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post #1 of 218 Old 10-17-2017, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Exploitation of Width Speakers AKA Wides

For Wides lovers, or people wondering what the fuzz is about

This thread is to exchange ideas/best practices on existing/suggested methodologies for the exploitation of wides (B-chain) in situation where:
1) the content does not natively support wides, like stereo, 5.1/7.1 legacy, DSU and Auro3D/AuroMatic; and
2) the number of active channels has already reached the maximum for decoding (11 main channels for Atmos and DTS:X on most DSP chip based processors)

Not to be confused with the thread started by @CINERAMAX which is about Atmos soundtracks exploiting Wides (A-chain): https://www.avsforum.com/forum/86-ul...ng-thread.html


I tried to start a discussion on this subject on the Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) forum (> Official Atmos Width Channel Exploiting Thread), but realized that its relevance is much broader than that.
  • Allthough virtually all manufacturers of consumer gear have dropped Wides on their AVRs/processors the last couple of years, rumor goes they will be re-introduced on the flagship D&M 2018 models expected coming spring.
  • On top of that, a bit more expensive (but still below the 20,000 mark) processors are being introduced which already allow more simultaneously active channels (including Wides), either through native processing (decoding) or added afterwards by some kind of post-processing (arraying, mixing).
  • And last but not least, this subject also includes the solutions of some hard-core enthusiast who are employing multiple AVR/processor set-ups to escape from the limitations of the current consumer hardware.
Below are the posts I was referring to, and merely intended to stir up the discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maikeldepotter View Post
With all the existing, new or promised 13-16 (or more) channel capable DSP based receivers/processors (DataSat, Acurus, StormAudio, Lyngdorf, Emotiva, Theta), all allowing some form of post-processing to get a higher number of active channels than current decoding limits permit, why does NOT ONE of them allow center extraction between fronts and surrounds to create permanent wides.... There MUST be a VERY PERTINENT reason...
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Originally Posted by maikeldepotter View Post
Wides are supported by ATMOS and DTS:X.

With DTS:X, the wide creation appears to rely entirely on a front-surround center extraction process, the same way the Neural-X up-mixer creates wides. So for DTS:X and Neural:X you will get very similar results if you create wides AFTER the decoding, by a separate post-processing center extraction process. In this way you can have DTS:X (and Neural:X) on a 7.1.4+wides speaker configuration, and get beyond the 11 channel max limit for DTS:X/Neural:X. Conclusion: Excellent!


With ATMOS it's a bit different. Here the wides get their content from
  • 1) object sounds panned between fronts and surrounds, or
  • 2) object sounds at wides position with a 'snap to nearest speaker' tag.
Only in 2nd case, replacing ATMOS decoding by a post-processing front-surround center extraction will not work, as the 'wide' information will remain in the fronts speaker (your explanation, if I understand correctly). In the 1st case however, in the absence of declared wides, the object sound will be will divided between front and surround, and post processing centre extraction will actually work quite good. In fact, I bet you will not hear any difference with real ATMOS decoding. The other difference with real ATMOS decoding is that in addition to panned object sounds, also equal bed channel info between front and surround will be extracted and send to the wides. This effect could actually IMPROVE the immersive field, it will at least make the wides much more active also when there are no objects passing. Conclusion: Pretty good, and worth having this option to play with.

But here comes the best part: For all legacy content that relies on up-mixing to achieve a more immersive sound field, post-processing center extraction will give you back the wides that DSU 'forgot'. And last but not least, it allows you to add wides to Auro3D and Auromatic. Conclusion: Spectacular!

So I ask again, why do we not see this included as an optional post-processing feature on mentioned machines? It is beyond me...
Quote:
Originally Posted by maikeldepotter View Post
looking ahead, with competition closing in on each other, this could IMO be a very welcomed USP.

