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This has always been my understanding as well, that overhead levels are so important. People talk about overhead effects all the time feeling like that’s what atmos is, but do I understand correctly that objects are placed in the room in the same(but much simpler) way a 2ch system will create a phantom image of a singer in the center of the room? To oversimplify, I mean traditional panning techniques, except between bed and height speakers?
Yes, while the overhead speakers and overhead effects are very important steps forward for Atmos, it's only one benefit among many. In addition, the much greater precision with which objects can be placed permits a startlingly good three-dimensional soundfield, thus enhancing all movies, including those which don't have much scope for use of overhead speakers at all. HST, since the overhead speakers are the new kids on the block, naturally people do want to hear them in use!
 

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It is definitely natural to want a good return on investment. I just think the point gets lost sometimes.
Anyway, I know you’re kind of an ambassador for Atmos, and you’ve been very kind and helpful to many. I have a question about placing my rsl C34e’s which will arrive today. I made a post elsewhere that I will copy and paste for your perusal later today.
 

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It is definitely natural to want a good return on investment. I just think the point gets lost sometimes.
Anyway, I know you’re kind of an ambassador for Atmos, and you’ve been very kind and helpful to many. I have a question about placing my rsl C34e’s which will arrive today. I made a post elsewhere that I will copy and paste for your perusal later today.
They are an interesting design with their sloping driver arrangement and aimable tweeter. Very nice dispersion pattern too - right on spec for Atmos. A sketch is always useful when asking for positioning advice - doesn't need to be anything fancy.
 

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They are an interesting design with their sloping driver arrangement and aimable tweeter. Very nice dispersion pattern too - right on spec for Atmos. A sketch is always useful when asking for positioning advice - doesn't need to be anything fancy.


Sure thing. I have sketches and room pics. Will be busy for awhile.
 

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It is definitely natural to want a good return on investment. I just think the point gets lost sometimes.
Anyway, I know you’re kind of an ambassador for Atmos, and you’ve been very kind and helpful to many. I have a question about placing my rsl C34e’s which will arrive today. I made a post elsewhere that I will copy and paste for your perusal later today.
Even now, the general public knows and understands little about Atmos. And even for those that do, many of those have not really heard Atmos properly set up...whether it be at a dealer installation or at a friend's home. @kbarnes701 had an advantage and is the exception. IIRC, from the onset, he had the opportunity to see and hear Atmos properly set up...at Dolby Labs no less. Keith, it would be great if you could point to your early postings of your visit!:)
 

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Yes, that would be OK. Bear in mind that, strictly speaking, all the speakers should play exactly the same loudness though. If you bump up the level of any, then you run the risk of upsetting the 'balance' between them and this can affect the imaging. For example, a sound that is meant to 'hover' between the ear level speakers and the overheads will tend to be too close to the ceiling if the overhead speakers have been goosed. Similarly, if a sound is meant to image halfway between the FL speaker and the Left Side Surround speaker, it will be out of position if the side surrounds are playing too loudly. The mixer assumes all the speakers are calibrated to the same SPL. You can test the levels with a SPL meter and a test disc. If you don't have a SPL meter you can use a phone App, since absolute accuracy isn't all that important if all you are doing is testing relative levels.

Having said all that, remember it's your system, in your room, paid for with your money, so set it up to suit you. If you prefer the overheads raised by 3dB, then raise them by 3dB. Just be aware of what you are doing and any potential consequences, that's all.
I took this advice and made improvements in my setup. I was previously +3db on front height. Yes it stood out more, but the speaker blend makes sense. I ran my Audyssey XT32 8 locations instead of 6. I ran it without the speaker grills as I leave them off now, corrected the placement of surround right to be ear level as surround left is.

And used Front Height and Top Middle (instead of Rear Height) since I'm on the back wall. So it seemed more appropriate (the pic I posted above isn't updated, all top channels are pointing down to the ear)

The difference was amazing, gave me wow factor so over again. I could tell the sound came thru with effect, with less effort if that makes sense. My test content showed improvements in 3D sound.
 

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I took this advice and made improvements in my setup. I was previously +3db on front height. Yes it stood out more, but the speaker blend makes sense. I ran my Audyssey XT32 8 locations instead of 6. I ran it without the speaker grills as I leave them off now, corrected the placement of surround right to be ear level as surround left is.

And used Front Height and Top Middle (instead of Rear Height) since I'm on the back wall. So it seemed more appropriate (the pic I posted above isn't updated, all top channels are pointing down to the ear)

The difference was amazing, gave me wow factor so over again. I could tell the sound came thru with effect, with less effort if that makes sense. My test content showed improvements in 3D sound.
As has been constantly iterated throughout this thread, it's all about proper set up...each environment is different...so it takes some experimentation/trial and error to optimize and get you there.
 

