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zabble

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
1,134
Location
Chicago
Surrounds should be used S-P-A-R-I-N-G-L-Y for anything other than ambiance and various effect-returns
It sounds like an appropriate philosophy for mixing for film (saving surprises for the rears). But for strictly music, I much prefer an all-enveloping sound.
 

DKA

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Feb 21, 2009
Messages
1,514
Location
The Nutmeg State
It sounds like an appropriate philosophy for mixing for film (saving surprises for the rears). But for strictly music, I much prefer an all-enveloping sound.
....and I would certainly agree with you on that. There's plenty of differences of opinion in the surround world, and this is one of them. I've stopped arguing points like these, though, allowed people to just like what they like, and walk the streets with a feeling of superiority about myself. ;)

One person's "gimmicky" is another person's "great mix." In the end, you don't have to invite each other over to your living rooms.
 

StarTrek1701

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
98
But used VERY sparingly...these effects can open up your mix and give it a little life.
The main problem is that these are usually done by engineers with little or no musical background; certainly not the background necessary to make musical sense of the material they are recording. This is a huge problem with regard to "classical" music. What is needed is the sure hand of an experienced musician who knows the acoustics of the concert hall, stadium, church, whatever venue whose sound you wish to re-create.
 

kap'n krunch

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
6,395
Location
estados hundidos
Well, it all depends on the instrumentation and the dynamics...
I for one, will use the rears VERY heavily-(I am a fan of the EArly quad mixes), and maybe I'll even put some drums in the rear and revolving stuff!!!
If the listener does not like the Quad mix , they can always play the stereo thru DPL II Music...
 

neil wilkes

Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
4,301
Location
London, England
This is a fun thread to read!
The reality of surround mixing is that no 2 mix engineers will create the same mix from the same multitracks of course, just like no two people will see a painting in the same way no 2 mixers will hear a song in the same way
I'm with the Kap'n here though - and also tend to use all 5 channels, with heavy use of Ls/Rs.
I'll treat L/R, Ls/Rs, L/Ls and R/Rs as stereo fields, and will often use phantom rear centre as well as a phantom centre between L/ Ls & R/Rs.
Centre channel is generally for solo instruments or featured parts, or where I may want to plug a gap.
I also find that drums should use a phantom centre, which leaves a nice "hole" for vocals (always blended with L/R to a certain extent too) or a soloist.
Drums can certainly go to the rear channels - I have some examples of the entire rhythm section reversed from where you would normally expect to find it.

In broad strokes, I look at the whole thing not as main/centre/rears, but as an enveloping "all" - you can certainly take drum overheads & bring them around to the rears.
I try to avoid too much gimmicky stuff, like stuff bouncing around all over the place - but having just said that, sometimes this will work well of course.
Just don't do it too often.

The Haas effect can be used too - this will greatly fatten up a sound like a guitar into 2 or more channels - but still leave it feeling localized to the original "dominant" channel.
It works like this.
Take your acoustic guitar (or whatever) & pan hard left.
Duplicate the part, and send the ghost to the right channel.
Insert a delay plugin, and set this to 30ms or so. You may want to tweak the delay until it sounds just right.
The result will be a seriously fat acoustic guitar that is in both L/R yet localised to the L channel because of the Haas effect.
NB - do not try this if you need to create a downmix or matrix though, as it won't work too well

I'm definitely not one of the "rears are for ambience" school of thought though.
 

JonUrban

Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
15,817
Location
Connecticut
I like an aggressive surround mix, however I can appreciate an ambient mix when it's appropriate. However, what really is annoying to me is when the mixer puts the lead vocal in all 5 speakers. YUK! I hate that "phantom center location". Part of the fun of listening to a surround mix, to me, is to hear the intricacies of the track bed, and when the lead vocal is isolated in either the fronts or the center, you can really hear the instruments and the musical bed.

I can't tell you how many friends I amazed back in the '70's by killing the fronts and just listening to the rears! :D
 

Key

Senior Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
252
I take a balancing act approach to this stuff. I like albums that have both that ambient realism thing on at least one song and some songs that are just all out surreal with instruments all around me and maybe a song with a mixture of both. I like how certain stereo albums that sound great decoded will start out really subtle but by the end of side one you are immersed.
 