Edit 1: I am specifically targeting Lyngdorf with this suggestion, as they already implemented some post-processing for additional speaker feeds (e.g. wides) that goes beyond simple arraying feeds to multiple speakers. My assumption (which may be false?) is that it should be relatively easy to in the digital domain apply center extraction on two adjacent speaker feeds, instead of just mixing these two feeds to create this additional one right in-between ...

Edit 2: Or maybe it are the license agreements with the immersive codec providers (Dolby, DTS, AurouTechnologies) that forbid any advanced post-processing to their decoded feeds. So only level, delay, and eq modifications together with channel copying or some simple mixing could be allowed. That would be a pertinent reason...
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post #2 of 218 Old 10-17-2017, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Positioning of wides

From ISE-2017 presentation by Arnaud Laborie, Trinnov

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Part 2: Unified 3D speaker layouts for multiple listeners
Recommendations for front-wide speakers – multiple listening positions
• Why front wide speaker placement in high end home theater.
o Fill the hole between screen speakers and surround speakers...
o ... regardless of the screen and the listening area
• Human localization is not very good for front-side directions
o How to fill the hole?
• One simple method.
• The median angle is preferred over the bisector angle
Applying this method to the speaker 9.2 lay-out diagram from the Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guidelines puts the wides at a more narrow position (about 50 degrees azimuth):

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post #3 of 218 Old 10-18-2017, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Copying L/R fronts to the Wides

Probably the simplest way of using Wides with formats (and up-mixers) that do not use them, is to copy the front speaker on the same side, and add a delay of 3-5 ms. In that way the Wides mimic the beneficial lateral reflections that are know to increase envelopment, but it allows more control (SPL, delay, eq'ing). An added benefit is that the fronts can be further toed in (e.g. 45 degrees) to allow cross-firing (time-intensity trading) without losing L/R front envelopment.

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post #4 of 218 Old 10-18-2017, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maikeldepotter View Post
From ISE-2017 presentation by Arnaud Laborie, Trinnov



Applying this method to the speaker 9.2 lay-out diagram from the Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guidelines puts the wides at a more narrow position (about 50 degrees azimuth):

Attachment 2300204
That’s actually what I do with my wides, having them at about 50 degrees, with the Atmos Narrow configuration for my native Atmos conent. I will say this works well with DSU, but particularly Neural:X and Auromatic, in combination with copying the L/R mains to these speakers at a much reduced level, and adding small delay as works best in your room.

If you have the right tools - Trinnov, Datasat, maybe the Storm Audio processor, MiniDSP, or a Q-Sys - you can do the same with a second pair of side surrounds at maybe 70-75 degrees (a/k/a “Side Surround 1” on the 24.1.10 Atmos layout), to be similarly copied to match with true side surrounds at 100-110. I find that in my room, that second pair of side surrounds in front of the single row of three seats is more noticeable than the wides, though, with the upmixers, while avoiding occlusion interference with listeners’ heads. As always, IMO/YMMV.

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post #5 of 218 Old 10-19-2017, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
That’s actually what I do with my wides, having them at about 50 degrees, with the Atmos Narrow configuration for my native Atmos conent. I will say this works well with DSU, but particularly Neural:X and Auromatic, in combination with copying the L/R mains to these speakers at a much reduced level, and adding small delay as works best in your room.
Does that mean that sound-wise you prefer to copy L/R mains to the wides (at reduced level and with delay), instead of Neural:X feeding them with up-mixed content?

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post #6 of 218 Old 10-19-2017, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by maikeldepotter View Post
Does that mean that sound-wise you prefer to copy L/R mains to the wides (at reduced level and with delay), instead of Neural:X feeding them with up-mixed content?
This may be controversial, but when I've done listening, albeit mostly with music, as I prefer DSU for movies, I hear little practical difference on my two channel content between Neural:X feeding the extracted content to the wides and the copied approach when it comes to hearing content in a wides location. So at least for me that leaves philosophical considerations.

