Why Isn't Multichannel Music More Popular? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Why Isn't Multichannel Music More Popular?
Most people prefer 2-channel music 27 8.54%
Most people have never heard multichannel music 138 43.67%
Most people play music in the background 71 22.47%
Most people listen to music on headphones 32 10.13%
Other 48 15.19%
Voters: 316. You may not vote on this poll

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post #91 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SoToS View Post
... So for the highest possible sound fidelity for a multichannel system I would use large ES speakers (if I could afford them).
Agree completely

Check out this ESL-based setup devoted to getting the max out of Steven Wilson MCH recordings:



Even required a custom build of a high-performing ESL center to match the big Monoliths:




BTW- underperforming center channel speakers, due to compromised deign, poor placement (below screens, too close to ground, etc.) are one more reason MCH music is possibly not as big a hit as it should be.
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post #92 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 07:58 AM
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I agree with some that say a lot of folks just have music on for the background, and will not take the time to sit and devote all (or most) of their attention to the music. This seems to be a behavior that was lost on the generations that were brought up in the age downloads. While my age puts me on the cusp of that generation, i was fortunate enough to have parents who instilled in me a great appreciation for music. From a very young age I was listening to vinyl all the time, and that time was very special.

My first exposure to MCH recordings were the Porcupine Tree DVDAs and I was totally blown away. I had been listening to 2ch material in "surround' (matrixed by the receiver) for as long as I can remember, but these truly discreet recordings were like a revelation. I snatched up all the mch recording I could find, and still do. I only wish more recordings were made available and that the music makers would embrace it fully, instead of classic rock/jazz/etc. rehashes and classical music (which i haven't gotten into).
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post #93 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 08:02 AM
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No great mystery here.

For the general public:

1. Most people are simply content with headphones.

2. Listening to a music recording in the home is no longer a form of leisure. Most people listen while doing another activity. Now that's not to say they're only listening to music in the background -- non-active listening -- but they're not sitting still while listening.

3. They wouldn't hear the benefits. Just look at all of the people who own 46"+ HD TVs and continue to watch the standard definition channels because they're completely oblivious to the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, and the difference between SD and HD.

4. Cost. At minimum you need an A/V receiver and 5 speakers.

For people who do still listen to music recordings as a form of leisure:

1. There simply aren't many recordings released in multichannel outside concert DVD/Blu-ray video recordings and classical SACDs. Classical is the only genre that has a large output of non-video multichannel recordings.

2. There's still a lot of misinformation about multichannel (as seen in these threads), such as that multichannel mixes are nothing more than gimmicks where the listener is surround by the instruments (out of the three hundred SACDs, DVDs and Blu-rays I have, I count only two that do this -- but there are a few dozen where an occasional instrument or singer is placed in a rear channel because that's where they were during a concert).

Another big misconception: that you have to have five identical speakers. That's obviously optimal, but the consequences of having a center and rears that do not match the front left and right have been vastly overblown. As long as the speakers are reasonably comparable the results will be quite good. A lot of people also don't understand the function of the LFE channel and whether or not you need a subwoofer.

And, a lot of the most vocal misinformation and criticism of multichannel recordings is voiced by people who have clearly never heard one.
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post #94 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 09:46 AM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by von Levi View Post

And, a lot of the most vocal misinformation and criticism of multichannel recordings is voiced by people who have clearly never heard one.
Fact or your opinion (which you are entitled to)?

Steve
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post #95 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
You would be @ my place and I and you we would get along just fine.
From what you posted regarding other music you enjoy, you may be right.
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post #96 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by EnjoyingMyRide View Post
Fact or your opinion (which you are entitled to)?
Oh, it's a fact.

Anyone claims that multichannel recordings place the listener in the center of the musicians clearly hasn't heard a multichannel recording, or not more than a handful.

It simple doesn't happen often.

In a properly done multichannel mix you will not notice the rears except for ambient sounds from the audience (and assuming you haven't turned up the volume level of the rears too high).
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post #97 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by EnjoyingMyRide View Post
Fact or your opinion (which you are entitled to)?
Since it is technically possible to prove or disprove the statement beyond any reasonable doubt, it can't be an opinion. There is a difference between fact vs. opinion and fact vs. fiction (or true vs. false). I would classify the statement as an assumption. Whether it is true or not is uncertain, but could be proven if we wanted to put the effort into it. On the other hand, if I said that blue was the best color, that would clearly be my opinion as it is entirely subjective and cannot be proven one way or the other.

