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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: upstate NY
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Which is "better" depends on the intent of the people who mixed the soundtrack and the type of music you like.
Most soundtracks are recorded and mixed in studios. They bear no resemblance whatsoever to recordings of live performances. Everything in them is highly modified, since the performers are recorded individually and the final mix consists of a combination of their best individual performances, amplified and filtered.
Most monaural soundtracks were intended to be reproduced on early audio systems which contained only a single speaker. Stereo (two channel) soundtracks are intended to be reproduced on audio systems which contain only two speakers. When properly configured and playing a well-designed stereo soundtrack, two-channel audio systems can provide the illusion of having the members of the performing group spread out between the two speakers in front of you.
Some two-channel recordings include matrixed audio which can provide both center and rear surround sound. They can provide better localization of the performers and separate room ambience.
Personally, I prefer multichannel recordings, both those which place the listener among the musicians and those of live performances, placing the listener in the audience in the venue where the performance happened.
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