Another Poll: 5.1 or 5.0?

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5.1 or 5.0?


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AYanguas

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It seems the poll question is about one’s setup, whether it be static or modified for individual listening sessions, but so far, I’ve had no clarification. That’s my ongoing question, along with “what’s the use of a channel when it’s silent?”
Ok. I think @Mr. Afternoon already clarified it. The alternatives are about how he (or other mixer) should mix, produce and deliver the multichannel music.
Normally, we have setup our system in a permanent manner, either with or without SUB, either with Bass Management or Not, Depending on the amount and kind of speakers we have.

Not all the stuff that isn’t music can be played through limited range speakers. If the content is below 40 Hz, it goes through my sub, and if it’s silenced, I’ll miss it. Yeah, obvious, but we seem to be talking past each other for some reason.
If you have limited range speakers, you will probably have Bass Management enabled for your SUB. If the mixer deliver a mix with LFE channel silent, the bass content will be on fronts channel and will go to your SUB via Bass Management. (No bass content is lost).

It is the LFE channel silent in the mix, not that you have to 'silent' your SUB.

Or maybe the poll question is about one’s preferred mixes - I still don’t know. As noted, I originally assumed it meant one’s physical setup, and that’s how I voted, but without more information, I remain confused as to what the poll is asking about.

Yes, the poll is about our preferred mixes, as the way of mixing 5.1 music is not standardized.

My only concern is about LFE signal delayed with respect to the Fronts bass. That can cause bass cancelations in the room. Thats why, to avoid that problem, some says it would be better to put all the bass in the fronts channels and nothing in the LFE channel. Either 5.1 with LFE silenced (for compatibility 6 channels) or 5.0 (only 5 channels that could mess an old receiver).

But, in any case, you will get all the produced bass either from the full range front speakers, or from the SUB. Or even duplicated if you activate a setting of LFE+Fronts, at least in the Denon.
 

par4ken

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With all full range speakers and no separate sub I want my bass to emanate equally from all speakers. I know that is not common practice and might cause problems with cheap surrounds speakers and no or improper bass management.

Speaking for myself and my system only I have no need of the lfe channel at all. I can see an empty channel being added for compatibility with others systems though.

The same goes for the centre channel I would rather that it not exist at all. I do respect the desire/need for it by others though.

That damn lfe channel is best kept for movie sound effects.

My preference would be for 4.0. Because we don't get that voting option I'll go with 5.1 with silent lfe because of compatibility issues for others.
 

ar surround

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With all full range speakers and no separate sub I want my bass to emanate equally from all speakers. I know that is not common practice and might cause problems with cheap surrounds speakers and no or improper bass management.

Speaking for myself and my system only I have no need of the lfe channel at all. I can see an empty channel being added for compatibility with others systems though.

The same goes for the centre channel I would rather that it not exist at all. I do respect the desire/need for it by others though.

That damn lfe channel is best kept for movie sound effects.

My preference would be for 4.0. Because we don't get that voting option I'll go with 5.1 with silent lfe because of compatibility issues for others.
Having been making my own 5.1 mixes from stems over the past month, I have discovered that the Center and LFE are real PITAs to get right. So now I too prefer 4.0. @chucky3042 , you are probably Snood bananas over this. :SB :SB
 

OldAsMono

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My vote is 5.1.