Want a real doozy? If I say that blue is my favorite color, is that statement fact or opinion? Well, if blue is my favorite color then it is a factual statement. But, what if I lied and green is really my favorite color? Does that make my statement opinion or does it just makes it false? Everyone knows that opinions can be based on facts, but many are not really clear on the separation when you make a statement of fact that is based on opinion.

/derail off
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post #98 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 11:30 AM
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I got interested in multichannel audio once I built my home theater. I was thinking if movies are multichannel, why can't I listen to music in mulitchannel? Most DVD players will play DTS audio discs so I bought one. Compared to multichannel, stereo stereo sounded flat in my theater. I like almost everyone listens to MP3s on my phone. I notice that even at low resolution stereo sounded much better than in my home theater. I have concluded the reason is speaker placement. My viewing position is 12 feet from the screen of a width of 9 feet. While it provides enough channel separation for a movie, it doesn't provide enough channel separation for a good stereo effect. I figure to get better stereo performance I need to either use headphones or use an extra pair of speakers closer to me. I prefer multichannel audio but it is scarce to come by. It is just like being in the audience as opposed to being in a recording studio.
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post #99 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 01:50 PM
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Most people have never heard multichannel music (like me - until I found AVS Forum). There are some barriers of entry; additional hardware is needed and discs are more expensive.

Plus, hate it or love it, it is Spotify streaming, digital generation. Folks just don't buy discs much these days. It's a shame.

My daughter if four. She loves all kinds of music. I wonder if she will ever buy music on a disc?

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post #100 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 01:53 PM
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I voted other. Because my old Marantz shorted out a few years ago we've been forced to listen to music with our 5.1 floorstander system. Over time we listened to music less and less to almost never. After getting the Marantz tube receiver repaired and hooking it up to our re-foamed AR18 bookshelves we are back to listening to music all day long. I think many home theatre speakers are "brighter" so they excel at explosions and dialogue and the brightness fatigues the listener quicker than "warmer" audiophile speakers designed for music.
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post #101 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 02:18 PM
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Because the current generation wants a water-down, I want it now experience. Convenience over quality. Not in all cases, but most. As NorthSky put it, who's going to sit in the sweet spot and listen to stereo music, much less multi-channel music for very long. Lives are too busy today. Sad, but the reality. If we're (mostly younger gen) not listening at home with earbuds we're listening in the car with earbuds! I can't wait to get my media/listening/HT room done so I can once again enjoy some peaceful solitude with just me and my music.

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post #102 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by von Levi View Post
In a properly done multichannel mix you will not notice the rears except for ambient sounds from the audience (and assuming you haven't turned up the volume level of the rears too high).
Mostly true of live performance recordings.

Completely untrue of most studio recordings of rock, pop, electronic, rap, (some) jazz music and other genres which have no "natural" spacial relationships amongst the musicians -- who often aren't even present at the same time, or who each overdub multiple parts -- and no natural room ambiance (or room ambiance which is intentionally suppressed).

For these recordings -- and there are an awful lot of very good ones -- the surround speakers play an equal role with the mains and the center, and indeed are, optimally (if rarely, except in the studio where the music was mixed), identical to them.

This is a different kind of listening experience, one which allows for a kind of immersion that can be an experience in its own right, and is possible in no other way. It's not a re-creation of anything -- but then, neither is the 2-channel mix of the same music. Simplistically, if the 2-channel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed across a stage with the listener facing them, the multichannel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed around the studio, with the listener seated in the middle.

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post #103 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
Mostly true of live performance recordings.

Completely untrue of most studio recordings of rock, pop, electronic, rap, (some) jazz music and other genres which have no "natural" spacial relationships amongst the musicians -- who often aren't even present at the same time, or who each overdub multiple parts -- and no natural room ambiance (or room ambiance which is intentionally suppressed).

For these recordings -- and there are an awful lot of very good ones -- the surround speakers play an equal role with the mains and the center, and indeed are, optimally (if rarely, except in the studio where the music was mixed), identical to them.

