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post #53281 of 54816 Old 01-25-2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
FYI - the HAA (home acoustics alliance) has the balance between focus and envelopment as one of the core principles of its acoustic design theory.

Article on topic: https://homeacoustics.org/acoustical...d-envelopment/

Their basic approach to optimizing both has to do with (1) proper speaker + seating layout and (2) proper room acoustical design.

Their specific acoustic plan involves avoiding the old school idea of absorbing all first reflections and instead using special "combo panels" for certain "good" reflections like the first same-side (ipsilateral) reflections, which still provide low frequency absorption but transition to a mix of diffusion and reflection at higher frequencies to maintain spaciousness and envelopment from natural room ambiance. This is rooted in the more contemporary thinking (based on research from Toole et al) that certain early reflections are actually GOOD and can enhance envelopment without negatively impacting focus. So you kill the "bad" reflections (like rear wall, contralateral side wall) but don't overdeaden the room by preserving / diffusing the "good" reflections which maintains the natural ambiance and spaciousness of the room that our ears find pleasing.

The outdated approach (espoused by people like Ethan Winer) of killing all first reflections will increase focus but runs the risk of sucking the "life" out of the room. That thought process (which you'll see in Ethan's blogs) is based on the idea that these early reflections will damage the sound by introducing comb-filtering... but the research in more recent years has shown pretty conclusively that our ears/brain don't hear these problems and the presence of reflections (depending on direction, timing/delay, and level) sounds subjectively better and more "natural" and actually enhance clarity (as long as you manage the "bad" reflections). That's why you'll often see advice about not having more than 20-25% of surface area in the room be pure absorb, you don't want to completely kill the natural reflections of the room in the pursuit of focus.

Our own Stu Drucker recently attended the HAA acoustics class at CEDIA so he can chime in if I screwed something up
I believe it's 25% of "adjacent surface walls" (i.e. front/back, left side/right side) rather than just 20-25% of "surface area" being limited to absorption, but otherwise that's what I remember from the courses and the lecture notes. And they stress that you don't want to kill all first or early reflections without unbalancing the soundstage.

The exact quote was something about how the art of crafting the soundstage was the balance between the early reflections in the 30-70 ms range that you want to preserve for envelopment (which includes smooth panning, no sound gaps, and spaciousness) vs. what you want to eliminate to improve focus ("The ability to precisely locate each reproduced sonic cue or image in a three-dimensional space"). The tradeoff is especially important IIRC at higher frequencies. Hybrid panels that have a balance of absorptive and diffusion elements was mentioned in passing as a more advanced strategy, more case by case depending on the room if I recall rather than a basic recommendation.

I'll note that their testing for critical listening to access room calibration/design was mostly if not exclusively music, with the attitude that good sound is good sound in small room acoustics. At least that's what we did in the classes and the list of a few dozen reference tracks that look at their critical dimensions in more depth were all music-related. Clarity is the goal, defined as a function of focus, envelopment, frequency response, dynamics, and seat to seat consistency.

At any rate, some reader of the thread may decide this is unacceptably OT for a 3D audio thread, so we really should discuss elsewhere to the extent that the Atmos thread isn't a chat room for people that like to read it...
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post #53282 of 54816 Old 01-25-2019, 12:16 PM
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Well if the focus is on a room for music and to not suck the life out of it that may have some credibility. As I read about the cowshed theater build that kbarns701 did I tend to agree with his philosophy about room treatments. His and my room is all about movies and a different approach could be taken about room treatments. I had though about his treatment for some time to be applied to mine but never did it for fear of the life sucking issue. Yet it has worked very well in the cowshed build and I may continue my own upgrades in room treatments to fall more into doing more absorption. Everyone has to decide how they want to proceed. My goal is more akin to hearing what the soundtrack has to offer without a lot of added room acoustics. That is just me. YMMV.

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post #53283 of 54816 Old 01-25-2019, 01:08 PM
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Well if the focus is on a room for music and to not suck the life out of it that may have some credibility.
From what I know of the teachers, they're not just working on media rooms or rooms for music. In fact the lead teacher of the HTIII advanced integrator class that I took is a well-known (for AVSers) calibrator of HT rooms, ranging from mainstream gear to high channel count 3D audio systems in the $20K class. The class is a two-day tutorial where a team of students works together to design a room based on these principles, using worn Triad satellite speakers (Bronze, I want to say) and two subs, along with no more than PEQ being allowed and generic absorption/diffusion panels. And the room isn't even pre-engineered: it's a party room at a crappy $100/night hotel.

