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#15330 - 07/17/03 08:23 PM 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
I don't know about everyone else, but I like both.

Two channel purists get all bent out of shape over the fact that instruments' sounds are coming from every which way, killing the illusion of a live band playing in front of you...but so what?

That's ONE way to listen to music, yeah - but I enjoy listening to music, simply to hear the music, the sounds. Sometimes I don't care if it sounds "live". The effect of total enveloping sound is quite fun!

If you think about it...how many of us actually hear "live" music performed on a regular basis? Most people hear music in their living room - or even more often, in their cars. I understand that it's fun to be able to close your eyes and feel as though you could reach out and touch the singer in front of you. Or hear the bassist just off to your left, while the guitarist is standing just to your right...that's all good too. But all these people that totally discount the enjoyment of music all around you are really just limiting their own enjoyment of music.
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#15331 - 07/17/03 08:41 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17775
Loc: NoVA
It's also interesting to note that many recordings are composites; the band isn't really all in the same room doing one take. The bassist gets recorded, then the drums, then the guitar, then about 15 tracks of the singer (seems like these days), etc. And they take bits and pieces of all the different tracks and mishmash it together. Then they play with the balance and levels, so that bassist is off to your left, the guitarist just to your right, and you can reach out and touch the singer in front of you!

Of course, live performances are something different... or are they? They (probably) still play with the levels and balance, so that bassist is off to your left....

Hell, when I was recording with the Cal Jazz Choir (just vocal!), we did an awful lot as different takes, with different parts in and out of the room. And let me tell you, when we were live, we didn't sound like the CD (lots of echo, boosting of parts, etc.)


Edited by kcarlile (07/17/03 09:07 PM)
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#15332 - 07/17/03 08:51 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Very good point. I've always found it funny to hear "purists" talking about how they could tell where in the room people were when something was recorded, when in actuality, none of the musicians were probably ever in the same room at once.
_________________________
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#15333 - 07/17/03 09:30 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
It's conceivable that they're hearing the location in the room of that particular musician, assuming they all used the same studio.

Personally, I tend to listen to music in whatever format it was intended, giving the choice in the matter to the artist. If it's a multi-channel DVD-A, then so be it. If it's a stereo CD, I'll defer back to the artist.

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#15334 - 07/17/03 09:53 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
rcvecc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 608
Loc: east haven ct
noone will ever know what the recording was supposed to sound like unless you were in the room with the musician at the time of the recording,if a speaker can play loud,clear,and have a good ballance throughout the freq range, thats the speaker for me,thats why im happy with the m80s.my grandmother had two baby grand stienways,but sold one,now she has one(2-1=1...thank you....thank you very much)in two different rooms and they sounded totally different,and i never,never heard a stereo that sounded like either one,even through levinson electronics,and b&w-forgot the model but very expensive speakers...ron...ps back to the original post..for me multi channel is fun,but i prefer two channel for music

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#15335 - 07/17/03 10:13 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Ditto. But my grandmother just had a 100 year old upright that looked like it came out of an old western saloon. It sure was fun when I was a kid playing it in her trailer in Fontucky, though. Just kidding, she had a house in Fontucky.

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#15336 - 07/17/03 11:31 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
I'm pretty much with Semi on this one.
I defer to the method of recording.
Stereo made into multi channel via DD PL2 or the like does use a 'faked' method for extracting info for the surround channels (although it does not a bad job).
However, if someone were to place 6 mics around a theatre and record the sounds at each location and then sell that as a dvd-a (or equivalent), you would think that is about the closest you could get to hearing a live session without attending.
It makes sense that each mic would record the surround back channel, surround left channel, centre, etc. specifically for the home audio gear in more of a true 6 speaker replay format. Sound never comes from just one direction as our brain perceives echoes and reflections. The point of dual ears (or eyes) is all about triangulation of the source.

Where was i going with this?
I digress.
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#15337 - 07/18/03 05:09 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
pmbuko Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16274
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Perhaps you were going to say that with very well-recorded and well-mastered material, a stereo presentation can give you a great sense of left, right, forward, and backward -- sound can seem to emanate from well outside the physical dimensions of the speakers or even the room. I've got a stereo CD that seems to completely erase the walls in my small 12'ish x 12'ish room.

