Subtle surround anyone, Eno style?

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JimofMaine

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Want to talk about deliberate?

Almost all of the TV programs I watch are in surround sound (using PL-II).

So are many of the commercials. Mostly the local commercials are in mono.

And I even hear a few surround commercials on FM radio (though most of the music is just stereo).
It's because tv and FM radio are in stereo. They are not "in Dolby Surround." Dolby Surround and PL simply need a regular stereo signal using the +,+ originally mentioned. Another way to say this is, it's a "playback" technology.

ALL movies are in stereo and thus "encode" the +,+ rear surround.

Yes, +,+ info can be manipulated for greater or lesser effect for playback on quad-type systems. (Which is what I think you meant) In other words, I hear all the effects too by amplifying the +,+ channel independently Eno style you hear with PL-II.

Not to beat a dead horse: there is no such thing as stereo that is not surround.
 

JimofMaine

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I don't want to speak for someone else...

I've made comments about the distinction between a mix as intentionally delivered by an artist vs the end consumer altering it with their own remastering. I've done the latter before and certainly will again! (Stinky opinions and all, you know.)

I think it's important to recognize and at least listen to the original mix as intended. Following that, there's a distinction between an original mix vs random effects from some kinds of upmix style processing. I might find I like someone's upmix better than someone else's original intentional mix. I just want to hear the original first (for good or bad) and acknowledge intentional work.

That's where my comments that resemble that come from. :)
It's like watching someone salt some food you made before tasting it.

There's really a lot of grey area in between with some of the early creative surround concepts and approaches! This very system mentioned here appears swings both ways. It looks like there was material created specifically to work with it intentionally (as well as the system made possible) as well as it being an interesting effect for stereo mixes where the treatment was never considered ahead of time.
Great observations. Would one be "salting without tasting" IF these rear +,+ speakers were physically placed alongside the maine L, R?
 

MagnumX

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Great observations. Would one be "salting without tasting" IF these rear +,+ speakers were physically placed alongside the maine L, R?
Even different speakers in general have different presentations of the same recordings. Some designs image non-correlated (out of phase) much wider or further into the room than others (this is also room dependent). This is why ribbon, magneplanar and electrostatic dipoles (among a myriad of monopole designs) are popular with some people.

Where "should" non-correlated information image with a stereo signal? In truth, it's not going to be "accurate" to a real space with only two channels outside of binaural recordings played back with headphones so arguments about surround sound with stereo seem moot to me.

Unless you only subscribe to the notion of hearing exactly what the mixing engineer heard as your goal, even if it's inferior to what you could get with better speakers, etc., there's no basis in reality for a comparison.

Four channels recorded discreetly with a quad microphone setup can get you much closer to a real space and as Auro Technologies discovered, 8+ channels can handle a pretty good bubble of sound reproduction (i.e. Auro-3D with dual quad microphone recordings sound almost like personalized binaural without the headphones kind of accurate).

Forget vinyl vs digital, etc. If people cared about reproducing concerts like you were actually there, Auro-3D music recordings would be the most popular thing out there. But they're not for reasons which include a PITA setup and competition from Dolby even though Dolby doesn't generally record Atmos that way because it's not really channel based, but object based (great for pan/pot style mixing, but not accurate spaces).
 

JimofMaine

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Even different speakers in general have different presentations of the same recordings. Some designs image non-correlated (out of phase) much wider or further into the room than others (this is also room dependent). This is why ribbon, magneplanar and electrostatic dipoles (among a myriad of monopole designs) are popular with some people.

Where "should" non-correlated information image with a stereo signal? In truth, it's not going to be "accurate" to a real space with only two channels outside of binaural recordings played back with headphones so arguments about surround sound with stereo seem moot to me.

Unless you only subscribe to the notion of hearing exactly what the mixing engineer heard as your goal, even if it's inferior to what you could get with better speakers, etc., there's no basis in reality for a comparison.

Four channels recorded discreetly with a quad microphone setup can get you much closer to a real space and as Auro Technologies discovered, 8+ channels can handle a pretty good bubble of sound reproduction (i.e. Auro-3D with dual quad microphone recordings sound almost like personalized binaural without the headphones kind of accurate).

Forget vinyl vs digital, etc. If people cared about reproducing concerts like you were actually there, Auro-3D music recordings would be the most popular thing out there. But they're not for reasons which include a PITA setup and competition from Dolby even though Dolby doesn't generally record Atmos that way because it's not really channel based, but object based (great for pan/pot style mixing, but not accurate spaces).
"...arguments about surround sound with stereo seem moot to me."