This is a different kind of listening experience, one which allows for a kind of immersion that can be an experience in its own right, and is possible in no other way. It's not a re-creation of anything -- but then, neither is the 2-channel mix of the same music. Simplistically, if the 2-channel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed across a stage with the listener facing them, the multichannel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed around the studio, with the listener seated in the middle.
I didn't say that the rears aren't used, I said you shouldn't notice them.

If the recording puts the musicians on a stage and the listener several feet from the stage, then the perspective will still be stereophonic, but the way in which the rears help spread the imaging and soundstage are only apparent when you shut them off.
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post #104 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TMA1 View Post
Another thing, I also believe in general that those who have surround set-up are movie folks and are not interested in music enough to sit down and listen to multichannel music.
And the audiophiles that would have the interest to sit down and listen to multichannel music have often prioritized 2-channel and don't have a surround set-up.

this sounds like it to me. I'd never sit down in my 'movie' area and just listen to music. That's what all the time in the car or office is for....
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post #105 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by von Levi View Post
I didn't say that the rears aren't used, I said you shouldn't notice them.
And I'm saying that, in the types of recordings I listed, you're wrong.

I'm talking about a mix where a primary instrument may be panned solely to, say, the surround-right speaker. Where all of the vocal harmonies are a stereo mix spread across only the surrounds. Where all five channels are used to place an element in the dead center of the listening area, right in the listener's lap.

Quote:
If the recording puts the musicians on a stage and the listener several feet from the stage, then the perspective will still be stereophonic, but the way in which the rears help spread the imaging and soundstage are only apparent when you shut them off.
Yes, but I'm not talking about those recordings. Please re-read. I'm speaking of, as I said, recordings where "the multichannel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed around the studio, with the listener seated in the middle."

It may not even be an attempt at a simulation of anything, but simply an immersive surround mix, an experience in its own right, existing on its own terms. Most of Steven Wilson's surround mixes would qualify as that.

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post #106 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
And I'm saying that, in the types of recordings I listed, you're wrong.

I'm talking about a mix where a primary instrument may be panned solely to, say, the surround-right speaker. Where all of the vocal harmonies are a stereo mix spread across only the surrounds. Where all five channels are used to place an element in the dead center of the listening area, right in the listener's lap.



Yes, but I'm not talking about those recordings. Please re-read. I'm speaking of, as I said, recordings where "the multichannel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed around the studio, with the listener seated in the middle."

It may not even be an attempt at a simulation of anything, but simply an immersive surround mix, an experience in its own right, existing on its own terms. Most of Steven Wilson's surround mixes would qualify as that.
And my original point is that those recordings are part of the minority. How many recordings does Steve Wilson have that fall into that category? 20? 30?

I can say with certainty that labels which regularly output multichannel mixes on SACD, such as BIS, Channel Classics, Pentatone, LSO Live, RCO Live, Chandos, Harmonia Mundi -- which have probably put out a combined total of over 1,000 5.0 SACDs -- always put musicians on a stage and the listener perspective is in front of them.
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post #107 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by von Levi View Post
And my original point is that those recordings are part of the minority. How many recordings does Steve Wilson have that fall into that category? 20? 30?

I can say with certainty that labels which regularly output multichannel mixes on SACD, such as BIS, Channel Classics, Pentatone, LSO Live, RCO Live, Chandos, Harmonia Mundi -- which have probably put out a combined total of over 1,000 5.0 SACDs -- always put musicians on a stage and the listener perspective is in front of them.
All I can say is that the thousands of multichannel recordings and remixes of rock, pop, electronic, fusion, world, and other types of music that exist do so despite your apparent ignorance of them.

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post #108 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 06:51 PM
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When I go to a Jazz cabaret, the band plays @ one extremity of the room and the bar is @ the other end.

When I go to a Blues joint, the band plays @ one wall of the four walls, and the bar is behind.

When I go to a club to dance, the Reggae band plays in front, and the main entrance is behind me.

When I go to a hall for a Classical orchestral opera, or a ballet, or a classical orchestral music concert, the orchestra is on stage, upfront, and I'm somewhere in the hall on a certain row, below the main balcony. Behind me is the large main entrance, @ the sides are the hall walls, and above upfront are balconies, @ L&R.