Surround sound is just an easier, dare I say lazier?, way of achieving those effects -- which is not to say it doesn't have any merits especially when taking home theater into consideration.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#15338 - 07/18/03 06:54 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
rcvecc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 608
Loc: east haven ct
TO PINPOINT WEATHER ,SAY, A VIOLIN IS JUST TO THE RIGHT,AND MAYBE THE PIANO IS SET BACK AND A LITTLE TO THE LEFT,AND THE VOCALIST IS IS RIGHT UP FRONT,DEAD CENTER,I BELIEVE WOULD HAVE TO DONE DURING THE MIXDOWN OF THE RECORDING USING A SERIES OF DIGITAL DELAYS AND AJUSTING THE BALANCE CONTROLLS.ALL THREE MUSICIANS COULD BE RECORDED IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES,BUT THE PLACEMENT CAN BE DETERMINED BY WHOEVER IS AT THE BOARD....RON...didnt realize caps were on....sorry.im not yelling

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#15339 - 07/19/03 01:35 AM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
LOL... Wow, so you type without looking at the screen?

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#15340 - 07/19/03 08:12 AM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
rcvecc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 608
Loc: east haven ct
no,im horrible at this computer and grammer stuff...it takes some of us longer....ron

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#15341 - 07/19/03 12:45 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
Ron (or anyone else new to computers for that matter),
If you are really self concious about posting a spelling and grammar corrected dialogue then here is a suggestion:
Sometimes when i'm writing a long post, i will use a word processing program like Microsoft Word or Corel Wordperfect.
The program will spell check words and help to correct grammar automatically.
Then i just copy and paste the text into the forum post box.
If you are concerned about your posts at all, this is an easy method to use (especially for those late nights when just about everyone has trouble seeing the screen impaired by eye lid droop and bloodshot eyeballs).

I find that inevitably when i'm writing some lengthy diatribe that lightning strikes our back yard and my computer reboots.
Such is the way of Murphy's Law.
The word processor route makes a backup copy every other minute or so in the event that something like this happens. Hence, for creating a long post, even if my computer reboots, i will not have lost my thoughts which would otherwise occur if you only created the dialogue in the post text box...much like i'm doing right now.

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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#15342 - 07/19/03 01:15 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
Chess's advice is good. I do this with our news posts on Ars because I'm infamous for poor grammar and spelling on our front page and some of the audience uses it as an opportunity to bitch, which apparently geeks are fond of.

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#15343 - 07/19/03 03:13 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17775
Loc: NoVA
There's a reason they make UPSes, ya know. :-)
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#15344 - 07/19/03 05:38 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
rcvecc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 608
Loc: east haven ct
thanks guys,but i dont mind being the dumb guy on the board,its all about the music....ron

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#15345 - 07/19/03 09:03 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
pmbuko Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16274
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I think this forum may be the one place on the entire internet where I haven't seen a single comment about spelling and grammar mistakes, other than from posters who catch their own mistakes.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#15346 - 07/20/03 11:03 AM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3187
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi Spiff, chess, sushi and all,

I've liked 2-channel and surround for years. The 2-channel purists forget that stereo is intrinsically flawed: it throws the direct sounds from the instruments AND the ambient reflections from the sides and rear at you from two stereo speakers at the front. That is not the way we hear music in real life.

And chess, DPLII isn't really "faked," because on lots of 2-channel recordings, the ambient information is there. It's picked up by the mikes and contained as out of phase info in the 2-channel recording. DPLII extracts the out-of-phase ambient info and redirects it to the side surrounds in an approximation of where the reflections may have originated. DPLII also adds digital delays which would also have been present in the original reflections from the sides, rear and ceiling.

It's true, spiff, what you say about the musicians on lots of pop recordings not being there at the same time, and the positioning is determined by pan pots in the mixdown, but some boutique audiophile labels don't work that way.

Last night, I was at a DVD-Audio recording session in New York for Chesky Records, done with a single Calrec Soundfield mike, which contains four capsules and derives left, center, right and surround channels by means of a matrix arrangement.

The all-acoustic session was a kind of Hot Club of Paris tribute to Django Rheinhart, with Bucky Pizarelli (rhythm and lead guitar) on the left, Johnny Frigo (jazz violin) in the center, Howard Alden (rhythm and lead guitar) on the right (he did all the playing on the Woody Allen film "Sweet and Lowdown" and taught Sean Penn how to fake jazz guitar playing. He told me he was on the set every day for 3 months).