Dolby PL-II uses a stereo signal. Hard to argue that PL-II isn't a surround format...maybe the largest! The predecessor, Dolby Surround, had no delay and simply did L,R and mono rear of the +,+ stereo.

I agree with your observation about better speakers and certain designs reproducing +,+ better. That doesn't rule out improvements. What about the effect of room acoustics on +,+? Or room geometry? Could additional speakers be a solution to less than perfect equipment in a less than perfect room?
 

MagnumX

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"...arguments about surround sound with stereo seem moot to me."

Dolby PL-II uses a stereo signal. Hard to argue that PL-II isn't a surround format...maybe the largest! The predecessor, Dolby Surround, had no delay and simply did L,R and mono rear of the +,+ stereo.
I'm not arguing it's not a surround format. I'm saying it's not realistic sounding in terms of recreating a real acoustic space compared to say 8-channel Auro-3D.

In Stargate, you needed 6 symbols/coordinate numbers to define a precise location in space. In audio, you need 8 speakers to define a phantom image in space (preferably with the mains under you in terms if height (rather you sitting in the center of a cube) or you won't get images below you.

I agree with your observation about better speakers and certain designs reproducing +,+ better. That doesn't rule out improvements. What about the effect of room acoustics on +,+? Or room geometry? Could additional speakers be a solution to less than perfect equipment in a less than perfect room?
Room reflections and speaker interaction can play a part. I use dipole ribbons with Sonic Holography in my 2-channel (well now it's 4) music room and a six speaker array in my home theater room (mains + front wides + front heights) for stereo signals.

At lower frequencies, the extra speakers cancel out side and ceiling/floor reflections (below about 250Hz) acting as a partial line array and the extra arrivals from the wides and front heights (latter used for dialog lift) aren't totally dissimilar from the extra front/side reflections coming from the rear of dipole speakers, creating a more solid 3D placed phantom image in the room. If course the hind theater room is kept more dead in the front while the dipoles are allowed a reflective surface 4 feet behind them,but the audible result sounds very similar to my ears, at least much more so than the PSB speakers sound with just two playing, IMO.

Out of phase information in both cases/rooms can image at least 90 degrees to my sides without using speakers in those locations.

Admittedly, using six speakers to achieve that in the home theater room sound crazy instead of using just a quad setup, but they're already there as Atmos speakers anyway. I'm just using them to enhance my stereo mode (active mixers used to create the stereo array and dialog lift effect.

Actually, it lifts the entire front sound stage to the screen level as if they're behind the screen, although with stereo phase and HRTF effects, music (phantom images) can sometimes appear anywhere from the floor to the ceiling in some cases/recordings all without multichannel recordings. It never comes from directly behind me without using the side surrounds, though (PS4 games rotate images right around me in a circle when I spun the character around).
 

JimofMaine

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...trying to not get lost in the weeds.

"...I'm saying it's not realistic sounding in terms of recreating a real acoustic space compared to say 8-channel Auro-3D."

It does seem you're saying stereo cannot do surround properly.
 

MagnumX

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...trying to not get lost in the weeds.

"...I'm saying it's not realistic sounding in terms of recreating a real acoustic space compared to say 8-channel Auro-3D."

It does seem you're saying stereo cannot do surround properly.
It depends on what your goals are.

If you just want some atmosphere in the room then Pro Logic or similar is fine. You can't localize anything in the back of the room, however with a mono surround channel.

Thus came discrete 5.1 surround. If your goal is localized side effects then great, you're there.

Hollywood realized they had no real sounds behind them with huge side arrays. Along came 6.1 (and the psycho-acoustical issue at home of only one rear speaker sounding like it's in front of you) so 7.1 was added, first to use two monopoles to fix 6.1 and then eventually to localize stereo sounds behind you.

Someone then realized two more limitations. One is that big arrays don't pinpoint images in large theater rooms (everyone hears the "sides" as beside them rather than fixed locations in the room. The other was no sounds could differentiate between above and below.

Along comes Atmos with fixed object rendering using dozens of rendered channels and ceiling speakers (Technically Auro-3D came first with overheads added to a 5.1 and then 7.1 configuration which drove Dolby into action before Auro-3D took over the industry as Dolby feared they might do if they sat on their laurels).

