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Storm Audio at CEDIA 2013

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

post #2 of 21
This excites me, primarily due to the Auro 3D surround format! Time to put that processor on my short list. Let the research commence! I wonder if it'll be able to handle Atmos as well when it's released in the home.
post #3 of 21
I very much doubt you'll find Auro3D coming to Blu-ray in any wide release unless it's from some studio like Lionsgate with a much shallower catalog selection that must be exploited over and over (like when they released a couple DTS Neo:X matrixed titles). They need something catchy to sell product for the second or third time. As the old adage goes: that dog don't hunt.

What they should have done is harness the next generation possibilities with UHD and DTS MDA object audio rendering. Barco already has a partnership deal with DTS, so that might be the safer road to travel. Come up with something that blows the doors off of even Dolby Atmos and it could be their ticket to being selected for UHD streaming, UHD broadcasts, and 4k Blu-ray.
post #4 of 21
I also doubt we will ever see ATMOS come to consumer and rightly so, the point of ATMOS is to take going out to the theaters more appealing to help the industry. Gives you something that you cant get at home, I agree with that because they need to do something to make them unique and if I recall is something similar to what one of the reps was talking about when it came to ATMOS.

So who here will be build their theater with ceiling channel, would like to see that build log. ^_^
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post

I also doubt we will ever see ATMOS come to consumer and rightly so, the point of ATMOS is to take going out to the theaters more appealing to help the industry. Gives you something that you cant get at home, I agree with that because they need to do something to make them unique and if I recall is something similar to what one of the reps was talking about when it came to ATMOS.

So who here will be build their theater with ceiling channel, would like to see that build log. ^_^

What the industry needs are better movies. PERIOD. Better audio, 3D, and better SFX do not make a good story. That will bring more people back. Ticket sales, over all, are in decline. All Hollywood does is continue to dumb down stories and then tries to compensate with add-on fees for 3D and/or Atmos.

I'd rather they re-mix really good films like Raiders or Apocalypse Now with object-based audio as long as the original mix was included.

That said, I would definitely welcome something as good or better than Atmos into the home environment.
post #6 of 21
I for one will be looking forward to 3D audio in my home theater. I have a small room which many say is to small for a home Atmos type of system. Well I am taking on the challenge of being told my size theater won't work well for so many speakers and installing them anyway. I am not putting up full size speakers but there are many smaller speakers from the past and present that would work well for some form of 3D audio in small home theater rooms. My room is a 17x13 room 8 feet tall with a knee wall up to 5 feet. I am running DTS NEO:X right now with high and wide speakers. The old Minimus speakers have been absolutely amazing in my small room to deliver sound tracks from todays films. I can get a lot of of volume from them in my room.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

I very much doubt you'll find Auro3D coming to Blu-ray in any wide release unless it's from some studio like Lionsgate with a much shallower catalog selection that must be exploited over and over (like when they released a couple DTS Neo:X matrixed titles). They need something catchy to sell product for the second or third time. As the old adage goes: that dog don't hunt.

What they should have done is harness the next generation possibilities with UHD and DTS MDA object audio rendering. Barco already has a partnership deal with DTS, so that might be the safer road to travel. Come up with something that blows the doors off of even Dolby Atmos and it could be their ticket to being selected for UHD streaming, UHD broadcasts, and 4k Blu-ray.

IMHO, Dolby has had a advertising advantage with all the trailers and such. Not going to lie, ATMOS sounds a lot cooler in my books than Auro biggrin.gif just my .02 cents biggrin.gif
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by awblackmon View Post

I have a small room which many say is to small for a home Atmos type of system.
No such thing, since Atmos isn't tied to any particular number of speakers (can be used on anything from a soundbar to whatever number speakers you can accomodate). If your main listening position is a few feet away from the back wall, then your 17x13x8 room can easily accomodate wides, sides, rears and more than a few height speakers.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

IMHO, Dolby has had a advertising advantage with all the trailers and such. Not going to lie, ATMOS sounds a lot cooler in my books than Auro biggrin.gif just my .02 cents biggrin.gif

Atmos is noticeably the superior sounding format right now, at least as far as the 3D surround effect goes, no doubt about it. Of course, you need skilled audio engineers who know how to exploit it.