I'm on vacation and being a lazy QQ participant by only taking (reading) but not responding. Vacation also means I'm currently in week 2 of no home sound system with 2 more weeks to go. I wanted to respond specially to @barfle who also enjoys a Outlaw sub-woofer. I do use bass management set with crossover at 80hz as my speakers are capable of full bass. What caught my eye in an earlier post of yours was that your sub stays in standby mode. That is not my case at all and I use two subs. I check often and my subs kick into gear (green light) as soon as almost ANY sound is started. I feel something is wrong, and usually find something wrong, if EVER my sub stays in red - standby mode during any music playing. Love my bass and I feel they say bass is non-directional but with the bass management, it leaves enough bass info in each speakers to feel they are generating their own bass directional (I hope that makes sense). Back to my paradise vacation on La Reunion off the tip of Madagascar. Why as far away as possible from So. California(22 hours flight with stop over in France)? My daughter and her husband live in this paradise where the volcano was nice enough to do its every few years erupting just for my enjoyment.
 

boondocks

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Having been making my own 5.1 mixes from stems over the past month, I have discovered that the Center and LFE are real PITAs to get right. So now I too prefer 4.0. @chucky3042 , you are probably Snood bananas over this. :SB :SB
Yeah with stems it can be hit or miss for center channel content sometimes. But I've been able to get a pretty good vocal isolation on probably 90% of the stems so when I do I put the vocal in the center, sometimes with a little spread across the fronts. For the real stubborn ones that hang in that right front I just go with the flow and create either a 4.0 or put some other content in the center.
So I'll still stick with 5.0 for me, with an empty lfe for those whose AVR's might require it.

Also my AVR's setup mic/program always sets my fronts at 40dB so I'm not really missing anything.
 

barfle

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My vote is 5.1.

I'm on vacation and being a lazy QQ participant by only taking (reading) but not responding. Vacation also means I'm currently in week 2 of no home sound system with 2 more weeks to go. I wanted to respond specially to @barfle who also enjoys a Outlaw sub-woofer. I do use bass management set with crossover at 80hz as my speakers are capable of full bass. What caught my eye in an earlier post of yours was that your sub stays in standby mode. That is not my case at all and I use two subs. I check often and my subs kick into gear (green light) as soon as almost ANY sound is started. I feel something is wrong, and usually find something wrong, if EVER my sub stays in red - standby mode during any music playing. Love my bass and I feel they say bass is non-directional but with the bass management, it leaves enough bass info in each speakers to feel they are generating their own bass directional (I hope that makes sense). Back to my paradise vacation on La Reunion off the tip of Madagascar. Why as far away as possible from So. California(22 hours flight with stop over in France)? My daughter and her husband live in this paradise where the volcano was nice enough to do its every few years erupting just for my enjoyment.
Enjoy your vacation, and I’ll check my settings.

My sub kicks in occasionally, although it’s rare on music, even when it’s noted as a 5.1 file. I know some folks are disappointed if they don’t feel bass in their chest, even in a piccolo solo, but I can’t say that’s what I’m looking for when I’m playing music. I enjoy it when it happens, and the scene in “Interstellar” where they are entering the black hole definitely jiggles the room to good effect.
 

ar surround

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Yeah with stems it can be hit or miss for center channel content sometimes. But I've been able to get a pretty good vocal isolation on probably 90% of the stems so when I do I put the vocal in the center, sometimes with a little spread across the fronts. For the real stubborn ones that hang in that right front I just go with the flow and create either a 4.0 or put some other content in the center.
So I'll still stick with 5.0 for me, with an empty lfe for those whose AVR's might require it.

Also my AVR's setup mic/program always sets my fronts at 40dB so I'm not really missing anything.
Yes, the PITA with the center channel is that it needs some blending of the LF and RF into it, and some blending of the center into the LF and RF. Doing this offset the artifacts from stems. It's simply more work but the results are always good. @sjcorne taught me this trick. However, my fronts image really well, so 4.0 usually presents a very stable center image...unless I want some spread across the fronts, of course.
 

JimHansonDC

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I'm a 2 subs, bass management, room treatment & room correction fan. I have 4 bass traps in the corners which is probably the biggest plus for being able to enjoy the bottom end regardless of how it is delivered.

My setup includes a Trinnov pre amp which does a stunningly good level of room correction but TBH the room treatments do most of the work as the before graphs (top in both pics) show.

