CDs Encoded in Dolby Matrixed Miultichannel - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 103 Old 03-20-2019, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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How many Dolby DSPs are there?
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post #32 of 103 Old 03-20-2019, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sworth View Post
How many Dolby DSPs are there?
Quite a few if you include the non domestic versions/variants...

I wonder if the old 1980's 'analogue format' Dolby Surround technology still has a current patent

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post #33 of 103 Old 03-20-2019, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by thehun View Post
... since 2000 I haven't owned any AVR that still used the old DPL, alongside with DPLII.
Honestly I miss DPLII, pretty much all my 2ch listening of music was channeled through that DSP for 18+years and overall I did prefer that to the new DSU.
...
What AVR do you have?

From looking at the latest from Yamaha, they seem very uninformative about the surround formats they decode, but looking on page 33 of this manual:

https://usa.yamaha.com/files/downloa...GLFP_En_A0.pdf

one can look at one of the screen pictures and see that one says "SUR.DECODE DPL Movie" which suggests that it has the decoding of the original DPL in it as one of the options.

Denon seems to have it; look at page 71 of the manual for AVR-S540BT that you can download at:

https://usa.denon.com/us/product/hom...vers/avrs540bt

Notice, one can select "Dolby Pro Logic" as on option within the DPL II section.

I suspect that manufacturers don't tend to advertise these features very much because they are trying to sell you a new receiver with the latest processors and decoders, which are what distinguish new models from old ones. Saying that the new model has Dolby Pro Logic in it isn't likely to get someone to buy it.

In order to find the decoding of Dolby Pro Logic, one tends to need to look through the various processing options. But they are still making the decoders for this and selling it in new receivers (as the above examples show).

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post #34 of 103 Old 03-20-2019, 10:06 AM
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From looking at the latest from Yamaha, they seem very uninformative about the surround formats they decode...
It looks like both the Yamaha and the Denon offer the usual (analogue matrix) DSP surround sound modes designed by Dolby and DTS. Essentially there are three 'Dolby Pro Logic 2' modes: Music, Movie and Game. And two 'DTS Neo: 6' modes: Music and Cinema.

There's probably a whole host of terrible 'field effects' modes too...


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post #35 of 103 Old 03-20-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post
What AVR do you have?

From looking at the latest from Yamaha, they seem very uninformative about the surround formats they decode, but looking on page 33 of this manual:

https://usa.yamaha.com/files/downloa...GLFP_En_A0.pdf

one can look at one of the screen pictures and see that one says "SUR.DECODE DPL Movie" which suggests that it has the decoding of the original DPL in it as one of the options.

Denon seems to have it; look at page 71 of the manual for AVR-S540BT that you can download at:

https://usa.denon.com/us/product/hom...vers/avrs540bt

Notice, one can select "Dolby Pro Logic" as on option within the DPL II section.

I suspect that manufacturers don't tend to advertise these features very much because they are trying to sell you a new receiver with the latest processors and decoders, which are what distinguish new models from old ones. Saying that the new model has Dolby Pro Logic in it isn't likely to get someone to buy it.

In order to find the decoding of Dolby Pro Logic, one tends to need to look through the various processing options. But they are still making the decoders for this and selling it in new receivers (as the above examples show).
I only had a Yamaha AVR briefly for maybe a week in this century, but I didn't like it. I had an Outlaw Pre/Pro before that [their first] then that Yamaha, and a Boston Accoustic AVR, basically a re-badged Sherwood, then an Integra Pre/pro, and now the Marantz AVP. Like semoredigital said above DPLII had 3 offerings, none of them were based on the old DPL processing, yet it was backward compatible with the old DPL encoding, so I'm not sure why would any MFR include old redundant techs.

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post #36 of 103 Old 03-20-2019, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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There's probably a whole host of terrible 'field effects' modes too...
Yamaha makes the best DSPs of any receiver manufacturer. They've spent a lot of R&D time on it. I use the stereo to 7.1 DSP in my Yamaha AVR for stereo music almost all the time. And they went out and measured the acoustics of the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic halls to create the hall ambiences. They did the same thing with The Roxy on Sunset and The Bottom Line in New York. There's very little documentation on what the various DSPs do, but I can always find something in there by bouncing through them.