Auro 3D does not use object based surround right now and the advanced positional panning characteristics of said format... at least until they start utilizing DTS MDA as Barco has claimed they'll do. Also, the traditional Auro speaker layout of height surrounds further up on the wall rather than actually overhead doesn't seem to give the best illusion of sounds coming from directly above the audience's head. Atmos' height speakers are placed over the audience's head to better effect.
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 11/15/13 at 10:08am
post #10 of 21
Dan, Just curious how you come to this determination. Looks like about 25 Auro 11.1 theaters in the US...which one did you travel to to experience it?
Granted, currently Dolby ATMOS is in more theaters in the US (probably around 100 currently, and growing more and more as theaters take the plunge... in order to attract more patrons, and at a surcharge for the presentation).
And Dolby ATMOS theaterical releases are more numerous to boot.

Just out of curiosity....
Ender's Game
Elysium
Turbo
The Croods
Oz the Great & Powerful
Rise of the Guardians
All these films were released in both Dolby ATMOS and Auro 11.1
I look forward to being able to experience an actual Auro 3D presentation sometime when it arrives in the Pacific Northwest.

And don't forget... DTS is still working on its own version of MDA!
Edited by AVTrauma - 11/19/13 at 1:50am
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTrauma View Post

Dan, Just curious how you come to this determination. Looks like about 25 Auro 11.1 theaters in the US...which one did you travel to to experience it?
Granted, currently Dolby ATMOS is in more theaters in the US (probably around 100 currently, and growing more and more as theaters take the plunge... in order to attract more patrons, and at a surcharge for the presentation).
And Dolby ATMOS theaterical releases are more numerous to boot.

Just out of curiosity....
Ender's Game
Elysium
Turbo
The Croods
Oz the Great & Powerful
Rise of the Guardians
All these films were released in both Dolby ATMOS and Auro 11.1
I look forward to being able to experience an actual Auro 3D presentation sometime when it arrives in the Pacific Northwest.

And don't forget... DTS is still working on its own version of MDA!

I was comparing notes to a friend of mine who has been to a Cinemark in Texas equipped with Auro3D 11.1. Atmos has the ability to address every speaker in the auditorium when anchoring or panning object sound effects. If the theater happens to have the full 64 speaker array, it's like the theater has 64 channels, not 11.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVTrauma View Post

Dan, Just curious how you come to this determination. Looks like about 25 Auro 11.1 theaters in the US...which one did you travel to to experience it?
Granted, currently Dolby ATMOS is in more theaters in the US (probably around 100 currently, and growing more and more as theaters take the plunge... in order to attract more patrons, and at a surcharge for the presentation).
And Dolby ATMOS theaterical releases are more numerous to boot.

Just out of curiosity....
Ender's Game
Elysium
Turbo
The Croods
Oz the Great & Powerful
Rise of the Guardians
All these films were released in both Dolby ATMOS and Auro 11.1
I look forward to being able to experience an actual Auro 3D presentation sometime when it arrives in the Pacific Northwest.

And don't forget... DTS is still working on its own version of MDA!

My experience is that Dolby Atmos in itself is not an additional charge, but it tends to be installed in the "special" screens, like RPX or ETX and they do charge extra for those screens. But a non-Atmos movie playing on those screens is the same ticket price as a Dolby Atmos movie on those screens.

As for Dolby Atmos in the home, I'm think this is ill-advised, but it will probably eventually happen anyway. There will be a few geeks with money to burn who will try to install 64 amp channels and 64 speakers (one upside: they won't need a heater in the house), but the reality is that only a really tiny percentage of the market has actually installed even 5.1, so to think that consumers are going to install all these speakers in a room is ludicrous. Sure, the Wall Street bonus babies with their $ multi-million home theaters designed by Theo Kalomirakis might want it, but that doesn't make a consumer market.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

No such thing, since Atmos isn't tied to any particular number of speakers (can be used on anything from a soundbar to whatever number speakers you can accomodate). If your main listening position is a few feet away from the back wall, then your 17x13x8 room can easily accomodate wides, sides, rears and more than a few height speakers.

Yes, but if don't have any extra speakers and amp channels, then it's going to sound exactly the same as a non-Atmos presentation. And as I've posted elsewhere, if the size of your room is such that you're mounting each surround pretty much next to each other and your speakers have a wide dispersal pattern, as most home speakers do, you're going to lose any Atmos effect.