I like the bass management and subs option for two main reasons
1. The low end is omni directional so there is no source direction issue
2. Less work pushing the deep bottom for the woofers means more ability to punch the above 80hz bass

All of this works so much better because the bass traps and other room treatment ensure the bass doesn't get out of control.

Pic 1 is all 5 speakers & 2 subs
Pic 2 just the subs
The video shows the really nice mixing board like user interface for the Trinnov.
 

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boondocks

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Yes, the PITA with the center channel is that it needs some blending of the LF and RF into it, and some blending of the center into the LF and RF. Doing this offset the artifacts from stems. It's simply more work but the results are always good. @sjcorne taught me this trick. However, my fronts image really well, so 4.0 usually presents a very stable center image...unless I want some spread across the fronts, of course.
If you have access to Audition, the mix paste function comes in VERY handy for blends. I do all my final mixing in Audition.
 

AYanguas

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Yes, the PITA with the center channel is that it needs some blending of the LF and RF into it, and some blending of the center into the LF and RF. Doing this offset the artifacts from stems. It's simply more work but the results are always good. @sjcorne taught me this trick. However, my fronts image really well, so 4.0 usually presents a very stable center image...unless I want some spread across the fronts, of course.
This reminds me the "spread center" setting in the AVR for the DSU upmixer.

Sometimes the 'isolated' vocals in the Center, if well mixed, an intimate voice is perceived, as if it were there in the room.
But other times is better to spread/blend the central voice to the rest of speakers, either fronts or others more for Atmos, to avoid that 'isolated' voice.

I think that for instruments would be different depending on the effects one wants to achieve.
 

boondocks

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I mostly work with stems extracted from stereo mixes. You get what you get, and proceed accordingly. Sometimes vocals are so hard panned in one direction that trying to put them in the center alone just doesn't work. Other times it works out beautifully. I'm flexible and usually just let the mix dictate placement, as much as possible, though I have my own preferences. It's not like I'm mixing for the masses or that I'm a professional, after all. If it sounds good to me, I'm happy.
 

ar surround

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I mostly work with stems extracted from stereo mixes. You get what you get, and proceed accordingly. Sometimes vocals are so hard panned in one direction that trying to put them in the center alone just doesn't work. Other times it works out beautifully. I'm flexible and usually just let the mix dictate placement, as much as possible, though I have my own preferences. It's not like I'm mixing for the masses or that I'm a professional, after all. If it sounds good to me, I'm happy.
I've yet to have a problem with getting originally hard panned vocals in the center. Most of my efforts actually involve stems taken from songs with hard panned vocals, i.e. The Beatles Please Please Me, because they drive me bananas.

If it sounds good to me, I'm happy.
Amen!
 

fcormier

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Whatever you do, don't do what I heard on an album I have (I don't remember which, but it's a well known album, either Sailing The Seas Of Cheese or Tubular Bells - 2003 or 2009): put a whole instrument in the LFE. In the album I'm thinking about, the bass (the whole track) and the kick drum are in the LFE, so the higher frequencies of those instruments are lost!

Fun fact: It's known (I think) that Bruce Soord likes to experiment with his 5.1 mixes and share his experiments with us. On his All This Will Be Yours solo album, he put two 5.1 mixes: one with bass management and one without.
Other experiments he did:
- he put two different surround mixes on Where We Stood: one traditional and one more dicrete
- he tried a different positioning of the vocals (and instruments I think) on Nothing But The Truth to reflect the positioning of the musicians for the show
 

ar surround

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Whatever you do, don't do what I heard on an album I have (I don't remember which, but it's a well known album, either Sailing The Seas Of Cheese or Tubular Bells - 2003 or 2009): put a whole instrument in the LFE. In the album I'm thinking about, the bass (the whole track) and the kick drum are in the LFE, so the higher frequencies of those instruments are lost!
I'm going to put Geddy Lee's and Axl Rose's voices in the LFE just to hear what comes out.
 
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