Now there's still room for improvement with Atmos. Sounds coming from below aren't addressed and it lacks "anchor" speakers in top surround and center height locations Auro and DTS support.

But overall, you can now image most anywhere in the room from ear level all around you to overhead with enough speakers deployed and you can simulate precise room reflections as well (room simulation) with enough speakers deployed.

What's the difference between early +/+ extraction and Auro/X/Atmos? In one word, PRECISION.

Do you just want some ambient abstract "sound" in the back of the room or do you want a near holographic sound projection where you can believe you're really in a large church instead of your living room with your eyes closed? That's essentially the difference to be had.
 

JimofMaine

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Right on! Until your last sentence:

"...where you can believe you're really in a large church instead of your living room with your eyes closed? That's essentially the difference to be had."

Most definitely +,+ can reproduce a church or other concert venue's spacial characteristics, so I have to disagree that that is the realm of discrete. Live stereo recordings do this astonishing well.

For studio mixes, the +,+ can actually be encoded with IN PHASE information so you essentially have a regular mono signal. If the level is increased over the front, this places the sound in the rear. Brian Eno albums do this well. (And all movies and lots of pop)
 

MagnumX

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I disagree. No stereo recording ever made me feel like I was actually in a different room entirely until I heard the Auro-3D demo of a pipe organ and Amsterdam square, etc.

Other than binaural recordings (I first heard one at Disney's MGM studios in like 1990), nothing "really" felt like I was somewhere else and I think that's because stereo and basic surround are a combination of clues in the recording and inevitable reflections in your own room. So you get a sort of hybrid. The problem is a giant cathedral and my tiny room combined don't really sound like a cathedral. Maybe I could buy I was in a jazz club or something, but without a real frame of reference I think I'm as much pretending as listening.

Now when I got dipole ribbon speakers back in 1995, I did feel like there were actual performers and singers in my room with me (uncanny presence at times and as close as I will likely ever get to hearing Tori Amos sing for me in my living room), but the dipole reflections are more about making a recording sound "real" (as in I could believe someone was in the room with me).

The first time I thought a Yamaha DSP mode actually sounded like another room was when I finally tried front height ("presence") speakers finally in around 2017 when doing some dialog lift testing (I didn't realize my old yammy had it, but it was baked into DSP). Suddenly, the movie theater mode actually sounded like some giant room (a really bad one with all those echoes, but a larger room a least).

That's what then lead me into doing some overhead speaker testing (feeding multichannel stereo mode output into my old high mounted side surrounds plus the new front heights (e.g. Thunderstorm recordings, planes etc) and decided Atmos could work in my room with heights and side wall mounted heights (i.e. Auro-3D layout).

Then I got this idea about making my own much desired dialog lift mode with a mixer (without echoey DSP) so I tried that and it worked so I decided to go for a hybrid Auro/Atmos layout, but eventually ended up with a crazier 11.1.6 hybrid layout with so-called "scatmos" extraction decoding to add more channels than a 11.1 AVR would normally support given how pricey higher channel count products cost (only >13.1 processor at the time was Trinnov at the price of a car).

Even so, only Auro-3D recordings made with dual quad microphones make me feel like I'm not in my home theater, but somewhere else. I'm not saying movie and pan-pot surround isn't fun (Yello's Point album in Atmos is incredible), but it's not the same feeling.
 

MidiMagic

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It depends on what your goals are.

If you just want some atmosphere in the room then Pro Logic or similar is fine. You can't localize anything in the back of the room, however with a mono surround channel.

Thus came discrete 5.1 surround. If your goal is localized side effects then great, you're there.

Hollywood realized they had no real sounds behind them with huge side arrays. Along came 6.1 (and the psycho-acoustical issue at home of only one rear speaker sounding like it's in front of you) so 7.1 was added, first to use two monopoles to fix 6.1 and then eventually to localize stereo sounds behind you.

Someone then realized two more limitations. One is that big arrays don't pinpoint images in large theater rooms (everyone hears the "sides" as beside them rather than fixed locations in the room. The other was no sounds could differentiate between above and below.

What's the difference between early +/+ extraction and Auro/X/Atmos? In one word, PRECISION.

Do you just want some ambient abstract "sound" in the back of the room or do you want a near holographic sound projection where you can believe you're really in a large church instead of your living room with your eyes closed? That's essentially the difference to be had.
You CAN localize the back of the room with a mono surround channel. I do it all the time.

