Originally Posted by boxker
Can someone expand on the quote below?
Note: Regardless of whether using a 9CH or 11CH configuration, if you want to use the same configuration for both Atmos and DTS:X, so you don't have to reload a new Audyssey EQ each time, you must use Layout = "Front Height + Rear Height."
I'm not sure what is meant by needing to rerun audyssey between DTS-X and Dolby Atmos if one doesn't have height speakers at front heights and front rears. I am using a Marantz SR-6012, with my heights set up on my ceiling. So I have the 6012 configured as Top Front and Top Rear. And while I only have one movie with DTS-X at the moment. It seemed to be ok with me. I thought DTS-X and Atmos setups were compatible. I thought it was Auro 3d that is incompatible. Is my setup wrong?
I don't like the words "incompatible" even with Auro-3D as the net result are really only slight shifts in some places for rear/height objects that have no reference to begin with. I think Auro should have just let their setup work with standard Atmos setups to begin with and very few would have been the wiser for it as DTS has (as it claims to be compatible with BOTH setups and it's typically channel-based just like Auro-3D in nearly all the Blu-Rays out there. What makes it compatible/incompatible? NOTHING. It's a fruit salad mish-mash where a consumer wouldn't know the difference either way since there are no visual references to sound behind you to tell where they are "supposed to be". This applies to Atmos too because an object in 5.1.4 will be much closer to your seating location than the same soundtrack played back in the same room with 7.1.4 enabled and the rear speakers further back than the side surrounds. I think Auro/Atmos confusion is over nothing and DTS simply IGNORES BOTH and says it "works" with both (well it does; that doesn't mean it's "optimal" for both, but good luck telling which version is better/worse without a frame of reference for accuracy as I indicated.
Meanwhile, there are those "type" of people (anal retentive?) that simply MUST do things as they are told 100% even if it makes little or no difference whatsoever. In other words, if DTS shows their "height" speakers in pictures or diagrams at 45 degrees and their "tops" at 60 degrees while Atmos shows their "height" speakers at 30 degrees and their "tops" speakers at 45 degrees, the anal rentitive type will go out of his way to use 45 degrees no matter how impractical in the room and THEN store two difference setups so that Atmos is set to use "tops" and DTS playback uses "heights" so that they MATCH the picture/diagram relative to the format. Thus, if they watch an Atmos movie, they use their Audyssey "tops" calibration with it set to decode to tops speakers. If they want to watch a DTS:X movie, they MUST (the impulse to do so is unrelenting in such people) then load the Audyssey setting that's calibrated for the "heights" configuration instead as DTS:X movies can only be watched in "heights" or it would be at the wrong ANGLE for the overhead speakers!!! (all because some photo/diagram shows this to be the angle used when they recorded the movie at the "heights" setting for DTS.
Now a "normal" person would just choose heights or tops (whichever sounded best to them overall) and LEAVE IT THERE for BOTH formats (diagram be damned) as the end result is only slightly shifted anyway and who can say just by listening whether it's "right" or "accurate" without a visual reference to compare the sound location to the actual object position ("where it's supposed to be")? You cannot, really. But these people claim they KNOW it's not right because that diagram said so! And they can't live with that so they spend countless minutes/hours every year loading these configuration changes so they can use "tops" with Atmos and "heights" with DTS:X with the SAME SPEAKERS mounted at 45 degrees (again because speakers at 45 degrees are called "Tops" by Atmos and supposedly "Heights" by DTS. DTS has said they wish they never published diagrams showing the positions because these people make their lives miserable and it doesn't freaking matter one iota in their minds (remember they want you to at least "believe" that DTS works with Auro-3D and Atmos layouts by sheer magic when in reality, they simply don't think surround images shifted slightly forward or backward or even inward/outward a few feet is a big deal whereas the anal retentive folk cannot live with knowing that the baseball flying overhead is supposed to be 10 feet into their room when DTS places it only 8 feet into the room since its expected to be at the 60 degree mark, not the 45 degree one with DTS engaged.... (and vice versa if you used Atmos instead)
I realize that's a lot to say, but it's hard to get across the thinking versus the reality in this situation. The Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie comes to mind. They are supposed to make this potion to win the "luck potion" if they make it perfectly. The problem is everyone's book says how to make it one way and Harry Potter's "used" book has notes in telling how to make it BETTER (or some may say perfectly or correctly) or perhaps more likely, it's at least EASIER for a student to get it right that way (e.g. by crushing the beans instead of cutting them, for example when they're darn hard to cut). Hermione refuses to crush her bean because, "NO, it clearly says 'cut" in the instructions and she MUST follow directions precisely or she can't live with herself as a "bad student" for not doing EXACTLY as she was told. Of course, it turns out that Harry's potion comes out perfect and everyone else's comes out like crap. But hey, at least they followed directions! Here, it's more like that's a LOT of extra work for "nothing" to store two sets of settings just because of a 15 degree angle difference that is literalyl meaningless in a real room as there is no visual reference for where the sound is supposed to be in terms of distance into the room and by using different size rooms and different speaker configurations (side versus side plus rear for example), you're changing those distances REGARDLESS so it's 100% MEANINGLESS. But you CANNOT get that across to the "Herminones" of the world because they must
follow the diagram precisely no matter how miserable the end result might be in practice!
