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Tidal Adds Dolby Atmos Music

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northernsoul

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Well done. I'm sure a similar conversation was held at some point, perhaps even when the concert venue was being mic'd.

One of my favorite classical recordings was mic'd both in the middle of the orchestra and in the audience. https://www.aixrecords.com/product/stravinsky-firebird-suite-1919-ravel-bolero-cristian-mandeal-conductor-george-enescu-phil-orch/ The middle of the orchestra recording is the DTS track and the audience recording is MLP/DD.

It would be great if this approach could be embraced. If a classical album has both a 5.1 mix and an Atmos mix, maybe one could be the middle of the orchestra and the other could be audience?
Great idea, something for everyone!
 

humprof

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@bracelis reports on another thread that Fantastic Negrito's Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? was added today (two weeks to the day after the 2.0 release).

My sub renews on the 31st, and I was all set to cancel. This may get me to stick around for another month...
 

humprof

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@bracelis reports on another thread that Fantastic Negrito's Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? was added today (two weeks to the day after the 2.0 release).

My sub renews on the 31st, and I was all set to cancel. This may get me to stick around for another month...
I've listened to most of the album now. The mix isn't stunning, but it's not unimaginative or run-of-the-mill, either. Good stuff going on in the rears, and some subtle effects in the heights. I'd love to get more like this...

And if you've been disenchanted with some of the other recent offerings on TIDAL, you should check this out. FN has been around the block, and he knows how to update that classic, gritty, East Bay funk-and-soul sound for the 21st century.
 
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humprof

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Still trying to work around the -20dB problem.

Option #1: I've repeatedly turned off "Autoplay" in my account settings, but it doesn't seem to take: whenever I reach the end of an Atmos playlist or album, TIDAL ignores the setting and decides that I need to hear some other artist that I have no interest in--at a deafening volume that threatens to fry my speakers. Does anyone know whether this setting is device-specific? I'm turning it off in my desktop app because the only setting that the Firestick app gives you access to is the streaming rate (Normal, Hi-Fi, Master). I've been assuming that any changes you make on the desktop get carried over to all your devices, but maybe not...

Option #2: I, erm, normally hate volume normalization, but has anyone tried applying that setting in TIDAL? If so, are you satisfied with the results--and does it address even the vast disparity between Atmos and non-Atmos volumes?
 

humprof

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Gregory Porter
This is another nice one. I stopped following Porter after his first couple of albums, when he went more pop and less jazz. (He'd always straddled the line, but....) But it's good to catch up with him. Jazzy soul & gospel. Not for nothing does he get compared to Bill Withers. The Atmos mix isn't anything special, but it's more than serviceable.
 

bracelis

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Still trying to work around the -20dB problem.

Option #2: I, erm, normally hate volume normalization, but has anyone tried applying that setting in TIDAL? If so, are you satisfied with the results--and does it address even the vast disparity between Atmos and non-Atmos volumes?
The Firestick streams the original Dolby Digital plus with Atmos signal to the AVR/processeor -- any loudness normalization (if it's even possible) would have to be done by the receiver, and not by the Firestick device or Tidal app.
On the desktop, if you play the Atmos track, Tidal actually streams a different source (example FLAC) which does not have the low volume issue.

The fact that even the new Atmos releases on Tidal still have the low volume, even though the issue was reported and acknowledged by Tidal two and a half months ago leads me to believe that this low volume is intentional and done for a reason.
According to Tidal's response, "the issue is on the Dolby side". I would expect small loudness variations from different songs/mixing/mastering -- but there is no way that someone would make a 'mistake' of consistently rendering ALL the Atmos tracks on Tidal with an EXTREMELY low volume. This is something very basic even amateurs would know.

I've listened to the same Atmos songs from Amazon HD and Tidal and played both of them on the Amazon Echo Studio -- the Amazon version does not have the low volume issue. Of course, Amazon Atmos music has a completely different issue -- it's only available on the Amazon Echo Studio.

In the meantime, I have been downloading/saving some of the original Atmos files from the Tidal streams to my PC (the few that I really like), with the intention of converting them to regular 5.1 FLAC and raising the loudness. So I will be able to play these tracks from the same media player / PC that I use for my song collection, and I won't need to play them separately on the Apple TV / Firestick and turn on the AVR. It won't be Atmos anymore but that's fine, most of the songs do not have discrete audio on the height channels anyway. I know that downloading is against policy -- but in this case I have a perfectly valid reason/excuse because of the low volume which can damage your speakers (or your ears) when you turn up the volume and listen to another song.
 