When I go to a church, the organ is sometimes in the front, or in the rear, or @ the sides. The Choir (chorale, male, female, young, old) are in the front, or in the rear, or @ the sides. ...The main entrances are behind me.

When I go to a Theater, or to an Auditorium, or to a Coliseum, or an Amphitheater, or a Stadium, or an outdoors Dome, or a Forum, or ...

When I go home to listen to any music, the speakers are in front, three of them. ...And @ the sides, slightly behind. And my main two subs are in each front corner, almost.

What plays @ a public venue is a band (Rock, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Punk, New Wave, Alternative, Electronica, ...) or an orchestra or a singer, or an opera female soprano, or an opera male tenor, and all around me I hear reverbs, atmosphere, people coughing, drinking, bottles breaking, people talking, shouting, breathing, walls reflections, bass booming, noises of all kinds, high low level noise floor, ...

What plays @ home is my own environment (various rooms), and sometimes it's coming from all over in ways that are much better than @ a public venue, or it can come from one side, or the other, or from behind, in mono or stereo or in multichannel surround sound. ...But @ home is nothing like the Live experience, with the live musicians and live audience, except for those occasions where I do the same @ home; jamming with other musicians and having an audience (varies roughly from 10 to 20 @ my own place, to 50 people+ @ larger friend's mansions). ...I happen to be a musician (non-semi pro, occasionally jamming with pro musicians).

When I put my headphones on, I am in my own two ears world; and it can be mono, stereo, surround effects (HRT head transfiguration/transfer, ambisonic, QSound, ...), and I can be plugged into my own amp playing my own music guitar playing, or flute, ... or I can be plugged directly into one of my CD players, or a phono preamp/headamp, or one of my receivers, or integrated amp, or my BD/DVD player, or one of my computers, or tablet, or laptop, or iPod, or smartphone, or Mac, or MP3 player, or walkman, or discman, or ...

When I feel down and morose, I might do anyone of the above; be it Memorex Live, or music reproduction @ home from the zillion of music genres and mediums.

When I'm up and happy, I might be outside taking a walk by a creek down a mountain and listening to the birds of the forest,
with the cougars, the moose, the bears, the eagles, the zillion of wild animals through the various intensity winds flapping the leaves, and the rain falling down on them from way above in the sky of the universe; @ peace with myself and the rest of the world surrounding me from everywhere in all directions in a 3D 360° soundfield even from down below felling my footsteps walking along, climbing, and the ground tremors from the thunder @ a distant horizon.

Multichannel sounds are music to me in my heart and in my soul, and they are constantly present in my living life on earth, 24/7/365. ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♪♫♪

Last edited by NorthSky; 08-14-2014 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Adjust
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post #109 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
Mostly true of live performance recordings.

Completely untrue of most studio recordings of rock, pop, electronic, rap, (some) jazz music and other genres which have no "natural" spacial relationships amongst the musicians -- who often aren't even present at the same time, or who each overdub multiple parts -- and no natural room ambiance (or room ambiance which is intentionally suppressed).

For these recordings -- and there are an awful lot of very good ones -- the surround speakers play an equal role with the mains and the center, and indeed are, optimally (if rarely, except in the studio where the music was mixed), identical to them.

This is a different kind of listening experience, one which allows for a kind of immersion that can be an experience in its own right, and is possible in no other way. It's not a re-creation of anything -- but then, neither is the 2-channel mix of the same music. Simplistically, if the 2-channel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed across a stage with the listener facing them, the multichannel mix is a simulation of the performers arrayed around the studio, with the listener seated in the middle.
I really enjoy sitting on the ceiling upside down surrounded by musicians below - what a soundstage!
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post #110 of 187 Old 08-13-2014, 07:00 PM
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Dolby Atmos?
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post #111 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post
I voted according to my anecdotal experience (most people haven't heard MCH music before), though any of the options merits consideration.

I arrived at a MCH setup for movies, but quickly jumped on the DVD-A/SACD formats when I became aware of them (around 2001). I even purchased a DVD-A player before I had more than a 2.0 setup (sadly, it was stolen before I could finish the setup--it was a Panasonic, built like a tank and I'd paid a lot of money for it--insurance covered it, but I've never come across any player as solidly built).

