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OT: Surround sound listening.


DanS

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I loaded up a few surround sound SACD's, DTS, & DVD-audio discs last night.

Beatle's Love, Dark Side Of The Moon, a few Sting, Naxos classical, the Dans' Gaucho, etc.

 

It's like listening to this music for the first time. I sat there for most of the night with my jaw on the floor, that is when my shit-eating grin wasn't holding it in place.

Love & DSOTM were particularly impressive because of their respective ages. They sound like they were recorded yesterday (techinally Love is a 'new' recording, I suppose).

I can't believe that these formats never took off. Such a shame because I think if true music lovers actually heard what their music could sound like, they'd never leave the house.

If you love your music, you owe it to your ears to give yourself a demo.

I'm using the Oppo BDP-83 universal player, killer unit.

That's it, gush off. :rawk:

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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We have this issue, with surround - and that is that the cost of entry is higher than most people are willing to go.

 

Sure, surround systems under $300 exist, but they sound like absolute crap, which is a sure way to turn people off to the format.

 

Not to mention, those sub-$300 systems stuff cheap DVD players into the amplifier box that don't read surround audio discs. More fun!

 

Execution was the reason for the failure of surround audio.

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A few things.

 

First, when the playback system distracts from the music, that is a bad thing. When you stop to think about how cool it is that the backup singers just appeared over your left shoulder, you are into thinking about the music. Therefore, the mix has failed. I spoke about this very thing to Elliot after he remixed Gaucho. I complimented him on what I thought was a very nice implimentation of surround, and asked him about the occasional jolting "the backup singers have just appeared over your left shoulder..." elements that distracted me from the music. He left me with the impression that you have to put some elements back there hard, so that the execs think that they got their moneys worth for the remix.

 

Second, these old recordings were mixed for stereo or mono. When they have been remixed for surround, it is generally without the artists participation. Particularly with the artists that you mention, nothing got out of the studio without their approval. So what about these surround mixes then? They have been designed to entice you to buy a new format, so that they can sell you all of your old recordings all over again and make money on the same product again.

 

Third, few homes are built to properly accept a surround setup. Hardly any work with stereo, let alone 6 speakers that have to be very particularly placed to achieve the correct sound field.

 

Fourth, few 'surround' systems meet the surround spec.

 

Five, nobody REALLY cares about high def audio. This is particularly true for younger people who have never heard it, and for the most part who have never heard anything that was not processed to hell and gone. I grew up listening to real instruments being played in real acoustic spaces. Most of them have grown up listening to samples.

 

all of this and more contributes to the general failure of surround. The old guys who love to listen to music are sitting in their dens, garages, and attics listening to their LPs on their old college stereos, while the kids use the bullshit surround system for transformers movies, with room shaking explosions.

 

I was fortunate enough to be at an AES discussing surround where Peter Gabriel had allowed his engineer to bring unfinished recordings that were intended from the beginning to be surround pieces. It can be a very impressive format. There were also pieces from a German band that were intended from the beginning to be surround pieces, and though they were fun and interesting for a while, it became a one-trick pony as whole sections of the song jumped from speaker to speaker. One of the better implementations of surround that I have heard was presented by the Lipinskis at the old Nashville Ocean Way studio, but it was a custom 6.2 setup of recordings they had done in a symphony hall in Europe, at 176.4 (rather than 44.1, 48, 96, etc). It really sounded as if we were sitting in a symphony hall... I do a lot of symphony work, and I attend on occasion just to hear the sound from the audience perspective, so I am reasonably familiar. But we were in an incredibly well treated room listening to Lipinski speakers and amps placed -just so-. The things that really kill surround music are my numbers three and four above.

 

oh, and add to that, parents no longer try to put nice audio systems into their homes. They are more concerned with seeing that their kids get the iPods and cell phones that the kids want. There has been a quantum shift from 'create a perfect home, from which the children will learn' to 'give the kids what they want, to shut them up and allow them to keep up with the kids next door'. The dad who was all pround of his KLHes or whatever, he doesn't exist anymore. So that system is not there for the kids to use to play back their own recordings. The best that they get is from their earbuds or laptop speakers.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Little did I know I'd be opening a can of worms marinated in piss & vinegar....