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As I read about the cowshed theater build that kbarns701 did I tend to agree with his philosophy about room treatments. His and my room is all about movies and a different approach could be taken about room treatments. I had though about his treatment for some time to be applied to mine but never did it for fear of the life sucking issue. Yet it has worked very well in the cowshed build and I may continue my own upgrades in room treatments to fall more into doing more absorption. Everyone has to decide how they want to proceed. My goal is more akin to hearing what the soundtrack has to offer without a lot of added room acoustics. That is just me. YMMV.
I'm a charter member of Kbarnes701 anonymous , so all I'll say is that his choices are ones he'll tell you about and convince you are the only reasonable way possible, in his eloquent and persuasive writing style. His own goal is just what you say: to completely remove the room from the equation and hear the movie soundtrack as if he were in the mixing studio with the mixers, or at least in a private rendition of a premium cinema experience. The room is designed for that goal alone: watching movies in that manner, with conversation and multi-tasking not goals for the viewers.

But note that his room was pre-engineered to maximize these goals, with flex walls, specific room treatment, and pro cinema-level JBL mains. If memory serves he also worked professionally in an industry where hearing content in a post-production studio or a screening room without distraction had professional benefits. He also has a testimonial from none other than Roger Dressler, which is proof that what he achieved in his (almost?) RFZ room did the job and was a revelatory experience. To each their own.

I answered the post in response to mine, but we really should move on before we get into a philosophical discussion that will distract people looking to talk about movies, AVR functionality, and Atmos layouts. LOL.
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post #53284 of 54816 Old 01-25-2019, 01:10 PM
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Our own Stu Drucker recently attended the HAA acoustics class at CEDIA so he can chime in if I screwed something up
@sdrucker - My man....I need an autograph now bro. Preferably on a blank check
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post #53285 of 54816 Old 01-25-2019, 01:16 PM
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@sdrucker - My man....I need an autograph now bro. Preferably on a blank check
You wish. Maybe in return for a room of JBL M2s and 708s. YMMV.

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post #53286 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
FYI - the HAA (home acoustics alliance) has the balance between focus and envelopment as one of the core principles of its acoustic design theory.



Article on topic: https://homeacoustics.org/acoustical...d-envelopment/



Their basic approach to optimizing both has to do with (1) proper speaker + seating layout and (2) proper room acoustical design.



Their specific acoustic plan involves avoiding the old school idea of absorbing all first reflections and instead using special "combo panels" for certain "good" reflections like the first same-side (ipsilateral) reflections, which still provide low frequency absorption but transition to a mix of diffusion and reflection at higher frequencies to maintain spaciousness and envelopment from natural room ambiance. This is rooted in the more contemporary thinking (based on research from Toole et al) that certain early reflections are actually GOOD and can enhance envelopment without negatively impacting focus. So you kill the "bad" reflections (like rear wall, contralateral side wall) but don't overdeaden the room by preserving / diffusing the "good" reflections which maintains the natural ambiance and spaciousness of the room that our ears find pleasing.



The outdated approach (espoused by people like Ethan Winer) of killing all first reflections will increase focus but runs the risk of sucking the "life" out of the room. That thought process (which you'll see in Ethan's blogs) is based on the idea that these early reflections will damage the sound by introducing comb-filtering... but the research in more recent years has shown pretty conclusively that our ears/brain don't hear these problems and the presence of reflections (depending on direction, timing/delay, and level) sounds subjectively better and more "natural" and actually enhance clarity (as long as you manage the "bad" reflections). That's why you'll often see advice about not having more than 20-25% of surface area in the room be pure absorb, you don't want to completely kill the natural reflections of the room in the pursuit of focus.



Our own Stu Drucker recently attended the HAA acoustics class at CEDIA so he can chime in if I screwed something up


I just noticed that in my original post I left out the important word “no” - I actually wanted to say that “there is no doubt in my mind” . Just edited that.

That link you were sharing is an extremely interesting read and very related to the discussion we had. I find it particularly relevant as they are explicitly extending the concept to surround systems. Older concepts like having a “live” and a “dead” side of the room were always focussing on 2ch stereo imaging.

