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New gen immersive music upmix - Dolby Atmos, DTS X, Aura 3D

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zeerround

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Anybody have a setup with these new technologies?

5.1.4/10.1 ?

If so, which upmix method do you like for listening to stereo or 5.1 music sources?

I'm almost finished with a 5.1.4 setup for Dolby Atmos and DTS X, and also (with the addition of a "voice of god" or top speaker) 10.1 for Aura 3D.

Would like to find others with these newer setups and compare notes and work on newer versions of Spec/SpecWeb, to compare with the commercial solutions.

Happy New Year!
 

himey

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So how can I mix a quadraphonic album into the top four speakers ONLY, in a 5.1.4 setup? I want to be able to lie on the floor and listen to quad coming from the ceiling like I am watching the stars! ;)
 

bevergerner

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Hi zeerround,

yes, I have an 5.1.4 receiver (yamaha) and loudspeakers.

And I´m also interested in an upmix software. Sorry my english isn´t so good but I hope you understand.

Upmixing to 5.1 is very good but 5.1.4 will be more better

Happy 2018

Jörg
 

haikubass

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I want to be able to lie on the floor and listen to quad coming from the ceiling like I am watching the stars! ;)
Actually, this is a pretty interesting idea! My ceiling is quite high and I might have a spare receiver pretty soon...:mad:@:
 

zeerround

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Re: the height speakers only (only a little off topic :)); off the top of my head don't know, short of some sort of speaker wiring switch. I don't think many/any HTs have line inputs for those. For instance my Marantz AV7704 only has 7.1 inputs and my Yamaha RX-A2070 doesn't have any surround line ins. In the studio, my speakers are line in so...

Another complication is that while newer HDMI specs handle 32 channels of audio, I can't find any graphics cards that put out more than 8 (and routing of those 8 is probably going to be 7.1).

Anyway, if you have a 5.1.4 system, and a way to get your 4.0 signal into it, try using the dolby surround (dolby atmos upmix) or DTS X or (if you have it) Aura 3D as you lay on the floor.

@Jörg; OK cool. I'll keep you posted as to progress. Also wondering if you have tried listening to stereo or 5.1 (or 5.0) music with dolby surround (dolby atmos upmix) or DTS X or (if you have it) Aura 3D on your system and if so what your preference is (and why).

I have some initial impressions but want to listen more and hear from others before sharing.
 

Perpendicular

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I went from a 5.3.2 back down to a 5.1.2 because I felt that I really didn’t need three subwoofers in my small space. Last week, I replaced my seven channel receiver to one with nine and installed two more Atmos speakers to now using a 5.1.4 system. Last September, I moved from a house with a small living room to another house with a much smaller living room.

There’s a couple of things that I found.

1) Side speaker are now much too close to my liking.

The speakers are literally only four feet away on both sides. For me, I find it doable but the sound is too close and distracting. I now prefer listening to two-channel music. It doesn’t seem to bother me as much when watching movies or series off Netflix, etc.

2) My new Receiver runs very hot. So hot, I have to constantly open the door and/or windows to cool the place down. Especially, when running with my OLED tv and OPPO UDP-205 player.

Before I purchased this new receiver, I was contemplating getting rid of my surround system, selling off a lot of my surround discs and going with a two-channel only system. Since, I will be where I live currently for quite some time, I’m still contemplating returning my brand new receiver and getting the KEF LS50W and be done with it.

I have tried all the upmixers included with my receiver including Auro-2D, Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X. I only had Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X capability in my last receiver and preferred to use Dolby Surround with two-channel music because I found that DTS Neural:X puts too much information into the side/surround speakers and has too much Echo for me. However, after I purchased the new receiver and have Auro-2D capability, I prefer it because it exactly replicates the two-channel soundstage but makes it sound more 3-Dimensional. Though, when viewing movies and tv series that are two-channel, I prefer the sound of Dolby Surround.
 

zeerround

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Thanks for that input!

"preferred to use Dolby Surround with two-channel music because I found that DTS Neural:X puts too much information into the side/surround speakers and has too much Echo for me"

I think that people that like "I'm in the audience" vs. "the music is all around me" will agree with you on preferring either Dolby or Aura for upmix (I am not in that camp however ;0).