 

A few things.

 

First, when the playback system distracts from the music, that is a bad thing. When you stop to think about how cool it is that the backup singers just appeared over your left shoulder, you are into thinking about the music. Therefore, the mix has failed. I spoke about this very thing to Elliot after he remixed Gaucho. I complimented him on what I thought was a very nice implimentation of surround, and asked him about the occasional jolting "the backup singers have just appeared over your left shoulder..." elements that distracted me from the music. He left me with the impression that you have to put some elements back there hard, so that the execs think that they got their moneys worth for the remix.

 

I don't agree at all. The feeling I had was an enhanced musical experience from the surround mix.

"the mix has failed"??

What the hool does this mean? Failed to what?

Listen to any of the more ballady tracks from Lyle Lovett's Joshua Judges Ruth on DTS and say the 'mix has failed"

The mix is the music.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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Little did I know I'd be opening a can of worms marinated in piss & vinegar....

 

A few things.

 

First, when the playback system distracts from the music, that is a bad thing. When you stop to think about how cool it is that the backup singers just appeared over your left shoulder, you are into thinking about the music. Therefore, the mix has failed. I spoke about this very thing to Elliot after he remixed Gaucho. I complimented him on what I thought was a very nice implimentation of surround, and asked him about the occasional jolting "the backup singers have just appeared over your left shoulder..." elements that distracted me from the music. He left me with the impression that you have to put some elements back there hard, so that the execs think that they got their moneys worth for the remix.

 

I don't agree at all. The feeling I had was an enhanced musical experience from the surround mix.

"the mix has failed"??

What the hool does this mean? Failed to what?

Listen to any of the more ballady tracks from Lyle Lovett's Joshua Judges Ruth on DTS and say the 'mix has failed"

The mix is the music.

 

If the mix disrupts your ability to immerse yourself in the song, then it fails, I think is what he's saying.

 

If you're so distracted by unexpected parts showing up in strange places, it's hard to enjoy the song for the song.

 

I recall some of the old quad mixes where they really spread the sonic landscape in such a way that you had a sense of instrument positioning around the room, giving that three-dimensional space to the mix - and it was constant, not jolting and bouncing around.

 

I haven't really had much opportunity to audition the DTS music out there (I swore I wouldn't buy a surround system until I had a good room and could afford what I wanted in a surround playback system, which is still in the neighborhood of about $45,000) so I don't know whether there are surround audio mixes out there that take advantage of that "placement" capability, where you can just feel the guitarist standing three feet to your left, and the organ pulsing away just off to your right, etc.

 

It can be done, I don't know how many are doing it as opposed to playing the "gee whiz, I can make stuff pop up behind you and freak you out" game...

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Little did I know I'd be opening a can of worms marinated in piss & vinegar....

 

I don't agree at all. The feeling I had was an enhanced musical experience from the surround mix.

"the mix has failed"??

What the hool does this mean? Failed to what?

 

There is only attitude in my reply if you put it there. Read what I wrote. Pretty dispassionate.

 

Griff has it right... if you're thinking about how cool it is that something pops up somewhere unexpected, then you are not immersed in the music performed, you are thinking about the studio tricks that have been pasted onto it.

 

Just like when you are reading a book and the story is carrying you along and then the author turns a particular phrase that pulls your mind out of the story and into thinking, 'wow, what a cool description...', any writing class teacher will tell you that this phrase, no matter how neat, is a failure because it distracts from the story. Or when you see a very neat special effect in a movie that pulls you out of the story and makes you say, "Gee, I wonder how they did that..."... at that point, the special effects guys have taken the effect just a little too far.

 

The idea to all of this stuff...studio tricks, clever phrasing, special effects... is to enhance the artists original vision, not to promote technology.