I am not sure if fully understand the distinction between good and bad reflections. If e.g. the back wall is a bad reflection - wouldn’t the front wall be the same, just for the rear speakers? Is there any good introductory read on the concept (short of attending a class)? And is there a good source or DIY plan for these combo panels?

Thinking about it, I imagine that a diffusor would still get rid of (or soften) spikes in the impulse response. So that may remain an objective measurement.

Applying this to my own (still pretty lively) room I am not quite sure in which direction to go. I have no where near 25% of the total _surface_ treated with actual absorbers. However, if one counts the foam behind the pictures it will be eg more than 25% of the 360 degrees on ear level. And if you count the carpet the same applies to the elevation angles. This may mean that perhaps rather than angling the ceiling speakers more towards the floor to get a more ambiance I could keep them angled to the MLP, but to replace some absorbers or add some diffusors.
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post #53287 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 01:39 AM
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I believe it's 25% of "adjacent surface walls" (i.e. front/back, left side/right side) rather than just 20-25% of "surface area" being limited to absorption, but otherwise that's what I remember from the courses and the lecture notes. And they stress that you don't want to kill all first or early reflections without unbalancing the soundstage.



The exact quote was something about how the art of crafting the soundstage was the balance between the early reflections in the 30-70 ms range that you want to preserve for envelopment (which includes smooth panning, no sound gaps, and spaciousness) vs. what you want to eliminate to improve focus ("The ability to precisely locate each reproduced sonic cue or image in a three-dimensional space"). The tradeoff is especially important IIRC at higher frequencies. Hybrid panels that have a balance of absorptive and diffusion elements was mentioned in passing as a more advanced strategy, more case by case depending on the room if I recall rather than a basic recommendation.



I'll note that their testing for critical listening to access room calibration/design was mostly if not exclusively music, with the attitude that good sound is good sound in small room acoustics. At least that's what we did in the classes and the list of a few dozen reference tracks that look at their critical dimensions in more depth were all music-related. Clarity is the goal, defined as a function of focus, envelopment, frequency response, dynamics, and seat to seat consistency.



At any rate, some reader of the thread may decide this is unacceptably OT for a 3D audio thread, so we really should discuss elsewhere to the extent that the Atmos thread isn't a chat room for people that like to read it...

How did you assess if you got the envelopment and focus right? Just by listening to various pieces of music or were there any more specific listening tests?

I am not entirely sure it is really OT as next to the correct speaker location (which is a lot of the discussion in this forum) the room is a key contributor to the Atmos sound experience and the approach needs to be different from optimizing it for Stereo. However, if there is a more suitable place for this discussion I would be happy to join there.
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post #53288 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 06:03 AM
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How did you assess if you got the envelopment and focus right? Just by listening to various pieces of music or were there any more specific listening tests?

I am not entirely sure it is really OT as next to the correct speaker location (which is a lot of the discussion in this forum) the room is a key contributor to the Atmos sound experience and the approach needs to be different from optimizing it for Stereo. However, if there is a more suitable place for this discussion I would be happy to join there.
I think the discussion is pertinent to Atmos room optimization. Additionally - I'd like to refer members to this thread: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...nce-shows.html
There's a lively discussion of speaker design, listening preferences and active participation by Floyd Toole & Sean Olive among others.

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post #53289 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
FYI - the HAA (home acoustics alliance) has the balance between focus and envelopment as one of the core principles of its acoustic design theory.

Article on topic: https://homeacoustics.org/acoustical...d-envelopment/

Their basic approach to optimizing both has to do with (1) proper speaker + seating layout and (2) proper room acoustical design.

Their specific acoustic plan involves avoiding the old school idea of absorbing all first reflections and instead using special "combo panels" for certain "good" reflections like the first same-side (ipsilateral) reflections, which still provide low frequency absorption but transition to a mix of diffusion and reflection at higher frequencies to maintain spaciousness and envelopment from natural room ambiance. This is rooted in the more contemporary thinking (based on research from Toole et al) that certain early reflections are actually GOOD and can enhance envelopment without negatively impacting focus. So you kill the "bad" reflections (like rear wall, contralateral side wall) but don't overdeaden the room by preserving / diffusing the "good" reflections which maintains the natural ambiance and spaciousness of the room that our ears find pleasing.

