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Thread: Stereotomy - APP

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    Thumbs up Stereotomy - APP

    I have been listening to a conversion of this album done by Quadradial way back in the early 2000's when DTS conversions were a new thing. I bought a stack of them way back when and they were stashed in a corner somewhere for a decade or so when DVD-A and SACD made their doomed attack on the audio marketplace. Now that my car ONLY plays DTS CDs, these things are back out of the corner!

    Anyway, this thing sounds damn good! I don't know what decoder he used (I suppose I could just ask him), but the result is quite remarkable, certainly more surround than a lot of current stuff that's mostly ambient. And in listening to this thing, that I hadn't heard for that decade at least, I recall that I liked it a lot. I remember that it sorta got panned by APP fans and the public alike when it came out in the '80s, but to me it's a decent album.

    Anyone else like this one? Anyone else able to decode it, or have heard a conversion?

    [YES - you can talk about conversions, just not talk about where to get them or link to them]
    :-jon

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Since buying the Tales Blu-ray I have been re-visiting the APP catalogue after not having listened to some of them for quite a long time.

    I actually like Stereotomy quite a lot - it may not be one of the "classics" albums but I do think it is one of the better ones, certainly for me the best of the later ones after Eye.

    I have heard a conversion that extracted the Ambisonic information present in most of the tracks (my understanding is that only "In The Real World" is a straight stereo mix). The surround effect was very effective - it's a shame we had to wait so long to get more APP material in surround.

    I'm hoping that Eye really does get released as a stand-alone Blu-ray.

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    I have been listening to a conversion of this album done by Quadradial way back in the early 2000's when DTS conversions were a new thing. I bought a stack of them way back when and they were stashed in a corner somewhere for a decade or so when DVD-A and SACD made their doomed attack on the audio marketplace. Now that my car ONLY plays DTS CDs, these things are back out of the corner!

    Anyway, this thing sounds damn good! I don't know what decoder he used (I suppose I could just ask him), but the result is quite remarkable, certainly more surround than a lot of current stuff that's mostly ambient. And in listening to this thing, that I hadn't heard for that decade at least, I recall that I liked it a lot. I remember that it sorta got panned by APP fans and the public alike when it came out in the '80s, but to me it's a decent album.

    Anyone else like this one? Anyone else able to decode it, or have heard a conversion?

    [YES - you can talk about conversions, just not talk about where to get them or link to them]
    I did a conversion using my Onkyo SV-909 Ambisonic decoder to DVDA. Once you settle in to the mix it is really immersive. Not discrete ping pong but more real sounding as in a nice soundfield. In the real world was not UHJ decoded as it was mixed before Richard Ellen provided the encoder for the rest of the album so I used the super stereo mode for that one. I think it is a decent album and enjoyable to hear in surround

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    I have a conversion in DVDA .

    And as far as the mix "immersive " pretty much covers it . It is an enjoyable release by Alan so maybe we can look forward in the near future to a Blu-ray .

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    I have been listening to a conversion of this album done by Quadradial way back in the early 2000's when DTS conversions were a new thing. I bought a stack of them way back when and they were stashed in a corner somewhere for a decade or so when DVD-A and SACD made their doomed attack on the audio marketplace. Now that my car ONLY plays DTS CDs, these things are back out of the corner!

    Anyway, this thing sounds damn good! I don't know what decoder he used (I suppose I could just ask him), but the result is quite remarkable, certainly more surround than a lot of current stuff that's mostly ambient. And in listening to this thing, that I hadn't heard for that decade at least, I recall that I liked it a lot. I remember that it sorta got panned by APP fans and the public alike when it came out in the '80s, but to me it's a decent album.

    Anyone else like this one? Anyone else able to decode it, or have heard a conversion?

    [YES - you can talk about conversions, just not talk about where to get them or link to them]
    I have Stereotomy and have an ambisonic UHJ (and B-Format) decoder and enjoy this album, plus many others, using it. Very immersive indeed. There are no detents towards Ďspeakers and I often close my eyes to try to forget their positions. Track 5 isnít in UHJ, so switching to superstereo works better for this. Itís about time I gave the album another listen.

    Apologies in advance for pointing to decoders. Ambi decoders can be found for quite good prices on good olí fleabay and elsewhere, so definitely worth adding one to any surrounderís collection of boxes. Meridian DSPs are the most recently made and still in production, although new ones are darned costly. The 565 or 568.2 are the cheapest by far, pre owned/2nd hand and a G61 or G68 could be may be found for a goodish price. For the more intrepid among us, the G series have direct B-Format inputs/decoding (ie. on the MA1 analogue, line level inputs, W=L, X=R & Y=C).