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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If the mix disrupts your ability to immerse yourself in the song, then it fails, I think is what he's saying.

If you're so distracted by unexpected parts showing up in strange places, it's hard to enjoy the song for the song.

 

Maybe there are surround mixes out there that are full of bells & whistles, but the stuff I was listening to was tastefully done, IMHO.

 

(I swore I wouldn't buy a surround system until I had a good room and could afford what I wanted in a surround playback system, which is still in the neighborhood of about $45,000)

 

Maybe that's why you're still waiting.... :thu:

My little setup cost around $3k, but I already had the fronts.

I don't live in Abbey Road either.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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I built the good room, and put in a full Dunlavy surround system, Mytek converters, Velodyne sub. Didn't pay off. When I left the studio, I was told to take it with me. Sounds great in our 'Great Room', but there we are mostly watching movies. Also, the architecture makes it impossible to properly set up the surround system. I did some time alignment, but speaker locations are what the room allows, instead of what the surround spec calls for.

 

It surprises me how few actually try to set up for the spec or understand it correctly. When Mike Sokol was here on his 5.1 support tour, I pointed out that the image fell apart for one of his presentation pieces and I took a guess as to why. He said that I was probably correct in my supposition. I wonder if he applied the solution in the demos that he has done since? The surround spec provides for speakers placed at points on a circle radius around a central listening point (another problem for a family of four in a conventional living space...) and more often than not, the center speaker is misplaced or the timing for the center speaker is not correct, either in playback or even at mixdown of the source material. (So often the center speaker is lined up along the same plane as the L and R fronts.) Also, how critical that center speaker location is in the mix will be a function of the size of the original circle and how well aligned the original center speaker is. I have pretty much ignored surround mixes for a long time now, but back when it was being touted as the next big thing, many of the mixers, including myself, were mixing in more of a quad fashion, trying to remove the problematic center channel from any heavy lifting. But as one famous fellow so aptly said, "You gotta put SOMTHING there.."

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I have a movie theater room in my basement. The surround system has been installed, configured and tweaked by a professional (my brother).

 

I have a few DVD audio discs, but I never put them on, know why? Because I rarely - if ever - sit in the sonic sweet spot of the room and just listen to music. I don't think people listen to music anymore just to listen to music - that is why the format never took off. When music is on, we are cleaning the house, doing other chores, whatever. The difference between mono, stereo and 5.1 (or 7.1) is lost at this point.

 

Maybe this is sad to admit, but I find when I am going into the room that has surround sound set up, I am going in to watch a movie.

 

NOTE: I have often thought that a car would be a good place for surround sound - the whole captive audience sitting the sweet spot thing. Does that exist?

 

 

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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NOTE: I have often thought that a car would be a good place for surround sound - the whole captive audience sitting the sweet spot thing. Does that exist?

 

It does, but the problem is the physics are even worse in a car. There is no sweet spot in a car. Driver is too far forward and left,front passenger too far forward and right, rear too far back and off-center. The sweet spot in a car? Right behind the front seat cup holders, and even then, the reflective surfaces (glass) and the poor positioning of the speakers (door panels, back dash, front dash) make it a complete failure of a listening space.

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If the mix disrupts your ability to immerse yourself in the song, then it fails, I think is what he's saying.

If you're so distracted by unexpected parts showing up in strange places, it's hard to enjoy the song for the song.

 

Maybe there are surround mixes out there that are full of bells & whistles, but the stuff I was listening to was tastefully done, IMHO.

 

(I swore I wouldn't buy a surround system until I had a good room and could afford what I wanted in a surround playback system, which is still in the neighborhood of about $45,000)

 

Maybe that's why you're still waiting.... :thu:

My little setup cost around $3k, but I already had the fronts.

I don't live in Abbey Road either.

 

Well, realistically for me it's more a function of not having a room. My living room is an impossible space for 5.1, and I have too much stuff in my basement (mostly music related) to even begin to try to set up a surround playback system.

