• QuadraphonicQuad welcomes you and encourages your participation! Treat all members with respect. Please keep all discussions civil, even when you have a strong opinion on a particular topic.

    Do not offer for free, offer for sale, offer for trade, or request copies or files of copyrighted material - no matter how rare or unavailable to the public they might be. We do not condone the illegal sharing of music. There are many places on the internet where you can participate in such transactions, but QuadraphonicQuad is not one of them. We are here to encourage and support new multichannel releases from those companies that still provide them and as such the distribution of illegal copies of recordings is counter-productive to that effort. Any posts of this sort will be deleted without notification.

    Please try to avoid discussions that pit one format against another. Hint for new users: make liberal use of the search facilities here at QuadraphonicQuad. Our message base is an incredibly rich resource of detailed information on virtually all topics pertaining to surround-sound. You will be surprised at what you can find with a little digging!

SPOTLIGHT Virtual Surround Sound Streaming Platform

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360Loop

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Hi All,

We recently launched Loop, a streaming service for virtualized surround sound music without the need for any special devices or headphones. The platform has music from The Beatles, Beyonce, Bach, and is growing every day. I wanted to introduce Loop and myself that you might check out the stream at www.stereo.sucks, and also to start a conversation here on QuadraphonicQuad both surround and VR, individually and separately.

We have a pretty great collection of DVDA, DTS CD, Blu-Ray Audio, and SACD discs and are looking forward to engaging with true surround fans!
 

rustyandi

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I played the track and i think that i hear the rear channels from the front
I am using a cheap headphone but it is interesting
 

360Loop

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Los Angeles, CA
Thanks for your feedback!

It would be very helpful to mention what track you were listening to when describing your concern. In regards to hearing more of a wet sound or not hearing a distinct surround effect, as we all know, some surround sound releases are little more than a stereo mix with vocal in the center and reverb returns in the rears. The channels in those mixes are all very similar with no instrument or sound object localizable to any one location. The result of these mixes is more an out-of-head experience. But when you listen to a mix that is more discrete (e.g. Elliot Scheiner's mix for The Flaming Lip's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots), you will hear sounds in exact locations.

Updates to the app and service will include the ability for you to switch from the surround back to stereo versions at any time while wearing headphones, letting you hear the difference. We have several example videos, but are creating a demo page that makes it easier to find and watch them.

With respect to front/back confusion, that's also an issue with channel-based mixes with low instrument separation. And while it may seem self-serving, there is research [1, 2] that with active learning and feedback, a person can be "retrained" in a non-individualized HRTF. We have plans to take that research and implement it into mixes, ads, and demo materials to further enhance the experience.

Please feel to post more feedback or PM us at any time!
 

MrSmithers

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I had a very brief listen - over Bluetooth headphones which I knew was probably not a very accurate gauge... It might not represent everything that I would expect from a surround perspective... But I should say that I still enjoyed it... It could be track related as you say...

I could still detect a certain surround feel... And it sounded better then what I would have heard from a stereo perspective...

It sounds like an awesome project! I have to say putting the band artwork on the picture in the living room is really cool! 💡👍🏻

I love the idea and look forward to checking it out more in the future...
 

Soundfield

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With respect to front/back confusion, that's also an issue with channel-based mixes with low instrument separation. And while it may seem self-serving, there is research [1, 2] that with active learning and feedback, a person can be "retrained" in a non-individualized HRTF. We have plans to take that research and implement it into mixes, ads, and demo materials to further enhance the experience.
It would seem to me that not only is any such approach doomed to failure on practical grounds - it is fundamentally flawed in HiFi terms. If I have to be "trained" to hear what a producer wants me to hear, the recording itself, by definition, must be inaccurate. It is not my head, ears or brain that it is at fault it is the inability of such systems to reproduce something (in this case spatial information) with sufficient fidelity for any and all listeners to be able to recognise it as a reasonable facsimile of a real world experience.
 

360Loop

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While Soundfield says doomed for failure, MrSmithers says destined for success! Very much appreciate your support, MrSmithers.

It's important to know that if you have your own home theatre surround sound set up, you have your library of DVDA, SACD, and Blu-Ray audio discs, Loop is not meant to replace that. But, if you can imagine taking that surround sound experience with you anywhere you go, there's Loop. For all the people who don't have access to surround sound at all outside a movie theatre, now they can listen to Loop. And if you think about all the movies, TV shows, and streaming services that are coming online that have never offered a surround sound experience on mobile, you can start to see what motivated the creation of Loop.

But we definitely appreciate all feedback and will use it to continue making the experience so good that any philosophical debate on the issue is rendered moot ;-)
 

Soundfield

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While Soundfield says doomed for failure, MrSmithers says destined for success! Very much appreciate your support, MrSmithers.
I did not say your current app is doomed to failure (only time and the experience of your users will tell on that score) - I said that the concept of "training" users was. I don't think MrSmithers used the words "destined for success" anywhere though.
 

360Loop

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I was playfully paraphrasing MrSmithers, but I do apologize for misunderstanding your post.

The concept of "training" comes from research that shows a person's ability to accurately localize sounds in a virtual space improves with feedback and time. As we continue to build Loop as a product, our goal is to keep users for whom the experience is not immediate engaged so that the effect becomes more accurate. But, in the interest of full disclosure, this and most research in this area has never been tested in a commercial product.

We very much appreciate everyone's comments.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I streamed a few tunes today. Most were ambient mixes. There was Steve Millers' Fly Like an Eagle though. That one is fairly discreet when played. I thought I got a sense of some minimal front to back illusion of depth, but compared to what one experiences playing true 5.1, it was pretty underwhelming. Kind of like the rear signal happens a bit more in the rear of your head, but only by an inch or two. Discrete rear elements also seemed to be reduced in level somewhat. But like MrSmithers said, it might be better than the stereo. I need a quick way to switch between formats and listen more.