My Yamaha has four Dolby DSPs... Pro Logic, Pro Logic IIx Cinema, PLIIx Game and PLIIx Music. I think there are three DTS modes too.
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post #37 of 103 Old 03-20-2019, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sworth View Post
Yamaha makes the best DSPs of any receiver manufacturer. They've spent a lot of R&D time on it. I use the stereo to 7.1 DSP in my Yamaha AVR for stereo music almost all the time. And they went out and measured the acoustics of the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic halls to create the hall ambiences. They did the same thing with The Roxy on Sunset and The Bottom Line in New York. There's very little documentation on what the various DSPs do, but I can always find something in there by bouncing through them.

My Yamaha has four Dolby DSPs... Pro Logic, Pro Logic IIx Cinema, PLIIx Game and PLIIx Music. I think there are three DTS modes too.
This must be how I was convinced that my stereo SACD of T. Rex's Electric Warrior was actually multichannel as I put my ears to the different speakers and was certain that it was discrete. Of course it was the stereo SACD and the Yamaha dsp "wizardry" was fooling my ears. That said, I'm with bill mac in that I only want true multichannel even though this does make me curious.

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post #38 of 103 Old 03-21-2019, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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There's too much good music that isn't in multichannel (or even stereo) to limit myself to one format. I'm in it for music, not formats. I have records that are over 100 years old that aren't hifi or even stereo- they're recorded acoustically with a horn and diaphragm, and I treasure them just as much as modern digital multichannel recordings. But that said, I'd like to make each recording sound as good as it possibly can.

There are purposes for all of those DSPs. For instance, I have a complete box set of Toscanini recordings made in studio 8H at NBC. That studio was a little too small to fit a whole symphony orchestra in, and because of that, the recordings have a very dry sound. It comes off as really harsh and boxy with no depth. Add to that the midrange-centric late 40s / early 50s mono sound, and it can be difficult to listen to, even though the music making is spectacular.

When I first got my multichannel system I went to play a recording from that box and on a whim, decided to bounce through some DSPs. It's mono, so the stereo to 7.1 DSP didn't do much for it... but then I hit on the Berlin and Vienna simulations. These DSPs were designed to simulate the acoustics of the Berlin Philharmonie and the Vienna Musikverein. Yamaha's engineers measured the acoustics of those famous halls and created simulations based on their research. Playing the dry, boxy Toscanini recordings through the concert hall simulations totally changed them to a full, rich sounding modern sound that was almost stereo. I wouldn't play something already recorded in a concert hall through them, that would just jumble up acoustics, but for close miked studio recordings, they're fantastic.

I wish there was more documentation about what each of the DSPs in my AVR do. If I knew that, I'd be able to apply them better. I have to just bounce through them randomly to see what works. It would be nice to know how they work.

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post #39 of 103 Old 03-21-2019, 09:18 AM
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This must be how I was convinced that my stereo SACD of T. Rex's Electric Warrior was actually multichannel as I put my ears to the different speakers and was certain that it was discrete. Of course it was the stereo SACD and the Yamaha dsp "wizardry" was fooling my ears. That said, I'm with bill mac in that I only want true multichannel even though this does make me curious.
Stereo SACD? Fwiw, I have the DVD-A version and almost cried the first time I heard the clarity of this disk--It's not as trippy in the surround process as Talking Heads but those bass notes opening on Bang-A-Gong coupled with Bolan's voice made the song "new' to me again--I highly recommend this disk!
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post #40 of 103 Old 03-21-2019, 09:42 AM
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When I first got my multichannel system I went to play a recording from that box and on a whim, decided to bounce through some DSPs. It's mono, so the stereo to 7.1 DSP didn't do much for it... but then I hit on the Berlin and Vienna simulations. These DSPs were designed to simulate the acoustics of the Berlin Philharmonie and the Vienna Musikverein. Yamaha's engineers measured the acoustics of those famous halls and created simulations based on their research. Playing the dry, boxy Toscanini recordings through the concert hall simulations totally changed them to a full, rich sounding modern sound that was almost stereo. I wouldn't play something already recorded in a concert hall through them, that would just jumble up acoustics, but for close miked studio recordings, they're fantastic.

