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The making of: The Two Towers (a 25 driver Full Range line array)
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Old 7th December 2017, 03:23 AM   #4011
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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The making of: The Two Towers (a 25 driver Full Range line array)
Interesting wesayso, keep tweaking. ☺️
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Old 8th December 2017, 09:29 AM   #4012
wesayso is online now wesayso  Netherlands
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I hope to do some ambient timing experiments today.
There are pretty large differences in the perception, I still find it hard to say which one I prefer. I'll try and do it one tweak at a time to see where my preference lies. And find out if it's different for different kind of recordings.
I don't expect answers in one afternoon, I do expect it to be interesting at least.
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Old 8th December 2017, 12:34 PM   #4013
wesayso is online now wesayso  Netherlands
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Well, so much for a set program... based on the results I had in previous settings I took a gamble on what to set where, based on prior results.

It's intoxicating and inspiring, or should I say jaw dropping .

I know I have mentioned this often enough, I'll just repeat it one more time: it pays off to take control over the listening room. This ambience addition (together with the mid/side tweaks) is the best thing I've ever done. Maybe aside from all the FIR processing. This is too much fun!

I'll go on listening now, but I ain't touching no dials
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Old 8th December 2017, 12:47 PM   #4014
koldby is offline koldby  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesayso View Post
I hope to do some ambient timing experiments today.
There are pretty large differences in the perception, I still find it hard to say which one I prefer. I'll try and do it one tweak at a time to see where my preference lies. And find out if it's different for different kind of recordings.
I don't expect answers in one afternoon, I do expect it to be interesting at least.
I guess (and hope) you will find that different recordings(live vs studio) will demand different settings of the ambience channel in order to give the best result. A little like moving the walls or tweaking the absorption in the room with a twist of a knob
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Old 8th December 2017, 02:45 PM   #4015
wesayso is online now wesayso  Netherlands
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Well, as said I was having way too much fun within the first try .

I'll admit most of what I listen to is studio recorded material. However with these ambient tweaks things come alive in a big manor.

What I did was use the preferred setting for the cross talk task for the ambient centre and shorter delay settings for the (L-R) and (L-R) portion of my ambient mix.

Now the centre mix will always contain a portion of left and right side info. We cannot make a clear separation of 2 channel signals, at least not within the usual mid/side mixing tools.

By setting the ambient sides to ~9 ms behind the main peak and having the centre at about 15 ms I got a very enjoyable mix of ambience enhancement with clear imaging.
This might be an exaggeration in practice (meaning I will grow tired of it) but it served it's point that I got great imaging qualities together with a very pleasant ambience feel.
I turned down the centre portion a bit to maximise it's effect on intelligibility (just by trying out the levels) on the perceived centre.

I have tried many combinations up till this point, though I had never tried to keep reflections relatively late for centre and a bit earlier for the left and right parts of the ambient channels. The results were very entertaining.

As always I ran out of time, would have loved to try many many more songs.
I bet there will be sweet spots for different genre's depending on what you want to get out of it. What I aim for is pleasant sound everywhere while keeping the fruits at the sweet spot. In the adjoining kitchen the sound coming from the living room more closely resembles what a live performance should sound like. Yes, I know I talked about studio recordings, but even those can be thrillingly real sounding with a bit of ambience.
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Old 8th December 2017, 03:08 PM   #4016
wesayso is online now wesayso  Netherlands
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To go on a bit further, I'll address some generalities I often read. Many times I read that people try FIR processing to aid their listening pleasure.
Or build some excellent performing speakers with a very flat and equal FR.

After listening to it they are slightly disappointed. It's kinda dull compared to what they had or heard before. I've come across these kind of reports a lot.

My first encounter with FIR filtering was similar. I went from a wild and entertaining sound (IIR EQ) to a tamed version, as if someone shrunk my arrays. It wasn't long after that that I reported better luck with a bit of filtering turned on in JRiver. Most probably remember me rave about the surround field effect within JRivers filters.
It had similarities to some store bough processors that were doing mid/side processing.

The more damping panels that were added to my room, the more brave the results became. However with that mid/side surround field tweak it was very entertaining at the listening spot, imaging worked very well and precise. It wasn't quite right though, off axis the overall balance was gone. Central panned voices were soft in comparison to the surrounding music.
With placing the panel at the back of the listening position a sense of envelopment was gone. Replaced with a more strong and detailed imaging quality.

