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post #4951 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post
Thanks for your thoughts on this. True discrete multichannel surround has always been tricky for me because I would think one would need 5 channels that were matched. Do you find this to be so?
It is of course important that all channels be similar in sound quality - i.e. neutral. That nowadays can be achieved in well designed products at a range of prices, sizes and low-frequency extensions. The LCRs do most of the physical work, so the surrounds can be smaller. The best brands offer products that are sufficiently similar in timbre that mix and match systems work extremely well.

I have found that the closer the timbral match of surrounds to the fronts the more open and spacious the presentations are - the room "disappears". The surrounds don't draw attention to themselves by being flawed or different.
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post #4952 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 02:41 PM
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With the recent discussions about multi-channel music, I thought some might find this of interest:
https://www.whathifi.com/us/advice/d...u-need-to-know

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post #4953 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post
With the recent discussions about multi-channel music, I thought some might find this of interest:
https://www.whathifi.com/us/advice/d...u-need-to-know
I admit that I am biased but this article spends a lot of space on cheap (some of them lame) ways to play new releases of old performances that they want you to buy yet another time. For the time being, there's so little repertoire that I deconstructed my ATMOS system back down to 5.1. It remains to be seen if ATMOS music will go anywhere.
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post #4954 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
I admit that I am biased but this article spends a lot of space on cheap (some of them lame) ways to play new releases of old performances that they want you to buy yet another time. For the time being, there's so little repertoire that I deconstructed my ATMOS system back down to 5.1. It remains to be seen if ATMOS music will go anywhere.
There are relatively few performances where the musicians are moving around the room, perhaps peter pan, miss Saigon, ...
It's wonderful news that these rare performances can now be faithfully reproduced on an Atmos enabled sound bar.

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post #4955 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 05:19 PM
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There are relatively few performances where the musicians are moving around the room, perhaps peter pan, miss Saigon, ...
I was not referring to movies/videos. Just music.
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It's wonderful news that these rare performances can now be faithfully reproduced on an Atmos enable sound bar.
I am sure someone will enjoy it.
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post #4956 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
I admit that I am biased but this article spends a lot of space on cheap (some of them lame) ways to play new releases of old performances that they want you to buy yet another time. For the time being, there's so little repertoire that I deconstructed my ATMOS system back down to 5.1. It remains to be seen if ATMOS music will go anywhere.
Atmos is superior in every way to stereo and 5.1, not even close. It will be successful in music, IMO, but that success will be tied to the success of Atmos for HT. Where SACD and other formats failed due to scarce proprietary players and production tools, Atmos tools for producers and the players for consumers are already significantly more ubiquitus. As well, although the current titles are few, there are already some real gems in there that are clearly superior to any other format I've listened.

Ultimately the market will decide, but the death of stereo and SACD is long overdue and Atmos is the format that can bury it.
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post #4957 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
I admit that I am biased but this article spends a lot of space on cheap (some of them lame) ways to play new releases of old performances that they want you to buy yet another time. For the time being, there's so little repertoire that I deconstructed my ATMOS system back down to 5.1. It remains to be seen if ATMOS music will go anywhere.
Are you most offended by the genres of music discussed, and the audio "tricks" that can be played, or by the whole concept of multi-channel music using Dolby Atmos with sound objects and height channels?

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As well as remixing existing songs, new songs will be produced using Dolby Atmos. These will span "hip-hop, pop and rock through jazz and classical music", according to Dolby.
I doubt a recording engineer/mixer who is recording classical music will have sounds panning around the soundstage, but the added height ambiance could be a beneficial effect, no?

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post #4958 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
Atmos is superior in every way to stereo and 5.1, not even close. It will be successful in music, IMO, but that success will be tied to the success of Atmos for HT. Where SACD and other formats failed due to scarce proprietary players and production tools, Atmos tools for producers and the players for consumers are already significantly more ubiquitus. As well, although the current titles are few, there are already some real gems in there that are clearly superior to any other format I've listened.
I am skeptical of this but it is possible.
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post #4959 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post
Are you most offended by the genres of music discussed, and the audio "tricks" that can be played, or by the whole concept of multi-channel music using Dolby Atmos with sound objects and height channels?
I am not offended by either. In fact, if it succeeds, I would certainly consider reconstructing a suitable system.