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Even now, the general public knows and understands little about Atmos. And even for those that do, many of those have not really heard Atmos properly set up...whether it be at a dealer installation or at a friend's home. @kbarnes701 had an advantage and is the exception. IIRC, from the onset, he had the opportunity to see and hear Atmos properly set up...at Dolby Labs no less. Keith, it would be great if you could point to your early postings of your visit!:)
Thanks gene...

Yes, I was very fortunate to be invited to Dolby's London HQ on two occasions. What I heard there also formed the basis of Atmos in my own HT.

Here are the reviews that you mention, of both visits:

Dolby Atmos For Home, Personal Views and Two Reviews of Experiences at Dolby London HQ.
 

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They are an interesting design with their sloping driver arrangement and aimable tweeter. Very nice dispersion pattern too - right on spec for Atmos. A sketch is always useful when asking for positioning advice - doesn't need to be anything fancy.


Ugh...I lost a multi quote reply to you and gene. Just know that we seem to agree.

The Rsl seemed to me a perfect marriage of things. The 15deg baffle will match my sloped ceiling of 10deg left to right. The great dispersion, and excellent CS made the decision easy.

Is this thread ask for my pics and sketches, or should I start a new one. Seems appt here?
 

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TBH the overhead speakers should rarely draw attention to themselves, any more than the other speakers should, but do try downloading the Atmos trailers and demos as you can be sure that they have been mixed properly for Atmos. It will be even rarer that just the overheads are playing on their own, with nothing coming from the ear level speakers. In fact, AFAICR I have never heard that. All the speakers in the system will blend together to create a cohesive three dimensional soundstage, if the system is properly set up.
Completely true - the speakers in an Atmos configuration are designed to play together all the time when they have content directed to them by the renderer. It's fun to meter watch or turn off the amp for the 7 basic floor level speakers, but don't expect to hear a full movie from just the heights with either Atmos or DTS:X. If we did the mixer needs to find a second career LOL...

Yes, that would be OK. Bear in mind that, strictly speaking, all the speakers should play exactly the same loudness though. If you bump up the level of any, then you run the risk of upsetting the 'balance' between them and this can affect the imaging. For example, a sound that is meant to 'hover' between the ear level speakers and the overheads will tend to be too close to the ceiling if the overhead speakers have been goosed. Similarly, if a sound is meant to image halfway between the FL speaker and the Left Side Surround speaker, it will be out of position if the side surrounds are playing too loudly. The mixer assumes all the speakers are calibrated to the same SPL. You can test the levels with a SPL meter and a test disc. If you don't have a SPL meter you can use a phone App, since absolute accuracy isn't all that important if all you are doing is testing relative levels.
That comment about verifying SPL levels for all speakers individually, ideally with your bass management activated to remove bass energy that's not of interest when it's redirected to subs in your system, and turning off fancy processing (i.e. DEQ) is IMO the #1 takeaway of what you can do to make sure that your room is properly ready for Atmos.

Even with my Trinnov toy, you're not really capturing the mixer's intent by just taking the levels you get out of your room EQ software/firmware for granted if you use bass mangement. At least as a starting point...

#2 is amiable tweeters and direct on-axis sound at MLP....


Having said all that, remember it's your system, in your room, paid for with your money, so set it up to suit you. If you prefer the overheads raised by 3dB, then raise them by 3dB. Just be aware of what you are doing and any potential consequences, that's all.

Oh sure, it's preference at the end of the day. But IMO you start with reference as a baseline nd go from there...
 
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Even with my Trinnov toy, you're not really capturing the mixer's intent by just taking the levels you get out of your room EQ software/firmware for granted if you use bass mangement.
I am not understanding your point here... can you elaborate please?
 

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Ugh...I lost a multi quote reply to you and gene. Just know that we seem to agree.

The Rsl seemed to me a perfect marriage of things. The 15deg baffle will match my sloped ceiling of 10deg left to right. The great dispersion, and excellent CS made the decision easy.

Is this thread ask for my pics and sketches, or should I start a new one. Seems appt here?
Here is fine since it's an Atmos question.
 

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I am not understanding your point here... can you elaborate please?
No I was referring to making sure that your speakers post cal are indeed capable of playing at the same SPL based on the level set, with bass management and room EQ enabled, before we play actual content.

