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#295544 - 03/08/10 11:36 AM How far we've come...
Micah Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
I got a good laugh the other night while my fiancee and I were watching a movie (can't remember which one it was?). During one scene it sounded like there was water pouring out of our fireplace. Amy sprang to her feet to see what had happened.

Laughing I told her, 'relax sweetheart, that's just the surround sound effects from the movie". I rewound the scene and played it again.

"But how do they make the sound come from somewhere where there isn't even a speaker"? She asked.

My M80's are up by the screen, and my QS8's hang on the back wall and to the side of us. I haven't upgraded to 7.1 yet, and there are no surround speakers on the side walls at all. But the sound was coming right out of the fireplace on the left hand side of the room.

Her question sort of stumped me. I mean I know that surround sound is designed to fool the mind into thinking it's coming from all sorts of directions, not just out of the speakers. But how they accomplish this is beyond my comprehension.

"They mix the sounds between the front speaker and rear speaker to make it sound like it's coming from the side", is all I could tell her. She didn't really grasp how they were able to pull it off so convincingly. But then again, I'm not sure how they do it either!

I would imagine it was similar way back when they first developed records and you put that little disk on a player, and the sounds of peoples voices and instruments and everything else played out of the speaker... How do they do that? I still can't even grasp that concept myself. But how its gone from that to being able to project sounds coming from places that don't even have a speaker in the vacinity is truely mind boggling.

We certainly have come a long, long way in a relatively short amount of time.
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#295546 - 03/08/10 11:57 AM Re: How far we've come... [Re: Micah]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1166
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Hey Micah, I know exactly what you mean. My wife and I often marvel at the apparent direction of surround sounds when watching movies.

In Journey to the Center of the Earth (even though it's not a great quality movie), there's a scene where water is dripping in a cave sequence. Everytime I hear it (my kids love to watch this movie) I could swear there is a leak directly above our heads nowhere near a speaker.

Also, watching Dave and Tim at RadioCity late one night, my buddy kept telling me that one of my kids was up at the same point in the concert - we were re-listening to some favourite tracks. By the 3rd time he finally realised it was the sound field fooling him into thinking he was hearing sounds from upstairs.

It's all good fun!
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Dan
On-Wall M5HP LCR, QS8 & EP500 in 7.1

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#295556 - 03/08/10 01:16 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: cb919]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6884
Loc: It's all about the location.
One of the best scenes for surround effects is the chaos on the ship in Master and Commander. The cannon sequences are great, but the sounds above you from the perspective of being below deck is incredible, as if the ceiling of your room is actually the main deck of the ship.
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#295559 - 03/08/10 01:38 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: Adrian]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1166
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
I really have to watch that movie again as it is mentioned so often. I saw it when it was 1st released on DVD years ago but just through the TV speakers. At the time I thought it was good, but not so good to leave a lasting impression. Guess I'll rent a BR copy next weekend.
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On-Wall M5HP LCR, QS8 & EP500 in 7.1

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#295564 - 03/08/10 02:05 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: cb919]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Master and Commander BR was on sale at Target for $14.99, I think. To buy you might want to try there. (Could be just a local thing).

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#295574 - 03/08/10 03:37 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: cb919]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6884
Loc: It's all about the location.
 Originally Posted By: cb919
I really have to watch that movie again as it is mentioned so often. I saw it when it was 1st released on DVD years ago but just through the TV speakers. At the time I thought it was good, but not so good to leave a lasting impression. Guess I'll rent a BR copy next weekend.

I would say it's a "good" movie with "great" special effects/audio, some parts of the movie seem to simply be there to fill time but the opening battle scenes are some of the best LFE's you'll find...trouble is, it set's a high bar for the rest of the movie.
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#295584 - 03/08/10 04:33 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: Adrian]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Tai Lung "escaping" in Kung Fu Panda Blu-ray is as good as it gets when it comes to surround candy. The QS4/QS8 are special.
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#295586 - 03/08/10 04:51 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: Adrian]
audiosavant Offline
devotee

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 311
Loc: Worldwide
There are a lot of tricks available today for sound placement within a surround matrix. Localization of sound in surround is a complex (and fun!) mixing process that involves everything from panning and phase relationships to delay/reverberation routing within the 360 degree sound field using unusual equalization processes.

Unlike a magician, I think I can reveal one piece of software that I (and countless other post production houses) use that makes mixing/placement of audio a magical experience for the creator as well as the consumer.

http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/audiopostproduction_product/nuendo4.html

Combine that with a HUI that allows one to pan left/right/center/sides/rears and anywhere in between in surround 5.1, 7.1 all the way to 10.2 (and higher for custom installations) and you have a psycho-acoustic brain toy for sure.

We have certainly come a long way from Quadraphonic and simulated surround (anyone remember Q Sound?).

I am currently mixing a surround project and, while working with a reverb plugin in surround mode, managed to actually scare myself and the client with the sound of helicopters stealthily swooping in from behind, flying over our heads fast and low. And we knew it was coming!

I wonder what Edison would think of the progress we have made concerning sound reproduction. I bet it would blow his mind!
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---Frank Zappa


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#295587 - 03/08/10 05:03 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: audiosavant]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I remember Q sound and one Larry Rickman. He was owner of my cities CFL team, the Calgary Stampeders, during the 80's.
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#295603 - 03/08/10 07:18 PM Re: How far we've come... [Re: jakewash]
Micah Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
Oh wouldn't it be great indeed to be able to show Edison how far we've pushed his baby! I'm sure it would truely knock his socks off. He probably never dreamed we'd be able to do what we've done.

It reminds me of an interview with Bill Gates that I read. They asked him if way back in the 70's & 80's when he was first starting his Microsoft empire if he had any clue what would become of it. What he said was very interesting indeed.

He said it's gone both ways at once. We're no where near where he thought we'd be by now, and at the same time we've done things he never even concieved back then.

As far as not being as advanced as he thought we'd be by now he explained that in Microsoft's infancy they imagined within a few decades we'd all be talking to our personal computers like a normal human being. Carrying on conversations, and even getting emotional responses out of them. But as he explained it, A.I. has progressed much slower than had been envisioned, and is much, much harder to accomplish than they ever dreamed. Which in his opinion really goes to show what an amazing organ the human brain really is. For all intents and purposes, our minds are unduplicatable.

But he admitted that they never saw the internet coming. Where practically any information you'd ever want was a click away. News was up to the second. And everyone in the world was tied into it.

It was an interesting article.
_________________________
My Stuff :

M80's
QS8's
VP150
EP800
Denon 4802
Emotiva XPA-3
Samsung BD-P3600
Sharp 65 Inch Aquos LCD

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