Certainly the default settings of Spec/SpecWeb produce "the music is all around me".

The 2nd part (echo) is interesting as I felt Dolby had too much echo, compared to DTS. More tests (I haven't run the auto EQ/Time alignment in the studio yet)!!!

Re the "side" or surround speakers, proper level balance should help (but maybe your receiver did that automagically?). Also, one advantage of 5.1.4 I mean to explore is using the rear height's as virtual "backs" for a 7.1 flat upmix. I already have code for 7.1 Spec (but never shared it). If you can't get your "side" speakers behind you having some speakers on the back wall should help, I would think.
 

Perpendicular

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Thanks for that input!

"preferred to use Dolby Surround with two-channel music because I found that DTS Neural:X puts too much information into the side/surround speakers and has too much Echo for me"

I think that people that like "I'm in the audience" vs. "the music is all around me" will agree with you on preferring either Dolby or Aura for upmix (I am not in that camp however ;0).
As I get older and experiment, I find I do prefer a more upfront mix but it also depends on the music. A song with synthesizers, to me, is more fun when heard bouncing around or used above or behind me.


Re the "side" or surround speakers, proper level balance should help (but maybe your receiver did that automagically?). Also, one advantage of 5.1.4 I mean to explore is using the rear height's as virtual "backs" for a 7.1 flat upmix. I already have code for 7.1 Spec (but never shared it). If you can't get your "side" speakers behind you having some speakers on the back wall should help, I would think.
Audyssey tells my receiver for the settings. When your side speakers are as close as mine are, no volume level is going to help. I just need to learn to accept the discrepancies or, like I stated above, work with two loudspeakers only. If I take that route, I will miss a lot of my surround titles. :(
 

Perpendicular

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I have an update!

When I Posted regarding upmixing my two-channel titles to Auro-2D, I feel I jumped the gun here because I only gave this a day to test. I take it back that I like using this upmixer. I find the music to have a slight veil and details are a bit hampered. In other words, it sounds like I have an extra set of grilles over the speakers. Or, a sheet is placed between me and the speaker. I don’t hear this with either Dolby Surround or DTS Neural:X. Then, for most music, I prefer straight Stereo with Dolby Surround every once in a while. :)
 

zeerround

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After a week of long research and explorations into ways that "should work" (according to the technical specs) I have found a way to play greater than 8 discrete audio channels from a computer to a Dolby Atmos Receiver over HDMI (without a $1500 encoder app).

Windows 10 "Creators" and above can encode Dolby Atmos on the fly to HDMI sound devices. It's only exposed to applications via library calls, however, not a simple sound device that existing sound apps / players can use. It does cost $11 via the Dolby Access app in the windows store.

So, it will take some work to code the example into something useful for us, but this is really good news as far as sharing and producing for yourself upmixed music into the newer immersive speaker layouts.

Windows 10 plus Atmos supports speaker layouts up to 8.1.4.4, meaning up to 17 speakers, 8 around you, one lfe, 4 above you and 4 below you. There is also support for sound "objects" that can move or be "rendered" from anywhere in the sound field. Not sure the object stuff has any application for upmixing (except maybe to define multiple listening positions within your room) but it's there.

Also holding back on doing anything the with the "below" speakers, as I don't think anybody has a receiver that supports such a setup. But, if teach Spec (or a new name?) to work in 8.1.4, Dolby Atmos Receivers should automatically map the output into whatever layout you have. 5.1, 7.1, 5.1.4, 7.1.2, 7.1.4, 8.1.4, etc.

Some of the learned things along the way (that turned out not to be helpful):

There are commercial cloud based encoding services (pay as you go vs. buying an encoder), and reasonably priced for audio only, but none offering Dolby Atmos or DTS X (limited to 7.1).

Dolby Atmos is actually delivered over Dolby Digital Plus, which is an open spec, known as e-ac-3, or ec-3 (extended ac3), which does support up to 15 channels, but no commercial or free encoders go beyond 7.1 (and it's not clear that any free ones actually go beyond 5.1).

Published in Annex E of ATSC A/52:2012,[1] as well as Annex E of ETSI TS 102 366 V1.2.1 (2008–08), published by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.​

ffmpeg being an example of a free encoder that can do dolby digtital plus, but there are multi year open but reports on lack of support for 7.1 (let alone anything more). Aften is another, but again 5.1 only and not active development.