The differences are at best subtle, and since IMO the wides are part of the front stage rather than a true surround speaker, especially if they're between 45/50 and 60 degrees, I find the sound a little more pleasing with the reduced level/delayed L/R copying extended a little further down from the front rather than having the perception that the extracted surround (in combination with whatever common signal from the front is extracted to the wide) is giving me something in that location.

I'd say this is particularly so for live vs. studio two-channel musical content. Perhaps this is one reason why there's a niche with preference for Auromatic, which doesn't have specific steering of content to side surrounds but does a copy approach with added processing, for music. And to be honest, Neural:X is hit or miss depending on how the center channel extraction sounds compared to DSU, so I use it on a case by case basis. At the end of the day, I think we can agree that upmixers are a personal choice and there are no rules about what to use and when.

Note that in my 11.4.6 system to date, I have wides at approximately 50 degrees, and a second pair of side surrounds (Ls1/Rs1) at approximately 70 degrees, so literally speaking the boundary between "front" and "surround" is at the halfway point of 60 degrees. If I only had a 9.x.4 or 9.x.6 system, with my single pair of surrounds at 90 and wides at 60 (e.g. with a mainstream AVR), I might feel differently about this, admittedly. In that context the Neural:X extraction approach of putting a phantom image into a literal halfway point might be theoretically appealing.
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post #7 of 218 Old 10-19-2017, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
This may be controversial, but when I've done listening, albeit mostly with music, as I prefer DSU for movies, I hear little practical difference on my two channel content between Neural:X feeding the extracted content to the wides and the copied approach when it comes to hearing content in a wides location. So at least for me that leaves philosophical considerations.

The differences are at best subtle, and since IMO the wides are part of the front stage rather than a true surround speaker, especially if they're between 45/50 and 60 degrees, I find the sound a little more pleasing with the reduced level/delayed L/R copying extended a little further down from the front rather than having the perception that the extracted surround (in combination with whatever common signal from the front is extracted to the wide) is giving me something in that location.
No controversy here. While I did not yet experiment with the suggested L/R main copying to the Wides (which you are already practicing), I did notice that with stereo content Neural:X sends mostly reverberant sound / spatial cues to the Wides. This is clearly not the same as using the Wides to mimic side wall reflections. I was in doubt what would sound better, and your observations kind of confirm the hunch I had about this. IMO and experience, spatial cues work much better when coming from elevated positions ...

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post #8 of 218 Old 10-19-2017, 10:59 AM
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No controversy here. While I did not yet experiment with the suggested L/R main copying to the Wides (which you are already practicing), I did notice that with stereo content Neural:X sends mostly reverberant sound / spatial cues to the Wides. This is clearly not the same as using the Wides to mimic side wall reflections. I was in doubt what would sound better, and your observations kind of confirm the hunch I had about this. IMO and experience, spatial cues work much better when coming from elevated positions ...

Well, it's only controversial if you consider extraction between front and surround to wides to be a norm . I originally came from the perspective that this was some sort of holy grail for upmixing, but after some listening, there's good reasons why Dolby did what it did with DSU (sending nothing to wides) and Auromatic did their approach to wides. It's just a matter of what degree of mimicking side wall reflections (if any) you want to live with. At first I thought it was odd but listening to content it works.


Put another way, you're getting a kind of Auromatic plus - the advantages of what they're doing minus the reverb processing and something better than straight copy to the heights. Way back when, I did something similar with surrounds in JRiver, and I refined the idea with some specifics to my room from my Trinnov consultant.

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post #9 of 218 Old 10-19-2017, 01:23 PM
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"median angle is preferred over the bisector angle"

What is this preference based on?

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post #10 of 218 Old 10-19-2017, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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"median angle is preferred over the bisector angle"

What is this preference based on?
Laborie referred to extensive listening tests at Trinnov IIRC.
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post #11 of 218 Old 10-20-2017, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, it's only controversial if you consider extraction between front and surround to wides to be a norm .
You got a point there. I will explain.