The outdated approach (espoused by people like Ethan Winer) of killing all first reflections will increase focus but runs the risk of sucking the "life" out of the room. That thought process (which you'll see in Ethan's blogs) is based on the idea that these early reflections will damage the sound by introducing comb-filtering... but the research in more recent years has shown pretty conclusively that our ears/brain don't hear these problems and the presence of reflections (depending on direction, timing/delay, and level) sounds subjectively better and more "natural" and actually enhance clarity (as long as you manage the "bad" reflections). That's why you'll often see advice about not having more than 20-25% of surface area in the room be pure absorb, you don't want to completely kill the natural reflections of the room in the pursuit of focus.

Our own Stu Drucker recently attended the HAA acoustics class at CEDIA so he can chime in if I screwed something up
As the mixer has no way of knowing anything about the nature or strength of these 'good' reflections, how is it possible to respect the intention of the original mix while at the same time allowing unquantified and unknown reflections to bounce around the listening space? (I refer only to m/ch movie mixes, not music or anything else).

How does a room sound 'dead' when all the required ambient cues etc are already baked into the mix?
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post #53290 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by awblackmon View Post
Well if the focus is on a room for music and to not suck the life out of it that may have some credibility. As I read about the cowshed theater build that kbarns701 did I tend to agree with his philosophy about room treatments. His and my room is all about movies and a different approach could be taken about room treatments. I had though about his treatment for some time to be applied to mine but never did it for fear of the life sucking issue. Yet it has worked very well in the cowshed build and I may continue my own upgrades in room treatments to fall more into doing more absorption. Everyone has to decide how they want to proceed. My goal is more akin to hearing what the soundtrack has to offer without a lot of added room acoustics. That is just me. YMMV.
The Artnovion panels that my installer chose for the Cowshed do in fact have a balance of absorption and diffusion (you may be able to make it out in some of the pictures in the build thread). I was never totally happy with this approach and suspect that if I was to do the project over again I would choose absorption at the front of the room. Like you, I don't want to hear anything of the room at all - everything I need to hear has already been baked into the mix when the (m/ch movie) content was created. That said, everyone who has been in the Cowshed has praised the quality of the sound. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be improved of course.
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post #53291 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
From what I know of the teachers, they're not just working on media rooms or rooms for music. In fact the lead teacher of the HTIII advanced integrator class that I took is a well-known (for AVSers) calibrator of HT rooms, ranging from mainstream gear to high channel count 3D audio systems in the $20K class. The class is a two-day tutorial where a team of students works together to design a room based on these principles, using worn Triad satellite speakers (Bronze, I want to say) and two subs, along with no more than PEQ being allowed and generic absorption/diffusion panels. And the room isn't even pre-engineered: it's a party room at a crappy $100/night hotel.
So the theory is based on what a crappy room at a cheap hotel sounds like? As opposed to a carefully designed dedicated room? Hmmm.


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I'm a charter member of Kbarnes701 anonymous , so all I'll say is that his choices are ones he'll tell you about and convince you are the only reasonable way possible, in his eloquent and persuasive writing style. His own goal is just what you say: to completely remove the room from the equation and hear the movie soundtrack as if he were in the mixing studio with the mixers, or at least in a private rendition of a premium cinema experience. The room is designed for that goal alone: watching movies in that manner, with conversation and multi-tasking not goals for the viewers.
Heck yes. It's a cinema! Anyone holding a conversation in there would be (not so) politely asked to leave. The only multi-tasking that takes place in a cinema is using eyes and ears at the same time.

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But note that his room was pre-engineered to maximize these goals, with flex walls, specific room treatment, and pro cinema-level JBL mains. If memory serves he also worked professionally in an industry where hearing content in a post-production studio or a screening room without distraction had professional benefits. He also has a testimonial from none other than Roger Dressler, which is proof that what he achieved in his (almost?) RFZ room did the job and was a revelatory experience. To each their own.
All correct Stu, and well remembered

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I answered the post in response to mine, but we really should move on before we get into a philosophical discussion that will distract people looking to talk about movies, AVR functionality, and Atmos layouts. LOL.
Agreed - you would know though that I would be compelled by strange and uncontrollable forces to give the counterpoint view.

As you say, it's my own personal view, in a very specifically designed room, for a very specific purpose and I would not urge it on anyone in any way. I guess the summary of my position is: I met the goals I set myself but others may have different goals.
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post #53292 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 09:49 AM
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So the theory is based on what a crappy room at a cheap hotel sounds like? As opposed to a carefully designed dedicated room? Hmmm.