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I built the good room, and put in a full Dunlavy surround system, Mytek converters, Velodyne sub. Didn't pay off. When I left the studio, I was told to take it with me. Sounds great in our 'Great Room', but there we are mostly watching movies. Also, the architecture makes it impossible to properly set up the surround system. I did some time alignment, but speaker locations are what the room allows, instead of what the surround spec calls for.

 

It surprises me how few actually try to set up for the spec or understand it correctly. When Mike Sokol was here on his 5.1 support tour, I pointed out that the image fell apart for one of his presentation pieces and I took a guess as to why. He said that I was probably correct in my supposition. I wonder if he applied the solution in the demos that he has done since? The surround spec provides for speakers placed at points on a circle radius around a central listening point (another problem for a family of four in a conventional living space...) and more often than not, the center speaker is misplaced or the timing for the center speaker is not correct, either in playback or even at mixdown of the source material. (So often the center speaker is lined up along the same plane as the L and R fronts.) Also, how critical that center speaker location is in the mix will be a function of the size of the original circle and how well aligned the original center speaker is. I have pretty much ignored surround mixes for a long time now, but back when it was being touted as the next big thing, many of the mixers, including myself, were mixing in more of a quad fashion, trying to remove the problematic center channel from any heavy lifting. But as one famous fellow so aptly said, "You gotta put SOMTHING there.."

 

Buddy, you have no idea how bad it gets with surround system "setup"

 

I've seen knuckleheads stack all five satellite speakers on top of the TV in a row, and stuff the subwoofer underneath, and they're completely mystified why they don't hear anything behind them... :freak:

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As musicians, we listen to music on another level regardless of format and playback system. Technology merely enhances that listening experience.

 

While there have always been 'audiophiles' and advanced playback systems, the reality is that the degree to which the average listener 'gets it' has always varied.

 

It is not really a function of the times, music, technology or anything else. Mostly a matter of interest.

 

Dan, I think it is great that your system allows for totally immersing yourself in the listening experience. :thu::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Quad was a much more realistic format from the point of speaker placement. 5.1 / 7.1 are difficult to do well, especially when one considers the wife / girlfriend factor.

 

All that said, I still love surround.

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There is only attitude in my reply if you put it there. Read what I wrote. Pretty dispassionate.

 

Griff has it right... if you're thinking about how cool it is that something pops up somewhere unexpected, then you are not immersed in the music performed, you are thinking about the studio tricks that have been pasted onto it.

 

You said yourself that you told Sheiner that you enjoyed his surround mix for Gaucho. At what point did you realize that this wasn't really your experience, after he said "I had to put the b-voxsomewhere"?

When I heard the backing vocals in Babylon Sisters, my reaction was "nice", not "Damn, he distracted me from the song."

 

Just like when you are reading a book and the story is carrying you along and then the author turns a particular phrase that pulls your mind out of the story and into thinking, 'wow, what a cool description...', any writing class teacher will tell you that this phrase, no matter how neat, is a failure because it distracts from the story.

 

I guess a lot of writers never attended that class.

 

The idea to all of this stuff...studio tricks, clever phrasing, special effects... is to enhance the artists original vision, not to promote technology.

 

Do you not use reverb, delay, chorusing, etc, and other studio trickery to enhance your 2 channel mixes?

I'd say there's a lot more studio tricks being used these days to enhance an artists talent, not to promote technology.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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Well, realistically for me it's more a function of not having a room. My living room is an impossible space for 5.1, and I have too much stuff in my basement (mostly music related) to even begin to try to set up a surround playback system.

 

My room is hardly perfect, my couch is up against the wall, and I'd have to sit on the coffee table to be in the sweet spot, but it does the job. At least the room is rectangular, and the rear speakers are 1/4 moon shaped mounts, so the dispersion is a little wider than square speakers.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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I built the good room, and put in a full Dunlavy surround system, Mytek converters, Velodyne sub. Didn't pay off. When I left the studio, I was told to take it with me. Sounds great in our 'Great Room', but there we are mostly watching movies. Also, the architecture makes it impossible to properly set up the surround system. I did some time alignment, but speaker locations are what the room allows, instead of what the surround spec calls for.