Also, current Atmos films are first mixed in 5.1 or 7.1 and then "sweetened" with Atmos objects. So if Atmos did become available for the home and someone did go to the trouble of installing a zillion more speakers and amp channels, they might be a bit disappointed when there isn't a lot of object action. And right now, Atmos mixers are making it pretty obvious. After they get used to it, it will probably be used far more subtly. So if you have a flyover, a hurricane, a scene where a character is between train tracks or where a character is surrounded in battle, Atmos objects will be used to make the sound emanate from many distinct locations all around you. Each gunshot can come from a separate location. But for everything else, the standard 5.1/7.1 channels will be used. And don't forget that regardless of the capability, the first rule of movie sound mixing is to not distract the audience from the screen. You never want an audience member to turn their heads because they hear a sound coming from a specific location that's not the screen.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Yes, but if don't have any extra speakers and amp channels, then it's going to sound exactly the same as a non-Atmos presentation. And as I've posted elsewhere, if the size of your room is such that you're mounting each surround pretty much next to each other and your speakers have a wide dispersal pattern, as most home speakers do, you're going to lose any Atmos effect.

Also, current Atmos films are first mixed in 5.1 or 7.1 and then "sweetened" with Atmos objects. So if Atmos did become available for the home and someone did go to the trouble of installing a zillion more speakers and amp channels, they might be a bit disappointed when there isn't a lot of object action. And right now, Atmos mixers are making it pretty obvious. After they get used to it, it will probably be used far more subtly. So if you have a flyover, a hurricane, a scene where a character is between train tracks or where a character is surrounded in battle, Atmos objects will be used to make the sound emanate from many distinct locations all around you. Each gunshot can come from a separate location. But for everything else, the standard 5.1/7.1 channels will be used. And don't forget that regardless of the capability, the first rule of movie sound mixing is to not distract the audience from the screen. You never want an audience member to turn their heads because they hear a sound coming from a specific location that's not the screen.

Gravity (though thinly scripted) is a surround-sound mixing game changer... they aggressively use directionalized, positional dialog throughout the auditorium and it's not distracting at all, even for the primary dialog track. You couldn't have done with with anything but a format that could utilize a larger amount of speaker locations. You could tell the mix was designed from the ground up with object based audio in mind.

Some engineers are learning fast.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Gravity (though thinly scripted) is a surround-sound mixing game changer... they aggressively use directionalized, positional dialog throughout the auditorium and it's not distracting at all, even for the primary dialog track. You couldn't have done with with anything but a format that could utilize a larger amount of speaker locations. You could tell the mix was designed from the ground up with object based audio in mind.

Some engineers are learning fast.

I saw "Gravity" in IMAX (double projector digital), not in Dolby Atmos and there was a lot of directional audio, but it was mainly in the radio signals from Earth, which even played during the end credits. I didn't really notice any directionality in the primary dialog tracks aside from little beeps and such coming from the control panels on the ships. But in any case, it did not cause the audience to look anywhere but the screen since the surround did not cause any distraction. It was, as you state, a very well mixed film. Just because sounds come from all around doesn't mean they're distracting.

An example of a distracting moment, which I've probably mentioned in the past, was in the original 70mm mix of "Close Encounters…" When the sound from the alien ship causes the glass in the viewing tower to explode near the end of the film, the sound appeared to come from the right surround. It was a very loud sound and the entire audience instinctively turned to the right. Now in those days, 70mm surround was still mono, but the directionality must have been created by mixing the audio to the right front and mono surround, which gave the uncanny impression of it coming from the right rear. Because that took the audience's eyes away from the screen, that was considered a "no no" and as far as I could tell, that was toned down considerably when the special edition was released, which I saw in the same theatre. I think it's much less directional in the Blu-ray mix, but I'd have to watch that scene again to confirm.
post #16 of 21
Sound coming from other than the screen does not become a distraction to those who are familiar with 5.1 or 7.1 sound systems. Many who have not achieved this in their home setting still appreciate this when viewing the theatrical release on the big screen.
Remember when you got your first 5.1 system and experienced the surrounds supplying distinct audio? I remember when I went to 7.1 and thought some the audio from the rear surrounds was something that happened in the room upstairs... and the entire family, including the dog, felt the same way.
This was soon asssimulated into the surround sound experience we now appreciate so much.

The Dolby ATMOS trailer before Gravity demonstrated its capabilities, and no one was looking around the theater at the source for those sounds... their eyes were glued to the screen!

The cool thing about ATMOS is that it configures the sound to as many speakers as you have (as Sanjay has pointed out in this thread, as well as many others). Some continue to argue that 5.1 is all you need and that 7.1 is a waste.
I am of the "more is better" group and would only refrain from increasing the number of speakers/amps utilized due to budget constraints. Granted 64 speakers and amps is way over kill ... but some already are running 11.1/11.2/11.3 with Neo X, and converting that to an ATMOS system (when commercially available to the home theater market place) would not be a big strech. ( I imagine some would increase to 13.x in a heart beat, since the incremental increase in speakers/amps would not be significant compaired to the existing system they now enjoy.)