I can sit at my mixer and pan any part to any direction in the room using Dolby Surround, Pro-Logic, or Pro Logic II. As I turn my pan pot, I hear the sound move smoothly to whatever azimuth I want it at. And I can pan as many sounds as I want in as many different places just with my pan pots and front/back switches.

I can't easily do that with discrete. The sound jumps from speaker to speaker. Special encoding is needed to make the sound seem to come from between the speakers no matter which way you are facing. But then it is no longer discrete.

The localized side effects come from where the speakers are. So then they add more speakers to give more places where they can put a sound???

PRECISION? With the sounds jumping from speaker to speaker in lumps?

With my special mic array and a regular matrix encoder, I get a holographic sound projection when played back with Dolby Surround, Pro-Logic, or Pro-logic II. It also works quite well with a QS or EV decoder. It has that "You are there" feel that I never hear anywhere else.
 

MagnumX

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You CAN localize the back of the room with a mono surround channel. I do it all the time.
So you're saying you can put an individual voice, instrument or sound anywhere you want in the back of the room with a MONO rear speaker channel? That's amazing as usually with mono, the sound can only come from one speaker (with Pro Logic, that normally means a general sound all around you). You cannot put a saxophone halfway to the left behind you.

I can sit at my mixer and pan any part to any direction in the room using Dolby Surround, Pro-Logic, or Pro Logic II. As I turn my pan pot, I hear the sound move smoothly to whatever azimuth I want it at. And I can pan as many sounds as I want in as many different places just with my pan pots and front/back switches.

I can't easily do that with discrete. The sound jumps from speaker to speaker. Special encoding is needed to make the sound seem to come from between the speakers no matter which way you are facing. But then it is no longer discrete.
It sounds like you have a software problem. You can pan between any stereo pair. You're misusing the word discrete as well. The channels are discrete. The sounds don't have to be. You can pan between them or increase the sound to be in more than two (The Atmos renderer makes this easy to do by adjusting the object's size as well as location).

The localized side effects come from where the speakers are. So then they add more speakers to give more places where they can put a sound???

PRECISION? With the sounds jumping from speaker to speaker in lumps?
Sounds should not jump in lumps between channels. In Atmos, it only does that if you use "snap to speaker" for an object. Otherwise, it pans smoothly between channels as it moves in any direction. If you increase the object size, it can be in more speakers, up to all of them at once. You can do this in 5.1 or 7.1 as well with traditional controls. It's just more work.

With my special mic array and a regular matrix encoder, I get a holographic sound projection when played back with Dolby Surround, Pro-Logic, or Pro-logic II. It also works quite well with a QS or EV decoder. It has that "You are there" feel that I never hear anywhere else.
You keep telling me you magically get "holographic" sound with a MONO surround channel with Pro Logic and I'm finding that rather difficult to believe. It's like saying you can pan a sound around the room with one speaker. It just doesn't work. Now using the front channels panning to a mono channel is actually 3-channels. You'll get some in-between, but you still can't image precisely behind you (put a voice directly behind me and move it 5 inches to the left still behind me). That is why they went to 5.1 and why Quad in the '70s used four speakers, not three.
 

kfbkfb

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This is a QS encoded contest entry, IMHO, DPL does a fantastic job of providing Surround Sound from this, including sounds localized in the Back/Surround channel (I haven't listened to any of the other entries).


Kirk Bayne
 

furui_suterioo

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@MidiMagic
Hi Midi, I have 8 speakers arranged like your picture, but currently only using 4 at one time. Is there a way to connect the additional 4(L,R,F,B) speakers using additional decoders/amps instead of a circuit like UQ-8A when playing SQ rotation tone?
 
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JimofMaine

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So you're saying you can put an individual voice, instrument or sound anywhere you want in the back of the room with a MONO rear speaker channel? That's amazing as usually with mono, the sound can only come from one speaker (with Pro Logic, that normally means a general sound all around you). You cannot put a saxophone halfway to the left behind you.



It sounds like you have a software problem. You can pan between any stereo pair. You're misusing the word discrete as well. The channels are discrete. The sounds don't have to be. You can pan between them or increase the sound to be in more than two (The Atmos renderer makes this easy to do by adjusting the object's size as well as location).



Sounds should not jump in lumps between channels. In Atmos, it only does that if you use "snap to speaker" for an object. Otherwise, it pans smoothly between channels as it moves in any direction. If you increase the object size, it can be in more speakers, up to all of them at once. You can do this in 5.1 or 7.1 as well with traditional controls. It's just more work.