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I doubt a recording engineer/mixer who is recording classical music will have sounds panning around the soundstage, but the added height ambiance could be a beneficial effect, no?
Definitely. The DG ATMOS reissue of HvK's Beethoven set from the '70s is outstanding compared, even, to the 5.1.
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post #4960 of 5320 Old 09-18-2019, 10:25 PM
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It remains to be seen if ATMOS music will go anywhere.
Patience! And only the short term patience is required.

I spoke at length with an engineer at CEDIA who is currently remixing lots of music in Atmos, and he had a few dozen excellent examples with him. Currently, 1000's of tracks are planned on getting the Atmos treatment.

A quick Google search came up with this also :

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-t...how-to-get-it/

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post #4961 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
Atmos is superior in every way to stereo and 5.1, not even close. It will be successful in music, IMO, but that success will be tied to the success of Atmos for HT. Where SACD and other formats failed due to scarce proprietary players and production tools, Atmos tools for producers and the players for consumers are already significantly more ubiquitus. As well, although the current titles are few, there are already some real gems in there that are clearly superior to any other format I've listened.

Ultimately the market will decide, but the death of stereo and SACD is long overdue and Atmos is the format that can bury it.
I think you are thinking from a point of person who already has Atmos theater in his house.

Think from a point of view of person that don't:

much more expensive than 2 or 3 channels.
You can't play without special decoder.
Format is closed and most likely is a DRM hell.
Place required is quite larger and requires a lot more wiring around.


It certainly will be successful in its small niche, but successful as in "wide-spread format that everyone uses instead of trusty FLAC files", very doubtful.
Stereo has lots of flaws, but it has also a great strength - it is relatively cheap, very easily placed format.
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post #4962 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 03:34 AM
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Patience! And only the short term patience is required.

I spoke at length with an engineer at CEDIA who is currently remixing lots of music in Atmos, and he had a few dozen excellent examples with him. Currently, 1000's of tracks are planned on getting the Atmos treatment.

A quick Google search came up with this also :

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-t...how-to-get-it/
To me, it sounds like Dolby Atmos has tremendous potential. I just hope the sound mixers don't use it the way so many did with multi-channel DVD-A and SACD. Many re-mixes of older content were done with way too much directional content mixed into the surrounds. I don't want the backup vocals to come from 90 degrees left and right; likewise with musical instruments. I've never experienced the "in-the-band" perspective since I'm not a musician. I've always been "in-the-audience" and I prefer my music from that perspective.

I have two different versions of Pink Floyd's DSoTM in multi-channel surround. The re-mixes utilized the surrounds to place a lot of the "effects" (crazy voices, footsteps, etc.) behind the listener and to pan sounds around the listener. Us and Them circling the room is a whole different experience to listening to that song. It's all very interesting and artistic... for that particular piece of art. But for much of the rest of my catalogue of MC music, having instruments and voices coming from the sides and behind is distracting, annoying and inappropriate.

Having said that, I have a number of discs that are unbelievable remixes of older content. Dire Straits BIA on SACD is an absolute revelation about how good that music can sound. I have several Steely Dan and Donald Fagan DVD-A's. They do have some directional content in the surrounds, but the overall SQ on those re-mixes is SO MUCH BETTER than their 2-channel counterparts that I can't even listen to the 2-channel mixes anymore.

DVD-A and SACD have fallen out of favor, and not much has been released on those formats in recent years. I really hope that Atmos Music becomes mainstream and a lot more content is released in the format because the concept of multi-channel surround sound music has tremendous potential!

Craig

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post #4963 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 03:59 AM
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Having said that, I have a number of discs that are unbelievable remixes of older content. Dire Straits BIA on SACD is an absolute revelation about how good that music can sound. I have several Steely Dan and Donald Fagan DVD-A's. They do have some directional content in the surrounds, but the overall SQ on those re-mixes is SO MUCH BETTER than their 2-channel counterparts that I can't even listen to the 2-channel mixes anymore.Craig


4 days ago I put my collection of 65 DVD-audio/SACD discs for sale on craigslist for the simple fact that I just don't listen to them much at all anymore. 2-channel via roon is the bulk of my listening now...with vinyl a close second.

you are absolutely right tho...these discs sound phenomenal!! Maybe I'd better rethink my decision before it's too late.