Quickly after introducing the ambience channels I realized I could now dial in that quality of ambience enhancement. Had fun with it for quite a while.
At that time it was a delayed, attenuated and band passed (L-R and (R-L) mix.
Over time I concluded the centre was lacking. This brought me on several different paths to rectify that. The mid/side EQ, cross talk cancelation, Pano's phase trickery... All of them worked, all in a different way. But I started realizing the dullness and sober representation of the music could be fixed. Fix the cross talk in stereo and you'll be rewarded. Add a bit of ambience for overall envelopment and the result: pure bliss...

So the dull results in my opinion are not bad results, they just need some salt (mid/side EQ) and pepper (ambience). One to fix the stereo cross talk and the other to add that sense of liveliness. Done this way it turns each song into a performance. Adjustable to taste.

It's the many many ways of being able to combine all this that makes it harder to setup. However with all the moments of bliss and chills it's not an unpleasant task. Just time-consuming. The results however are far above average in my humble opinion.
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Old 15th December 2017, 11:42 AM   #4017
wesayso is online now wesayso  Netherlands
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At the risk of being boring with my reports...

I've changed the ambient channels back to the old preference. Meaning I have the timing of the phantom part still at ~14/15 ms behind the mains and the (L-R) and (R-L) ambience timed at 18/19 ms behind the mains.

What this does is give a more neutral tone balance, maybe sounding somewhat less exiting for a couple of songs. Mostly the orchestral stuff and highly manipulated pop songs.

Overall it is more clear though, pure would likely be a good word for it. Plus the imaging shines.

This may very well be a learned preference by me over time. I have been listening and experimenting a lot over the past couple of years. It may have changed my way of listening.

It won't be the last experiment I'm sure.

For those that want to play with it, the level of phantom that I mix in is extremely low, about 6 dB below the (L-R) and (R-L) levels after first making sure the (L+R) sum is already 6 dB down. Put it higher up and the ambience will start to approach a stereo sound. As is, the L-R and R-L sounds are quite non directional in substance. Like an out of phase sound where it's hard to pin down where it's coming from. The more phantom is mixed in (which will always have some L and R in it's mix) the more you re-create a stereo signal again. It's only there to enhance the phantom center coming from straight forward. Especially it's tonality. You know, filling the stereo cross talk dips. It helps create room around the separate parts in the mix, like a vocalist. It also adds to the sense of depth or 3D.

Anyways, just wanted to mention this, your own preferences might be different .

A couple of songs later, just in time for the edit: definitely more sense of (a bigger) space. My original intend to get me out of my small room.
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Last edited by wesayso; 15th December 2017 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 15th December 2017, 01:57 PM   #4018
wesayso is online now wesayso  Netherlands
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If, with all my experiments etc, it doesn't get any better than this, I still won't have any regrets at all. I still think it is awesome what we can get out of stereo if we really try.

I will try to finish the sub addition in the coming year. Just another toy to play with, really. As far as music goes it isn't needed at all. However it is too much fun to not try it for movies and any other experiment I can think of.
Over the last period I have concentrated on getting a more even ambience frequency response. This is where I might try averaging multiple measurements. For my mains it did not do much, probably because of the reduced level of early reflections I had already.

Where for the mains I concentrate on the early signal, arriving at the listening seat, the tactics for the ambient channels is different. There I only look at the overall balance, not using any frequency dependent windows. This is where an average of multiple measurements might add to the overall balance.
I do notice extreme stability of phantom sources. Mono sounds like pure mono. no side detractions. Most important; it sounds good anywhere in the room or even from outside that room.
Something I had experienced long ago at a previous place of work, from joining rooms it sounds like a performance is taking place right there. I've got that covered.

Balance is everything. Well, balance and clear sound.
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Old 15th December 2017, 06:27 PM   #4019
oneplustwo is offline oneplustwo  United States
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Have you played with the JRiver room effect options in the DSP panel? They also seem to be aimed at making music more "ambient" if that makes sense. They seem to work better than similar options in AVR's I've used in the past but I'm not a huge fan. I'm sure what you're doing is much more tweak-able.

I do kinda like to dial in a little bit of virtual subwoofer though.
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Old 15th December 2017, 06:40 PM   #4020
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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The making of: The Two Towers (a 25 driver Full Range line array)
All sound like a lot of fun!
Is is time for a recap of what your signal and processing flow is? I know I'm a little lost.
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