I still believe (until proven/experienced otherwise) that center extraction between mains and surrounds could, as a post-processing option, be 'the holy grail' for creating discrete content for Wides when not supported by the used format or upmixer (e.g. stereo, legacy 5.1/7.1, DSU, Auro3D, AuroMatic). I do not consider merely copying Lf/Rf content to Wides to be creating discrete content, and would prefer to call this matrixing, referring to anything that is limited to arraying or mixing channels (incl. level and delay adjustments).

Also, IMO, this matrixing L/R main channels to the wides is ONLY needed in cases where the ipsi-lateral side-wall reflections fall short in producing the right amount of envelopment, e.g due to the absence of a reflective surface (no side wall, absorptive treatment, or even Wides themselves mounted right on top of the reflection point) and/or extreme toeing-in of the mains (cross-firing). In that sense, this method could even be regarded as being part of the acoustical treatment strategy.

What I am getting at, is that the one method (creating discrete content) can work together with the other method (matrixing Lfr/Rfr). So, there is not necessarily a controversy between my current belief, and your observation that when compared separately the one method (applying Neural:X) works not as good as the other method (mimicking reflections). The question that remains in this example is whether applying both at the same time could produce an even better effect...

Quote:
I originally came from the perspective that this was some sort of holy grail for upmixing, but after some listening, there's good reasons why Dolby did what it did with DSU (sending nothing to wides) and Auromatic did their approach to wides.
Are you referring to Neural:X up-mixing? Because Neural:X does more to the Wides than just center extraction, while center extraction by itself should only result in a more stable sound field between fronts and surround, and possibly some soundstage broadening as well...

Quote:
It's just a matter of what degree of mimicking side wall reflections (if any) you want to live with. At first I thought it was odd but listening to content it works.
Yes, it certainly seems to be something that not lends itself to be a simple on-off option, but that needs manual tweaking by an experienced/dedicated listener to get it exactly right, and that also depends on the acoustical treatment of side-walls and the toeing-in of the mains.

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post #12 of 218 Old 10-24-2017, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maikeldepotter View Post
Probably the simplest way of using Wides with formats (and up-mixers) that do not use them, is to copy the front speaker on the same side, and add a delay of 3-5 ms. In that way the Wides mimic the beneficial lateral reflections that are know to increase envelopment, but it allows more control (SPL, delay, eq'ing). An added benefit is that the fronts can be further toed in (e.g. 45 degrees) to allow cross-firing (time-intensity trading) without losing L/R front envelopment.
And here you go giving me ideas again

In my setup i have two unused sets of front outputs, that i can reroute to my «pure wide» speakers and test this method when using DSU.
I can even calibrate that AVR using my wides as fronts, so they get calibrated spesially for that use.

I have to think about this....
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Well, it's only controversial if you consider extraction between front and surround to wides to be a norm . I originally came from the perspective that this was some sort of holy grail for upmixing, but after some listening, there's good reasons why Dolby did what it did with DSU (sending nothing to wides)...
Is this because (from your comments):

Quote:
I find the sound a little more pleasing with the reduced level/delayed L/R copying extended a little further down from the front rather than having the perception that the extracted surround (in combination with whatever common signal from the front is extracted to the wide) is giving me something in that location.
If that is the reasoning, could Dolby not have offered some options, including both your preference, as well as the "holy grail" that is not always pleasing?

I.e., vs. absolutely nothing at all.
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Is this because (from your comments):



If that is the reasoning, could Dolby not have offered some options, including both your preference, as well as the "holy grail" that is not always pleasing?

I.e., vs. absolutely nothing at all.
I think their philosophy is that wides are part of the front soundstage (e.g. within the +/- 60 degrees from center), and they strongly believe that you don't tamper with that by upmixing to more than L/C/R within that area.

Thus its left to post-processing for us to deal with, at least with DSU. Unless they adapt their thinking it's going to stay that way.