Meaning that if a mixer tends to, for example, have the top middles 3 db below, say, the top fronts, but the levels for the top middles were set by an Audyssey or other room EQ another -3 db below the top fronts when you test the speakers using pink noise and an SPL meter with bass management on (using whatever method you have to play pink noise with room EQ and bass management on), you’re actually not fully capturing how the soundfield is supposed to sound. At least as “reference”.

So I was agreeing with your point about speaker levels with Atmos. Make sense?
 

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He owns a Trinnov.
And the sky is blue, at least when clouds aren’t in the way. It’s not ALL about Trinnov, you know :)
 

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I am in the final stages of installing my 4 ceiling speakers. I realised after tapping with my finger the ceiling plaster board that it sends a fair but of noise through to the bedroom above.

I figured I can squeeze in some wool insulation into the cavity using the 200mm hole for the speakers. Maybe 2 layers. Are there any issues with sounds quality with packing quite a bit of insulation above the speakers? They're polk mc60's.

Was consider using the speaker box as a frame around the speaker and using some cotton sheeting around the speaker before putting the insulation on top of that. Don't want to muffle the sound....

I also found out that the walls have sound insulation in when I tired to push my yellow tongue down. Just bounced off the insulation 😞 not an easy job hiding and feeding wires.

Any suggestions appreciated.
 

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^^^^

One other observation wrt to the issue of the overheads not being very 'obvious'. Try upmixing a regular DTS-HD MA or TrueHD track with either Dolby Surround Upmixer or DTS Neural:X. On most movies, the upmixer will cause the overheads to make noise pretty much all the time, so the effect from above will be much more obvious than it is with most Atmos tracks (albeit not 'accurate' and, ultimately, much less satisfying). If you still can't hear the overheads making their contribution, then chances are something isn't right in the setup.

Lots of movies will give the overheads a good workout when using DSU or Neural:X, but if you have it, try the opening, pre-title sequence on the Blu-ray of Spectre. During the fight in the helicopter you will hear amazing overhead effects from the helicopter as it swooshes left and right, all around the room and over your head much of the time. A lot of people who have heard this in my HT comment on it and many say it is better than a true Atmos disc. Certainly, the upmixer does a fabulous job of extracting and steering the sounds.
I did raise my levels on the atmos speakers, keep in mind this is my first time setting up a HT. and on top of that I went with 5.1.2 so I am not going to say how much level i increased as I will be frowned upon, but I tested the spectre scene on amazon prime, it is showing a PCM input signal and I did have in movie - multi+ dolby surround, and yes that opening scene helicopter swooshing left and right were very obvious. Any other content that you would recommend on netflix or amazon prime that I can test by using the dolby surround umpire or DTS rural:X, by the way which between the two should be used?

I wonder what the implications would be for turning the levels up so high, it does sound alright for now.
 

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Ok guys, at the risk of oversharing, I’m gonna bomb this thread with a pile of stuff. I’ve seen it repeated over and over that it’s harder to mess Atmos up than get it right. So...
Not sure how to ask my question but, here goes.
My Rsl C34e’s just showed up today! I’ve pored over as much literature as I can find, and had decided on my locations. Except one thing. My ceiling has a 10deg rise from left to right. My mains are 8’-6” apart, so I’m using that as my Atmos spacing to maintain the “square” over my head. The problem is due to the rise, the square turns into a trapezoid when viewed from above, effectively shortening the distance between the top right front/rear Atmos speakers. So question one is, in the attached picture, where do I choose for the right side Atmos speakers to maintain the geometry? 1,2,3, or somewhere along the “2”axis?


Second question is tied to the first.

In this picture, we’re looking at the back of the room, so the left side of the pic is the right side of the room(just worked out when I was doodling).

So, “C” is an imaginary ceiling height of 9’. This is derived from the height of the left side of my room. “E” is showing the 4.25’ distance from center to each of the Atmos locations, and illustrating the angle between the LP and speakers, on what would be a flat ceiling.

“D” is actually my ceiling. As you can see, 4.25’ from center shortens the angle to and places that speaker at location “A”. To maintain the correct geometry to the LP, the speaker should be in location “B”, at 5.25’ but this places it outside of the imaginary line above the right front.
So.... what should I do here? I have 12 can lights. So, do I have the speakers follow their “lines” and potentially mess up my experience, put them where they need to go and have them look random( don’t care too much), and have odd spacing with the lights. Waf is pretty high , and she doesn’t much care either way. From what I’ve read, it’s hard to get this wrong, BUT I only want to cut up my ceiling once.
I emailed Dolby, but they informed me that they don’t have any direct user support.
I will add pics of the room for reference. Pics or it didn’t happen, right? I can can doodle on the pics to show where I’ve picked as well.
Thanks guys, I hope my doodles are clear enough. Am I splitting hairs?
Oh yeah, 7.3.4
 

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Hi guys,

I just ordered 4 KEF CI200QR speakers for atmos!