Old Quad Guy

Preservationist
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
3,100
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
I want to thank Jon again for creating this section! It's time to go to work. I was not in the greatest health (had that flu crap) and was not able to do much for the last 6 months, but everything is going good now. Thank you everyone who has posted and have offered help here. Thanks!


Or you could just save time, energy and duplication and all go run over here to have all your questions answered: http://homerecording.com/bbs/index.php? or the Steve Hoffman forums http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=2.
Plenty of 4.0 and 5.1 cross-thread-heads over there.

If we don't educate the boys on the other related forums (and I do mean ``boys'' as the members there tend to be boys generally in their 20's and 30's compared to the membership here being men in their 40's, 50's and 60's,) then as time goes by we really WILL be the only ones that care. Then as we die off, so will the interest, and boys 2 or 3 generations out won't even know or care what a CD or a .wav file is, nevermind a multichannel LP, tape or disc.
Yes, I get your point, great idea! I don't see why we can't use info from other boards with links and try to get info from other places and raise the awareness of Multi-Channel at other message boards. We might meet some other old Quad folks or other's who mix regularly into surround.

One thing for instance, as a "Mac" person I feel I've let down Apple users here at QQ by not being able to offer them more info about Multi-Channel cards that would work for them. So I joined the message board at Apple.com today for example. It should be interesting spreading the good word about Multi-Channel and see what options are out there.

Added:
Ok, I don't feel so bad now :). We now have an Apple thread of info:

Apple “Mac” Multi-Channel Production and Playback Surround Sound Infomation
https://www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums/showthread.php?12906-Apple-%93Mac%94-Multi-Channel-Production-and-Playback-Surround-Sound-Infomation&p=110118
 
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MidiMagic

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
294
My mastering rack contains an Aphex 104 stereo Aural Exciter with Big Bottom. Devices such as this add that brightness and big bass, by creating harmonics and subharmonics. But use it sparingly, or it makes awful sounds.

ALL of my mixes are RM and Dolby Surround compatible. Both of my mixing consoles are 4-bus (or 6-bus) mixers with a rear channel encoder (my design) plugged into bus inserts 3 and 4. Then I just use the panpots and the bus selectors to encode each part exactly where I want it.

I also have a three mic array that, combined with the encoding mixer above, picks up an almost perfect 360 degrees of sound. It also makes sound much more real sounding than anything else I ever used.
 

MidiMagic

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
294
I mix to stereo/RM simultaneously as one mix. I built an encoder that fits into the bus 3-4 submaster inserts for the rear channels, and use the panpots for image location. I use bus 1-2 submasters for the front, with just the panpots for position.

I have a surround sound mic I designed myself using three Shure cardioid mics. It captures not just the surround sound, but a unified surround field that increases realism.

I monitor in four ways: Mono, Stereo, QS, and Dolby Surround, and adjust the mix to work on all of them:

- The lead parts go near front center. So does the drumkit.
- The accompaniment parts are panned wider, often placed wider than the QS front speakers.
- Fill-in parts (pads, strings, etc) go to the left back and right back.
- Reverb is panned to center back (or two reverbs placed between the QS back speakers panned slightly left and right).
- The audience-facing mic in a live pickup is panned center back.
- Often the surround field mic is used alongside the usual mixing board methods.
- For classical music, I use the surround field mic, with extra spot mics for weak parts and solos.
- If the rears creep to the front on Dolby Surround, I roll off the frequencies above 7 KHz in the rear to keep the decoder from being fooled. But I roll it off just enough that the image stabilized.
 

mikko1200

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8
I´ve been enjoying my Quadraphonic albums through my Sansui QRX-7001 as well as regular 2-channel stereo receiver. Now I´m in the middle of recording process as a “musician”. Record will be out on vinyl and CD someday. I started to wonder could it be possible to produce QS (or SQ) mix with modern equipment such as computer + Pro Tools software? Would be nice to put out a quadraphonic record. If I´m not horribly wrong, using a matrix system such as QS, the records could be manufactured just like any 2-channel stereo records? Also, the 99,999% of people who possibly dare to listen to our record will have a 2-channel setup, but with matrix coded material it should not be a problem at all.
What do I need to make a quad mix and is that stuff available anymore? Do I need some special hardware or just a software plug-in or what?
 