I wish there was more documentation about what each of the DSPs in my AVR do. If I knew that, I'd be able to apply them better. I have to just bounce through them randomly to see what works. It would be nice to know how they work.
That's great. DSP that works well and as intended, and a user who uses it for exactly that. The only non-multichannel albums I have are standard CDs of classical and opera so maybe I'll try the DSP modes when I listen to those (and maybe it'll motivate me to listen to them as I have barely touched them in the past decade).

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Stereo SACD? Fwiw, I have the DVD-A version and almost cried the first time I heard the clarity of this disk--It's not as trippy in the surround process as Talking Heads but those bass notes opening on Bang-A-Gong coupled with Bolan's voice made the song "new' to me again--I highly recommend this disk!
Oh that's awesome! I have the stereo, Japan release of EW but ordered the multichannel version from discogs and is still in transit. I really love that album so I can't wait to check it out when I finally receive it. A good mix will be icing. Interestingly, I found the TH's 5.1 albums (I have all of them although admittedly I've only listened to half of them) to have fairly standard, good MC mixes. I think they sound great with good instrument separation but not quite "trippy" like you said (do you mean gimmicky, like Flaming Lip's Yoshimi album with all the panning drums and all?).

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post #41 of 103 Old 03-21-2019, 01:19 PM
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I wish there was more documentation about what each of the DSPs in my AVR do. If I knew that, I'd be able to apply them better. I have to just bounce through them randomly to see what works. It would be nice to know how they work.
I'd really be interested to know what equipment was used to generate all these 'Dolby Surround' discs.

And now I really wish I had kept my old 1990's Dolby Surround hardware decoder unit which I used with my laser disc player. But from what I'm able to determine it probably utilised an SSM-2125 decoder chip-set...

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post #42 of 103 Old 03-21-2019, 02:47 PM
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I'd really be interested to know what equipment was used to generate all these 'Dolby Surround' discs.
By the mid 1990s, there were hardware solutions (SEU4 Dolby Surround encoder) as well as software solutions (Dolby Surround plug-ins for ProTools, AudioVision, etc) that could have been used to generate those discs.

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post #43 of 103 Old 03-21-2019, 03:09 PM
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Thanks for the info sdurani,

I'm familiar with (Avid) Pro Tools as I used to use it many years ago. But as my current interest is exploring the possibilities of creating discrete channels from these 'Dolby Surround' discs I can't justify its huge expense.

And given that Dolby's early Dolby Digital patents have expired and freeware encoders and decoders have been available for some time, it pretty sad that the same can't be said for Dolby's old analogue surround format.

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post #44 of 103 Old 03-22-2019, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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From what I've been told by people who mixed for the old Dolby Stereo process, the trick was to get it from slipping out of the placement. You would mix something to the rear and the frequency content would change and it would pop up front again. There was a lot of adjustment to the mix to keep it working properly. It wasn't as simple as just mixing for four channels and then outputting it through an encoder.
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post #45 of 103 Old 03-22-2019, 02:01 PM
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Playing back Dolby Matrix Encoded CDs, TV Programs & some Movies I usually prefer "DTS Neo:6" Synthetic Surround Processing on my Pioneer AVR....more "Live" than Dolby PLII Decoder (Movie or Music):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTS_(s...tem)#DTS_Neo:6

FYI: Another in-depth description on how Dolby Pro-Logic worked with just ONE "Rear Surround" Speaker or preferably LS-RS Speakers connected out-of-phase (Parallel or Serial) to the "Rear Surround" Amp Output. PL-II allowed for separate LS and RS Speaker Outputs plus other improvements:
https://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_8...c2-3-2001.html