My current setup is not "high-end" (at least not by enthusiast standards--it is, by far, the best setup of anyone I've actually met, though), but it's sufficiently good for me to appreciate the subtleties of a good quality recording (MCH or not). I have arranged my speakers in a way that is biased for audio (my screen is set up on the wall at a higher than ideal spot but I prefer sacrificing the video "sweet spot" rather than place my centre channel in a less than optimal spot).

Whenever I do a MCH demo of music for friends (so far), they have all been impressed and enjoyed it. But while some of them have their own MCH rigs for movies, none of them has adopted MCH audio into their collection. They consider music as something to have on in the background, not something to sit and listen to attentively. Even when they go to concerts, the "event" is more important than the music itself in most cases (I have three friends for whom this is not the case--we regularly go to jazz or classical performances and take in the music, but the rest are not interested too much).

Several people have asked a variation of "who sits and listens to music attentively anymore"? I'm one of an apparently vanishing breed. I don't do it as often as I used to (kids and a family life--a lot easier to do when you're single) but I do it when I can. I treat the time as "entertainment time". Where someone might watch a show they've recorded or watch a movie, I listen to an album or two. But the idea of just sitting and listening to music (no sports on the muted TV, no reading, no surfing the web on a tablet, no other activity besides listening) is one that has probably been a lot less popular, at any point, than enthusiasts would like to believe. Without portability and convenience, music would go back to what it was prior to the advent of recording technology--an occasional and largely self-generated (as in playing an instrument in the home) thing.
spot on.
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post #112 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 04:04 AM
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generational gap

There is also a generation gap: Have you never read the headlines that millennials are not eager to drive like the older generations? The same is happening with audiophilia. As time goes on less and less people have either the time or care. I've also mentioned that people are not taking care of their ears. So when we put our ears in between those 6-speakers at someone's house, and heard some sweet piece of soundtrack: Such as the "Jurassic Park" music and dinos in 5.1... we felt those sensations! We said "I want that!" But others can't feel it. They can't even hear all the nuances. They have burned their ears with too many concerts up close, and with the loud head phones.
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post #113 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 07:13 AM
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True multi channel or just a lot of speakers

I used to have a Technics DVD-A10 and bought a few DVD Audio multi-channel recordings that were available at the time. Honestly, the mixes just didn't really sound right. Probably due to the fact that they were old albums, originally recorded to be in two channel. Also, like a lot of folks have mentioned, sitting down in that sweet spot to listen just wasn't something I found myself doing like I used to when I was in high school and had time on my hands. When my A-10's laser quit reading most video DVDs, I pulled it out and relegated it to my "mothball fleet" in a downstairs room. The fad was over.

However, when it comes to two channel audio played through my stereo (I'm 51 so I still call my AV receiver that), I almost always use a multi channel setting, such as 6 Channel Stereo. It fills the room with sound better than 2 channel, even when I'm listening from another room. My stereo at work is an old 1970s Pioneer receiver, and I always listen through four speakers.

Of course, my car is the place for multichannel, whether true multichannel like DVD Audio or SACD, or just stereo on 4 speakers. I never looked for any of those older multichannel discs after my A10 died, so I have no clue whether anyone makes true multichannel audio gear anymore, but guessing not...especially for an in-dash car stereo. The other thing is I started using my iPod Classic since it has my entire music collection on it compared to only 10 discs in my changer - Apple's never going to make them multichannel.
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post #114 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JonFo View Post
Agree completely
Check out this ESL-based setup devoted to getting the max out of Steven Wilson MCH recordings:
...
Even required a custom build of a high-performing ESL center to match the big Monoliths:
...
He has found his sound nirvana for sure!


One way to overcome the price hurdle is to built your own, it requires a lot of knowledge, effort and time, but with ES loudspeakers it is possible and extremely rewarding!

One thing to note, on the above setup, the weakest link in audio reproduction is the transformer since it is very difficult to design a direct-drive amp for ~5000 volts output at such high capacitive loads (AFAIK they don't exist) but it's feasible, so I'd try to make one -that's the beauty of DIY, you can try to materialize your wildest fantasies yourself (poor man's power)

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post #115 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by von Levi View Post
No great mystery here.

For the general public:

1. Most people are simply content with headphones.

2. Listening to a music recording in the home is no longer a form of leisure. Most people listen while doing another activity. Now that's not to say they're only listening to music in the background -- non-active listening -- but they're not sitting still while listening.

