Originally Posted by VicTorious1
I wonder if anyone has actually ABX tested to see how sensitive we actually are? Assuming that all three were behind an AT screen and placed exactly where the otherwise would be placed. I know having the horizontal center in my view may play a role in my feeling that I notice the difference. If I couldn't actually see the horizontal center (or any of the other speakers), I wonder if that would have a not insignificant effect on my experience.
It has been tested. There is official center channel height recommendations within the industry. Managing discrepancy in height between the center and the L and R is important, also managing discrepancy in height of all of them relative to the screen is also important. Ideally, all three are the same height, and very near the center of the screen. Some variation is ok, but there is certainly a place where it becomes a problem too.
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic
Thats not what I said at all. Of course you can tell in your example. What I said is more like this. Stand 10ft away from some kind of a ventriloquist that can project their own voice and still move their lips and have a conversation. This is hypothetical. Suppose you dont know theyre a ventriloquist and they have the conversation with their voice down around their waist or even knees. As your eyes watch their lips and face and body language, you may not easily identify the that the sound is coming from a few feet vertically low. Keep in mind youre 10 ft away. Closing your eyes is exactly the opposite of what I said.
That would not be as EASILY heard as the same change in the horizontal direction. I did NOT say you would not hear it. Im not even sure how you could interpret my post that way?!?
Yes. You are correct, but what you are relying on in your premise is you will be able to trick your brain enough to make the results good. The problem with that is that is very variable and should not be counted upon. It's obviously a lot better choice to actually make the sound come from that location.
On another interesting area:
There is some really interesting things that can happen with psychoacoustics that are a result of how the brain/ear process information.
One audio "cool" item is the precedence effect. Basically the brain assigns a location for sound based on the first arriving sound so sometimes sound that follows it will be understood as coming from the same location. When I took THX audio classes one of the instructors used a track (Kari Bremnes Norwegian Mood Track 2 - Coastal Ships) to showcase this effect how bass which is believed to be omnidirectional can ping pong back and forth left to right because of proper integration and calibration of the subwoofers and main speakers. There is a low bass drum that hits left and right, which you clearly can experience when the system is dialed in. The reason is because the initial the drum strike to the head hits and arrives first, clueing your brain to that as a location to which your brain also assigns location to the bass even though it's routed and XOer to the subwoofers which are not in those locations. Very cool indeed. Worth a try.
Another "cool" is the Mcgurk Effect. That's a combo of sound, and sight. Your brain will hear something differently when it has visual information. Basically it's an interaction between hearing and vision that effects speech perception.
Check this out:
Kind of cool huh ?
However regarding your claims, while you are technically correct your brain can assign a location or perceive sound is coming from a different place, I think I would caution someone from over relying on that. There is in fact official specifications and recommendations regarding center channel placement that are not just arbitrarily thrown out there but rather exist specifically to minimize problems and maximize performance. The best option is to stay within the official guidelines if possible. Usually there is specifications for location and have a +/- XXdegrees attached, I think most audio companies like Dolby, DTS and Auro3D put those out, as well as companies like THX, or the commercial and international broadcast standards. Best option is always to remain within the recommendations, and to side as close as possible to optimum. Nothing wrong with making compromises but I would argue it's best to make a compromise knowing you are doing it, rather than being unaware.
Originally Posted by cdy2179
Come one man.. so if you close your eyes and your talking to someone and they drop to the floor and keep talking.. You can't tell...seriously. DTSX works with our ability to hear object move on the vertical plane and I'm pretty darn sensitive to the vertical plane.
I've had a center , above, below and behind and to pretend I can't tell the vocals aren't locked onto the screen is just crazy. The difference is quite huge.
Is it the end of the world ... no of course not. But it is what it is.
A side point I thought about and worth mentioning.
Yes you are correct we are more sensitive to sound coming from the ground, likely a developed evolutionary trait. Interesting point is: The new DTS-X spec has full blow support for floor speakers in it's schematic and within the designed system. It's all in the whitepapers and technical specs, but I do not believe it's been brought to market or utilized yet. Perhaps it's scrapped idea, perhaps market is not ready yet. Just figured I would mention that since it relates a little. I think the idea was to capitalize on the aspect of human hearing, and allow placement of 3D object in space better. Having floor speakers would allow more options to place objects in space. I am not sure if they felt this might be needed because of the challenging acoustical home environments (low ceilings) or if they scrapped it because it's a waste of time.
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic
So youre disagreeing with the facts of science that I presented Advanced Theatre when he claimed we're sensitive in the vertical direction, or you do agree with that and we agree that a horizontal center is a compromise, much the same way an AT screen is a compromise? Either you are wrong about science or we agree.
I dont believe Ive made any statements in this thread about how serious of a compromise a horizontal center is? Ive only taken issue with the misrepresentation of known facts that advanced theatre made. I only added the part about our eyes feeding the brain additional info to help temper his extreme view point. So the only thing we may disagree about is how much of a compromise a horizontal center is. To that I would not debate someone because I believe this moves into a personal choice / every case is different realm that isnt for me to decide. I will only temper comments like Advanced theatre made as they are extreme and in one instance plane wrong.
We have two ears. Both are horizontally spaced apart. Vertically aligned. The physiology alone tells us we are more sensitive to hearing in the horizontal direction.
A horizontal is not a serious compromise UNLESS it does not match sonically with the L and R speakers. So a well designed horizontal center is fine. You obviously understand this since you went through a lot of work to make the 1099 work both ways and sound the same. I am pretty sure we agree on a Horizontal center being a compromise, and if needed to make that compromise then it's best to make it match as close as possible. This also includes and should match both the sound and speaker behavior, and also match the height and be located as close to possible as the exact center position between the L and R. I also think we agree that near the floor is the worse place for it (at least out of the options that still keep it between the L and R
). So I really don't think we disagree at all. Unless you don't feel my summary here is accurate. I think half the disagreement was some misunderstanding, and perhaps the other half is just opinion on how much compromise it actually is and whether that is indeed acceptable or not. I don't see the point in fighting over the second part since each opinion can be valid regarding the level of compromise and it's acceptability. However I do feel that locating the center between the L and R, in the same height, and having it match the L and R is indeed important and should be view as "best option" whenever possible. When it is not possible I think it would be generally best to minimize all the potential problems that can arise so that an acceptable level of performance and compromise can result. The truth hurts though, sometimes it's important to realize a compromise has been made, rather than use the natural human empathy tendency to say "it's ok". I've many times seen people say stuff like "it's ok" after a funeral, loss of pet, after a loss of a sports game, an injury, a lost bet, and such other events and I always wonder to myself "is it really ok?" or are people just being nice? Sometimes we just say stuff because it's what we say. But luckily to most people these are not very important issues in the grand scheme of life so it's probably "ok" even if it's not really.