Dolby Surround Upmixing thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-04-2019, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Dolby Surround Upmixing thread

I know, I know, ideally all great music is remastered and released in high-rez multichannel, Atmos format preferably. But the reality is that much of the great music already out there or being remastered only gets released in 2ch versions, even when the delivery format is via high-res on BluRay audio discs.

So I wanted to start a discussion on experiences around permutations of settings and use of the Dolby Surround Upmixing feature found in many modern receivers and preamps. Note, this is simply branded ‘Dolby Surround’ on most units and is vastly different than the old ‘Dolby Surround’ process used to matrix encode surround onto 2ch carriers. So, to minimize confusion, most of us refer to the modern process as DSU.

DSU can upmix from 2ch to as many channels as your processor supports, including the use of Atmos tops / elevation speakers. And depending on the source and your speaker/room setup, the effects vary a good bit. With the better ones giving outstanding results akin to a full-on multichannel re-mix.

Of interest to this sub-forum, one of the cool things about DSU is that it will remix 5.1 up to 7.1.4 (or whatever Atmos config you have) for that added element of immersion. Or for those old 3-ch classical music recordings that were released on SACD, upmix them (to 5.4.4 in my case) for a really nice experience.

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post #2 of 10 Old 11-04-2019, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Movie vs Music DSU

One thing that likely slips most people's attention is that there is a choice to be made regarding the mode that DSU will use to process the original tracks, as one needs to pick whether to apply DSU as ‘Movie’ or ‘Music’.

My experience so far shows that for 2ch sources, selecting ‘Music’ DSU is the way to go, as it creates a nice front soundstage and re-directs a lot of sound to the center, and depending on source mix phasing, the surround effects can be pretty amazing.

When playing back 5.1 music discs, like Steven Wilsons masterpieces, such as ‘To the Bone’, I find that using DSU ‘Movie’ mode is best, as it does not try to re-mix the already fantastic job Steven does in placing sounds and vocals in the various channels, and what it seems to focus on is delivering a more enveloping soundstage, mostly by using the tops in very subtle ways, with very nice results.

And for concert video, like the recently released Steve Hackett band & Orchestra Genesis Revisited Live at the Royal Festival Hall (on BluRay with DTS-HD MA 5.1), DSU ‘Movie’ is also the way to go. Again, subtle use of the tops increases the sense of being at the venue and in the music.

What are your experiences with DSU and various source materials?

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-05-2019, 09:51 AM
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I have a Yamaha AVR, and the Yamaha "Stereo to 7.1" DSP is better than any of the Dolby or DTS up mixers. I use the hall ambience DSPs on very dry mono recordings, like Toscanini albums recorded in Studio 8H. There are a lot of DSPs in Yamaha AVRs, but almost no documentation of what they do, and the menu adjustments aren't named in a way that makes their purpose clear. I wish there was better documentation on that.

With the movie and music choice, I find that the difference is usually how the center channel is handled. Movies pushes dialogue forward in the center channel. I'm not sure if it does that with EQ or phase or both.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-06-2019, 11:38 AM
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I rarely up-mix two-channel content. However, I haven't really tried it with the Dolby Surround (ATMOS) or DTS Neural:X up-mixers. I'll have to do some playing around with this, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

I do use the AMTOS and DTS up-mixers a lot with traditional 5.1 sources with really good results. I tend to use the Dolby Surround up-mixer the most for music, and DTS:X for movies.

There are some hi-rez stuff that doesn't work well with the newer up-mixers. Allison Krause SACD's come to mind. It seems to push too much vocal's into the heights. I wonder if it has something to do with her higher vocal registry?

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post #5 of 10 Old 11-15-2019, 05:50 PM
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-17-2019, 02:27 AM
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Well I went through a few speaker orientations and designations via my Pre/Pro [Marantz AV 7705] from "top" to "height" and back again. For 5.1 I still don't like what it does to the mix, pretty much any title, for 2ch however I use it all the time just like I did with DPLII, and for the most part I like it. I did try the "Movie/ music" options but they sound exactly alike, the "center spread" is a toggle set below a couple of layers of the "audio" setting, but I prefer to leave it "off" full time. Yello the Swiss electronic duo sounds excellent via DSU, Boris Blank clearly know how to mix his stuff, I wonder why he never ventured into MCH. Typically as always recordings that has lots of spatial cues will sound best, others that were produced poorly will sound almost mono, via the center channel.

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post #7 of 10 Old 11-23-2019, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post
... Yello the Swiss electronic duo sounds excellent via DSU, Boris Blank clearly know how to mix his stuff, I wonder why he never ventured into MCH. Typically as always recordings that has lots of spatial cues will sound best, others that were produced poorly will sound almost mono, via the center channel.

Yello Touch is a great demo for DSU, very enveloping.



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post #8 of 10 Old 11-24-2019, 01:55 AM
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Yello Touch is a great demo for DSU, very enveloping.



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Yes indeed, but my favorite is "The Eye" album with "Bougainville" as the lead demo track for me.

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post #9 of 10 Old 12-01-2019, 12:13 AM
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I listen to a lot of Medieval, Baroque, and Renaissance music. Dolby Surround does a great job up mixing 2 channel organ music and Gregorian Chant to 7.1 channels.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-01-2019, 01:05 AM
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I bought the Toscanini RCA box set and the 8H recordings are so dry and harsh that I had trouble sitting through them. I ran them through the concert hall ambiences in my Yamaha AVR and they sound almost like stereo. DSPs can work wonders for mono too.
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