 

It surprises me how few actually try to set up for the spec or understand it correctly. When Mike Sokol was here on his 5.1 support tour, I pointed out that the image fell apart for one of his presentation pieces and I took a guess as to why. He said that I was probably correct in my supposition. I wonder if he applied the solution in the demos that he has done since? The surround spec provides for speakers placed at points on a circle radius around a central listening point (another problem for a family of four in a conventional living space...) and more often than not, the center speaker is misplaced or the timing for the center speaker is not correct, either in playback or even at mixdown of the source material. (So often the center speaker is lined up along the same plane as the L and R fronts.) Also, how critical that center speaker location is in the mix will be a function of the size of the original circle and how well aligned the original center speaker is. I have pretty much ignored surround mixes for a long time now, but back when it was being touted as the next big thing, many of the mixers, including myself, were mixing in more of a quad fashion, trying to remove the problematic center channel from any heavy lifting. But as one famous fellow so aptly said, "You gotta put SOMTHING there.."

 

And I don't disagree with any of this, but real world considerations being what they are, it's no reason not to do something just because you don't have the perfect room.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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All that said, I still love surround.

I do, too.

 

I have close to 100 surround remixes (DTS, DVD-A, SACD - you name it), and I get a great deal of enjoyment out of the ones that I think were done well. The Genesis ones (done with Banks and Rutherford's supervision/approval) are a prime example...the remixes are positively masterful, and were obviously done with a lot of love for the original stereo mixes. Same with Dark SIde Of The Moon, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and quite a few more.

 

The interesting thing is that there isn't a standard. Some remixers put different instruments in different speakers, others seem to prefer widening the sound stage across the front and putting ambience in the back, and there are all sorts of variations in between. I can see where that alone would make it hard to get one's head into the surround thing.

 

The key (for me, anyway) is just seeing it as something new, built with familiar materials. Same sort of thing when you hear stereo mixes of some of the early mono recordings. In that vein, the 5.1 remix of Pet Sounds is really interesting...

 

dB

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I have a few DVD audio discs, but I never put them on, know why? Because I rarely - if ever - sit in the sonic sweet spot of the room and just listen to music. I don't think people listen to music anymore just to listen to music - that is why the format never took off. When music is on, we are cleaning the house, doing other chores, whatever. The difference between mono, stereo and 5.1 (or 7.1) is lost at this point.

 

I'm the opposite. I make it a point to take a few hours a week to listen to music for the sheer pleasure of it.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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I have a few DVD audio discs, but I never put them on, know why? Because I rarely - if ever - sit in the sonic sweet spot of the room and just listen to music. I don't think people listen to music anymore just to listen to music - that is why the format never took off. When music is on, we are cleaning the house, doing other chores, whatever. The difference between mono, stereo and 5.1 (or 7.1) is lost at this point.

Y'see, I have no problem putting on a surround mix while I'm moving around the room...and I'm inclined to disagree that the difference is lost. It just changes a bunch as you move around. ;)

 

I'm the opposite. I make it a point to take a few hours a week to listen to music for the sheer pleasure of it.

+1 :thu:

 

dB

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....There is no sweet spot in a car. ...

 

not exactly true. Factory systems (for the US car market) put the sweet spot at the driver. Read the stats... most cars in the US are single occupant. Remember the Acura whatever model/ES? (For Elliot Scheiner, the guy who remixed Gaucho for surround, among many other projects that he has done...)...Pannasonic surround, touch screen controls, disk drive recognized formats of the inserted disks, all sorts of bells and whistles for the time. They dragged it around to various trade shows, and I got to sit in it and listen...anyway, their people told us about the sweet spot decision. I wonder if they have a different approach for SUVs with all the kid-friendly rear seat video displays?