3. They wouldn't hear the benefits. Just look at all of the people who own 46"+ HD TVs and continue to watch the standard definition channels because they're completely oblivious to the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, and the difference between SD and HD.

4. Cost. At minimum you need an A/V receiver and 5 speakers.

For people who do still listen to music recordings as a form of leisure:

1. There simply aren't many recordings released in multichannel outside concert DVD/Blu-ray video recordings and classical SACDs. Classical is the only genre that has a large output of non-video multichannel recordings.

2. There's still a lot of misinformation about multichannel (as seen in these threads), such as that multichannel mixes are nothing more than gimmicks where the listener is surround by the instruments (out of the three hundred SACDs, DVDs and Blu-rays I have, I count only two that do this -- but there are a few dozen where an occasional instrument or singer is placed in a rear channel because that's where they were during a concert).

Another big misconception: that you have to have five identical speakers. That's obviously optimal, but the consequences of having a center and rears that do not match the front left and right have been vastly overblown. As long as the speakers are reasonably comparable the results will be quite good. A lot of people also don't understand the function of the LFE channel and whether or not you need a subwoofer.

And, a lot of the most vocal misinformation and criticism of multichannel recordings is voiced by people who have clearly never heard one.
It's almost as if I wrote the above. You've got it right. I would add a few more reasons:
- since there are so few physical retail record stores, there's no place to audition music being played back on a great system, either 2-channel or multichannel.

- having said that, the last time the industry tried to market multichannel, in the form of multichannel DVD-A and SACD, they failed miserably. They didn't set up proper demos in retail and they didn't give people a reason to want these formats.

- I do partially disagree with you on one issue: one of the problems (IMO) is that multichannel audio is usually mixed as if the listener was in the audience and what is sent to the surrounds is largely echo and out-of-phase material. That's not enough to impress somebody. You've got to put the listener on stage and fill those rear channels with cymbal hits and lead guitars and tambourines and/or send the backup vocals there, etc.

In the early days of stereo, we heard a lot of recordings that over-emphasized the stereo effect which was criticized as "ping-pong stereo". But it sold a lot of stereo equipment and recordings until people got used to the idea of stereo when such recordings were considered "tacky" (although there are still Beatles fans who love the U.S. fake stereo versions of the early mono albums where the vocals are shuttled off to one channel). We need a "tacky" stage for multichannel music so consumers can really hear the difference.

- IMO, current pop music simply isn't good enough to warrant multichannel treatment.

- IMO, what the industry should be doing is first making a big push to Blu-ray owners who already have at least 5.1 installed. Two of the three major record labels have corporate parents who own film companies. They should do a campaign where when you buy a Blu-ray, there's a link to fill out a survey where you tell them what kind of multi-channel setup you have, the kind of music you prefer, etc, and they send you a free multichannel audio BD to try and get you interested perhaps with discount coupon to buy more.

- one other problem is that the people most interested in esoteric audio are either buying hi-res downloads or vinyl. They don't seem to be interested in Blu audio.

Edit:
One more: Do you know that the major labels are sitting on 5.1 re-mixes that they've never released? I happen to know of several albums which went Gold in their day, were remixed into 5.1 years ago and the label has never released. In the labels defense, when Columbia re-released much of the early electric Dylan catalog in 5.1 SACD and when some of the Rolling Stones were released in SACD, there was a great big yawn.

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post #116 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 02:04 PM
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I think it's a problem of not enough multichannel playback platforms. In order for listening to become ubiquitous, playback platforms must be so as well.

Too few cars are equipped to play discrete multichannel content, where many people might listen. Too few headphones/earbuds and media players/smart devices are equipped to deliver a multichannel experience.

Too few broadcasters and web streams are multichannel.

If you could take multichannel music around with you, or tune it in on the car radio and enjoy a surround experience as easily as you can stream stereo from Pandora or load tracks on a smartphone, then people might use it. For now, it's relegated to hardware that is highly dependent on a specific type of listening environment that isn't very portable.