Heck yes. It's a cinema! Anyone holding a conversation in there would be (not so) politely asked to leave. The only multi-tasking that takes place in a cinema is using eyes and ears at the same time.



All correct Stu, and well remembered



Agreed - you would know though that I would be compelled by strange and uncontrollable forces to give the counterpoint view.

As you say, it's my own personal view, in a very specifically designed room, for a very specific purpose and I would not urge it on anyone in any way. I guess the summary of my position is: I met the goals I set myself but others may have different goals.
Stu and Keith...please don't misconstrue my comment as diatribe to either of you but your dialogue just triggered, for me, a quote from Steve Jobs...or maybe I'm paraphrasing.

"The public doesn't know what it wants or needs until I tell them!"
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post #53293 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 11:49 AM
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As the mixer has no way of knowing anything about the nature or strength of these 'good' reflections, how is it possible to respect the intention of the original mix while at the same time allowing unquantified and unknown reflections to bounce around the listening space?
It is possible to respect the intent of the original mix by making the dialogue more intelligible and improving the perceived sound quality. From the inventor of the Dirac room correction you currently use:

"There seems to be consensus in the field that some early reflections actually help make speech more intelligible. However, it is also well documented that reflections within 5-10 ms of the main pulse in typical listening rooms are above the level where the primary source shifts or spreads (even when just listening to a single primary source). Reflections from the front and the rear (within ±40º) are perceived as detrimental to sound quality, whereas side reflections (within reasonable levels) often improve the perceived sound quality."
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How does a room sound 'dead' when all the required ambient cues etc are already baked into the mix?
It sounds dead when you remove naturally occurring cues that our human hearing normally expects to hear in rooms. It's not that the room is dead (like an anechoic chamber), it just sounds dead compared to typical rooms.

You already know that speakers that measure flat anechoically will have a bass hump when place in a typical room. If you use a flat target curve and take away the bass hump, you can end up with flat frequency response across the range. Measures well, but doesn't sound normal to most listeners. Which is why Dirac's default target curve has a downward slope.

Same with the floor reflection from the centre speaker, which usually ends up creating a cancellation notch at the listening position. When researchers put an absorber at the first reflection point on the floor to get rid of the dip, listeners felt it somehow sounded wrong. Our human hearing will miss something we are used to hearing normally (expectation bias). Same with complaints about a room sounding dead.
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post #53294 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 02:36 PM
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It is possible to respect the intent of the original mix by making the dialogue more intelligible and improving the perceived sound quality.
More intelligible than what? The original mix? I think the question here is why is the dialogue unintelligible in the first place? Answer: quite likely some problem with the room (often unwanted reflections). I watch over 300 movies a year and I cannot recall a single movie in which I have struggled with dialogue intelligibility. So what does "making the dialogue more intelligible" mean? If the nature of the dialogue is changed beyond what was in the original mix, then the original mix is not respected.

I respectfully suggest that if people are struggling with dialogue intelligibility, they try to find the problem and fix it. Movies are not being routinely released with the single most important part of the mix rendered in an unintelligible form. At least, not based on my movie-watching experience over the last few years.

As for 'improving the perceived sound quality' I don't subscribe to the view that we should be attempting to improve the mix. My aim is to reproduce the original mix not to change it in some way. Just as when I read Kafka's Metamorphosis I don't attempt to change the ending just because I don't think Gregor should have died.

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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

It sounds dead when you remove naturally occurring cues that our human hearing normally expects to hear in rooms. It's not that the room is dead (like an anechoic chamber), it just sounds dead compared to typical rooms.
A cinema is not meant to be a 'typical room'. And when I watch a movie, I am not in any sort of room, let alone a typical one. Sometimes I am in an aircraft hangar. Other times in a padded cell. Sometimes in a desert. Other times in a cave. Sometimes in a restaurant. Other times... well you get the idea. The ambient environment is baked into cues in the mix. Add anything to that and you are in a no-man's land of confusion since the mixer has no way at all of knowing just what has been added. His carefully crafted padded cell now has reflected noises never intended to be there. If the mixer had wanted a reflected sound somewhere, he or she would have added it.

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post #53295 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 02:50 PM
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.... Movies are not being routinely released with the single most important part of the mix rendered in an unintelligible form. At least, not based on my movie-watching experience over the last few years....

