Originally Posted by Josh Z
Assuming it's up to date, the equipment list in your signature shows that you do not have an AVR capable of x.x.6 decoding. You have not tried and do not know how these tracks decode natively.
You're right. I don't know
with certainty what a given title does natively decoded, but that's my whole point and the reason I asked for more feedback given other titles that do have direct overhead sounds of which I'm aware.. It should
do basically the same thing (with some extra resolution and a hard source) what 7.1.4 does with a phantom image in-between. If it's NOT doing that (e.g. Disney soundtracks), then there's something wrong, either with the mix, encoding settings or some other factor.
With Disney, we know why sounds don't come out of Top Middle (it uses fixed audio objects with pre-rendered panning that skips over the extra speakers entirely). But you claim other non-Disney soundtracks (like Mission Impossible Fallout, which is by Paramount) aren't using that location (much) with 6 overheads. The question is why that is. Is it simply the mix doesn't use those locations or is there some other reason why the speaker isn't being engaged (pre-set to not use certain speakers somehow?). It's also why I listed several other titles where I do get sounds from there. I was hoping to get some comparisons as to where those sounds render in a native system to see if there's any notable difference. But I got derisive, yet unproven comments about my system instead.
Mission Impossible: Fallout Atmos Observations:
So I went back and watched the entire helicopter sequence of Mission Impossible Fallout with only extracted Top Middle to see how it compared to what you described from the native rendering and it was
a bit surprising to hear how little Top Middle was used overall in that sequence. In other words, I heard no real evidence that the movie did anything hear but what you described, although exact moments might need clarification.
There was a bit of rotor action somewhere near 1:53:20 for a few seconds directly overhead (right where Cruise falls down to the payload) with a direct front-to-back overhead fly-by right after that which definitely passed through my top middle speakers as it panned across the entire ceiling (that brief moment was actually demo worthy, IMO as it was quite a loud/strong image overhead and panned quite well). Beyond that, there was only a few very brief snippet bits here and there that appeared briefly in Top Middle. Most of the rotor action overall was in the front height speakers.
In other words, I seemed to be hearing mostly if not completely exactly
what you described for the native rendered version and thus I kind of doubt Fallout isn't
using Top Middle properly. They simply put most of the rotor sounds in the front height (or tops) region closest to the screen where the helicopter is most of the time (mostly closeups and distant shots; only a few flybys towards the screen that would imply a front to back type pan or similar). But when a flyover did occur near 1:53:40 give or take 10 seconds or so, it most certainly flew directly overhead front to back here discretely with 7.1.6 or phantom imaging using 7.1.4. It would be strange indeed if the native rendering "hopped" from front to rear without using the middle area in-between. Or did it pan using front/rear heights/tops instead of engaging Top Middle as it passed through that region? That would be akin to Disney rendering it front/back without using the Top Middle speakers at all and defeat the point of them, IMO.
This is why I mentioned other titles where I remember sounds being directly or partially directly overhead as those would be more movies to compare to see if there is indeed a difference. I can think of no reason that 'steered logic' (like Pro Logic I and II) would behave fundamentally differently from direct rendered because there are no new locations for sounds to come from short of an option like "snap to" that overrides the normal rendering. 50% is still 50% and 25% is still 25%. Far from irrelevant, in Science the only way to know if something is different is to have a control group to compare it to! 7.1.6 "Scatmos" is just hard sourced 7.1.4. It gives a fixed location for the 50% point. Otherwise, it renders the same if you're sitting at the halfway point. It's clear titles like Disney are doing something different as the native rendered version ignores Top Middle entirely. But it's not clear with other studios and hence the need for more comparisons and information if one is to claim these studios don't use Top Middle much. Is it just the mixes or something else yet to be identified? Without any frame of reference (7.1.4 phantom or 7.1.6 extracted), how would you even know? You can't compare something without at least two things.
After testing it, I'm betting Mission Impossible: Fallout
used Top Middle correctly, however briefly (probably less than one second in that flyover, but without it, it would "hop" here) on the native system too. In other words, I think the lack of Top Middle use in the helicopter scene overall is artistic choice in regards to what is seen on-screen, not a failure of the speakers to function.
Maybe you don't think that's supposed to happen, but as someone who has actually tried it both ways, I'm telling you it does. Your continued insistence otherwise is not constructive to this conversation.
To which conversation
are you referring? One person talking to themself in an echo chamber or two people posting derisive comments about my system isn't a conversation. It's a lecture. I'm sure the Church that told Galileo he was a heretic for suggesting the Earth wasn't the center of the Solar System (and the Universe for that matter) thought they were correct too, but without proof, it's just so much talking. Telling me my system doesn't image correctly requires proof, not conjecture. I have yet to see any evidence that it images incorrectly. That's a bit like saying 7.1.4 images incorrectly since it's derived from it. If anything, it sounds like sometimes 7.1.6 images incorrectly (with some titles) due to reasons that are only partially explained (Disney print-through). I was attempting to determine if any more titles are doing something strange. But MI: Fallout
appears to be the mix itself, not some technical shortcoming.
Now that does not
mean at least some
other soundtracks aren't rendering differently and/or not using extra speakers. Dolby's "Snap To" feature, for example is a rendering based option that vastly changes the native rendering behavior (rendering effects directly at the nearest available speaker, rather than phantom imaging between points). That can easily put a sound at front wides that would be at the mains or side surrounds on systems without front wides, but that is only true when that option is used (It doesn't seem to be used much in the real world from what I've read). Are there other rendering settings with similar changes to rendering locations? Possibly. I haven't heard of them, but that doesn't mean they don't necessarily exist. I don't own the software. But normal panning is a straight forward, predictable business. Atmos automatically pans more speakers with object movement, giving it more precision, but it doesn't change the basic course of the object between 4 speakers overhead, 6, 8 or 10 for that matter. The course can be made more precise, but an object doesn't suddenly zig-zag where it went in a straight line or curve before. The curve may be more accurate, but it's still a curve with 4 channels overhead.
As for the previously mentioned behavior that systems with x.x.6 overheads only use Top Middle when there's only 2-channels overhead being used (implying 4 overheads with top front/rear phantom imaging would be preferable), well that's the difference between the accurate location (top middle) and the precedence effect (images closer to the nearest speaker if you don't sit in the center). That's a subjective evaluation. In terms of accuracy, the 6-overhead system wins every time. Scatmos does the same thing normally. It puts anything imaging with correlated information in Top Middle also.
However, with "Scatmos" you can actually have it use all 6 speakers (to a greater or lesser degree) if desired by modifying the distance setting for the speaker pairs. They need to be set the same to get a truly discrete output, but varying them a bit adds more "leakage" back to the front/rear heights/tops and the more you add the closer you get to an array instead of a near discrete output. It's actually quite flexible in that regard to taste as that will give you the precedence effect back if you prefer it. Flexible doesn't mean wrong.