Others here have made excellent points too that people just aren't critical listeners like they used to be.
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post #117 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 02:43 PM
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I agree with the reoccurring themes as well as all of the choices available, although I voted for not very many people experiencing actual Multichannel music. For the record I am also surprised how many people don't have Home Theaters and still watch stuff on their tvs. I feel the reason for that dynamic is budget and the WOW factor of High Definition TVs and that those that do purchase speakers usually do with the WAF factor along with budgeting and even a small 5.1 system is an upgrade to the 2 channel tv speakers.

I actually think what hurt the overall HT market was 9/11 and the uncertain financial future of folks--Here in Texas, at that point in time existing stores were flourishing and new ones were opening up--Within the next two years both Tweeter and ULTE went bankrupt...

Insofar as Multichannel Music in general I agree with those that said folks didn't actually understand what it was--In fact I can't tell you how many sales people I had to explain it to trying to find out if they carried these disks. Unfortunately, even the stores that seemed to carry them mixed them in with other Media and in the end it was hard to find titles given you had to go through their entire inventory and that got to be old.

Fwiw, I think if they actually sold the disks in stores that carried the mid to upper end systems they could have been more successful in honing the market. Insofar as those that have Home Theaters that don't seem to like Multichannel music, it may be because of the mismatched size of their front soundstage and their surrounds. I have large speakers all of the way around in a 7.1 (actually "9.2" using dual subs and Heights) and still listen primarily Multichannel Music on a nightly basis and never listen to 2 channel in my car or own any earbuds.

I understand Classical Music is what a lot of folks in this hobby prefer, but I'm not one of them....I agree and wish more Rock titles were available but the comparable albums I've owned in the past don't hold a candle to their multichannel counterparts, imo. Everything from Alice Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies," to Steely Dan/Donald Fagan albums, with all of the Talking Heads in between sound better to my ears. YMMV.
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post #118 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kheiden View Post
I think it's a problem of not enough multichannel playback platforms. In order for listening to become ubiquitous, playback platforms must be so as well....
I dunno. I agree about the inability to play this material in cars, but another situation was the competition between SACD and DVD-A and the unavailability in lower price DVD players, not to mention the need of 6 analog type cables, which also added to the expense/complication (verses the new digital connections starting to be universal for Movie Multichannel playback.
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post #119 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JazzGuyy View Post
There are many factors:
  • Most people don't have the equipment necessary to listen to multi-channel music
  • Multi-channel music listening doesn't fit the lifestyle of many people these days. They are more interested in casual listening with music everywhere, whether through headphones or cheap Bluetooth or other wireless speakers in every room and these are often just mono.
  • Unawareness that such a thing even exists
  • Decor concerns that make multi-speaker setups unacceptable
  • Probably others I haven't thought of yet
This seems like a good post to jump in with. Nearly all non-classical music, i.e. pop, rock, jazz, etc, is mixed from an in-the-band perspective and that music really only realizes its full potential with the ITU/5 identical speaker configuration. IMO, it's not even close compared to a standard 5.1/7.1 home theater layout. Conversely, again IMO, everything except in-the-band mixed music ... including concert videos ... sounds best on the standard 5.1/7.1 home theater layout. Again, it's not even close.

I went to the trouble and expense to set up two sets of "surround" speakers which I manually swap for the two different kinds of mixes. And then I load the corresponding Audyssey Pro calibrations as well. I'd guess that others have the same setups. but I don't recall encountering anyone else.

My point here is that most people with surround systems went the home theater/cinema route and have therefore never really heard MCH music. And that's my answer to the poll.

Jeff

Last edited by pepar; 08-14-2014 at 03:34 PM.
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post #120 of 187 Old 08-14-2014, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by von Levi View Post
Oh, it's a fact.

Anyone claims that multichannel recordings place the listener in the center of the musicians clearly hasn't heard a multichannel recording, or not more than a handful.

It simple doesn't happen often.

In a properly done multichannel mix you will not notice the rears except for ambient sounds from the audience (and assuming you haven't turned up the volume level of the rears too high).
I would wager that you are coming from the classical music world. Every, ... EVERY ..., MCH title I have is an in-the-band mix. And they are studio albums with no ambient sounds from the audience. If I ever didn't hear discrete sounds from the surround channels, I would put my ear to the speaker to check its operation. My post above qualifies my statements and acknowledges the existence of other types of mixes. Otherwise, I would have seemed out of touch and rigid in my thinking.

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