I'm coming in mid-conversation, but thought I'd add that I've had a problem of dialogue intelligibility with Christoper Nolan's last couple films. "Dunkirk", I could barely understand anything. And it wasn't just the accents, I've read articles about British audiences not understating the dialogue. Nolan does something strange with his audio mixes. I also don't think IMAX auditoriums (where I saw Dunkirk) are voiced for maximum dialogue intelligibility, they're mostly going for loudness.
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post #53296 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by meli View Post
I'm coming in mid-conversation, but thought I'd add that I've had a problem of dialogue intelligibility with Christoper Nolan's last couple films. "Dunkirk", I could barely understand anything. And it wasn't just the accents, I've read articles about British audiences not understating the dialogue. Nolan does something strange with his audio mixes. I also don't think IMAX auditoriums (where I saw Dunkirk) are voiced for maximum dialogue intelligibility, they're mostly going for loudness.
I generally dislike the sound on Nolan's movies but I watched Dunkirk here in the Cowshed and never had a problem with dialogue at all. I'd read about others complaining about it before I watched the movie so I was expecting it to be problematic but I can't say it was. There were times when you couldn't hear dialogue much at all but this was when the actors were speaking in scenes of loud ambient noise and I figured we weren't intended to hear them, just as we wouldn't if we'd been thrashing about in the sea etc. I genuinely believe that all these reports of widespread dialogue unintelligibility (not just in Nolan movies) are due to untreated rooms. Movies are mixed to be played back in a controlled environment - a cinema - and if you create a good cinema, there doesn't seem to me to be a significant problem. Just my experience.

I don't like IMAX sound much either TBH.

On a general point, I have increasingly come to dislike Nolan movies, per se. I think he's peaked some time back.
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post #53297 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
More intelligible than what?
Than it currently is. You're starting from a premise where the situation is binary: intelligible vs unintelligible. The Dirac quote starts from the premise that intelligibility is on a scale: i.e., you can go from a situation that requires more effort to understand the dialogue to a situation where it is effortless to understand dialogue, but at neither point could you not understand what is being said. Hence their comment about some early reflections making speech "more intelligible". The Dirac comment won't make sense if you believe intelligibility is binary. That premise doesn't allow for the idea that intelligibility can be improved.
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As for 'improving the perceived sound quality' I don't subscribe to the view that we should be attempting to improve the mix.
Not changing the mix, just the quality of its reproduction in a room. That perception of sound quality improves with early side wall reflections, as noted in the Dirac quote.
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The ambient environment is baked into cues in the mix. Add anything to that and you are in a no-man's land of confusion since the mixer has no way at all of knowing just what has been added.
If that hyperbole was true, then an anechoic chamber would be the optimal playback environment for movie sound. But it isn't. In fact, it's uncomfortable. No dubbing stage nor movie theatre was ever designed that way.

Some bullet points quoted from Toole's 2006 paper, which reviews the historical research (very little of Toole's own research) on the topic of reflections:
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  • Persuasive evidence points to several beneficial and few negative effects of early reflections. However, sound reproduction brings some conflicting requirements, and more research is required to identify what control of overall reflections is appropriate. That research should take into account the normal multichannel loudspeaker configurations and the primary roles played by each of the channels.
  • A room with abundant reflections is not likely to exhibit audible evidence of comb filtering from any single reflection.
  • Multiple reflections improve the audibility of timbral cues from resonances in the structure of musical and vocal sounds.
  • Early reflections improve speech intelligibility.
  • Early lateral reflections increase our preference for the sound of music and speech. Individual reflections in small rooms may be too low in level to have the optimum effect, thus providing opportunities for multichannel sound.
  • Since low inter-aural cross correlation is related to listener preference in certain circumstances, it is possible that asymmetrical diffusion, favoring reflections along the lateral axis, may be a good thing in listening rooms for movies and traditional styles of music recordings.
  • Reflections from central portions of the front and back walls have the least positive contributions to what we hear. Attenuating them may be advantageous.