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post #15 of 218 Old 10-25-2017, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
I think their philosophy is that wides are part of the front soundstage (e.g. within the +/- 60 degrees from center), and they strongly believe that you don't tamper with that by upmixing to more than L/C/R within that area.
Fair enough.

But clean center extraction between mains and surrounds does NOT pull surround sound into the front soundstage *). So why would this be considered 'tampering the front soundstage', especially since DSU applies exactly such center extraction to feed an additional speaker right in the middle of that same front stage when up-mixing a stereo source?

*) Ironically, ATMOS happens to do exactly that with a 5.x.x+Wides config: pulling surround bed channel info into the Wides / front soundstage. This phenomenon was addressed about nine months ago:
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Now MHO is that enough noise has been made concerning this Atmos reproduction problem in a 5+Wides.x.4 configuration, so Dolby should be well aware of that by now... we'll though see how long it will take them to addressed that.

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post #16 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Ironically, ATMOS happens to do exactly that with a 5.x.x+Wides config: pulling surround bed channel info into the Wides / front soundstage.
So apparently, Dolby considers mixing surround bed channel info into the Wides NOT to be a violation of the integrity of the front soundstage. So again, what risk could they possibly have been thinking of when deciding to silence the Wides with DSU? I am completely clueless ...

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But clean center extraction between mains and surrounds does NOT pull surround sound into the front soundstage.

...ATMOS happens to do exactly that with a 5.x.x+Wides config.

...DSU applies exactly such center extraction to feed an additional speaker right in the middle of that same front stage when up-mixing a stereo source
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So apparently, Dolby considers mixing surround bed channel info into the Wides NOT to be a violation of the integrity of the front soundstage. So again, what risk could they possibly have been thinking of when deciding to silence the Wides with DSU? I am completely clueless ...
I think you've exposed how inconsistent Dolby has been in the application of their 'principles'. Considering how critical DSU is to the format (less than 100 of my movies Are Atmos, and thousands are not), I think this could be classified as "shooting yourself in the foot". DSU simply provides an impaired front sound-stage, compared to other possibilities.

A cynic (certainly not me) might have to wonder if considerations of bolstering the push towards replacing all one's content with new Atmos remixes wasn't a factor, in those (strategically restricted) principles. As you said elsewhere:

Quote:
The other difference with real ATMOS decoding is that in addition to panned object sounds, also equal bed channel info between front and surround will be extracted and send to the wides. This effect could actually IMPROVE the immersive field, it will at least make the wides much more active also when there are no objects passing.
You don't exactly want non-Atmos content thru DSU sounding better than real Atmos content!
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post #18 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 08:51 AM
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So apparently, Dolby considers mixing surround bed channel info into the Wides NOT to be a violation of the integrity of the front soundstage. So again, what risk could they possibly have been thinking of when deciding to silence the Wides with DSU? I am completely clueless ...
I thought they (Dolby) pulled the wide's out of the line up as a means to reassign this channel to the ATMOS speakers. Dolby knew they had a current realistic market limitation to the max number of channels. So they had to sacrifice something to achieve their ATMOS vision.

Perhaps this is to simplistic of a view on what the thought process was. But to me I though the answer was "We need this channel elsewhere" reasoning.

