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Need education on Music recorded in 5.1, if it exists, and how to play it...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
One of the coolest things, is when I'm playing a DVD and a cool song in the movie comes on and it'll be mastered in 5.1 format - Yes my DVD is hooked up to my receiver in 5.1. So am I just crazy, is 5.1 (or better) only used in the movies, or in my dreams?

I'm currently about to hook up my HTPC to the Receiver to allow 5.1 (currently running stereo/quadraphonic) - I've read that some music is recorded in multichannel (5.1 or better), but not sure if I have access to it on Itunes, or how often they use it.

I was perusing some of the .m4a songs that I've purchased from Itunes and there is a 'channels' tag, and it just says 'stereo', under that tag. Am I looking for one that says something different? - Another related question: Is there another system I should be looking to use, that is more multi-channel friendly?

I do use Pandora, but I read that with Pandora one would need to pay for Pandora1 for multi-channel.

I'm assuming CD-Audio is not ever recorded is this format correct?
post #2 of 15

I'll try to answer in bullets

  • iTunes does not sell multichannel music Of any kind, Multichannel meeting 5.1
  • Multichannel music is available primarily from DVD audio and SACD sources
  • You'll need a special player to play DVD audio and SACD sources
  • There is a fairly limited selection of multichannel music compared to what you'll get on iTunes, Mostly the really famous stuff like dark side of the moon etc.
  • Multichannel music is also frequently delivered in high definition formats (96K 24-bit), that is a higher quality source than CD-quality (44.1k 16-bit) formats
  • Multichannel sources are significantly more expensive than CDs or downloaded formats
  • If you put the money and effort into listening to multichannel music it can be an amazingly better Experience than stereo
  • Pandora and all other streaming music services are stereo only and typically fairly low bit rate at that, Definitely lower than CDs
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
So basically when listening to music... I need to switch back to dolby surround - quadraphonic mode... otherwise it sounds too difficult.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeeker View Post

I'll try to answer in bullets
  • iTunes does not sell multichannel music Of any kind, Multichannel meeting 5.1
  • Multichannel music is available primarily from DVD audio and SACD sources
  • You'll need a special player to play DVD audio and SACD sources
  • There is a fairly limited selection of multichannel music compared to what you'll get on iTunes, Mostly the really famous stuff like dark side of the moon etc.
  • Multichannel music is also frequently delivered in high definition formats (96K 24-bit), that is a higher quality source than CD-quality (44.1k 16-bit) formats
  • Multichannel sources are significantly more expensive than CDs or downloaded formats
  • If you put the money and effort into listening to multichannel music it can be an amazingly better Experience than stereo
  • Pandora and all other streaming music services are stereo only and typically fairly low bit rate at that, Definitely lower than CDs

One more thought: I was reading up on this a little more. If I left my audio receiver deck in 5.1 format. The computer apparently can virtually handle this in 'Speaker Fill' mode - I've seen this option already in the RealTek sound manager. Basically this would simulate 5.1 sound. - However if I leave this option enabled - 'Speaker Fill' - would this setting dumb down the sound of a real multichannel source video file playing from the computer?
post #5 of 15

Here are some free 5.1 and stereo hi res files, play around with these..

 

http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
It seems it just isn't in demand... correct? Is that the problem. There is not enough "Robert's" out there asking for it?

The link you send contained a collection of mozart and ancient stuff. I'm looking for 'Selena Gomez', Lady Gaga and modern stuff... lol Or they don't record in that format...
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertkjr3d View Post

It seems it just isn't in demand... correct? Is that the problem. There is not enough "Robert's" out there asking for it?

