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Penteo SHOCKER!

JonUrban

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Wow. Check this thread out over at AVS

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1297866

That really sucks. I know some of you, especially Cai when he was with us, were a bit hard on John when he first started out, mostly because you did not want to give up hope for master-tape surround sourced material, but he was always cordial and I never had any issues with him. In a way, he's helped champion surround sound to the studios, even if it were derived.

This is a real kick in the butt if it's true. The little guy gets shit on once again.

I hope John does well in whatever he does next, and next time - Watch your Back! :yikes
 

DKA

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While it stinks that the so-called "purists" (whatever that means) gave him a hard time, I have always thought he inflated what he actually did quite a bit when talking to others. Still, he doesn't deserve to lose control of what he created.

The even littler guy, struggling to do much of what Wheeler has done, is still around at SurroundByUs, and is achieving a lot with a hell of a lot less. It's literally one man and his computer. The fact that it is done for free, giving the user full access to the method itself, and can accomplish what it does, deserves a huge round of applause and continued support from the entire surround community.
 

bmoura

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Wow. Check this thread out over at AVS

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1297866

That really sucks. I know some of you, especially Cai when he was with us, were a bit hard on John when he first started out, mostly because you did not want to give up hope for master-tape surround sourced material, but he was always cordial and I never had any issues with him. In a way, he's helped champion surround sound to the studios, even if it were derived.

This is a real kick in the butt if it's true. The little guy gets shit on once again.

I hope John does well in whatever he does next, and next time - Watch your Back! :yikes
Wow, that is something.
 

winopener

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pretty ordinary way to shut down someone else's good work. Very sad.
 

Chris Gerhard

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I had wondered what happened to Penteo since I hadn't read or heard anything in some time. I don't really understand exactly what happened without specifics about how John Wheeler sold a majority interest in his company to someone else and then didn't like that outcome but as a vague concept, I guess we can assume it was an unfortunate situation. From a business point of view, if there is no significant profitable market for surround music mixed direct from multichannel master tapes, it is also safe to assume there is a less significant market for surround music expanded from a stereo source. I like the Penteo samples I have heard and think the process is the best I have heard.
 

DKA

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From a business point of view, if there is no significant profitable market for surround music mixed direct from multichannel master tapes, it is also safe to assume there is a less significant market for surround music expanded from a stereo source.
Repeated for emphasis. :)

I was having the same discussion with some other surround fans who are as much into the development of stereo-to-surround as I am, which is still pretty much my main interest in this community. Sure, you can market yourself as a cheap solution to indie groups, or offer yourself out to situations in which the masters have been lost, etc., but you're still a niche within a niche within a niche.

I've had indie musicians contact me in the past, and have offered to upmix their work for free, as I have no illusions myself of ever making any money off any of this. None of them ever get their act together to the point that they even get me the lossless tracks I ask them for.


I like the Penteo samples I have heard and think the process is the best I have heard.
Not to kick a dead horse, but I think your sentence says it all: you heard samples. I could send you carefully chosen samples of my work you'd think are better than what Wheeler did. In the end, though, I don't believe the body of his work was substantially better than what I could do with a publicly available, free method.

I feel bad for anyone who, in the process of "doing business," loses control over what was their brainchild to begin with. That really, really sucks.
 

penteosurround

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Thanks guys. I'm still alive! I was also "just a guy and a computer". I was the only operational staff (except for my buddy Patrick who was my assistant).

There was an unfriendly takeover that required a conspiracy amongst several gentlemen, the industry luminaries I had hired to legitimize the firm, funded by former Rolling Stones member Tony Chapman.

I still find it nearly impossible to believe. Chapman had a business partner send over a truck to pick up my work of five years, and I was out.

I can't say a lot without potentially slandering people, I am, however, under no non-compete and no inherent non-disclosure.

The goal was to change the way the world listens to stereo recordings, even if accomplished through a non-profit, which is how I should have probably set it up.

I can now reveal that Penteo was always based on Avery Lee's "Center Cut" algorithm, GPL'd open source code, combined with Hans Van Zutphen's "Tape Restore Live" azimuth corrector.

When I wrote the provisional patent in 2008, Lee's and Van Zutphen's work was fully disclosed, so any hardware products manufactured would of course have to have complied with the GPL by simply publishing the URL to my own added-on source. My work brought sonic transparency and a user interface to the game. Lee is not an audio programmer, he is more of an amazing mathematician and hard-core algorithmic programmer. So I was able to improve significantly on Lee's work, and tied it all together into a real-time box.

Though I still own stock, my presence in their firm is now the last thing they want. These gentlemen are in their 80s. Such things as open source products must be a new concept for them.

That algorithm, like all cream, will rise to the top someday, as it is in no way an effect; it is the mathematical transform which separates sound into components in a way that must be similar to the brain's own method when listening on headphones.

I spent 7 years with the algorithm, and I am still its biggest fan.

Thanks for all your support over here at QQ.

-John
 

DKA

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Best of luck to you, John. I'm not going to hide some of my comments above based on your reading them, but I do hope that there is a place for you to continue to indulge your creative juices. Anyone who takes the time to create, rather than just listen, and do it in the most difficult and, often nay-sayed, manner, gets a "thumbs up" in my book.

I also hope that you one day take the chance and visit the SurroundByUs site and see the wonderful work Zeerround has done in recent years with stereo-to-surround. Maybe a freeer, leaner, meaner, John Wheeler might even have some help to offer someday.
 

JonUrban

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Hi John,

Thanks for stopping by and checking in. Damn, I really feel bad for you. As I said, our members take all surround personally, and in the past some have been anti-"fake" surround, mostly because they do not want the labels to get lazy and stop bothering mixing REAL stuff like the did in the '70s and for a short time in the '00s.

I heard many examples of the Penteo system, thanks to you. Many were quite amazing.

I think you should really check out the SPEC software that DKA is speaking of to see how it compares to the Penteo solution, as I'd love to hear your evaluation of it. I have used the SPEC software myself and have been quite astounded by the results. In fact, it's because of the results from running a stereo tune through the SPEC software that I have grown a much greater appreciation of stereo to surround software. Since the "average Joe" didn't have that opportunity with Penteo, that opportunity did not exist for you.

Please continue to drop by and let us know what you're up to. If you're still interested in surround music, we're "your people". You'll find vaired opinions here, many strong (!), but you'll get honest responses. I'm sure you know that by now.

Good luck, and again, I feel really bad about what happened to you. Corporate bullshit is the WORST kind, I've been in similar situations, but yours is really personal, because you developed the whole thing. I can't even begin to think about what that feels like.
 

timbre4

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John - I'm also sorry to hear of the shabby treatment handed out during this corporate maneuver and hope to see you get engaged once again in a manner of your choosing.

To add to the voices above, SPEC is most definitely a process worthy of exploration.
 

jaybird100

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Reminds me of what happened to Bob Carver when he took his first company public. He was ousted in a very unceremonious fashion. He went on to start Sunfire, and the rest is history. John, best of luck to you. May your phoenix rise again.
 

winopener

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John,
it's very sad that you have been thrown out in the cold in such a way. Hope you find something good to work meanwhile - life must go on.
Maybe a rework could be done, a software implementation with a different name... you have an audience out there. Despite all odds, multichannel sound is still alive, but not thanks to corporate people. Enthusiast keep it going, doing quad restoration, upmixes etc... and these does reach more people that we're aware here.
 

leevitalone1

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old men with money as the driving force always ruined well intentioned individuals. Look thru history and it just repeats itself over and over. Greed plain and simple! You have the support of us here and I'm sure will find it also at avs.
 
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