Encoding Matrix is somewhat DIFFERENT for SQ (very popular on old Vinly), QS (also mostly old Vinyl), Original Dolby Surround (incl PL) and Dolby PLII:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrix_decoder
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadraphonic_sound
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Pro_Logic

Note that PLIIx Encoding Process is proprietary. Also note that the term "Dolby Surround (2014)" is NOW being REUSED/REBOOTED/ABUSED to mean that it also generates Synthetic HEIGHT Signals to emulate ATMOS Sound Tracks.

Circle Surround [and TruSurround] Encoding Processes are also proprietary....see my earlier post for summary:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/112-s...l#post56931236

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post #46 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 05:23 AM
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... Also note that the term "Dolby Surround (2014)" is NOW being REUSED/REBOOTED/ABUSED to mean that it also generates Synthetic HEIGHT Signals to emulate ATMOS Sound Tracks.
Yeah, that confuses a lot of people. And do note that there two sub-modes to this Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU): Movie and Music. Each will handle the signal fairly differently, with music being my favorite for actual music. IIRC there are also parameters within each mode that affect soundstage width and aggressiveness of center-channel steering.
DSU is so effective, I use it 99% of the time on 2Ch music, and 100% of the time on TV/Movie content.

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post #47 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 09:17 AM
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And do note that there two sub-modes to this Dolby Surround Upmixer (DSU): Movie and Music. Each will handle the signal fairly differently, with music being my favorite for actual music.
Which products have both sub-modes of DSU?

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post #48 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I take back what I said about Dolby matrixed CDs... Last night I listened to Tomita in Surround, which was a CD in Dolby Pro Logic. The sound was great... far beyond a regular 2 channel CD. It had depth and separation, and with DPLIIx Music, it even had separate rear channels. Apparently Tomita himself had a big part in these mixes and it shows. Immediately after listening to the CD, I put on the new Japanese Tomita Space Fantasy multichannel SACD to compare. The primary difference between the true multichannel and the matrixed was with sound elements that swoop from one speaker to another. The Pro Logic mix tends to pop from one speaker to another, the SACD pots the sound around ping pong style. It really doesn't matter because both have equal depth and feeling of atmosphere. The Space Fantasy SACD comes with a short length of tracks that Tomita didn't get time to remix for 5.1 before his death. Even though there's no logo on the cover, they are in perfect Dolby Pro Logic IIx music.



Space Fantasy is a Japanese import and runs about $35. The Tomita in Surround disc cost me $5 plus shipping at discogs. I'd recommend folks who are interested in experimenting with this pick up a used copy there. There are other Tomita CDs that are encoded, but you have to be careful, because there are re-releases of the same albums that look basically the same, but have been remastered without the Dolby matrixing. I also highly recommend the Japanese Tomita SACDs... Clair de Lune Ultimate Edition, Pictures at an Exhibition Ultimate Edition, Planets Ultimate Edition. I'm figuring out which of the CDs of the remaining material have Dolby matrixing right now and I'll do a post covering how to put together a reasonably complete Tomita collection without getting stuck with CDs that aren't surround.

I'm guessing that the ones with the silver covers are the ones that have Dolby Pro Logic for sure...

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post #49 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Which products have both sub-modes of DSU?
I have a Marantz AV8802A, so the usual D&M 'modes' buttons to recall related settings for the respective source type.

In the past, I had toggled between movie/music modes and believed they had different behaviors when set to DSU. But before replying now to this thread, I spent more than an hour carefully going back and forth between the two using 2ch music sources and I can't hear any clear difference between the two.

Coincidentally, this topic is picked up just now on the DSU thread: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...l#post57790280

So we can continue any discussion of this over there.