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post #4964 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 07:01 AM
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It certainly will be successful in its small niche, but successful as in "wide-spread format that everyone uses instead of trusty FLAC files", very doubtful.
Stereo has lots of flaws, but it has also a great strength - it is relatively cheap, very easily placed format.
Agreed. Music delivery systems have moved away from physical media.

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post #4965 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 08:34 AM
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Agreed. Music delivery systems have moved away from physical media.

That was one reason some engineers at an AES convention many years ago gave for the death of surround audio formats (SACD/DVD-A). There was not sufficient bandwidth to stream multichannel at that time and demand was not high. Add that to the complexities of moving the entire recording, mixing and mastering industry forward to embrace the technology and you can see why it didn't fly. Now that home theater is driving it, I think it has a good chance of succeeding. There is a lot of money being put into producing commercial Atmos content and it's trickling down to the consumer level. Look at the new products from CEDIA, lots of multichannel preamp/processors and amps. You see a lot of posts here on forums from folks who are looking for ways to do it on a reasonable budget. They want the experience and don't want, or can't afford to do it with top tier products. There are lots of affordable in-wall and in-ceiling speaker options and most new AVR's are Atmos enabled. Prices of big screen TV's and projector based systems are less than they were many years ago and quality is much better.
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post #4966 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 09:24 AM
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Agreed. Music delivery systems have moved away from physical media.
OT, I suppose, but have you ever created a list of multi channel discs you thought were excellent?

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post #4967 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 09:50 AM
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That was one reason some engineers at an AES convention many years ago gave for the death of surround audio formats (SACD/DVD-A). There was not sufficient bandwidth to stream multichannel at that time and demand was not high. Add that to the complexities of moving the entire recording, mixing and mastering industry forward to embrace the technology and you can see why it didn't fly. Now that home theater is driving it, I think it has a good chance of succeeding. There is a lot of money being put into producing commercial Atmos content and it's trickling down to the consumer level. Look at the new products from CEDIA, lots of multichannel preamp/processors and amps. You see a lot of posts here on forums from folks who are looking for ways to do it on a reasonable budget. They want the experience and don't want, or can't afford to do it with top tier products. There are lots of affordable in-wall and in-ceiling speaker options and most new AVR's are Atmos enabled. Prices of big screen TV's and projector based systems are less than they were many years ago and quality is much better.
I hope you are right but the same prediction was said at the turn of the century about how the HT craze would create a market for multichannel audio and we know how that turned out.

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post #4968 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 09:58 AM
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OT, I suppose, but have you ever created a list of multi channel discs you thought were excellent?
I did so more than 10 years ago and i might do it again. Unfortunately, my musical knowledge and interests are not as global as that task really requires. I actively monitor/buy/download classical multichannel discs and files but my non-classical buying is less than casual. As a result, my classical multichannel collection outnumbers my non-classical collection by about 7 to 1 (33889 to 5396 tracks) and most of the non-classical are older.
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post #4969 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 10:18 AM
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I think you are thinking from a point of person who already has Atmos theater in his house.

Think from a point of view of person that don't:

much more expensive than 2 or 3 channels.
You can't play without special decoder.
Format is closed and most likely is a DRM hell.
Place required is quite larger and requires a lot more wiring around.

It certainly will be successful in its small niche, but successful as in "wide-spread format that everyone uses instead of trusty FLAC files", very doubtful.
Stereo has lots of flaws, but it has also a great strength - it is relatively cheap, very easily placed format.
Not really. Atmos is a method of encoding sound. You don't have to buy extra speakers or have extra space to listen to Atmos stuff. The whole point is that it can be downmixed appropriately into whatever speakers you do have. In fact, the version of iOS that was released this morning supports Atmos--now you can listen to Atmos files out of an iPhone's bottom speaker, or via [2-channel] headphones connected to an iPhone. In other words, you don't need 9 speakers to "have Atmos." In fact, being point-based, Atmos sound isn't encoded for any particular number of speakers.