You keep telling me you magically get "holographic" sound with a MONO surround channel with Pro Logic and I'm finding that rather difficult to believe. It's like saying you can pan a sound around the room with one speaker. It just doesn't work. Now using the front channels panning to a mono channel is actually 3-channels. You'll get some in-between, but you still can't image precisely behind you (put a voice directly behind me and move it 5 inches to the left still behind me). That is why they went to 5.1 and why Quad in the '70s used four speakers, not three.
Hm. The original intent of this post was to discuss the workings of the Hafler/Eno/Third Channel, not to go back and forth about surround formats. If you are not doing L,R and side or rear +,+, maybe start a new thread. Might be too late but trying to discuss with users who are finding success. What works? What doesn't?
 

MidiMagic

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So you're saying you can put an individual voice, instrument or sound anywhere you want in the back of the room with a MONO rear speaker channel? That's amazing as usually with mono, the sound can only come from one speaker (with Pro Logic, that normally means a general sound all around you). You cannot put a saxophone halfway to the left behind you.
I did it using the original Dynaco Diamond. And my method carries over to QS, EV, DQ, DS, PL, and PL-II.

You are forgetting that these are all a common matrix system. The locations of the sound images do not depend on the locations of the speakers.

If I encode for QS LB, it comes from the LB no matter which of these systems is playing it. The other speakers combine with the surrounds to provide the image. There does not have to be a speaker where the image is located.

It sounds like you have a software problem. You can pan between any stereo pair. You're misusing the word discrete as well. The channels are discrete. The sounds don't have to be. You can pan between them or increase the sound to be in more than two (The Atmos renderer makes this easy to do by adjusting the object's size as well as location).
Software? I am using a mixer and two analog multitracks. When I pan to a 4-track discrete tape, a pan between LF and LB does NOT sound like it comes between the speakers unless you turn your head to the left. I have to add a small delay to these and feed them to RF and RB to make it sound like it comes from between the LF and LB when I face forward. But now it is encoded.

Sounds should not jump in lumps between channels. In Atmos, it only does that if you use "snap to speaker" for an object. Otherwise, it pans smoothly between channels as it moves in any direction. If you increase the object size, it can be in more speakers, up to all of them at once. You can do this in 5.1 or 7.1 as well with traditional controls. It's just more work.
Unless you are doing something other than a standard amplitude pan, you have to be facing the two speakers (or directly away from them) to hear the sound pan smoothly between them. If you pan smoothly between two speakers that are both on one side of you, you hear the sound suddenly jump from one to the other.

You keep telling me you magically get "holographic" sound with a MONO surround channel with Pro Logic and I'm finding that rather difficult to believe. It's like saying you can pan a sound around the room with one speaker. It just doesn't work. Now using the front channels panning to a mono channel is actually 3-channels. You'll get some in-between, but you still can't image precisely behind you (put a voice directly behind me and move it 5 inches to the left still behind me). That is why they went to 5.1 and why Quad in the '70s used four speakers, not three.
I am panning smoothly around the room with 4 speakers, not just one. The other three speakers work with the back speaker to produce the image. And it works a little better with two surround speakers.

@MidiMagic
Hi Midi, I have 8 speakers arranged like your picture, but currently only using 4 at one time. Is there a way to connect the additional 4(L,R,F,B) speakers using additional decoders/amps instead of a circuit like UQ-8A when playing SQ rotation tone?
The UQ-8A is designed for RM play.

For SQ:

- You can use a resistor mixing matrix (two 10K resistors) to produce a front center channel (F) from the LF and RF. My system lets me produce it from the original L and R or from the SQ LF and RF.

- You can also use a resistor mixing matrix (two 10K resistors) to produce a back center channel (B) from the SQ LB and RB. My system lets me produce it from LB and RB of from -L and +R.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to get the straight left or straight right SQ.

I have used the following for left and right wing speakers with SQ:

- SQ LF and RF
- SQ LB and RB
- RM LB and RB
- DS S channel
- OFF

I usually use a lower level with these.

You could use the UQ-8A for just the added speakers. It should work without the corner speakers.
 
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MagnumX

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I did it using the original Dynaco Diamond. And my method carries over to QS, EV, DQ, DS, PL, and PL-II.
There is not point in arguing about a matrixed mono surround system and a discrete one. There is absolutely no comparison between the results of a simple 5.1 discrete soundtrack and a matrixed "Pro Logic" one, even with PLIIx enabled or now DSU.
 
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