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bracelis

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It would be great if this approach could be embraced. If a classical album has both a 5.1 mix and an Atmos mix, maybe one could be the middle of the orchestra and the other could be audience?
Vivaldi must have had the same idea a long time ago.
And in the middle of not just one, but two separate orchestras.


Naxos_Vivaldi.png


"The Recordings:

(1) The Four Seasons

It was recorded and edited in five channels to provide a "typical" surround mix. This is to say the sound stage is spread over the front three channels, whilst the rear channels contain the natural ambience of the Church of St Silas the Martyr to give the listener a realistic representation of the acoustic in which the performance took place.

(2) Concertos for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Concertos for Violin and Double Orchestra)

For the Concertos for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, we employed a different tactic. Written for two independent string orchestras, these were recorded with the soloist, David Juritz, standing in the middle of these two groups. This seemed an ideal opportunity to position the orchestras accordingly in surround sound, so for both concertos, orchestra one is positioned in the front channels and orchestra two in the rear. Listening to this in post-production, Juritz commented that hearing it played back this way was as close to the sensation of playing the work in situ as he could imagine."
 
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humprof

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The Firestick streams the original Dolby Digital plus with Atmos signal to the AVR/processeor -- any loudness normalization (if it's even possible) would have to be done by the receiver, and not by the Firestick device or Tidal app.
On the desktop, if you play the Atmos track, Tidal actually streams a different source (example FLAC) which does not have the low volume issue.
Interesting. So the "Loudness Normalization" feature in the Tidal settings only applies to the desktop (and presumably the phone) app, then.

I have a perfectly valid reason/excuse because of the low volume which can damage your speakers (or your ears) when you turn up the volume and listen to another song.
Even worse when it's not you, but Tidal, that chooses to play another song. I'd be happy for the time being if I could just succeed in turning off "Autoplay." But if I change that setting when I'm logged into my account on the desktop app, it doesn't seem to carry over to other devices (like Firestick). I've searched the web--including Reddit--for a solution, with no luck. Plenty of people complaining about it, but no one is offering a solution.
 
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bracelis

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Interesting. So the "Loudness Normalization" feature in the Tidal settings only applies to the desktop (and presumably the phone) app, then.
Even if there was a Loudness Normalization feature on the Firestick/app, it still would not apply to the Atmos tracks for the same reason that I mentioned (i.e, the Firestick does not do any decoding and it sends the original Dolby bitstream and the AVR does the decoding/processing).

Even worse when it's not you, but Tidal, that chooses to play another song. I'd be happy for the time being if I could just succeed in turning off "Autoplay." But if I change that setting when I'm logged into my account on the desktop app, it doesn't seem to carry over to other devices (like Firestick).
I've been using the Tidal app on the Apple 4K TV, which only autoplays the songs within the album or playlist and then it will stop, so I don't have this issue.
I just make sure to not include both Atmos and non-Atmos tracks in the same playlist.
 

bracelis

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The Firestick streams the original Dolby Digital plus with Atmos signal to the AVR/processeor -- any loudness normalization (if it's even possible) would have to be done by the receiver, and not by the Firestick device or Tidal app.
On the Marantz/Denon receiver, with Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital+ signals (with or without Atmos), it displays the loudness "Offset".
This is shown in the Setup menu ---> General ---> Information ---> Audio.

Below are some of the Offset values that I've observed (these are all Dolby Digital+ with Atmos, but the same should apply to regular Dolby Digital 5.1 non-Atmos signals):

- Dolby "Leaf" demo: No offset
Dolby_Leaf_Demo.jpg


- Netflix movies and documentaries : between -2dB and -7dB

Netflix_Atmos_Movie_Doc.jpg


- Tidal Atmos: -13dB (as mentioned in a previous post, I downloaded the Atmos MP4 files from Tidal to my PC).
Tidal_Atmos.jpg


- Netflix (Taylor Swift "Reputation" concert): -12dB, similar to Tidal Atmos, so the volume is also very low.
TaylorSwift_ReputationTour.jpg


- Netflix 'Preview' (when you're on the main screen, it plays a 'preview' audio on the selected movie/icon at a reduced volume): -10dB

With this metadata/info, the AVR can potentially adjust the volume automatically.


Note:
I tried the above on a Windows 10 PC, including the Neflix app and MP4 files that I downloaded.
But it doesn't work with the Apple 4K TV, because it repackages the Dolby Digital+/Atmos signal to Dolby "MAT" format, and it doesn't show any Offset.

