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Smyth Research's Realiser 16 - Up to 16 Channel Surround Over Stereo Headphones

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ssully

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Some very key observations there Chucky.

On the three channel stereo issue I’m also a non-believer. I‘ve seen the arguments going back decades about how it should improve stability and localisation etc. – but for me it never has delivered on that promise and I actually dislike the effect of ‘pinching in’ of the two channel soundstage that it almost invariably causes (not ameliorated for me by having all three speakers identical) . The third channel may have some value as dialogue channel in home cinema, but then it’s only really acting as an ugly sticking plaster for all kinds of other problems. I don’t think it works at all well for music reproduction (particularly orchestral).
Which is curious, since some of the most beloved recordings in classical music recording history, are 3-channel.

Done well, two channel stereo can (and thankfully does) produce wide and deep soundstages that extend beyond the boundaries of the loudspeakers and that are not limited to a very small sweet spot.

Wide, yes. Deep, sometimes, but always requiring being in the near field (IME).
 

Soundfield

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Which is curious, since some of the most beloved recordings in classical music recording history, are 3-channel.
Other than the soundtrack for Fantasia, I must have missed them, could you point me to a few?


Wide, yes. Deep, sometimes, but always requiring being in the near field (IME).
Michael Curzon once wrote "It is often forgotten that the Bell work on 3-channel spaced-microphone stereo was specifically aimed at reproduction in auditoria, not in the home. As a result, enthusiasts for Blumlein-type stereo have often unfairly criticised the Bell work as 'not properly understanding stereo' but they forget that Bell were not trying to solve the same problem (reproduction of phantom images in smallish rooms with reasonably centrally-placed listeners) as Blumlein. While the Bell approach may be appropriate for large auditoria, including widescreen film presentation, it is undoubtedly not the optimum for domestic 3-speaker/3-channel reproduction. Such domestic systems can only realise the potential improvement of phantom image performance by careful design work extending Blumlein and others' work on 2-speaker 2-channel stereo."
 

Kal Rubinson

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I very much doubt it.
Could be. I hadn't seen that before. I was referring to the combining of center image information recorded from a central mic and from a lateral (say the L) mic into the L channel and the sum directed at the ear from the same perspective. Conflation was, perhaps, a bit too snide.
 

ssully

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Other than the soundtrack for Fantasia, I must have missed them, could you point me to a few?
Kal already mentioned them. The RCA Living Stereo series, on SACD. Have you not heard of them?

Here they are (and some more)




Michael Curzon once wrote "It is often forgotten that the Bell work on 3-channel spaced-microphone stereo was specifically aimed at reproduction in auditoria, not in the home. As a result, enthusiasts for Blumlein-type stereo have often unfairly criticised the Bell work as 'not properly understanding stereo' but they forget that Bell were not trying to solve the same problem (reproduction of phantom images in smallish rooms with reasonably centrally-placed listeners) as Blumlein. While the Bell approach may be appropriate for large auditoria, including widescreen film presentation, it is undoubtedly not the optimum for domestic 3-speaker/3-channel reproduction. Such domestic systems can only realise the potential improvement of phantom image performance by careful design work extending Blumlein and others' work on 2-speaker 2-channel stereo."

He acknowledge that phantom images can only expected to be properly placed for 'reasonably centrally placed listeners' -- as do proponents of a center channel louspeaker.

And then he refers to 'potential' improvement for deficits beyond that. I say 'beyond that' because the improvement in central image stability to off-axis listeners surely does not require 'careful design work extending Blumlein and others' work' to achieve. It's not as hard as that.
 