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    I was lucky to get a DVD-A version of this a few years ago. I dug up my FLAC files of it today to add a .1 track, and while looking at the waveforms, I noticed that the fronts and rears really look extremely similar. When I played them back individually (spot-checks), I noticed they also sounded pretty much identical.

    The notes of the DVD-A I make it clear that it was done with a proper decoder. I did some digging on UHJ to find out what exactly it is and how it works, and found a lot of text with a lot of words in it that go over my head.

    I have this decode playing again as I'm typing, and I still get the same impression I've always had: it feels like double-stereo to me, though at some points I seem to hear elements more clearly (or only?) from the rear than from the fronts, but I can't be entirely sure. For instance, in "Urbania", it seems like keyboards are coming from the rear, but if I listen closely, I think can also hear them in the fronts. So... elaborate trickery? Discrete mixing?

    To those who have the same album (and perhaps have the chance to listen to the actual CD with an actual decoder, rather than a conversion): are you experiencing this the same way I am?

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bright Side View Post
    I was lucky to get a DVD-A version of this a few years ago. I dug up my FLAC files of it today to add a .1 track, and while looking at the waveforms, I noticed that the fronts and rears really look extremely similar. When I played them back individually (spot-checks), I noticed they also sounded pretty much identical.

    The notes of the DVD-A I make it clear that it was done with a proper decoder. I did some digging on UHJ to find out what exactly it is and how it works, and found a lot of text with a lot of words in it that go over my head.

    I have this decode playing again as I'm typing, and I still get the same impression I've always had: it feels like double-stereo to me, though at some points I seem to hear elements more clearly (or only?) from the rear than from the fronts, but I can't be entirely sure. For instance, in "Urbania", it seems like keyboards are coming from the rear, but if I listen closely, I think can also hear them in the fronts. So... elaborate trickery? Discrete mixing?

    To those who have the same album (and perhaps have the chance to listen to the actual CD with an actual decoder, rather than a conversion): are you experiencing this the same way I am?
    One thing to remember when listening to this is that just like in life we do not hear a sound from one single point like a speaker and Ambisonics will use ALL the speakers to place a sound within the environment. It can be discrete but is better for it's realism of space.
    I find that when I close my eyes and just listen to the whole album that over time my brain finally GET'S IT and I am immersed in the environment of each song and pans and and movement within the space are easily identified as to their direction.
    I use the LP or original CD thru an Onkyo SV-909 with a digital ambi decoder, JBL full size speakers for playback

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bright Side View Post
    I was lucky to get a DVD-A version of this a few years ago. I dug up my FLAC files of it today to add a .1 track, and while looking at the waveforms, I noticed that the fronts and rears really look extremely similar. When I played them back individually (spot-checks), I noticed they also sounded pretty much identical.

    The notes of the DVD-A I make it clear that it was done with a proper decoder. I did some digging on UHJ to find out what exactly it is and how it works, and found a lot of text with a lot of words in it that go over my head.

    I have this decode playing again as I'm typing, and I still get the same impression I've always had: it feels like double-stereo to me, though at some points I seem to hear elements more clearly (or only?) from the rear than from the fronts, but I can't be entirely sure. For instance, in "Urbania", it seems like keyboards are coming from the rear, but if I listen closely, I think can also hear them in the fronts. So... elaborate trickery? Discrete mixing?

    To those who have the same album (and perhaps have the chance to listen to the actual CD with an actual decoder, rather than a conversion): are you experiencing this the same way I am?
    An important thing to ensure a good playback of any ambisonic material is to use identical, or near identical, front and rear speakers and to listen in the (virtual) centre of your array. Otherwise you will be sitting somewhere outside the accurate soundfield reconstruction area. But as others have said, allowing your ear to get used to the natural 360 deg surround, without any particular loudspeaker standing out, is the trick. UHJ can be a bit phasey sounding towards the rear as well, whilst full B-Format is sharp all around. Front sector imaging should be well defined and stable.

    I don't have the FLAC or DVD-A versions of Stereotomy. I wonder whether these may be G-Format, which is a pre-decoded version for 4 speakers arranged as a square without a decoder, of the UHJ version. (Nimbus Records has a handful of its releases available using this format on DVD-A, but this would be OT.)

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Thanks, guys! This clarifies some things for me. My listening environment isn't ideal for this, then, unfortunately. I'm at my desk and I am much closer to my fronts than my sides or rears. The sides are slightly behind me, and the rears are far behind me. No other way to set it up until I move...