Edit:
I also tried it on the Firestick and it doesn't show the Offset, either.
However, there is a 'Volume Leveler' on the Firestick under Settings ---> Display & Sounds --> Audio --> Advanced.
It does not change the Atmos level, but it lowers the volume on a couple of non-Atmos tracks that I tried.

Edit #2:
The -13 offset had actually been mentioned in AVS Forum way back during the Tidal Atmos launch, and the offset setting seems to be displayed on the receiver when using the Nvidia Shield.
 
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EricKalet

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With this metadata/info, the AVR can potentially adjust the volume automatically.
It's all due to Dolby's dialogue normalization and dynamic range control. Basically the reason Atmos music (and any Dolby programming) has a much lower overall volume is because the metadata is telling the AVR to reduce the volume by [+/-] (x)db. Dialogue normalization is designed to ensure that the overall volume doesn't overwhelm or clip a system based on average db level of speech or dialogue. Since Atmos can be listened to on all sorts of devices, from echo studio to headphones to tv's with built in speakers, to sound bars to bookshelf speakers to full range towers, etc., etc., Dolby's algorithm is designed to be compatible across everything without clipping or blowing out the speakers.

"Dialogue Normalization, in simple terms, is exactly the same as turning the volume
down a bit on a consumers home stereo. However, simply adjusting the volume on a
home stereo provides none of the other advantages of dialnorm: providing a reference
for reduced dynamic range listening conditions, accurate and musical dynamic range
compression, and clipping protection prior to the D/A circuitry." Standards and Practices
for Authoring Dolby® Digital and Dolby E Bitstreams

IMO, in the case of Tidal the dialnorm seems excessive at -15 to -20 db
 
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humprof

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It's all due to Dolby's dialogue normalization and dynamic range control. Basically the reason Atmos music (and any Dolby programming) has a much lower overall volume is because the metadata is telling the AVR to reduce the volume by [+/-] (x)db. Dialogue normalization is designed to ensure that the overall volume doesn't overwhelm or clip a system based on average db level of speech or dialogue. Since Atmos can be listened to on all sorts of devices, from echo studio to headphones to tv's with built in speakers, to sound bars to bookshelf speakers to full range towers, etc., etc., Dolby's algorithm is designed to be compatible across everything without clipping or blowing out the speakers.

"Dialogue Normalization, in simple terms, is exactly the same as turning the volume
down a bit on a consumers home stereo. However, simply adjusting the volume on a
home stereo provides none of the other advantages of dialnorm: providing a reference
for reduced dynamic range listening conditions, accurate and musical dynamic range
compression, and clipping protection prior to the D/A circuitry." Standards and Practices
for Authoring Dolby® Digital and Dolby E Bitstreams

IMO, in the case of Tidal the dialnorm seems excessive at -15 to -20 db
Agreed. Even so, it would be fine if all we were listening to on Tidal were Atmos. But if you want to mix Atmos & non-Atmos tracks (or if you're unable to stop Tidal from adding non-Atmos encores to your Atmos album or playlist), then it risks blowing your speakers--or your ears...
 

bracelis

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The DiagNorm setting in the metadata is displayed in the "mediainfo" utility.

Using the two Dolby Digital+/Atmos files that I mentioned in the earlier post, this is what's shown in mediainfo:

(1) Dolby Atmos "Leaf" demo

MediaInfo:
<dialnorm>-31</dialnorm>
<compr>-0.28</compr>
<dialnorm_Average>-31</dialnorm_Average>
<dialnorm_Minimum>-31</dialnorm_Minimum>
<compr_Average>1.10</compr_Average>
<compr_Minimum>0.53</compr_Minimum>
<compr_Maximum>1.94</compr_Maximum>
<compr_Count>30</compr_Count>

DialNorm -31 = Zero/no offset on the AVR


(2) Tidal Atmos downloaded file

Mediainfo:
<dialnorm>-18</dialnorm>
<compr>-0.28</compr>
<dialnorm_Average>-18</dialnorm_Average>
<dialnorm_Minimum>-18</dialnorm_Minimum>
<compr_Average>1.41</compr_Average>
<compr_Minimum>0.53</compr_Minimum>
<compr_Maximum>2.36</compr_Maximum>
<compr_Count>30</compr_Count>

The DiagNorm is -18, which is 13 higher relative to -31 (zero offset), and the AVR applied an offset of -13.


I turned the "Loudness Management" setting "On" and "Off" on the Denon/Marantz AVR, but it has no effect on the volume and it still shows the same offset.
 
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