Cheers,
Z
 

zeerround

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OK for those that want to test an initial method of playing 12ch files from Windows 10 to Home Theater (with at least 5.1.4) PM me with your email and we will give it a shot.

This is more a test of the playback part of the tool chain, vs. the actual upmix but the test file IS upmixed with a prototype of what I'm working on...

stereo to 5.1.4 (I'm working on setting 7.1.4 in the studio :mad:@:)

If this works out then we'll have a method of sharing test files and playback of upmixed results.

This will only work on Windows 10 version 1709 (the current) or higher. System Info will report version 10.0.16299 Build 16299.

HDMI connection to a Dolby Atmos pre-amp capable receiver or pre-amp

Cheers,
Z
 

zeerround

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Coming back to this thread after a while as there is some news.

Working with a developer in Japan, there is now an Open Source Windows 10 player that will play 12 channel wav (only wav, no flac support for 12 channels) via hdmi to an HT with a DolbyAtmos decoder.

This is handy as it means files don't have to be encoded with DolbyAtmos/DTS:X/AURO 3D encoders before playback (DolbyAtmos and DTS:X encoders are ONLY available on Mac OS and all three encoders are expensive and some also require expensive Pro DAWs like Pro Tools Ultimate).

12 channel wav is the 7.1.4 (in Dolby/DTS notation) output of the immersive upmixer I'm working on. So 7.1 as you may be familiar with and 4 "height" speakers (ceiling or upward facing DolbyAtmos speakers).

Anybody with immersive systems and an interest please PM me.
 

GOS

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I checked a couple of the files and they seemed to play fine via Foobar. My system is a 5.1.4. My Atmos speakers are upfiring, though someday I'd like to put them up on the walls for a more direct height setup.

Either way, when I checked the speaker setup via your Channel ID wav, things didn't seem right. I mean, the obvious were correct. Center, sub, right and left front, right/left surrounds. But I never got any audio from my 4 atmos speakers. (They do play properly, and with good effect with a typical Atmos commercial release)
 

GOS

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Does it make me wonder if I've got some setting wrong? Perhaps, but commercial Atmos releases play fine and sound great.
 

GOS

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So paranoid...lol. So, everything is setup correctly. I just ran the Denon through the test tones/speaker setup and all speakers are firing as they should.
 

zeerround

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For foobar, and 5.1.4, you'd need a (at least) 10 channel audio card.

Then, you need to configure your channel mapping in foobar. Mine looks like this (but I have 7.1.4 and a pair of saffire pro 40s for audio out):

1575139517409.png


1575139537138.png


I also like to use the waveform seekbar plugin, so I can see all 12 ch. waveforms:

1575139620215.png


and also verify with the peak meter at upper right.
 

GOS

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Not sure about all that, but when I want to play atmos via foobar, I simply go to my audio settings in windows, and I have a choice that says Dolby Atoms For Home Theater. Heck, maybe it's still not working. I'll look into your way.
 

zeerround

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Also, I'm not sure I understand your setup for playing via foobar2000. What is the connection between foobar 2000 and your HT?

For me, I have powered speakers in the studio, so my HT is a Preamp. Then I have balanced passive mixer cables so I can feed the speakers from both my HT AND my saffire pro40 audio devices.

foobar2000 --> saffire pro 40's --> 12 channels of audio --> Genelec speakers

or

the 12 channel spatial audio player --> hdmi Dolby Atmos --> My HT preamp --> Genelec speakers.

I'm not aware of foobar being able to send atmos over hdmi, but assuming it could, that still doesn't cover the 12 channel audio file --> windows live encoding with atmos --> hdmi, because AFAIK there is no audio driver that does that.
 

zeerround

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FYI I can encode files to dolby atmos, but it is a huge pain in the butt:

Move files to mac
"Render" Dolby atmos in Pro Tools Ultimate
Encode rendered file into Dolby Atmos
Move back to Windows
Add AC3 and Atmos together
Mux with AudioMuxer and create iso

Then you would play it like any other Atmos content. Fine for me I guess, but I can't see anyone else buying all that software/hardware just to playback content they upmix themselves, so that's why I been pursuing the 12 channel file player to HT over HDMI approach.
 
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