    In Ubuntu, when playing back on VLC using the ALSA architecture and piping it through PulseAudio, rear information is directed to the rears in a 7.1 system, and the sides are a kind of fill, using rear information and a bit of front, from what I can tell. I never understood quite how it's done, but it sounds pretty cool and does not disturb the surround experience.

    So in the meantime, I'm enjoying this album and the decode no matter what. As I listened to the rest yesterday, I did get a nice surround experience. It's not discrete like, say, Dark Side of the Moon or Avalon, but it definitely works.

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    I love all Alan Parsons stuff and have all of it in records, cassettes, a few 8 tracks and cds, but no reels. I have the "Tales" bluray and am eagerly looking forward to the "Eye in the sky" bluray. Two of the rarest AP's I have are both MFSL....the cd and cassette of " I Robot". I'm going to put on Stereotomy today and run it through my Marantz Quadradial amp. I was listening to some Knopfler last night through the amp decoder and it sounded great, with ambiance and some discreet sounding rear effects.

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Hi to All

    I'm a late comer to this convo but It's been on my mind since first post. Stereotomy is a disc I really like. I bought the CD specifically because of the Ambisonic encoding & found the music something I kept returning to & very much enjoy. Like others I hadn't listened to it in years. So last Friday I pulled my Integrex Ambisonic decoder out of the closet & plugged a few more cables into the Zektor. Did some preliminary testing & gave a good listen to last night.

    The soundfield is immersive & as mentioned before seems best at simply representing direction rather than speaker feeds. What I also noticed is the uncanny effect that the sound effects not only have direction but a definable sense of distance. Not only is it coming from 2:00 but is nine feet away, or whatever.

    The recording is clean & crisp with that trademark eclectic song writing that Alan Parsons does so well. It really rocks when played loud enough & more fun than the other Ambisonic records I have.

    Today I went down for a listen & loved it just as much. Then wondering about coloration or other distortiony by products in the decoder I listened to the disc in straight 2 ch Stereo. That's a very rare event in my listening room. I was blown away at how great this disc sounds in plain 'ol stereo. There is a very wide front sound stage & sound FX & music definitely creep up behind you. Dang, this sounds great played both ways. It's enough to make think that UHJ really was the most compatible stereo/surround format.

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    Default Re: Stereotomy - APP

    Looks like "dummy head " or binaural , was also utilized . A.P. went all out "experimental " with this encode.

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    Default Stereotomy - APP

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonik Wiz View Post
    Hi to All

    I'm a late comer to this convo but It's been on my mind since first post. Stereotomy is a disc I really like. I bought the CD specifically because of the Ambisonic encoding & found the music something I kept returning to & very much enjoy. Like others I hadn't listened to it in years. So last Friday I pulled my Integrex Ambisonic decoder out of the closet & plugged a few more cables into the Zektor. Did some preliminary testing & gave a good listen to last night.

    The soundfield is immersive & as mentioned before seems best at simply representing direction rather than speaker feeds. What I also noticed is the uncanny effect that the sound effects not only have direction but a definable sense of distance. Not only is it coming from 2:00 but is nine feet away, or whatever.

    The recording is clean & crisp with that trademark eclectic song writing that Alan Parsons does so well. It really rocks when played loud enough & more fun than the other Ambisonic records I have.

    Today I went down for a listen & loved it just as much. Then wondering about coloration or other distortiony by products in the decoder I listened to the disc in straight 2 ch Stereo. That's a very rare event in my listening room. I was blown away at how great this disc sounds in plain 'ol stereo. There is a very wide front sound stage & sound FX & music definitely creep up behind you. Dang, this sounds great played both ways. It's enough to make think that UHJ really was the most compatible stereo/surround format.
    Your experience of this album in full ambisonic decode pretty much mirrors mine. Ambisonics reproduces at the central listening position the original, or studio mixed, soundfield as was present around the real or virtual microphone. As long as the loudspeakers are all matched, there should be no perceived detenting towards any speaker and sources appear to have a great sense of space.

    Two channel UHJ is the matrixed stereo compatible version for which we both have decoders (mineís a new Meridian unit). The wide stereo effect you describe is a great side benefit on a stereo only rig. When UHJ was designed, quite a lot of work went into trying to make the stereo matrixed sound acceptable to the majority of listeners. Sadly, no 3 or 4 channel UHJ was ever released, which would have provided an even better focussed surround horizontally (3 channel) and full sphere (4 channel).

    Now, I just have to listen to Stereotomy all over again.

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