BTW. I love my "Wide" speaker channel. Specially for Music Concerts or Orchestral compositions. Enjoy this conversation. Thanks to @maikeldepotter for stating this thread. Kudos Sir.
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post #19 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 09:46 AM
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So apparently, Dolby considers mixing surround bed channel info into the Wides NOT to be a violation of the integrity of the front soundstage.
There is no channel info in the wides, only object info. The decision to put sounds in the wides and the decision whether those sounds snap to the front speakers (when wides aren't configured) are both decided by the movie mixer(s), not Dolby. The only way Dolby would violate the integrity of the front soundstage is by changing the decisions made by the mixer about what sounds define the front soundstage.
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So again, what risk could they possibly have been thinking of when deciding to silence the Wides with DSU?
Suppose you mix a movie soundtrack, taking advantage of audio objects to precisely place sounds exactly where you want them, in order to define the critical front soundstage. During playback, an upmixing algorithm takes random diffuse sounds and places them at the edges of the front soundstage you had carefully defined. Would you be OK with that? Would the typical movie mixer be OK with that? Maybe Dolby has to keep things like that in mind because they have to maintain a working relationship with those same movie mixers.
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post #20 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 09:55 AM
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Suppose you mix a movie soundtrack, taking advantage of audio objects to precisely place sounds exactly where you want them, in order to define the critical front soundstage. During playback, an upmixing algorithm takes random diffuse sounds and places them at the edges of the front soundstage you had carefully defined. Would you be OK with that? Would the typical movie mixer be OK with that? Maybe Dolby has to keep things like that in mind because they have to maintain a working relationship with those same movie mixers.
If the mixer placed those sounds within LCR, that would not change if upmixer used wides, right? Nothing to extract.

If he however phantomed them between fronts and surrounds, upmixed wides would only stabilize that soundstage, right?
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post #21 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Suppose you mix a movie soundtrack, taking advantage of audio objects to precisely place sounds exactly where you want them, in order to define the critical front soundstage. During playback, an upmixing algorithm takes random diffuse sounds and places them at the edges of the front soundstage you had carefully defined. Would you be OK with that? Would the typical movie mixer be OK with that?
I might, though a movie mixer may not.

However, aren't you blending things in that example? 'Precisely placed audio objects' + 'an upmixing algorithm' adding random diffuse sounds?
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There is no channel info in the wides, only object info.
There is with a 5.x.x+wides lay-out: surround bed channel info is copied to the Wides by the Atmos decoder ...

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The decision to put sounds in the wides and the decision whether those sounds snap to the front speakers (when wides aren't configured) are both decided by the movie mixer(s), not Dolby. The only way Dolby would violate the integrity of the front soundstage is by changing the decisions made by the mixer about what sounds define the front soundstage.
And yet, that is exactly what Atmos is doing with a 5.x.x+wides configuration.

Quote:
Suppose you mix a movie soundtrack, taking advantage of audio objects to precisely place sounds exactly where you want them, in order to define the critical front soundstage. During playback, an upmixing algorithm takes random diffuse sounds and places them at the edges of the front soundstage you had carefully defined.
It's not diffuse sounds that the Atmos decoder puts in the Wides which 5.x.x+wides, it's copied surround bed channel info.

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Would you be OK with that? Would the typical movie mixer be OK with that?
And no, I wouldn't be OK with that.

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Maybe Dolby has to keep things like that in mind because they have to maintain a working relationship with those same movie mixers.
Sure, that makes perfect sense.

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post #23 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 11:12 AM
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There is with a 5.x.x+wides lay-out: surround bed channel info is copied to the Wides by the Atmos decoder ...
Might explain why 5.x.x+wides is not a configuration on the Dolby website. Implementation is at odds with the prerequisites in their SDK (sides and rears are prerequisites for wides).

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post #24 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 11:19 AM
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If the mixer placed those sounds within LCR, that would not change if upmixer used wides, right? Nothing to extract.
Right.
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If he however phantomed them between fronts and surrounds, upmixed wides would only stabilize that soundstage, right?
Could get weird with a 5.x.x layout. IF dialogue was panned to the wides when speaking characters moved off-screen, then those sounds would have to be split between the fronts and surrounds when the wides weren't configured. With a 5.x.x layout, the single pair of surrounds usually end up rearward of the listening position. Sounds intended to be just outside the front soundstage would be heard behind the listeners (especially ones sitting closest to the surrounds).

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post #25 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 11:29 AM
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However, aren't you blending things in that example? 'Precisely placed audio objects' + 'an upmixing algorithm' adding random diffuse sounds?
I could have come up with a less confusing example. BTW, mixing has been done using objects since well before there was a way to deliver an object-based mix.