Personally, I use "height" settings for everything and have the speakers at 30/110 (front mid) and put the rear heights where they should be symmetrically (there is not 150 working angle relative to the main listening position as it's in front of the center point of the room. That means it MUST be greater than 150 and is more like 167. But since I use multiple rows, it must be symmetrical for all positions, not just one row and thus the speakers should try to be evenly placed across the room as much as possible (e.g. side surround and top middle is at the mid-point of the room and front height and rear height are in the same positions at the end of the room and the rows adjusted accordingly from that with front wide and side surround #2
inserted at mid-points between rows to the greatest extent practical (pulled back slightly if seating won't allow it, etc.) The extra front wides and side surround #2
speakers are matrixed/arrayed so that phantom positions "seem" to be in the correct positions for all seating, but pulls towards those points and can be adjusted via the mixer to get them as precise as desired. Adding "top middle" (which I put in the surround height location as there's a steel beam preventing any easy way to have "ceiling" speakers there) bridges the angles and creates a cohesive overhead sound field regardless of which row someone sits in here. I use "height" settings and extract to middle and use Audyssey with matrixed speakers turned ON so that the overall soundfield arriving at the main seat is flat as possible, not just the single speaker since all are on in practice. REW graphs show a flatter soundfield in matrixed mode as a result (typically +/- 3dB from 20Hz to 20kHz with most of it less than that). I don't hear any sound oddities between Auro-3D, DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.
I can also shrink Atmos down to 5.1.4 and extend Auro-3D up to 9.1.6 (rear beds don't function in Auro-3D, but surround #2
does as it's matrixed). Surprisingly or not surprisingly, Blade Runner 2049 in Dolby Atmos played as 5.1.4 instead of 7.1.6 (using first half of the room only) sounds almost EXACTLY like the Auro-3D version of Blade Runner 2049 does in the same room using the same speakers played back as 5.1.4. Similarly, expanding the Auro-3D version (using Scatmos and matrixing) to 9.1.6 sounds reasonably similar to 11.1.6 in Atmos (minus the final rear bed speakers, which if I wanted to improve slightly I could copy from the side surrounds as an array mix in that mode as well, but I'd need a speaker selector and mixer added to do so and have to push a few more buttons). As the rear seat alone is the only one affected very much (other than rear bed sounds not going back quite as far for the middle row), they sound otherwise identical. Since the Auro-3D track is MADE FROM the Atmos master, this really shouldn't be that shocking to find that in practice, they sound more or less the same to the extent that the speakers employed in playback match as closely as possible. Atmos in 5.1.4 sounds almost exactly like Auro-3D in 5.1.4 (Auro 9.1 configuration) and Auro expanded as far as it can be, sounds "more like" Atmos when expanded to the rear of the room with mid fill here. It is missing rear beds (folded into sides), but you could set sides to be the rear speakers and extract a mid-point like I'm doing for the heights in that situation and basically retrieve it mostly intact in the same fashion).
Basically, all the big deal about "channel" versus "objects" is a name game. You can turn a rendered 7.1.4 into 12.1.10 no problem with Neural X and DTS:X Pro as all speakers are simply spaced at mid-points between existing skeletal main channels (front/side/rear). Once Atmos is rendered into channels, there is no real functional difference save perhaps how much leakage there is between channels with "rendered" Atmos versus extracted "Neural X" in DTS:X Pro from a 7.1.4 skeleton. Even Auro-3D extra speakers are just mid-point extractions. Center height, for example is just an extra speaker extracted between front height left and front height right. You could create a "channel" for that speaker from the final Atmos rendering by putting a Pro Logic processor that extracts a "center" between the two front height channels and send it to the center height speaker. Voila. The SAME thing. The only difference is whether the guy rendering the final mixes actually USES that location for sounds or not (e.g. Auro-3D "RED TAILS" was made only for Auro-3D and so it uses that location quite a bit whereas I've noticed some Atmos movies have sound there and some do not, depending on whether one might belong there and whether the guy mixing it thought about putting a sound at that location even if it's just a "phantom" sound. Far too big of deals is made about the three formats differences when in reality, they have a LOT in common in the final rendering in real rooms at home.
I've attached my room layout diagram (not precisely exact, but gives a good idea) and speaker angles employed relative to seating locations (click on them for larger versions) for "11.1.6" using extracted top middle and matrixed front wides and surround #2
for six seats across three rows in a room that has some compromises due to an outboard fireplace and a half bathroom but is 12'x24' long. I had to leave aisle room in the middle row and avoid someone hitting their head on the projector in the center middle seat (and so it has a view of the fireplace when running so it sits slightly behind the other chair to its left) and fit a table for remotes/drinks in the front so they are not strictly symmetrical to the sides, but those are small differences in a room with a lot of extra speakers to handle off-axis seating locations. The 24' room length makes for incredible REAR sounds when used (i.e. they aren't just behind you, but WAY behind you and that bird in the Atmos "Amazing" demo flies a long way around the room. I think it probably sounds more theater-like than most home theaters due to the larger length dimension and multiple rows of seating for different vantage points).
See My Theater (Updated: Oct-19-2019)
for all photos and build information on my home theater.
Build diagram and speaker angles below for 11.1.6