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rustyandi

800 Club - QQ All-Star
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 19, 2002
Messages
820
Location
Australia
Charlie
Is making a QS /reality tec Encoder
5.1 in and 2 channels out
to go with the QS decoder
I have a test unit and are going to encode
some 4 channel tracks soon
 

ndiamone

600 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
637
Location
Silicon Valley (but I don't own it)
There's two ways of doing this. The boring way and the fun way.

The boring way is just to rescue some old Dolby Pro Logic encode (based on QS and by FAR the most widely playable) you can find in electronic swapmeets all over Hollywood, Nashville or New York for pennies on the dollar - get it tuned up and just mix straight to 6-tracks like the movie studios do and then pass it all thru the encoder. The 6th track is the low frequency effects channel which shares a track via band-pass-filter with the dialogue.

The fun way is:

After mixing your 5.1 channels, go into your music editing program, choose Phase Adjust and then flop the rear two channels not only out of phase to each other 180 degrees but at the same time, 90 degrees out of phase left and right compared to the front channels.

Mix all that back to stereo, and then if you have to, mix in a little extra front-center to the now-composite mix
 

0tto

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
2,033
Location
Canada
The fun way is:

After mixing your 5.1 channels, go into your music editing program, choose Phase Adjust and then flop the rear two channels not only out of phase to each other 180 degrees but at the same time, 90 degrees out of phase left and right compared to the front channels.

Mix all that back to stereo, and then if you have to, mix in a little extra front-center to the now-composite mix
quite interesting. i should try it to see if that technic works.
as for original question, it's like "forward to the past" and such project from comercial point of view doesn't make too much sense.
perhaps 0.001 : 1000 ratio of those, who have means to utilize QS on their system. at same time everyone have DVD or BD to explore discrete surround at least as DTS 4.0
albeit QS can be implemented with project instead of usual stereo mix. that's will give opportunity to those 0.001 fun of enjoy if they prefer matrix over discrete mix.
 

inkubuzz

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
452
Location
Santiago, Chile
Ive been trying to make mixes with Audition 5.5 but Im having trouble mixing in 5.1

when i want a soudn to come say from SR, it still comes out of the FR, but when I put it to the FR, it only soudn on the FR like its supposed to be.
This happens even thou I silence the Front channels in Audition.

And before you think abou it, my setup is fine, when I listen to other mices it does the job right.

Also when i put suff on the rears, its sound at lower levels than in the fronts, without playing around with the volume...

any help? any good 5.1 tutoriales for Audition 5.5?
 

mikko1200

New member
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8
Long time has gone since my last post here and frankly, I haven´t make much progress. We are still in the recording phase. I haven´t had much time to go deeper in the digital mixing as my day job keeps me pretty busy these days. I have done some studio work in the past with analog equipment but this modern digital world is still a bit mystery to me. The “5.1 trick” mentioned above by “ndiamone” sounds worth trying.
So this quad release thing is still a work in progress. We gave up the idea to release a CD. The primary release will still be on vinyl but digital release will be hi-res flac download instead of physical media. Any idea if common music player software (like Foobar2000 and whatever there is) is able to play quad mixes? Or should we just use 5.1 for digital release?
 

Old Quad Guy

Preservationist
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
3,100
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Hello mikko1200, yes Foobar2000 can and will do Stereo and 5.1 or Quadraphonic mix playback at any common Hi-Rez you like. So, flac might be the quick easy way to get a digital release out.
 

Equadrawl

New member
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Messages
2
Location
Mid Wales UK
Brilliant, just what I need, Bought yesterday 8 channel mixer, today a Teac A-3440, hope to buy a quad 8 track recorder in a few days, could be well over $400 though. I like to mix some of my stereo's into quad, I also would like to record bands who play gigs at my place when I have parties out side, I live in the middle of a forest, 3 1/2 miles from a road in mid wales UK.

I am very much a beginner yet I have in some ways had a connection with Music, I built the proto types for a company could Custom sound, Oswestry UK.

I know there will be many questions that I will have, thanks for putting this thread up
 
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