0tto

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It is not just that 3 channels image better than 2 but that their primary improvement was not the stabilization of the central vocalist but the expansion and clarification of the lateral soundstage which, again, imho, had to do with the removal of the center signals mixed into the L/R. Would it have been different with different speakers? Perhaps but I suspect that the nature of the observation has to do with the signal mix and not the transducers.
Chucky, Kal absolutely correct by pointing on the issues, which arise during the mix.
i assume you never tried to do musical mix by yourself. if you ever did, you obviously could notice clarity/fidelity degradation of some sound elements,
after they were mixed together. that's a main advantage of multiple descrete channels and speakers for reproduction. for experienced mixer such technique
gives opportunity to avoid crossing in the single channel elements, which isn't compatable.
i guess you may experiment with 2 channels for very long time but i'm pretty sure you'll never get result, in fidelity and imaging, similar or even close to one,
delivered by real multichannel configuration.
 

chucky3042

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No, its our IP. It is a 75 page document...quite detailed

The inherent deficits of 2ch loudspeaker setups vs 3 channel (and more) is not based only on the Bell Labs work from the 1930s. Again, see, links I posted, for starters.

As for the experiments you describe, were results ed?
 

Soundfield

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Kal already mentioned them. The RCA Living Stereo series, on SACD. Have you not heard of them?
Ah yes many excellent recordings indeed, and I have many of them in different formats. I thought you meant performances that became beloved because they were experienced as 3 ch recordings. Surely in the fifties and sixties when the Living Presence and Mecrury labels flourished they could only have been experienced by the consumer in mono or 2 channel stereo. Indeed the mixing down of the Mercury 3 ch recordings for LP was done personally by Wilma Cozart Fine herself. That’s not so say that they aren’t great recordings, the simple three microphone technique produced fantastic results (as of course do other minimalistic techniques), it’s just that it hasn’t been until recently that the recording media has been available for the public (or the few of them with the right playback equipment) to enjoy them in their original form. So I’d suggest they became beloved for the standard of the performance and the quality of the recordings as largely experienced in 2 ch rather than for any later 3 ch playback capability recovered from the original tapes / 35mm films.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Ah yes many excellent recordings indeed, and I have many of them in different formats. I thought you meant performances that became beloved because they were experienced as 3 ch recordings. Surely in the fifties and sixties when the Living Presence and Mecrury labels flourished they could only have been experienced by the consumer in mono or 2 channel stereo. Indeed the mixing down of the Mercury 3 ch recordings for LP was done personally by Wilma Cozart Fine herself. That’s not so say that they aren’t great recordings, the simple three microphone technique produced fantastic results (as of course do other minimalistic techniques), it’s just that it hasn’t been until recently that the recording media has been available for the public (or the few of them with the right playback equipment) to enjoy them in their original form. So I’d suggest they became beloved for the standard of the performance and the quality of the recordings as largely experienced in 2 ch rather than for any later 3 ch playback capability recovered from the original tapes / 35mm films.
Of course.
 

bmoura

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Smyth Research has announced that the Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming Realiser A16 processor, which will allow Stereo Headphones to reproduce up to 16 loudspeakers and newer formats including Dolby Atmos 9.1 Channel sound, DTS-X 7.1 Channel sound, Auro 3D 13.1 Channel sound and Ambisonics 15.1 Channel sound, launches August 1st.

You can view the Kickstarter web site now, even though the pages do not launch until 8/1/16 to learn more about the product.

Realiser A16 on Kickstarter.jpg

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1959366850/1286431739?token=e7f27544
 

kap'n krunch

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Looks interesting, but... it's for all of you guys who have a JOB and can bring in lots o' dough in every month...

As it is, I'm happy with my humble Sony MDR-7506's and my low end Surround system....
 

chucky3042

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Has anyone actually tried these? If so does it actually get the front image (and center) out of the head and clearly somewhere in front. Interestingly this is the harder part to achieve in virtual headphone surround.

Regards

Chucky
 

Kal Rubinson

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Has anyone actually tried these? If so does it actually get the front image (and center) out of the head and clearly somewhere in front. Interestingly this is the harder part to achieve in virtual headphone surround.

Regards

Chucky
The original Realiser 8 did that years ago so, I guess, this one can, too.
 

bmoura

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Has anyone actually tried these? If so does it actually get the front image (and center) out of the head and clearly somewhere in front. Interestingly this is the harder part to achieve in virtual headphone surround.

Regards

Chucky
Yes. The Realiser A8 does an amazing job of playing Surround Sound music over Stereo headphones.
It's the only product I've heard to date that really works.

Looking forward to hearing the new A16 which brings that technology to the world of 9.1 and above audio and video.
 
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