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post #53298 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
There were times when you couldn't hear dialogue much at all but this was when the actors were speaking in scenes of loud ambient noise and I figured we weren't intended to hear them, just as we wouldn't if we'd been thrashing about in the sea etc.
Agreed. And, there was so little dialogue in the movie that it seems Nolan prioritized visuals and music/effects to convey the story. Must have taken all of a weekend to dub this movie into other languages.
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I genuinely believe that all these reports of widespread dialogue unintelligibility (not just in Nolan movies) are due to untreated rooms.
If that was true, then there would be complaints about all the movies playing at particular theatres. Instead, the complaint is about Nolan's movies, irrespective of theatre.
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I've read articles about British audiences not understating the dialogue.
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post #53299 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 07:01 PM
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So I just watched a utube video about the Rmc1 at CES 2019 and they talk about a new Dolby set up from Dolby beyond 7.1.4 as called 11.x.8 as a standard
Anyone know about this ?
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post #53300 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 07:24 PM
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So I just watched a utube video about the Rmc1 at CES 2019 and they talk about a new Dolby set up from Dolby beyond 7.1.4 as called 11.x.8 as a standard
Anyone know about this ?
Literally the first result when I googled "Dolby 11.1.8": https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/sp...tup-guide.html

It's not a "new standard", you could always do an 11.1.8 if you had a Trinnov since Atmos first came out. But now that higher channel count processors are becoming more common Dolby has added a few more of their glossy marketing diagrams (which previously maxed out at 9.1.6 I think) to give people info on proper angles. Nothing has changed except Dolby's graphic design dude copy/pasting a few more speakers into the existing template

Full list of speaker setup guides for various layouts: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/speaker-...des/index.html
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post #53301 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
Nothing has changed except Dolby's graphic design dude copy/pasting a few more speakers into the existing template
Heights seem to be lower: 20-30 degrees versus 30-45 degrees previously.

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post #53302 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 10:27 PM
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Thank you Batpig
It opens up the possibility that you will be actually merge dolby atmos and Auro 3d speaker set up with the 8 hight speakers
I would also like the idea of using the tm speaker as well
I wonder what speaker options will be available soon In new products
I am rewire my speakers so I am unsure what to set up for the future
I have gone for 7.x.6 at the moment
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
Literally the first result when I googled "Dolby 11.1.8": https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/sp...tup-guide.html

It's not a "new standard", you could always do an 11.1.8 if you had a Trinnov since Atmos first came out. But now that higher channel count processors are becoming more common Dolby has added a few more of their glossy marketing diagrams (which previously maxed out at 9.1.6 I think) to give people info on proper angles. Nothing has changed except Dolby's graphic design dude copy/pasting a few more speakers into the existing template

Full list of speaker setup guides for various layouts: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/speaker-...des/index.html
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post #53304 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 10:43 PM
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Heights seem to be lower: 20-30 degrees versus 30-45 degrees previously.
True, but that's not only less snarky and thus not as entertaining (to me) as my response, but also seems logical given the additional overheads and the need to maintain angular separation. With extra overhead speakers splitting the heights, it makes sense that the heights can be spread further apart. This also creates less conflict with Auro3D guidelines since Auro wants the heights to be right around 30 degrees elevation.

Interestingly, I just checked the 9.1.6 with FH+TM+RH guide and the 7.1.6 with FH+TM+RH guide and both also show the heights at 20-30 degrees.

There is also no "official" guide which supports FH+RH placement other than the 6/8 overhead options. Dolby covers up-firing and ceiling (top) speakers (plus "hybrids") in x.1.2 and x.1.4 layouts but not FH+RH until you add those extra overheads in between.

Speaking of that graphic design dude, I do wish they had adjusted the back surround speakers in the 11.1.8 visual representation to be more directly behind. The way the picture is drawn it appears that the "surround 1" speakers are extremely close to the "rear surround".
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post #53305 of 54816 Old 01-26-2019, 10:51 PM
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Thank you Batpig
It opens up the possibility that you will be actually merge dolby atmos and Auro 3d speaker set up with the 8 hight speakers
Well, it doesn't really easy the conflict in terms of "merging" with Auro unless you can somehow repurpose the overhead speakers as an arrayed "voice of god" Top Surround speaker for Auro3D. The FH+RH designations work for both formats already, but these extra Atmos speakers don't fit either the Center Height or Top Surround positions of Auro. Uber processors like the Trinnov will let you do that switcharoo and remap the TS to the Atmos middle overheads, but typical peasant units don't allow that.

The Denon/Marantz 13ch units (8500/8805) allow you to install 15 speakers with 8 heights, and then switch between 7.1.6 Atmos and 13.1ch Auro (the TM go silent and the CH/TS go live when you switch from Atmos to Auro3D)... but you have to install an extra, dedicated TS speaker, it can't send that signal to the TM speakers.