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post #26 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 04:51 PM
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Could get weird with a 5.x.x layout. IF dialogue was panned to the wides when speaking characters moved off-screen, then those sounds would have to be split between the fronts and surrounds when the wides weren't configured. With a 5.x.x layout, the single pair of surrounds usually end up rearward of the listening position. Sounds intended to be just outside the front soundstage would be heard behind the listeners (especially ones sitting closest to the surrounds).
Not any different than that setup without wides, i.e. a regular 5.1 setup with surrounds at 110 degrees.

A 5.1 setup would place a sound the same position as a 5.1+ wides setup, only it would rely on that «third» speaker(wide) instead of phantoming.

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post #27 of 218 Old 10-26-2017, 10:33 PM
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From ISE-2017 presentation by Arnaud Laborie, Trinnov

> • The median angle is preferred over the bisector angle

Applying this method to the speaker 9.2 lay-out diagram from the Dolby Atmos Home Theater Installation Guidelines puts the wides at a more narrow position (about 50 degrees azimuth)...
Is any more information from Arnaud's presentation available online?
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post #28 of 218 Old 10-27-2017, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Is any more information from Arnaud's presentation available online?
http://cedia.co.uk/cda_/images/Cours...0Listeners.pdf
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post #29 of 218 Old 10-27-2017, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Might explain why 5.x.x+wides is not a configuration on the Dolby website. Implementation is at odds with the prerequisites in their SDK (sides and rears are prerequisites for wides).
So Dolby's Atmos Software Development Kit prohibits active Wides in the absence of Rears? Why then can we play Atmos 5.x.x+wides on each and every currently available Atmos capable AVR/processor? It suggests it to be a feature generically implemented in the Atmos software provided to manufacturers. Is Dolby not adhering to their own SDK?

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post #30 of 218 Old 10-27-2017, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nalleh View Post
If the mixer placed those sounds within LCR, that would not change if upmixer used wides, right? Nothing to extract. If he however phantomed them between fronts and surrounds, upmixed wides would only stabilize that soundstage, right?
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Right. Could get weird with a 5.x.x layout. IF dialogue was panned to the wides when speaking characters moved off-screen, then those sounds would have to be split between the fronts and surrounds when the wides weren't configured. With a 5.x.x layout, the single pair of surrounds usually end up rearward of the listening position. Sounds intended to be just outside the front soundstage would be heard behind the listeners (especially ones sitting closest to the surrounds).
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Not any different than that setup without wides, i.e. a regular 5.1 setup with surrounds at 110 degrees. A 5.1 setup would place a sound the same position as a 5.1+ wides setup, only it would rely on that «third» speaker(wide) instead of phantoming. Theoretically at least.
I believe you are both right, but about different things...

Sanjay gives an excellent explanation why mixers often choose to add a 'snap to nearest speaker' tag to objects that are intended to be just outside the front soundstage (or: at the outer edge of the front soundstage / just outside of the screen border / at the wides position e.g. 50-60 degrees azimuth). By doing so, they prevent these sounds to bleed into the surrounds, since - in the absence of Wides - they will 'snap' to the nearest main speaker being L or R front.

Nalleh is referring to sounds (including objects) that don't carry such tag, but are positioned at the same Wides location. These could be sounds that are being panned between front and side, but also sound objects that - by mixer's decision - need always to be off-screen to achieve the desired effect. These sounds will by definition either be reproduced by the Wides, or - in absence of Wides - be 'phantomed' between fronts and surrounds, both representing mixer's intent and - with a correct set-up - perceptually indistinguishable (at least from MLP).

Edit: I should add that this "perceptually indistinguishable" only refers to the position/direction where the sound is coming from. Adding a discretely fed speaker, however, will often improve the spatial resolution (perceived as better focus or a more 'stable' sound field), which is especially effective in the front-side region where the Wides are positioned.
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