The worst thing about adding the extra speakers would be the wiring(!)... and there are currently several who are planning/building their home theater with this in mind. (Caveat... WAF may be the biggest concern/obstacle!!)

So bring on the Auro 11.1, the Dolby ATMOS, the DTS MDA! Storm & DataSat lead the way!

PS... I am not a Wall Street Zillionaire by any strech of the imagination.
Edited by AVTrauma - 11/20/13 at 6:14am
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Yes, but if don't have any extra speakers and amp channels, then it's going to sound exactly the same as a non-Atmos presentation.
It isn't, because Atmos knows where the speakers are and can phantom image sounds at their intended location (even when there are no speakers at that location). By comparison, a channel-based mix is at the mercy of your speaker placement (if a sound effect is in the left surround channel, then it could end up imaging at your side or behind you or somewhere in between, depending on where you put the speaker).
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

And as I've posted elsewhere, if the size of your room is such that you're mounting each surround pretty much next to each other and your speakers have a wide dispersal pattern, as most home speakers do, you're going to lose any Atmos effect.
On the contrary, you could have speakers almost touching each other in a ring around the room and it would improve the Atmos effect, because the directionality will be more preceise and the panning will be smoother.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Also, current Atmos films are first mixed in 5.1 or 7.1 and then "sweetened" with Atmos objects.
Some are (Brave, Gravity) while others (Oblivion, Planes) are originated in Atmos and then downmixed to 7.1 and 5.1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

So if Atmos did become available for the home and someone did go to the trouble of installing a zillion more speakers and amp channels, they might be a bit disappointed when there isn't a lot of object action. And right now, Atmos mixers are making it pretty obvious.
Depends on the movie. Gravity had dialogue moving along the side walls, panning above and behind me. Others, like G.I.Joe were so loud that any Atmos effect in the soundtrack were buried under all that noise. But the same could be said about 7.1 soundtracks, where some movies (Super 8) barely have anything in the back channels while others (Transformers 3) have back channels that are as active as the side channels.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I saw "Gravity" in IMAX (double projector digital), not in Dolby Atmos and there was a lot of directional audio, but it was mainly in the radio signals from Earth, which even played during the end credits. I didn't really notice any directionality in the primary dialog tracks aside from little beeps and such coming from the control panels on the ships. But in any case, it did not cause the audience to look anywhere but the screen since the surround did not cause any distraction. It was, as you state, a very well mixed film. Just because sounds come from all around doesn't mean they're distracting.

An example of a distracting moment, which I've probably mentioned in the past, was in the original 70mm mix of "Close Encounters…" When the sound from the alien ship causes the glass in the viewing tower to explode near the end of the film, the sound appeared to come from the right surround. It was a very loud sound and the entire audience instinctively turned to the right. Now in those days, 70mm surround was still mono, but the directionality must have been created by mixing the audio to the right front and mono surround, which gave the uncanny impression of it coming from the right rear. Because that took the audience's eyes away from the screen, that was considered a "no no" and as far as I could tell, that was toned down considerably when the special edition was released, which I saw in the same theatre. I think it's much less directional in the Blu-ray mix, but I'd have to watch that scene again to confirm.

The IMAX format only uses about 5.1 channels and I'm sure the sound mixers steered much of the dialog back to the screen. However, in Atmos they pulled the off camera main dialog over to the front part of the auditorium's side surround array (either left or right). It wasn't just the radio chatter. If a character went completely around the camera, the dialog would track around the room with them. It was very apparent and again not at all distracting. It sounded more natural than many channel based mixes I've heard where ALL the dialog comes from the center speaker, no matter where the actor is in the space.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

... Atmos knows where the speakers are...

Do you know if it determines this with a mic array like Trinnov or manual entry of speaker location data?
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Do you know if it determines this with a mic array like Trinnov or manual entry of speaker location data?
We'll find out when Atmos comes to home theatres.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Do you know if it determines this with a mic array like Trinnov or manual entry of speaker location data?

more then likely it gets its info from a special amp array just like how current 7.1, 5.1 and so on system work, it has a way of physically identifying each channel since it well has to, you can have multiple speakers feed into the same input and yet have different sound outputs from them so yeah my guess its a physical setup and probably does use some mic setup to figure out latency and distance between each speaker and the distance to the user.
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