Floyd / Guthrie Say Your Rear 5.1 Speakers Belong In The Corners!

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~dave~~wave~

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Wake Up, Animals!

This is NOT where your surround speakers belong~

Screen Shot 2022-09-16 at 2.36.24 PM.png


Pay attention to your new Animals blu ray!
This!

(Also love the plummy female Brit voice announcing the speaker IDs)


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~dave~~wave~

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From 2015 Guthrie interview.
As it was then, so also for the 2018 mix.
I rest my case. ⚖️⚒️


What is the optimal position a listener should take to get the most out of Amused to Death in 5.1?

Guthrie: Directly in the middle! Actually, I like to be ever so slightly in front of that position.
I’ve heard some mixes that sound a bit “rectangular,” or narrow, so I try to create a circular space with the 5.1 soundstage in order to offer a three-dimensional experience, even if the listener is off-axis.
The most difficult area to fill when creating that circle is the area directly to your left and right — if you are sitting in the middle — and we have to work with that challenge.

The easiest way to make a sound appear to be coming from a point source is to put a speaker there. Obviously, this is not possible with the agreed upon 5.1 configuration, although we do recommend placing the rear speakers further back than the original ITU specification dictated. This is detailed in the included sound-setup page on the ATD Blu-ray.

With the circular approach, it’s interesting to me how, even when standing outside of the circle, you still seem to get a three-dimensional musical experience.
 

barturtle

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From 2015 Guthrie interview.
As it was then, so also for the 2018 mix.
I rest my case. ⚖️⚒️


What is the optimal position a listener should take to get the most out of Amused to Death in 5.1?

Guthrie: Directly in the middle! Actually, I like to be ever so slightly in front of that position.
I’ve heard some mixes that sound a bit “rectangular,” or narrow, so I try to create a circular space with the 5.1 soundstage in order to offer a three-dimensional experience, even if the listener is off-axis.
The most difficult area to fill when creating that circle is the area directly to your left and right — if you are sitting in the middle — and we have to work with that challenge.

The easiest way to make a sound appear to be coming from a point source is to put a speaker there. Obviously, this is not possible with the agreed upon 5.1 configuration, although we do recommend placing the rear speakers further back than the original ITU specification dictated. This is detailed in the included sound-setup page on the ATD Blu-ray.

With the circular approach, it’s interesting to me how, even when standing outside of the circle, you still seem to get a three-dimensional musical experience.
It's interesting that this seems to be similar to Tacet's recommended speaker positions.
1664186813011.png


ITU Left, Tacet's recommended Right
I'd love to see more multichannel discs point out recommended positions. But even more, I'd love to see the recording engineers notes for mic positions from some of the old quads that have been released on SACD (Sony/Pentatone/Dutton), because it was the wild west, with seemingly no standards, and repositioning speakers can drastically change the soundfield.
 

par4ken

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Speaker placement is one of practicality and personal preference. The quad mixes would have been done with the four corner arrangement in mind. I personally prefer the second option which works great for quad and enhanced stereo via QS surround or Tate.

Modern mixes are done more for the Dolby recommended setup. IMHO that's because surround has become so intertwined with video/movies. Not because that placement inherently better.

Would I enjoy modern mixes more if I used the recommended speaker layout? Maybe but that would compromise my enhanced stereo and quad listening which to me is much more important.

Nothing wrong with sitting in the middle of the room it's just that it's often not practical. I might have to sit myself down in the middle of the room for another "Animals" listen.
 

M-K

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"The Placement":
  • What is the recommended placement?
  • Where could the speakers be placed?
  • And finally what is the position of the speakers?
...are often (more than ;)) three different things. Like Pigs (Three Different Ones).

I have two:
-Dolby recommendations in my studio.
-Side speakers (yes 90° instead of 110...120°) in my living room.
Both work. Different. But both work for me.

This is different too: Steven Wilson Knows Surround, Part 2 - Mixonline
I think SW uses this setup for 5.1 as well and probably he does not move his side or rear speakers to different positions when mixing in 5.1.

Guthrie mixed Animals in Quad + LFE.

What do you think?
 

AYanguas

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Finally got used to the "side surrounds" locations at 90º-95º in my room, for listening 5.1 without AVR upmixer.

Sometimes I have reconfigured to redirect the 5.1 rears to my "surround back" speakers (from the 7.1). For some Quad mixes is better balanced, but for usual 5.1 I lose some rears presence. I finally prefer big surround at the "side locations". An intermediate thing is with DTS that the Denon send the rear channels both to the Surround and Surround Back speakers.

It's true that when surrounds are at the "side" location, you hear much more "into your head" with great binaural sometimes, and the relative volume level from the fronts is diminished.

But once I get used, I think I prefer that, even if the surround rear stage is exagerated.

Now, this summer, I've been listening in my second house with only 5.1 speakers that has the rears located really at the rear (at about 130º). Then, in comparison with my 7.1.4 room with side surrounds, I have noticed much less surroundy immmersive. Like if there were no rears content. I then need exagerated mixes like Yoshimi to feel the rears.

