pretty good, though it obviously didn't take full advantage of the system.

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post #292 of 1289 Old 07-03-2012, 10:23 AM
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At this point in time, I believe the only theaters still showing Brave in ATMOS are:

El Capitain, Hollywood, CA.
AMC Van Ness, San Francisco
Brendan theaters, Las Vegas
Cintopia in Washington State
and the ICON in Chicago.
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post #293 of 1289 Old 07-03-2012, 01:42 PM
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I don't care what movie is playing, I would have preferred Brave over Spiderman, but I'll go see anything to get in on the preview of Atmos. Is the KC location still playing anything in Atmos? Their website still says Brave in Atmos. If so, is teh Dolby Rep still present?

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post #294 of 1289 Old 07-03-2012, 05:18 PM
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I'm interested in seeing it at AMC Van Ness, San Francisco.

The online schedule shows a separate listing for it in Disney Digital 3D.

The times are spaced apart enough that it's probably just one theater, which I'd presume to have Atmos.

Does anyone know for sure?

Noah
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post #295 of 1289 Old 07-03-2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

I'm interested in seeing it at AMC Van Ness, San Francisco.

The online schedule shows a separate listing for it in Disney Digital 3D.

The times are spaced apart enough that it's probably just one theater, which I'd presume to have Atmos.

Does anyone know for sure?
When I clicked on the on-line schedule for the AMC Van Ness, it lists 'Brave' 3D separately from 'Brave' in Dolby Atmos.

http://www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/amc-van-ness-14

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post #296 of 1289 Old 07-04-2012, 10:22 AM
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Darn. I'll cancel my flight! wink.gif
Saw Brave in Atmos this past Sunday (made the hour drive to Burbank). Pretty good, though it obviously didn't take full advantage of the system.

I'm not sure what most would consider "full advantage."

To me, it is one of the best surround presentations I've ever heard.

At both viewing I attended, I was reminded how well the system supported the visuals and I forgot rather quickly how immersed I was in the film (which I didn't particularly care for, as a side note.)

There isn't a ton of discrete overhead material. However, there are so many things blended from the sides and rears into the overhead it was really seamless.

Also the addition of full ranges "surrounds" (or anything not behind the screen.. we can't really use the descriptor surrounds anymore) made a huge difference in how the on to off camera stuff maintains a proper timbre match is so cool.

The music in "La Lune" was stunning as it was pulled off the screen..

Having 5 channels behind the screen also made a huge difference in front pans.... there have been almost no L LE C RE R film mixes in the last 5-6 years that I've been aware of... it's great to have that back.

Add to that the plants flapping bass in Burbank and I'm not sure what was missing.

Granted it's not over the top, but I think the seamlessness, and transparency of discrete channels throughout the auditorium, took full advantage of the system.

I was lucky enough to get some one on one (actually there were 2 of us) time with the head of the Atmos project last week at Dolby, along with some of their engineers and execs..

We were able to listen to some clips in 5.1/7.1 and then hear the Atmos mix... it's really amazing about how the speakers disappear in Atmos, and how different the arrays sounded in 5.1/7.1..

Really excited to be moving into the realm of object based mixing..

And Markus... I heard some object only based clips.. as I've said before, while we are still "limited" to having the audiences attention facing forward looking at a flat 2D wall there are always going to be elements that work fine as a bed and wouldn't truly benefit from being an object.

On another side note, there is a second Atmos logo/trailer I saw that is really cool and different from the one most here have heard..

I was informed it was playing exclusively at the El Cap, where the film is playing until Aug 12 ...

Anyone in LA still wanting to catch it should go before then... but you should confirm with the theater that it is still being presented in Atmos.. due to the nature of the playback hardware at this point in time, there is still the need for a Dolby engineer to be on hand for all screenings... don't know if they will extend that all the way through the run.
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post #297 of 1289 Old 07-04-2012, 10:42 AM
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Having 5 channels behind the screen also made a huge difference in front pans.... there have been almost no L LE C RE R film mixes in the last 5-6 years that I've been aware of... it's great to have that back.
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And Markus... I heard some object only based clips.. as I've said before, while we are still "limited" to having the audiences attention facing forward looking at a flat 2D wall there are always going to be elements that work fine as a bed and wouldn't truly benefit from being an object.

Somehow those two statements don't match well in my anti-bed-based brain smile.gif

Markus

"In science, contrary evidence causes one to question a theory. In religion, contrary evidence causes one to question the evidence." - Floyd Toole
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post #298 of 1289 Old 07-04-2012, 12:59 PM
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I'm not sure what most would consider "full advantage."
A soundtrack that highlights the new technology. I know that deliberately calling attention to the mix might be an anathema to some mixers, but there are certain soundtracks that make new technologies more obvious than other soundtracks.

Pixar has always been known for tasteful, non-distracting mixes, so nothing about the 'Toy Story 3' soundtrack made it apparent that it was the first 7.1 theatrical mix. By comparison, the first few seconds of 'Transformers 3' (Paramount logo) made it clear that you were hearing separate side and rear channels. Not judging artistic merit, simply pointing out that some soundtracks highlight a new technology more obviously.

Since 'Brave' was a Pixar mix, it is not surprising that some listeners feel that it didn't take "full advantage" of Atmos, based just on its lack of agressiveness. Can't wait to hear what someone like Michael Bay does with Atmos; the results may be gimmicky, but there will be no question that height speakers are in da house.

Sanjay
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post #299 of 1289 Old 07-04-2012, 01:39 PM
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My wife and I just returned from seeing/hearing the ATMOS presentation of "Brave" at the new Cinetopia theatre in Vancouver, WA. The movie was preceded by a well done narrated demonstration of movie sound formats leading up to ATMOS. It was most impressive. Pixar's use of ATMOS in "Brave" is definitely restrained from the demo film so far as extreme pin point source location is concerned. Rather the sound field is the most encompassing i've ever heard without being intrusive.

The showing I attended was not without fault, however. There were two or three occasions where the digital bit stream was momentarily corrupted in some manner resulting in a crackling/static like noise.

I agree with sdurani that it will be real interesting to hear an ATMOS installation where some film director fully exploits it.

Dennis

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post #300 of 1289 Old 07-04-2012, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Somehow those two statements don't match well in my anti-bed-based brain smile.gif
There's no way to know if the speakers are being driven by channels or objects. Only the mixer knows.
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