That all being said, Dr. Toole made the point that Atmos kinda sucks earlier in the thread because blending point-based sounds between speakers kinda sucks.
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post #4970 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rex Anderson View Post
That was one reason some engineers at an AES convention many years ago gave for the death of surround audio formats (SACD/DVD-A). There was not sufficient bandwidth to stream multichannel at that time and demand was not high. Add that to the complexities of moving the entire recording, mixing and mastering industry forward to embrace the technology and you can see why it didn't fly. Now that home theater is driving it, I think it has a good chance of succeeding. There is a lot of money being put into producing commercial Atmos content and it's trickling down to the consumer level. Look at the new products from CEDIA, lots of multichannel preamp/processors and amps. You see a lot of posts here on forums from folks who are looking for ways to do it on a reasonable budget. They want the experience and don't want, or can't afford to do it with top tier products. There are lots of affordable in-wall and in-ceiling speaker options and most new AVR's are Atmos enabled. Prices of big screen TV's and projector based systems are less than they were many years ago and quality is much better.
Look at the recent RMAF …. zero
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post #4971 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 10:36 AM
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That all being said, Dr. Toole made the point that Atmos kinda sucks earlier in the thread because blending point-based sounds between speakers kinda sucks.
Well, pretty much everything but mono sucks by that logic. I definitely don't agree, but that's just me.
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post #4972 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 10:41 AM
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I did so more than 10 years ago and i might do it again. Unfortunately, my musical knowledge and interests are not as global as that task really requires. I actively monitor/buy/download classical multichannel discs and files but my non-classical buying is less than casual. As a result, my classical multichannel collection outnumbers my non-classical collection by about 7 to 1 (33889 to 5396 tracks) and most of the non-classical are older.
I'm probably 1 to 1, everything else versus classical with regards to LPs. However, on Tidal its probably more 3 (European jazz) to 1 (classical). No pop or EDM, but even some electronica and some hop hip. Who woulda thunk that ESLs with hop hip. Sorta fun actually, but I bet my 75 - 90 yr old neighbors mind.
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post #4973 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 11:06 AM
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Although this would not be an example of the type of processing or surround sound you are using: One of my favorite AVR processing modes I used whe listening to music on my home theater system was (I think) a "5 channel stereo" signal. But I only had my L/C/R speakers set up at the time so with that setting it defaulted to producing a stereo image including the center channel. It was amazingly pleasing: the whole from stage had a big, rich, thick quality with the addition of the center channel in that mix.
I wonder what that '5 channel stereo' really was. In my experience, anything other than actual upmixing to 5 channels (e.g. Dolby ProLogic IIx) sounded strange indeed. Some 'all channel' modes simply put a mono downmix into each channel


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That said, even though I have a nice surround set up, I have never, ever heard a system employing a center channel that sounds as effortlessly dimensional, coherent, and images like a decent two channel set up. (I include professional film mixing theaters in there BTW).
I'm always aware of the center channel in sound set ups.

I suspect that looking at a center channel loudspeaker instead of a 'space' can have an offputting psychological effect. As can using an unmatched center loudspeaker (my 5 channels are all the same loudspeaker)


When the source itself isn't multichannel, I upmix it to 5.1 . I'll never go back to 2 channel.
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post #4974 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 11:13 AM
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Granted and, in practice, I play stereo sources as stereo with great enjoyment. No upmixing or downmixing.
Ideally, they should be equidistant from the listener and that often means that the center is a bit back from the more widely-spaced L/R speakers.
The DSP delay ('distance') setting common in modern AVRs makes that unnecessary, though.
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post #4975 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post
So we're talking discrete three channel. Any thoughts on using Dolby Pro Logic II Music, Dolby surround, or NAD EARS to extract the center channel? Particularly for classical music?
I feel (not blind tested though) that DSU (which has no genre-specific modes AFAICT, and only two center width choices) is step down from DPLII Music mode (which was specifically configured for music rather than movies or gaming, and had three continuously user-configurable settings, Dimension, Panorama, and Center Width). It's unfortunate, as DPLII has disappeared from newer AVRs...though Dolby claims DSU is an improvement.....I think Auro is in my future.
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post #4976 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

DVD-A and SACD have fallen out of favor, and not much has been released on those formats in recent years. I really hope that Atmos Music becomes mainstream and a lot more content is released in the format because the concept of multi-channel surround sound music has tremendous potential!