The link you send contained a collection of mozart and ancient stuff. I'm looking for 'Selena Gomez', Lady Gaga and modern stuff... lol Or they don't record in that format...

yes as i said you won't find all the 'modern' stuff in 5.1 hi def, the link above was just a place to get 5.1 files so you can test your setup with them. search amazon for SACD or DVD audio discs, and you'll see whats available.

post #8 of 15
getting tough to find for sure. been cruising amazon, a lot of the newer rockier/pop stuff is non existent. best buy online has some dual disc stuff floating around mostly stereo though. i believe the HTIB killed the format as fast as it came out (Even with sony trying to force some of it (dual disc) on to consumers). I was Working at Ultimate electronics when both surfaced. Loved the way the multi channel SACD and DVD-A moved around you when done right. Some really cool stuff out there; flaming Lips did some really cool stuff, Pink Floyed Dark Side of the Moon, Areosmith Toys in the Attic, Metallicas Black album, Depeche Mode has a few that are done well too. But when HTIB starting gaining popularity no one could hear the difference between high resolution and the normal cd recording and now the compressed format of mp3's and headphones.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
tis true... The standard young person today, puts his/her headphones in his ears, and doesn't really care about the quality, then proceeds to jam the volume to make the ears bleed... and wonders why he needs medical science to fix his ears at age 30. So yes I can see why 5.1/7.1 is starting to fade. Also when it comes to movies, I think it is funny how people find it fascinating to watch movies on their little tiny devices, and think its so great. There is not the same fascination with seeing something on the big screen with big sound anymore.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertkjr3d View Post

The standard young person today, puts his/her headphones in his ears, and doesn't really care about the quality

Hey! Don't lump me in with the crowd! biggrin.gif

But yeah, many people my age in their early 20's simply don't care about good sound quality. And a lot of modern mastering sounds pretty bad on a stereo, IMO, so it gives them no real motive to have a good stereo setup. Sometimes I wish Apple would team up with some of the "high-fi brands" like Marantz or the like to help promote good sound quality to the masses. It's funny how muddy-sounding CDs from the late 80s and 90s sound much better on my stereo than something released last year.

I don't have a lot of familiarity with multi-channel audio but I do have some of the R.E.M. DVD-Audio discs which I recommended if their type of music is your thing!
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrogeeker View Post

I'll try to answer in bullets
  • Multichannel music is available primarily from DVD audio and SACD sources

A small but significant selection of 5.1 and 7.1 music is available on BD. This includes various forms of the "BluRay Audio" format. If you add concert videos into the list its much larger.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertkjr3d View Post

Also when it comes to movies, I think it is funny how people find it fascinating to watch movies on their little tiny devices, and think its so great. There is not the same fascination with seeing something on the big screen with big sound anymore.

RIGHT! I find it funny when I hear people say how good the speakers Are on their laptop for movies, the surround sound is so good lol. Or walking through a store and seeing headphones say realistic 5.1/7.1 surround sound no need for big speakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

I don't have a lot of familiarity with multi-channel audio but I do have some of the R.E.M. DVD-Audio discs which I recommended if their type of music is your thing!

I'll have to look for this
post #13 of 15
Multichannel music is awesome. Not only the use of multiple channels, but the overall quality of the music.

There are quite a bit of 5.1 DVD-A or SACD's out there. If you have a computer with a DVD drive, then you just need to download VLC media player and connect your PC to your receiver via HDMI. It will work if you have an optical out as well, though if you don't have an HDMI out on your PC you most likely wont have the optical out either.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on using the realtek outputs on the back of my computer - and wiring them to my older receiver that takes 6discrete inputs for 5.1 - Namely (3.5mm out - Sub/Center, SL/SR, L/R to -- RCA inputs - Sub,Center, SL, SR, L, and R) It currently works similiarly on my receiver for my older DVD player that has its own built in decoder.

but this is kinda...off topic
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertkjr3d View Post

I'm planning on using the realtek outputs on the back of my computer - and wiring them to my older receiver that takes 6discrete inputs for 5.1 - Namely (3.5mm out - Sub/Center, SL/SR, L/R to -- RCA inputs - Sub,Center, SL, SR, L, and R) It currently works similiarly on my receiver for my older DVD player that has its own built in decoder.

but this is kinda...off topic

Then you should be good to go. VLC Player plays SACD and DVD-A with 5.1 channel sound.

Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon 5.1
Roy Orbison: A Black and White Night
The Eagles: Hotel California (Album 5.1)
Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms (Album 5.1)
Queen: A Night at the Opera

All of these are awesome in 5.1. Very good place to start with these.
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