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Key

Senior Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
252
Well that should be fine on the capture, but I am specifically talking about the summing. For instance if you were to do a stereo fold down into mono standard practice is to drop the volume on both channels 6dB and then sum them. Anything higher than 50% and you can clip the signal. Of course this is for a normalized digital signal so in your case if your highest peak is only 70% and not 100% you would only have to drop the volume 30% to avoid clipping.

Addressing the original topic. I find this subject kind of hard to come up with a one size fits all solution. I have tried most variables I can think of - next setup I want to try is with .2 subs. One variable that sounds very good on mysystem but is non standard is to not use a crossover on my main speakers when using a sub. My speakers have a flat frequency respons of 40Hz-25kHz but there is still bass that comes out of them down to 20Hz. The speakers just gradually roll off from 40Hz-20Hz so I leave them full range without the crossover and add the sub on top of it. This actually seems to be one of the better sounding setups in my system since the sub doesn't have to work as hard and no additional filters ever touch my mains. Although I may be getting a bit of a bump in the frequency response around the crossover frequency for the sub.
 

sukothai

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One variable that sounds very good on mysystem but is non standard is to not use a crossover on my main speakers when using a sub.
Yes, I prefer this setup as well. Keep the Fronts and Rears large and the add the sub to boost the lows. The article I referenced above recommends including the lows from all channels in the .1 channel for just such a setup. Also, my older Denon receiver does not allow base management of material from the 6 analog inputs. So if I want anything to go to the sub, I have to put it in the .1 channel when playing DVD-As on this receiver or my car system. My newer Pioneer receiver gets the DVD-A signal over a bass managed HDMI, so I'm less restricted there.
 

par4ken

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If you are dubbing a four channel source it should definitely stay in four channel. The question for me is what to do with 5.1 sources (if you are playing back using only four channels). Players all have down-mix settings which work fine, centre gets mixed to front. With speakers all set to large and no sub-woofer my home built TL's (response goes below 20 Hz) can shake the walls, I have no need of a separate sub-woofer. I may try adding a sub someday, just for kicks. I find no need for a centre speaker either, although it would be useful in a larger room.
I find it convenient to play rips of my discs directly from my computer, I prefer to use my Delta (4-channel) sound card rather than the on board audio, but this causes a problem with 5.1 sources. Played through this card with Foobar2000 you get the front channels through the front and the centre through the left back and LFE through the right back, no surrounds! If Foobar has a down-mix setting somewhere please let me know. The question is how best to convert from 5.1 to 4.0. At times I prefer the vocals centred up front, other times I like them placed full centre. Placing the centre channel full centre means the level can be reduced from -3dB (front only) to -6db in the mix. Many commercial produced DVD-A discs are as bad as recent CD's with the audio brick walled, maximized even clipped, so levels have to be carefully checked on any down-mix. In a vehicle I would definitely prefer vocals to be mixed full centre, for home use centre front might be best. In many mixes vocals come from more than one speaker so down-mixing can cause odd effects at times. No easy solution!? I also wonder about the LFE channel, most of the time it's safe to ignore it but I worry that I might miss some extra low base by leaving it out.
 

leevitalone1

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I feel 5.1 belongs in movies only. Music needs to be 4.1. The .1 or center is useless with most music. In stereo there is a phantom channel, or imaging. I miss that with 5.1 music. I find myself shutting the center off and allowing the R-L to carry it. I think some stuff is better this way.
 

wavelength

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In real life the number of speakers is infinite. Imagine that every point around us is a speaker and we hear sound from every one of those points. With the reproduction of sound, 5 speakers is better than 4. The additional subwoofer is better still. More speakers gives the sound more source points which gives more opportunities for better clarity. I think the more speakers the better. A 4.1 mix may sound better than a 5.1 mix but it's only because the 5th speaker has not been implemented properly. It is a case of missed opportunity.
 

par4ken

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In real life the number of speakers is infinite. Imagine that every point around us is a speaker and we hear sound from every one of those points. With the reproduction of sound, 5 speakers is better than 4. The additional subwoofer is better still. More speakers gives the sound more source points which gives more opportunities for better clarity. I think the more speakers the better. A 4.1 mix may sound better than a 5.1 mix but it's only because the 5th speaker has not been implemented properly. It is a case of missed opportunity.
I don't disagree the the more the better but despite popular belief base is directional, it's just that in a typical listening room at some frequency the wavelength of the sound is greater than the room dimensions so direction becomes impossible to distinguish due to reflections. If a sub is to be used it makes more sense to me to derive it from the main channels (it could be argued that you actually get less directionality with a sub-woofer). I would rather see the LEC used as a centre back channel although it might be eerie to have a speaker behind your head. For myself I find that a centre speaker is unnecessary, however I believe you are right about it not being implemented properly and it should be an identical speaker to the other four (which it almost never is)!
 
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