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post #50 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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In the past, I had toggled between movie/music modes and believed they had different behaviors when set to DSU. But before replying now to this thread, I spent more than an hour carefully going back and forth between the two using 2ch music sources and I can't hear any clear difference between the two.
The Dolby DSPs all sound pretty much the same as up mixers for regular stereo sources, but you can really tell the difference between them if you are playing a true Dolby encoded program source. Movies separates (and perhaps boosts) the middle channel to make dialogue in Dolby stereo movies clearer. Music tends to mix the center channel vocals across the front sound stage, rather than channelling them just to the center. Basically, Movies treats the center channel as discrete, and Music treats it as a bridge across the normal phantom center in a stereo mix.

Aside from the Movies and Music options, the difference between regular Pro Logic and Pro Logic II seems to be that PLII is capable of separate left and right in the rears. With regular PL the rear is all one mono channel and the center is completely separate from the mains. The designation x after PLII indicates that it is capable of upmixing a 5 channel Pro Logic II signal to 7 channels. I imagine there is a letter designation for creating height in an Atmos upmix too (z?), but my amp doesn't do that.

However, a lot of the differences aren't audible unless you have a source playing that is encoded in Dolby.

I haven't quite figured out the difference between Dolby and DTS modes yet. Movie and Music are basically the same difference as in Dolby, but DTS appears to do more processing than Dolby, spreading more of the stereo mains to the rear along with some sort of phase shift to make them feel like space. Not quite sure yet, because I don't have any matrixed DTS music to play around with. If anyone can recommend a matrixed DTS CD to me, please do.

I generally don't use the Dolby or DTS as up mixers for regular stereo content. The Stereo to 7.1 DSP in my Yamaha AVR does a MUCH better job of that and it has adjustments so you can balance the degree of umpiring you want. I think the DSPs are reason enough to get a Yamaha AVR over other brands. Yamaha is the best for that.

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post #51 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 01:05 PM
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Looks like the DSU thread confirms that there are no Movie and Music sub-modes of DSU, just one switchable parameter: center spread (which cancels extracted centre content from the L/R channels).
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post #52 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sworth View Post
You can tell the difference if you are playing a true Dolby encoded program source. Movies separates (and perhaps boosts) the middle channel to make dialogue in Dolby stereo movies clearer. Music tends to mix the center channel vocals across the front sound stage, rather than channelling them just to the center. Basically, Movies treats the center channel as discrete, and Music treats it as a bridge across the normal phantom center in a stereo mix.
...
However, a lot of the differences aren't audible unless you have a source playing that is encoded in Dolby.
...
Ah, makes sense that it might be material dependent, so 2ch mixes that have a similar phase matrixes as a DPL encoding will have more DSU variation between modes than one that has less phase cross-mixing. I was using a fairly 'clean' modern recording for my tests before the post.

Since you just posted the Tomita info, I recalled one of my Tomita DPL CD rips (Snowflakes are Dancing) and sure enough, there is a difference now. It's subtle, but there. In movie mode, some of the rear channel activity is brighter than in music mode, and the center a bit more anchored as well.

I also went on and played a modern recording that is highly 'produced' (Sleepthief) and it responds similarly, as even in 2ch mode it has a very broad 'soundstage', so lots of phase cross-mixing in that mix. In movie mode, the vocals are more anchored to the center speaker, in music mode, it's a bit more diffused.
There is a distinct change in frequency balance switching between the modes on this recording, whether the mode has different EQ characteristics, or it's just that the routing of phased sounds is different in different frequency bands.

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post #53 of 103 Old 03-24-2019, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sworth View Post
I haven't quite figured out the difference between Dolby and DTS modes yet. Movie and Music are basically the same difference as in Dolby, but DTS appears to do more processing than Dolby, spreading more of the stereo mains to the rear along with some sort of phase shift to make them feel like space. Not quite sure yet, because I don't have any matrixed DTS music to play around with. If anyone can recommend a matrixed DTS CD to me, please do.
All the DTS CD's I have offer discrete mixes.

The only ones I know of that offer any form of matrixed audio are the ones that offer an occasional 6.1Ch DTS-ES mixed track. The matrixed rear 'ES' channel is pulled out of the left and right side channels...