Craig

There's actually been a fair number of surround mixes released in the past few years. They needn't be DVDA or SACD -- most of the 1970s Jethro Tull catalog came out as good old DVD-V (DTS or Dolby Digital), for example. BluRay 'music only' discs have also appeared. Surround mixes are also being offered as LPCM or DTS-MA, requiring no special DVDA or SACD player for lossless playback (most AVRs now have DTS-MA decoders). There have even been rereleases of old quad recordings, classical and not. You can keep up with new and old surround releases by visiting the quadraphonicquad.com site (which is not limited to 4.0!)

Last edited by krabapple; 09-19-2019 at 11:39 AM.
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post #4977 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by motrek View Post
Not really. Atmos is a method of encoding sound. You don't have to buy extra speakers or have extra space to listen to Atmos stuff. The whole point is that it can be downmixed appropriately into whatever speakers you do have. In fact, the version of iOS that was released this morning supports Atmos--now you can listen to Atmos files out of an iPhone's bottom speaker, or via [2-channel] headphones connected to an iPhone. In other words, you don't need 9 speakers to "have Atmos." In fact, being point-based, Atmos sound isn't encoded for any particular number of speakers.

That all being said, Dr. Toole made the point that Atmos kinda sucks earlier in the thread because blending point-based sounds between speakers kinda sucks.
I always thought atmos is never down- or up- mixing, but is creating mix inside its processor using separate "sound objects" in its memory, where they should be located in the coordinates and knowing your speakers location.
I don't mind, but you still need some device to decode it, which sucks. Are there atmos plugins for PCs that can do decoding?
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post #4978 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post
I wonder what that '5 channel stereo' really was.

It's listed as "neural 5CH/7CH Stereo" in my AVR. It was really quite pleasing, and in fact it was the upmixing mode that made my center channel seem most integrated in to the sound of my L/Rs!




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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

I suspect that looking at a center channel loudspeaker instead of a 'space' can have an offputting psychological effect. As can using an unmatched center loudspeaker (my 5 channels are all the same loudspeaker)

I think the physical presence of the center channel can have that psychological effect. But it doesn't seem to be near the whole story in my experience.
For instance, my L/C/R channels are covered with deep back velvet, against a black velvet backdrop (I like speakers to be invisible especially for watching movies). I often listen to music with the lights out, or low, such that I can't see the speakers. It's still the case that when I switch between stereo mode on the home theater speakers and one using the center channel, the plain stereo mode sounds definitely more convincingly coherent (which is why I actually switch to 2 channel mode sometimes - not to mention the center image is so amazingly solid in stereo it seems little different from the center channel being on in terms of "solidity/presence," when I switch between these modes). And the difference in coherence moving to my 2 channel music system is even greater. As I said, this is a persistent experience when I hear any surround set up vs 2 channel, not just my own.


When I bought a plasma in 2001 - I was the neighborhood's George Jetson for a little while! - I set up a surround system. But I chose some small Spendor S3/5 bookshelf monitors as my L/R speakers. Well, those things imaged and soundstaged so well that I ended up not using a center channel.
I have never heard any added-on sound system produce such convincing integration with the image - the phantom sound just maps right on to the image and seems to come right out of the screen! (It also works from a surprisingly wide angle).




(BTW, I do sound design for Film and TV, and I'm even aware of the center channel in very expensive mixing theaters).




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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post
When the source itself isn't multichannel, I upmix it to 5.1 . I'll never go back to 2 channel.

Yuck.


I have spent time listening to 2 channel sources upmixed to surround (I particularly like some of my electronica radio stations like that). But it's never as satisfying, "organic," and "believable" and coherent as my two channel system.



Horses for courses...
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Last edited by R Harkness; 09-19-2019 at 11:49 AM.
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post #4979 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by lefthandluke View Post
4 days ago I put my collection of 65 DVD-audio/SACD discs for sale on craigslist for the simple fact that I just don't listen to them much at all anymore. 2-channel via roon is the bulk of my listening now...with vinyl a close second.

you are absolutely right tho...these discs sound phenomenal!! Maybe I'd better rethink my decision before it's too late.
PM me the listing!

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post #4980 of 5320 Old 09-19-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post
The DSP delay ('distance') setting common in modern AVRs makes that unnecessary, though.
Agreed but not everyone uses a "modern AVR...." In addition, playback of unconverted DSD (which I do occasionally) precludes any DSP. So, having the center about a foot farther out than the flanking L/R is easy and, in my case, aesthetically, pleasing.

Kal Rubinson

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http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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