Directly behind Johnny Frigo (fiddle) was bassist Michael Moore. It was a live session, with an audience and I sat in the front row in the center, perhaps 8 feet back from Johnny Frigo. It will be interesting to see if that arrangement will be preserved in the final DVD-Audio disc, with the extra channels used for ambience and room sound. Knowing the history of Chesky and some of the other sessions I've attended, I expect it will, although it may sound "bigger" than I experienced at the session because I sat up close. I'll let you know when Chesky issues the disk. It was recorded with 96-kHz/24-bit sampling.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#15347 - 07/20/03 01:44 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
danr Offline
buff

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 51
Loc: Oxnard, CA
I personally like both but it depends on the recording more than anything. On some recordings I have DPLII sounds too localized towards the front but in stereo it has a fantastic soundstage. Other recordings sound very wide and deep with DPLII but sound strangled in stereo.

As for mlti-channel recordings I really like then for classical. I have to admit though that there are some really crappy recordings. My Silverline recording of the London Phil sounds like garbage. The performance is great but there is so much background artifacts and high-pitch ringing it drives me crazy when I listen to it at medium to high volumes. And the sound difference between the DD and the DTS tracks are like a smack in the face. The DD track has far more background hiss.

Personally I don't care for studio recordings in multi-channel. Classical is a definite thumbs up if the recording is done properly. To be honest I like the 2ch sound so much that I'm planning on picking up a pair of Outlaw M200's for my fronts using the Marantz as a preamp. I want to use these two by themselves for music. Now that I think about it, if I can afford 3 M200's I'll pick up a trio of them for all front speakers. We'll see what happens.

Daniel

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#15348 - 07/21/03 11:17 AM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
In reply to:

DPLII isn't really "faked," because on lots of 2-channel recordings, the ambient information is there. It's picked up by the mikes and contained as out of phase info in the 2-channel recording. DPLII extracts the out-of-phase ambient info and redirects it to the side surrounds in an approximation of where the reflections may have originated. DPLII also adds digital delays which would also have been present in the original reflections from the sides, rear and ceiling.



I should have been a bit more specific in how i defined 'faked'.
DPL2 can sound 'faked' for some material.
I know this based on my subwoofer tests. I had turned off my main speakers so i could more easily hear the subwoofers, but in order to know what song was playing at what section, i left my surround speakers on.
The listening tests used various modes including DPL2. Several of the songs i was using to test the subwoofers had surround information reproduced in a very odd way, something i had not previously noticed as the main speakers presented such a louder impact when plugged in. Some songs (not all) caused the surround speakers to cut in and out like someone was playing with the fade knob and volumes would sometimes vary left and right.
This was a very unnatural presentation of the sounds that should be coming from music as the sound fills the room around you as other recordings played the constant 'background' type sounds you would normally expect to hear. It was as if the DPL2 approximations were not extracting constant information from the disc for surround playback or its approximations were not very good based on the source (perhaps a misinterpretation of the out of phase ambient info?).

I will have to try and remember what recordings specifically that the DPL2 mode had created this odd effect but this was awhile ago now.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#15349 - 07/21/03 04:18 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
sushi Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 1490
Loc: Dallas, TX
In reply to:

Some songs (not all) caused the surround speakers to cut in and out like someone was playing with the fade knob and volumes would sometimes vary left and right.



Hmm... So far, I have never experienced that kind of artifacts. My materials are mostly classical, though, meaning that completely "artificial" mixing techniques are very rarely used in the recording process.

chess, are you sure that the artifact is not specific to the DSP and its firmware used in your Onkyo receiver?

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#15350 - 07/21/03 05:16 PM Re: 2 ch vs Multi-ch music
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4829
Loc: western canada
In reply to:

chess, are you sure that the artifact is not specific to the DSP and its firmware used in your Onkyo receiver?



No sushi, i'm not sure of that at all.
I was testing the subwoofers at the time and made a mental note that i thought the surround sounds from some of the recordings was rather odd (again something not as easily noticed when the main speakers are playing the primary volumes).
I never did go back to sift through a couple of other recordings to see how the surround sound is reproduced with DPL2. It is possible that the tracks i had heard were mixed with this effect in mind (referring to the main stereo units, not specifically the surround speakers).
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