 

Anyway, I agree with you in that if car audio is "good" that means that it is not totally annoying. My wifes father bought a LaCrosse with a 9 speaker surround system, and we have an Audi TT Quatro with their big deal surround audio system, and most times I'd rather listen to the road. When it is on, either of these expensive car audio systems probably sound better than stock car audio, but not so much as I would pay for it.

 

Outside of my writing room/studio or the Great Room, or when I'm mixing some live show, I mostly listen to the radio on my wifes old college stereo system, which was not great shakes when it was new, or the cheap wireless satellite speakers we have positioned around the house. I don't tend to get all tweaky about audio outside of work, and I'm very forgiving about the systems on which I listen outside of work. But for whatever reason, car audio grates.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Well, realistically for me it's more a function of not having a room. My living room is an impossible space for 5.1, and I have too much stuff in my basement (mostly music related) to even begin to try to set up a surround playback system.

 

My room is hardly perfect, my couch is up against the wall, and I'd have to sit on the coffee table to be in the sweet spot, but it does the job. At least the room is rectangular, and the rear speakers are 1/4 moon shaped mounts, so the dispersion is a little wider than square speakers.

 

You don't quite understand. I'll do my best to describe...

 

12x14 room:

 

Left wall: Fireplace. Can't do anything there.

Front wall: TV, audio equipment. Broken up by kitchen doorway roughly 2 feet right of center.

Right wall: Actually a short wall with an outcropping wall to create a "hallway" to the bedrooms - parallel with front wall, 4 feet away from front wall. Outcrop wall extends to right edge of kitchen doorway.

Rear wall: Front door on right corner. Massive bay window behind couch, which lines up in front of TV on front wall. Massive display case on left corner, facing the listening position.

 

There literally is no way to put a surround system in this room other than those crappy mini-satellite speakers. And I refuse to settle for that kind of hollow sound.

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The interesting thing is that there isn't a standard. ....

dB

 

There is, not for what instrument goes where.... obviously, that is where the art comes in, but for how the system is set up. Both in mixdown and in playback, this standard is often ignored.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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... other than those crappy mini-satellite speakers. ....

 

which don't meet the surround spec of five full range speakers.

 

When mixing in surround to a mixed-cabinet system, it can be disconcerting to pan something around the room and listen to the tonal characteristics change. Shouldn't happen.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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There is, not for what instrument goes where.... obviously, that is where the art comes in, but for how the system is set up. Both in mixdown and in playback, this standard is often ignored.

Don't think I don't know it. Remember, I used to run ADAM Audio USA... ;)

 

It's a drag that some people are restricted by space/physical constraints in pro situations...it's even worse in consumer situations because of the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) regarding how the speaker placement LOOKS. :rolleyes:

 

dB

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You said yourself that you told Sheiner that you enjoyed his surround mix for Gaucho. At what point did you realize that this wasn't really your experience, ...

 

 

Do you not use reverb,.....

 

I did indeed enjoy his mix, except for the parts that I asked him about, and because what he had done up unto that point was so impressive that I suspected that he added those parts for a reason other than because they made the mix sound as good as it could sound. He has done what I consider to be some really wonderful stuff, though you'll get an argument about that from some mastering engineers if you say so on certain mastering-specific boards.

 

My contention all along has been that the technology should be employed to enhance the music, not distract from it. If you don't agree, fine. But in my mixes, I sure hope that you never stop listening to the music long enough to think about how I eqed something, or how I used the reverb.

 

To return to the surround idea again though, and the physics of it which Griff discusses here.... if I mix on a proper 5.1 system, set up correctly, and you listen back on some randomly set up system (which is more often than not the case...) then you're not going to hear the mix that I made.

 

I find this curious, because keyboard players most often fight for the value of a stereo image in what I would consider to be mono situations. None would contest that if I didn't set up their stereo playback correctly, the sound would not be right. But here in a situation where all five speakers need to be in a relatively critical relationship to each other in order for the sound to work correctly, we seem to be saying that any surround is good, so long as it is 6 speakers located somewhere within hearing distance. The spatial coherency is lost, and all you have is various instruments coming from random locations.