My fear is the unknowing masses actually believing that this is what real surround sounds like. Its nowhere near that. But hey, if it catches on and brings more surround releases to the fore... I.m all for it.
 

360Loop

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Thanks for your feedback LuvMyQuad. Our highest priority feature for future versions of the service is to have the ability to switch between stereo and surround at any time. A person who wanted to have a surround sound home theatre set up in their home probably wouldn't be influenced one way or another by Loop in their purchasing decisions. A growing audience who is aware of and appreciate surround sound will only motivate more artists to release surround mixes, which is what we all want!
 

beerking

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I'm listening now, via my laptop, to the direct streaming. There is definitely an enhanced sound going around my headphones. Whether I would class it as surround is another matter.
To me, the teaching to listen to this new concept, defeats the objective.
Especially in a society that craves instant gratification.
What I'm hearing certainly sounds better than a pure stereo stream.
It is an enhanced stereo sound which gives the impression of filling the ears with a different dynamic.
To replicate true surround via this technology is a very difficult task, if you can tweak the system you have set up, to give a finer balance from front to rear then you may be onto a winner.

Good luck in your venture I say.

Anything that promotes more knowledge of surround music has to be a good thing, as long as it's not to it's detriment!!

I listened as far as Marvin Gayes ...What's Going On.
No pun intended!!
 
Last edited:

~dave~~wave~

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Congratulations, and more credit to you for having the stones to wade into the thick of a tribe of elderly quadrophonic curmudgeons.

I listened off and on for a few pleasant hours today.
Kudos for an exemplary playlist:
  • Kind of Blue
  • Led Zep ~ West Was Won
  • Pinball Wizard
  • Psycho Killer
  • Yoshimi
  • Fat Bottom Girls
  • Alicia Keys
  • Pixies
  • All Along the Watchtower
  • Long Train Running & Black Water
  • Must Have Done Somebody Wrong
  • What's Going On?
  • Beach Boys ~ That's Not Me, God Only Knows\
...etc...

As I analyzed the sound field in comparison to listening on speakers and headphones, I made a surround map. (Iike Imagine)
I hear it as a super wide sound stage, but with less front to back depth.

The center channel is especially problematic for me.
Just as with conventional headphones, a centered signal seem to localize in the middle of my head, not in front of me.
I drew the processed surround field as cone shaped, to illustrate that the wider the spread, the more illusion of depth I perceive.

I think this has potential, and I agree that A/B switching would help illuminate this.

:51QQ


surround headphone diagram.jpg
 

360Loop

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Thanks Beerking!

I do want to clarify that there is no “adaptation” or “training” relied on for the user to hear the virtualization. However, for those who do experience front/back confusion or nebulous localization, continued listening and visual feedback can improve the experience even after just a few minutes.

And a huge thank you to ~dave~~wave for all your effort! That’s actually really invaluable information for us.


Here’s a question for the group:

Given a virtualized channel-based surround mix, how much of the room would you want to hear, or would you prefer to let the mix itself define the size of the space?

With this (and any similar) process, early room reflections and some reverberation are applied to each channel, providing some of the information that puts the sound outside our heads. The room sound can give the experience more realism, but can affection tonality and transient reproduction.

Qualitatively, what would you prefer, a dry sound, or more ambience?
 

sjcorne

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I hear it as a super wide sound stage, but with less front to back depth.
Listening right now and I agree with this analysis. The sound sort of extends beyond the headphones, but I don't perceive any depth. It also sounds like the processing and/or conversion to a stream-able format is having a detrimental effect on the fidelity - the drums sounded a bit metallic to my ears on a few tracks.

On the other hand, the "Back In The U.S.S.R." channel-by-channel demo was really impressive.

It'd be interesting to hear an uber-discrete, total four-corner mix and see how it survives this process.
 

Soundfield

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Here’s a question for the group:
Given a virtualized channel-based surround mix, how much of the room would you want to hear, or would you prefer to let the mix itself define the size of the space?
With this (and any similar) process, early room reflections and some reverberation are applied to each channel, providing some of the information that puts the sound outside our heads. The room sound can give the experience more realism, but can affection tonality and transient reproduction.
Qualitatively, what would you prefer, a dry sound, or more ambience?
Given that you are changing the sound of a published work shouldn't that be a question for the original artist / record producer/ copyright holder? Surely their opinion of how their work sounds is paramount?
 

360Loop

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Sep 12, 2019
Messages
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
Given that you are changing the sound of a published work shouldn't that be a question for the original artist / record producer/ copyright holder? Surely their opinion of how their work sounds is paramount?
It is our intention to release our tools free to all content creators so that their intent is the only one heard. When we do so, however, it will be valuable to guide creators to the listening environment the audience best responds to. It could be that any amount of room sound is equally valid, and therefore the decision becomes purely artistic. But it would be useful information to know if there's an optimal amount that maintains the clarity of the original recording while providing the best externalization/localization experience. And who better to ask than the members of this forum? ;-)
 

Soundfield

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It is our intention to release our tools free to all content creators so that their intent is the only one heard.
But the pre-existing material you are currently streaming has been modified with the knowledge and approval of the originators?
 

360Loop

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Sep 12, 2019
Messages
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
But the pre-existing material you are currently streaming has been modified with the knowledge and approval of the originators?
No approval is required, just as terrestrial radio and streaming platforms don't need approval to EQ, compress, and recode audio to reduce data bandwidth keep their broadcasts legal.
 
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