I also assume that the difference in quality in both houses will have a great influence. Main House with 9.1.4 has much better equipment and some room treatement. While the summer house with only 5.1 has worse equipment and no room treatment at all. Both are Audyssey calibrated, and now I will start with REW to try to improve the bass management with smooth crossovers curves.
 

ar surround

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"The Placement":
  • What is the recommended placement?
  • Where could the speakers be placed?
  • And finally what is the position of the speakers?
...are often (more than ;)) three different things. Like Pigs (Three Different Ones).
With my first proper Dynaquad system, I had to put the right rear speaker in a closet that had a sliding door. It was the only location that my parents would tolerate. Regardless, I was darn happy with that setup! The point is that one must not give up on multichannel because of speaker location difficulties, rather simply find a way.
 

wavelength

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The point is that one must not give up on multichannel because of speaker location difficulties, rather simply find a way.
Absolutely. In my 5.1 setup I aim the rear speakers at the wall that is directly behind my listening position rather than aiming the rears at the listening position. I love it. This way the rears blend more naturally with the fronts.
 

sjcorne

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The point is that one must not give up on multichannel because of speaker location difficulties, rather simply find a way.
I love this Bob Clearmountain quote:
“In the early days I was involved in a paper about the proper way to set up a 5.1 system for mixing along with a bunch of other engineers like George Massenburg, and I remember there was a big discussion about ‘Where do you put the rear speakers?’ and ‘What’s the angle in relation to the centre?’ And I said, ‘Man, I put them where nobody will bump into them.’ I’m just using basically large bookshelf Dynaudio BM15As and then they’re on speaker stands in the only place that I can fit them and it works perfectly, you know? It’s been fine. A lot of it’s just practicality, you know?”
 

Guy Robinson

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Absolutely. In my 5.1 setup I aim the rear speakers at the wall that is directly behind my listening position rather than aiming the rears at the listening position. I love it. This way the rears blend more naturally with the fronts.
This is the way that I have mine but I also have back speakers for 7.1. Animals does sound better with the rear speaker information also populated to the back speakers. This one does, other mixes don't.
 

fredblue

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I love this Bob Clearmountain quote:
ok, so i like most of his MultiCh mixes and that approach may be ok for mixes where there's unique content in each Rear channel but for mixes where there's Stereo Rears (i.e. those with Centre Back phantom imaging) you absolutely must have the Rears carefully setup, properly placed, individual volume level adjusted and time-aligned (i.e. the distance setting) in your AVR or Processor.

check out "Easy Street" from The Edgar Winter Group's "Shock Treatment" in Dolby Audio on Apple Music.

the old Quad on that track has its Fronts and Rears erroneously swapped in the Dolby Audio rendition.

if Edgar's lead vocal feels lop-sided
when you play this version, you need to adjust your Rears until he snaps into focus in the Centre.

 

Owen Smith

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Absolutely. In my 5.1 setup I aim the rear speakers at the wall that is directly behind my listening position rather than aiming the rears at the listening position. I love it. This way the rears blend more naturally with the fronts.
My rear speakers are on wall brackets firing upwards at the ceiling, I get the reflected sound. My room isn't deep enough to get any speakers behind me, the sofa is up against the rear wall. I can't go for side rather than rear speakers even if I wanted to (which I don't), because the right "rear" would need mounting in the middle of a window. My fronts are also further apart than Dolby recommend. I'm not really using either of the recommended layouts, but I'm a lot closer to four corners traditional quad style. That should be Animals compatible.
 

artwwweb

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Deffo agree that practicality is often the biggest concern. It is for me. My rear speakers are only slightly behind me, they are really side speakers. I keep a list of all my surround albums with a note on how much I reduce the volume of the rears. Usually it's a few db, sometimes it's as much as 10db. Less often, I increase the volume of the rear speakers.

A lot of my need to adjust for each playback might be due to my imperfect setup, but I'm not so sure. As Clearmountain's comment suggests, each mixing engineer has his own ideas/ layout. (I suppose for Atmos-approved mixes the layouts should be a lot more standardised.) I've long wished that every surround recording came with a speaker check that was recorded by the mixing engineer(s) at the time they mixed the album, rather than being a generic 'this is the ideal setup' video (which might not actually match the mixing setup). Then, if you got the levels balanced for that, you'd know for sure that it was what the engineer intended. I believe a few do? Wendy Carlos?
 

ar surround

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for mixes where there's unique content in each Rear channel but for mixes where there's Stereo Rears (i.e. those with Centre Back phantom imaging) you absolutely must have the Rears carefully setup, properly placed, individual volume level adjusted and time-aligned (i.e. the distance setting) in your AVR or Processor.

I thought I read somewhere that a Center Back phantom image can often seem to be emanating from in front of the listener. So yes, it would seem that precise placement of the rears is critical for that situation.

I know that that placing an image between the front and side speakers in 5.1 does not work all that well as noted in section 3.4 of this white paper.

 
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