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that you'll find over time what so many others seem to have discovered... it seems cool at first but in the long run... (yawn...) You may not find this to be true for you, but it has been the experience of many others, and the proof of that is the failure of the various surround audio formats to get a significant foothold.

 

What WILL drive the surround system into popularity (besides big car crashes and explosions in movies) is the automobile industry. When most every car has surround, people will want it for their homes, too. When that happens, audio surround may have a resurgence. We'll see.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Don't think I don't know it. Remember, I used to run ADAM Audio USA... ;)

 

It's a drag that some people are restricted by space/physical constraints in pro situations...it's even worse in consumer situations ...

 

dB

 

I'm facing that now. Not the wife factor... the Rock'N'Roll GirlFriend loves music and would go for anything that I say. But the homes that we are looking at.... NONE of them will support surround in a fashion that you and I would accept. We've picked a new home, and audio will be a compromise due to the physics. Hell, stereo was tough enough.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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]We've picked a new home, and audio will be a compromise due to the physics. Hell, stereo was tough enough.

I know the feeling. My current home rocks - the only problem for me when we bought it was that the room where the system is has a big built fixture that has the TV in the corner at a 45 degree angle... :rolleyes:

 

You don't even wanna know what I had to go through to get the system to the point where it wasn't driving me nuts. I still wanna rip that built-in out someday.... :evil:

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You don't quite understand. I'll do my best to describe...

 

12x14 room:

 

Left wall: Fireplace. Can't do anything there.

Front wall: TV, audio equipment. Broken up by kitchen doorway roughly 2 feet right of center.

Right wall: Actually a short wall with an outcropping wall to create a "hallway" to the bedrooms - parallel with front wall, 4 feet away from front wall. Outcrop wall extends to right edge of kitchen doorway.

Rear wall: Front door on right corner. Massive bay window behind couch, which lines up in front of TV on front wall. Massive display case on left corner, facing the listening position.

 

There literally is no way to put a surround system in this room other than those crappy mini-satellite speakers. And I refuse to settle for that kind of hollow sound.

 

Oh I understand, it sounds like my family room upstairs where my 2 channel stereo is, and the family currently watches 90% of their TV. I finished my basement in the spring pretty much for the sake of home theatre/surround listening. During the construction, we had a change of plans for the sake of ergonomics, and I even lost 3' of my studio.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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My contention all along has been that the technology should be employed to enhance the music, not distract from it. If you don't agree, fine. But in my mixes, I sure hope that you never stop listening to the music long enough to think about how I eqed something, or how I used the reverb.

 

I always listen to the tracks like anybody else the first, second or third time around. However, as most musicians are so inclined, eventually I'll start listening more judiciously to what techniques you've used to get the track sounding like it does.

 

To return to the surround idea again though, and the physics of it which Griff discusses here.... if I mix on a proper 5.1 system, set up correctly, and you listen back on some randomly set up system (which is more often than not the case...) then you're not going to hear the mix that I made.

 

Unless I'm sitting in your studio, that's correct, but no one else ever will either.

 

But here in a situation where all five speakers need to be in a relatively critical relationship to each other in order for the sound to work correctly, we seem to be saying that any surround is good, so long as it is 6 speakers located somewhere within hearing distance. The spatial coherency is lost, and all you have is various instruments coming from random locations.

 

Unless the average home enthusiast has the budget to build a house around their home theatres, compromise is the order of the day.

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that you'll find over time what so many others seem to have discovered... it seems cool at first but in the long run... (yawn...) You may not find this to be true for you, but it has been the experience of many others, and the proof of that is the failure of the various surround audio formats to get a significant foothold.

 

I can't see myself getting bored with it, I've been listening to stereo for 35 years and still love it, but for now you'll allow me my little piece of Heaven, flawed as it is. :thu:

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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