The first track on Don Henley's, The End Of The Innocence springs to mind...

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I suspect that if the vocals are recorded in mono, right in the middle of the two stereo channels, it will be subtracted from the mains and thrown to the center.

I just did some googling on "DTS Music CDs".... Here is a list of them. http://www.surrounddiscography.com/dts/dtsdisc.htm

However I suspect that some (if not all) of these were re-released as discrete DTS DVDs, because I have some of these that appear to be true 5.1 DVDs, not matrixed stereo CDs. I ran into two titles that sounded like a mess when I played them back. I tossed them in the bottom of a stack and haven't listened to them since. I'll have to dig them out and see if they might be actually CDs that require the DTS decoder. I may have just been playing them wrong- on straight assuming the player would pick up the 5.1, rather than selecting DTS music.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sworth View Post
However I suspect that some (if not all) of these were re-released as discrete DTS DVDs, because I have some of these that appear to be true 5.1 DVDs, not matrixed stereo CDs. I ran into two titles that sounded like a mess when I played them back..
DTS-CD's can contain a variety of discrete channel mixes however most of the ones I have are 5.1 channel. The only reason they appear as 2 channels is because the multi-channel dts audio stream is encapsulated within a PCM audio track to comply with the red book audio CD standard.

It's quite easy to extract the discrete multi-channel 44.1kHz dts stream out of the PCM container. And re-encode it to say, a multi-channel Flac file - Which is what I've done with mine

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So a DTS-CD won't play in a regular CD player? Do blu-ray players automatically decode them using DTS without having to select that decoder yourself? I think the discs I have are DTS-DVD. There are DTS DVDs too, right?
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post #57 of 103 Old 03-25-2019, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
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So a DTS-CD won't play in a regular CD player?
It depends how old the CD player is, along with its feature-set. With regard to (pre-SPDIF) 'audio only' CD players, the disc's might spin but all you'll hear from the 2-channel analogue outputs is a constant hiss.

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Do blu-ray players automatically decode them using DTS without having to select that decoder yourself?
They should do. And pass the dts bit-stream via HDMI and/or SPDIF. And some players are able to transcode the multi-channel dts bit-stream internally to a multi-channel PCM stream.

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I think the discs I have are DTS-DVD. There are DTS DVDs too, right?
Such DVD's offer a regular discrete multi-channel 48.0kHz encoded bit-stream stream. Which can be extracted using basic DVD back-up tools.
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post #58 of 103 Old 03-25-2019, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMoreDigital View Post
It depends how old the CD player is, along with its feature-set. With regard to (pre-SPDIF) 'audio only' CD players, the disc's might spin but all you'll hear from the 2-channel analogue outputs is a constant hiss.

They should do. And pass the dts bit-stream via HDMI and/or SPDIF. And some players are able to transcode the multi-channel dts bit-stream internally to a multi-channel PCM stream.

Such DVD's offer a regular discrete multi-channel 48.0kHz encoded bit-stream stream. Which can be extracted using basic DVD back-up tools.
SMD,

Your thoughts on DTS-CDs is correct. I was just looking at my ABB Fillmore East DTS-CD. It states on the back cover "This disc requires the use of a DTS Digital surround decoder. Other decoders may create excessive noise or equipment damage!"

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post #59 of 103 Old 03-25-2019, 08:18 AM
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ALL DTS music discs are discrete multi-channel. They don't conform to the Compact Disc redbook (don't have the CDDA logo), so I don't refer to them as CDs. YMMV. The main difference between DTS music discs and DTS DVDs is the sampling rate: music discs were 44.1 kHz (which allowed them to use CD players as transports) and DVDs were 48 kHz.

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post #60 of 103 Old 03-25-2019, 10:52 AM
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And just to confuse matters even more...

It is also possible to encapsulate a multi-channel 44.1kHz Dolby Digital (AC-3) audio stream within a PCM audio track for playback on an audio CD

An AC3CD if you will...

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