There does seem to be lots of confusion over it. It was clarified a bit by reading Tomlinson Holman's book 5.1 up and running , mentioned and linked to in another thread a few days ago. He clarified it but I see lots and lots of pitfalls.
What's not to like about an extra bass fx channel?
Oh, you mean people with speaker arrays that aren't 1:1 with the format and thus need speaker management but who don't understand that and listen to their surround pretty significantly altered... while thinking that doing proper speaker management to put the system into calibration would be altering it and refuse to listen? (heh) And then the part where the bass end delivery is obviously not as intended when listening like that but still not getting a clue? Probably shouldn't answer that...
Do you mean the mix decision to move some bass range program (not just sub bass or extended low fx) into the Lfe for the folks that refuse to calibrate and speaker manage their system because otherwise they are losing all the bass content from the mains channels and really altering the mix?
Screw em. Some people will listen to only one channel of stereo in their car because the wiring is screwed up and seem not to care or notice. Let them be casuals I guess.
The bit I wrote about people refusing to understand speaker management and listening to their 'small top' system missing all the bass from the mains channels is very real. Read some of the poll threads around here and you can spot them right away!
I've thought about this before too.
You want to be creative but you also don't want to make a mix that requires nothing short of a perfect system to translate. Everyone starts doing things like mixing drums to the front and putting the kick drum in mono in the front pair.
I don't use my sub much, and the system also provides the sound for the tv. What works ok for music isn't working for me with the tv as some shows these days for whatever reason are evidently putting quite some low end in their sound. My fronts, despite not being huge get on down there pretty low. But if I don't calibrate the system with the sub included it appears to over compensate. Then when I see music reviews of "not enough low end" I'm scratching my head until I remember, oh, yeah, my weird system.
I noticed after I moved my Front Height speakers to Middle Height and recalibrated (without the sub) is when this nonsense really started getting on my last nerve. So back to calibrating with the sub.
AVR calibration screwed or just my hearing? IDK.
Regardless, seems like Lfe is always a point of contention.
AVR bass management? The few people that care about calibrating and listen to the result don't need (and hate) LFE content for music.
People that do not know how to calibrate and neither ask someone else to do it, would ever be interested in high quality audio listening?
5.1 with LFE channel null would be the best?, to be highly compatible with 6 channel MCH players?
5.0 I like when I see that in some discs
4.0 Should go trough 6 channels 5.1 with no content in Center and LFE
If the customer listener does not care about, then it is indiferent to use LFE or not.
If the customer listener cares and see 5.0, then thinks, the mixer/producer knows how to do it
So... Don't use LFE for music mixes.