I have a few questions regarding the best placement.

My room is a large room with vaulted ceilings. I am sitting horizontal with the vaulted ceiling so the speakers will be aimed towards me more than if they were flat.

The front part of the room is 25 feet apart, but the main listening stage is 14 feet wide by about 25 feet long. Towards the back of the room, it is more narrow at 11 feet wide. I have side surround at 90 degrees and rear surround at about 135 degrees.

At the MLP the ceiling is about 12-13+ feet high from my ears. (vaulted ceilings about 16 feet high)

I plan on placing the front height speakers at about 9 or 10 feet from the MLP, and I plan on placing the rear about 8 or 9 feet from the MLP.

I am confused on whether to put the front height speakers 4 feet from the walls, or 3.5 feet or 3 feet from the walls. If I do 4 feet, then the spread in the front will be 6 feet, 3.5 feet is 7 feet or 3 feet from the walls is 8 feet of spread. I know the KEF Ci200QR have really great dispersion, as well as my ceilings being 16+ feet high.

On the left side front and rear I can match the distances from the wall, either 3 feet, 3.5 feet or 4 feet.

In the rear, the reason I want to go with 8 feet from the MLP is because there is a second wall in the rear that starts at about 9 feet back, so if I put the right rear height speaker 8 feet away I can get away from the start of that wall a bit. If I did 7 feet behind the MLP I could get even further away from the start of the wall. 6 feet to the rear, even further away from the wall, but 6 feet doesn't seem far enough away from the MLP with 16 feet ceilings. The main wall is 25 feet from the screen, or about 12-13 feet from the MLP.

For the right rear side I am going to try to place the right rear height in line with the right front height so you would be able to draw a rectangle and things would be spaced out equally.

The rear is 11 feet wide instead of 14-- for the most part the best I can do is to go forward away from the right rear side wall otherwise the soundstage becomes too narrow since I heard you really need to be at least 3 feet from side walls.

If I go 4 feet from the left side wall in for the left front and rear channel, and 1 foot to the right of the wall for the right rear height channel then the spread is 6 feet, same as the front and it is a matching rectangle.

If I go 3.5 feet from the left side wall for the left front and rear channel, and 6 inches to the right of the wall for the right rear height channel the spread is 7 feet and matches the front height channels in a rectangle.

If I went with 3 feet from the left rear wall, and 0 feet from the side wall on the right then the spread is 8 feet and matches the front in a rectangle (and went with say 7 feet from the MLP that would still get me about 2 feet from that right rear wall beginning).

So here are a few different options:

A) 4 feet from the front and rear left wall, 1 foot from the rear right channel wall = 6 foot spread.
B) 3.5 feet from the front and rear left wall, 6 inches from the rear right channel wall = 7 foot spread.
C) 3 feet from the front and rear left wall, 0 inches from the rear right channel wall = 8 foot spread.

Then I have to figure out the distance to go from the MLP front to back.

1) 8 feet forward, 8 feet back (this is 1 foot away from the right rear side wall corner)
2) 8 feet forward, 7 feet back (this is 2 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)
3) 8 feet forward, 6 feet back (this is 3 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)

4) 9 feet forward, 8 feet back (this is 1 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)
5) 9 feet forward 7 feet back (this is 2 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)
6) 9 feet forward, 6 feet back (this is 3 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)

7) 10 feet forward, 8 feet back(this is 1 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)
8) 10 feet forward, 7 feet back (this is 2 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)
9) 10 feet forward, 6 feet back (this is 3 feet away from the right rear side wall corner)

I sit about 2 feet further from the front than I do the rear, and that rear corner wall starts 8.5 feet into the room from the rear. This is why I am leaning towards a more staggered layout with at least 1 foot further towards the front such as combination A5, A7, A8 or B2, B5, B7 or B8.

Which combination would be the best placement knowing the size of the room (ABC, 123456789), having the high ceilings with the wide dispersion KEF Ci200QR speakers?

I left out the other 45 degree positions because 7 feet forward / back and 6 feet forward / back don't seem like enough distance for the room size but maybe I am wrong.

EDIT: I think the Ci200QR have an adjustable tweeter so having that rear right height speaker being a bit closer to the wall might not be too big of a deal if I can adjust the tweeter to point towards the MLP and the angle of the vaulted ceiling also helps to point the speaker away from the wall as well. So maybe #7 , #8 or #4 could be best since they have the most distance front to back. Still not sure on A, B or C.

Thank you for helping!
 
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