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post #53306 of 54816 Old 01-27-2019, 04:33 AM
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The Artnovion panels that my installer chose for the Cowshed do in fact have a balance of absorption and diffusion (you may be able to make it out in some of the pictures in the build thread). I was never totally happy with this approach and suspect that if I was to do the project over again I would choose absorption at the front of the room. Like you, I don't want to hear anything of the room at all - everything I need to hear has already been baked into the mix when the (m/ch movie) content was created. That said, everyone who has been in the Cowshed has praised the quality of the sound. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be improved of course.
Funny you guys are talking room treatments as after reading up on those new recommendations a year or so ago and with GIK getting their new lines going Alpha and Impression series which incorporate absorption and diffusion, I decided to get a few panels in to replace some of my all absorption panels, Now here is were things got interesting as began the process of trying them in various places and the sidewalls ended up sounding better still with Absorption only the rear and front walls did benefit from the diffusion absorption panels and so there they stayed . This was pretty much what GIK suggested when ordering and the room has never sounded better for both 2/ch music and my 7.1.4 setup


This is my room so take it for what it is but dead on assessment kbarnes on keeping absorption on the side walls
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post #53307 of 54816 Old 01-27-2019, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Than it currently is. You're starting from a premise where the situation is binary: intelligible vs unintelligible. The Dirac quote starts from the premise that intelligibility is on a scale: i.e., you can go from a situation that requires more effort to understand the dialogue to a situation where it is effortless to understand dialogue, but at neither point could you not understand what is being said. Hence their comment about some early reflections making speech "more intelligible".
OK. My problem in understanding this discussion is that for me, since I first treated my Hobbit Theater years ago, I have found dialogue effortlessly intelligible. Prior to that, in the untreated room, I sometimes found it less so. I therefore see a totally causal relationship between treating the room and 'effortless' dialogue intelligibility.

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The Dirac comment won't make sense if you believe intelligibility is binary. That premise doesn't allow for the idea that intelligibility can be improved. Not changing the mix, just the quality of its reproduction in a room. That perception of sound quality improves with early side wall reflections, as noted in the Dirac quote. If that hyperbole was true, then an anechoic chamber would be the optimal playback environment for movie sound. But it isn't. In fact, it's uncomfortable. No dubbing stage nor movie theatre was ever designed that way.
Indeed. Neither have either of my rooms. It is all but impossible to create an anechoic environment, short of having a fortune to spend, and nobody I have ever read about has had this intention, so for me, any discussion of HTs becoming 'anechoic chambers' is just distraction. My Hobbit Theater had massive amounts of absorption and was more 'dead' than the Cowshed and the sound (in the Hobbit) was superb, with crystal clear dialogue in every movie. Like I said earlier, since doing the Hobbit, I must have watched 1,500 movies or more and I can count dialogue difficulties on one had probably. And even then, isolated bits of the movie.

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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Some bullet points quoted from Toole's 2006 paper, which reviews the historical research (very little of Toole's own research) on the topic of reflections:
I can only say what I am hearing here. Dialogue is crystal clear. The room is heavily treated (with absorption and some diffusion on the side walls). It isn't 'dead' but I would have preferred it 'deader' but my installer and I had so many arguments about it that in the end I went with his suggestion and then added more absorption after they'd gone.

It's a pity you're 5,000 miles away - the easy way to get a handle on what I am trying to convey would be to come over and just listen.
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
I can only say what I am hearing here. Dialogue is crystal clear. The room is heavily treated (with absorption and some diffusion on the side walls). It isn't 'dead' but I would have preferred it 'deader' but my installer and I had so many arguments about it that in the end I went with his suggestion and then added more absorption after they'd gone.

It's a pity you're 5,000 miles away - the easy way to get a handle on what I am trying to convey would be to come over and just listen.
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Literally the first result when I googled "Dolby 11.1.8": https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/sp...tup-guide.html

It's not a "new standard", you could always do an 11.1.8 if you had a Trinnov since Atmos first came out. But now that higher channel count processors are becoming more common Dolby has added a few more of their glossy marketing diagrams (which previously maxed out at 9.1.6 I think) to give people info on proper angles. Nothing has changed except Dolby's graphic design dude copy/pasting a few more speakers into the existing template

Full list of speaker setup guides for various layouts: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/speaker-...des/index.html
There is one significant thing that has changed and is represented in those setup diagrams
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